I have two five-strings, one set up with a high C and one set up with a low B. I may get a six-string in the future with a high F. I slap because it opens up some very interesting rhythmic possibilities as a bass player, especially when palm muting is thrown into this technique. I’m also a big fan of fast slap to tap transitions and implementing rhythmic displacement within this too. The secret of playing bass well is knowing how to create a solid backbone within a musical unit and knowing your place in that rhythm section. Playing to suit the music but not overplaying. I must sound strange saying this as a solo bassist, but if you listen to my old acoustic band Amour Propre you will not hear any flash bass-lines at all, only very basic lines locking with the bass drum and complementing melodies.
My first bass was a second-hand Washburn with Status pickups, bought from the Bass Centre, London when it was in Wapping. It was a great bass for that period of my learning the instrument. I always recommend that young bass players buy second-hand first rather than buying a brand new bass that might restrict their technical development.
My bass heroes are Anthony Jackson, Alain Caron, Jaco Pastorius, Ryan Martinie, Stuart Zender, Les Claypool and Flea. The greatest bass player that ever lived is probably the late Jaco Pastorius for his ability, his composition and for creating a voice for the bass at that time. If I could get the bass tone of any album ever released, I would choose The Return of the Space Cowboy, the second album by Jamiroquai. I’d love to know exactly how that was achieved. I’m guessing some very expensive outboard, very expensive channel preamps, and a combination of DI and expensive mics.