Fender Jazz 1966
‘All stock’, as they say (other than me adding a de-tuner – lollipop too!). Bought 19th October 2004 from 40th Street Guitars, New York City and used in Madison Square Garden that same night! Strung with Dunlop SB nickel round wounds. This bass is ‘The NUTS’. It can be heard on Jamiroquai’s ‘All Good In The Hood‘ V.1 & V.2 & ‘Shake It On‘ and ‘Shake Your Money‘ by Brother Strut.
Fender Precision 1963
Stock ‘Spaghetti’ logo P Bass. Bought in 2005 Tin Pan Alley, London. Jay joked with the salesman to charge me more! Strung with La Bella 1954 ‘Jamerson gauge’ flats. Can be heard on Jamiroquai’s ‘Nights Out In The Jungle‘ & ‘Blue Skies‘ and Trioniq “Call The Porter”. Couple of video samples ‘Jamerson tribute’ and ‘Call The Porter’ demo
Built by the incredible Finnish luthier, Tom Stenback. Alder body & lacquered maple fingerboard. Passive and probably the best bass I’ll ever play. Strung with Dunlop SB nickels. Can be heard on ‘Difficult‘ & ‘I Could Be The One For You‘ by Trioniq and ‘Tequila‘ by Brother Strut. Video Trioniq Teaser
Fender Mustang 1973
Hofner Club 1965
The classic Hofner sound, but I love this shape! We all know Macca used a Hof, but so did Robbie Shakespeare! Strung with Pyramid flats. I used this on (the reggae section) in Jamiroquai’s ‘Hey Floyd‘ & ‘Move On Up‘ by Brother Strut.
Stenback PT5 (Dual Coil)
Another amazing bass by Tom, this time with an ash body. Again it’s passive but has dual coil pick-ups that can each be switched between single / parallel / series. The extra switch and knob were for a synth pick-up that has now been replaced by some foam! Currently strung with Dunlop flats. Can be heard on Trioniq’s ‘Elbow Bump’, including this video of me recording it.
Fender Jazz 1977
Modded with the common changes to ’70s’ Jazz Basses; Badass bridge and active pre. The pre-amp is a custom John East. Strung with DR Fat Beams. I sold this bass during a drought but I’m so glad I got the chance to buy it back. It’s a killer active Jazz that I once even loaned to Mr Miller himself, so I can never let it go again! Video sample.
Musicman Stingray 5
A must have in the arsenal and this is very tour scarred. Came with a piezo pick-up but I generally use it in classic Stingray mode. Did a few Annie Lennox tours and the Dynamite tour with Jamiroquai. Still occasionally makes a studio appearance too. Strung with rusty D’Addario from 2003! Can be heard on Jamiroquai’s ‘Superfresh‘ & ‘Something About You‘ and on this video of Annie Lennox at Live 8.
Musicman Stingray 5 Fretless
Lined rosewood fingerboard and again with piezo that I never use. Strung with Dunlop Super Bright Nickel round wounds. I always used this bass on Annie Lennox tours and, with Julia Fordham, it was the only ‘guitar’ I took (with my NS EUB) – no frets in sight. Recording wise, I used it on the chorus’ of ‘Automaton‘ (Jamiroquai) and I’ve used MM fretless 5s since 1995 eg ‘Open Road’ (Gary Barlow).
Jens Ritter surely builds the most creative and funky looking instruments of all time… This bass has silver oval fingerboard inlays and hand painted art. It also sounds great and feels so good, it’s like you’re playing “air bass”. Always makes me feel like I need a new wardrobe tho!
Fodera NYC 5
Fantastic 5 string from NYC legendary luthiers ‘Fodera’. Alder body with spalted maple top in a tobacco burst finish. Switchable dual coil pick ups and Pope pre-amp. Strung with Dunlop Super Bright Nickels. I’ve used this on tour with Jamiroquai and it’s my regular bass with ERA. Can be heard on “Happy Families” by The Dark Sinatras.
Brilliant P style bass built by luthier Young Joon, who chose a special piece of Brazilian rosewood for the dot & bound Jazz style neck. Strung with the 20yr old roundwound strings that I recorded Runaway with. Ha!
A.V. Basses Fretless J4
Stunning fretless built by Aleš Vychodil in the Czech Republic. Alder body, maple neck and in case you didn’t notice, a lacquered and polished rosewood fingerboard. Strung with Dunlop Super Bright Nickel round wounds. Video sample.
A.V. Basses PJ 5
Another from Aleš. This time a PJ5. Alder body and rosewood board. Again it’s passive. Strung with Dunlop Super Bright Nickel round wounds. Used on tour with Jamiroquai and Will Young.
These are great acoustic bass guitars, especially handy for those ‘unplugged’ visuals! Strung with Pyramid flats. Modded with a piece of fuse wire and some sellotape, from the EQ plate to the bridge… The quickest way I could get rid of the buzz!
NS Electric Upright
I think ‘EUB’s are more of a live requirement than studio, as it’s often a request based as much on look, as it is sound. This thing does sound amazingly though. Like all ‘EUB’s it can sometimes sound like a big fretless rather than a real upright, so I have foam under the strings and usually blend the Arco pick-up with the Pizz to get a woody hollow tone and quick decay. It always draws positive comments. Video