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What I learned from Lee Sklar on Tuesday night!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Lonnybass, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Had a great hang with Leland before and after the TOTO show at House of Blues Chicago and got some amazing insights from him on a range of bass topics. Lots of perspectives. Here's what I got from him...

    Find something that works for you and stick with it. He told me he's sold off like 20 instruments in the past couple years simply because he's got his old trusty standbys that he reaches for 95 percent of the time...generally his classic beater 4 string (which he says is incredibly ugly to look at but sounds great) or the Dingwalls, when he needs a 5. He's played $100 pawn shop crap-o's that sound better than $5000 (insert brand here).

    Simpler, smaller is better. He said he couldn't believe how many guys he saw at some of the festivals that truck out huge multiple 8x10 setups just to use a DI and yet still create mud city. He has a pair of EA 1x12s and a 2x10 up there, that's it.

    Fingers are better than knobs Lee told me that he can't remember how many times he has been handed a bass with an incredibly complex control layout filled with knobs and switches that quite simply sound terrible...or nothing like HIM. Too easy to get lost in all the componentry to actually sounds GOOD. Lee says there's generally one basic tone that describes him and if he can't find it quickly with his fingers...

    Try not to overthink your playing Lee seems to really believe in playing from your heart and not tearing your parts upside down to find something that works. If it's the right feel, it will sound right!

    More to come. All in all a very educational and insightful experience. Nice guy too.

  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It sounds like Mr. Sklar offered you alot of common sense.:) The problem is that sometimes we need to hear common sense from someone at Sklar's level because it so easy to be hypnotized by gear and complexity.:bag:
  3. I just saw "ticker" the movie steven segal acts in, and Lee Sklar was there :p!
  4. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    I have admired his playing for years.

    JKT :bassist:
  5. Very cool. I'm a huge fan of his, although his tone on Eliot Morris' debut disc was pretty disappointing to me. It sounded buried and muddy. Despite that, I am a huge fan of his! :)
  6. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Wow!! Thanx for sharing all this info Lbass!!

    GREAT advice from a GREAT player!

    OK - how's about some of his road stories? I dare him!
  7. X Wolf

    X Wolf Guest

    +1....Great advice....Great player and....Nice guy!

  8. Amen to that brother
  9. I bumped into him in Oshawa and spent some time talking gear and technique. My conversation with him was almost a mirror of your own and I was immediately struck by what a genuine person he was. Here's how I described the meeting on another thread:

    "Toto was really smokin' and Mr. Sklar was restrained, likely so as to not steal the show, but every lick and line was tasty. Mike P injured his hand and has not been on the circuit with the band for the last few months. Mr. Sklar's red sparkle Dingwall sounded great through the EA backline although the bass mix where we were sitting was missing a bit of definition. Nonetheless his solos sounded fabulous and were truly inspiring!

    I was staying in the casino hotel and after the concert I went back to my room to change clothes. On my way back from the room who should I spot shuffling along with his entourage but THE Mr. Sklar himself, returning from the gig. It must have been pretty comical. I started walking towards him with my hand extended and said "oh, please..." No doubt he was filled with dread at this point as he had absolutely no avenue of escape, but he shook my hand anyway. I told him "Section - Ottawa Civic Center, 1972. I have been your biggest fan since I saw you back then". At that point he stopped and turned around to face me with a broad grin and a sparkle in his eyes and said "oh, WOW!". He reached forward and grabbed my hand in both of his and gave it a serious shake.

    I find it very easy to understand why his gig list is so extensive. Not only is he a monster player, but a seriously warm and caring individual. To be honest I was almost totally speechless at this point :help:. I believe I did have the presence of mind to blurt out that seeing him in '72 had inspired me to take my instrument very seriously. Anyhow we had a good chat and then I thanked him for his time and for the opportunity to hear him play again.

    The only "meeting" that tops this one for me was the lazy afternoon I spent fishing with John Entwistle, Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey on a lake in Quebec. I still have the "Who Are You?" toque that John gave me, but that's another story."

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