the lowdown

“Bill Bass” Nelson’s playing on Fred Wesley’s Say Blow by Blow Backwards is distinct from that of his other P-Funk bassmates.

When columnist Bill Leigh played bass behind trombonist Fred Wesley, he got an up-close look at how P-Funk bassists helped define a sound.

Most of us are continually working to broaden our bass skills, from fretboard familiarity and technical mastery to specific musical competencies, like bass-line construction and development, walking, and soloing. Along the way, we may try to incorporate the tone and techniques of specific bassists into our playing, sometimes while learning their parts from songs they played on.

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