Hall of Fame #2

Having seen the post about Duck Dunn below, my buddy Jeff Owens at Fender sent me a YouTube clip of Ryane Askew’s cover of 5ive Gears in Reverse — a bass part of mine wholly modeled on Duck Dunn’s playing.

So I thought it might be appropriate to have a couple more clips of bass covers on the site.  (Although no-one seems to have picked up on the fact that the repeated melodic figure at the end of this track is actually a bass overdub, and not a guitar part.)



Ryane Askew / 5ive Gears in Reverse

Ryane of Fort Worth, Texas, is a trained clarinetist and jazz pianist but has recently started learning bass by ear from records — and appears to be progressing at the speed of light, as she’s only a few months into it.  She’s continuing a fine tradition, as that’s exactly how I learnt to play bass.  The first record I got down was Booker T’s Green Onions album — before moving on to Fresh Cream. (Ryane does a cool version of Steely Dan’s Peg on her YouTube channel — and she’s got seriously cool hair too!)


Colin Peters / (I Don’t Want to go to) Chelsea

This is the best cover I’ve heard of  ‘Chelsea’, possibly because Colin lives in South London.  He gets the subtle note variations in the chorus that not many others pick up on and plays with a real feel for the part.


Crank Up the Amps / Watching the Detectives

 Once I’d stumbled across this clip, how could I leave it out!

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Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn: 1941-2012

Perhaps the greatest rock and soul bass player of them all passed away in his sleep today, aged 70.

Duck Dunn is rightly regarded as one a handful of truly great bass guitar originals for his work as a Stax house musician playing for the likes of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and Albert King … and as a member of Booker T’s ‘Memphis Group’.  He later played with Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Neil Young … and appeared as himself in the Blues Brothers movie.

You don’t have to ask what Duck Dunn’s playing meant to me, or what kind of an influence he was.  Just listen to ‘Five Gears in Reverse’ on the Get Happy album.  That was one of my many ‘tributes’ to him while he was still alive … and I hope it’s still a fitting one today.

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I Never Knew That!

Yes... the cheeky chappy with the big ears is me

The following is a new interview I did recently for Jon Liebman’s For Bass Players Only magazine.

JL: Tell me about your musical upbringing.

BT: There was a piano in the house and it came as a great surprise to me when I started hitting the notes that a tune didn’t come out at all, just a racket.  After all, I was only doing what I’d seen everyone else do when playing the piano.  But my mother had a good ear for a tune, and picked it up very quickly without any lessons.  My father, on the other hand, spent his childhood studying to be a classical violinist; but he had to give it up to go in the Army.  Later he only ever played it occasionally.

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Seeing is Believing

Do you see the triangle that’s not actually there?  You see it because your mind fills it in to create something familiar.  In fact, it’s harder to un-see the triangle.

But at other times we can fail to see something that really is there, even something truly remarkable — as the following story reveals …

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Bruce’s Hall of Fame


When I posted the clips for my new Profile Signature Model Bass on YouTube, I found quite a few bass players who’ve taken the time to cover some of my parts … because they like them.  Here’s a selection of some of the best … Nice playing, one and all …





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A Roll of the Dice

How many of us have been sitting somewhere on a dreary winter’s afternoon, looked out the window and thought, ‘There has to be more to it than this’ — or felt the impulse to leap up from where we’re sitting to stride off into some great adventure?

In 1971, Luke Rhinehart wrote The Dice Man — whose subheading announced, ‘This book can change your life’.  One day, Rhinehart is inspired by an intriguing coincidence and, bored with his job, gives over his life to the idea of living by random options chosen by throwing dice.  At first these are quite low-key … at least, as low-key as crawling to work in a tuxedo can be.  But gradually, he gives his life over to an anarchic and amoral rampage …

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Fighting Fit

When he was only 17, Bruce Lee wrote in his diary … After 4 years hard training in kung fu, I began to understand the principle of gentleness — the art of neutralizing the opponent’s effort with the minimum of one’s own energy — which must be done in calmness, without striving.  It sounds simple, but the actual application was difficult.  The moment I engaged in combat, after exchanging a series of blows or kicks, all theory of gentleness was gone.  My only thought was that, somehow or another, I must beat him and win.  My instructor, Professor Yip Man, would say, ‘Loong, [Bruce’s Chinese nickname] preserve yourself by following the natural bend of things, and don’t interfere.  Never assert yourself against nature.  Never be in frontal opposition to any problem but control it by swinging with it.’

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The ‘Salmon Pink’ Myth

Few things in the vintage guitar market are as confusing as the custom guitar colour often referred to as Salmon Pink.  To understand why, you have to go back to Fender’s paints of the 1950s and 60s and realize they were also the automobile paints of the time.

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