Meet Wayne Whittaker, a bassist who has studied with some impressive teachers and keeps busy as a session musician. We found ourselves smiling at many of the things he said, and many readers will appreciate his approach to the bass.
Wayne is No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of June 2, 2014.
Wayne graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2010 where he studied with Danny Morris and Esperanza Spalding. Nowadays he is a member of several bands, and maintains a busy schedule as a session musician. He has worked and recorded with dozens of artists, including Stephen Konrads & The Eternals, Sleepy Very Sleepy, Wilder Maker, Katie Von Schleicher, and Marissa Nadler as well as members of the bands Haerts, American Authors, and Foxygen.
Bands & Gigs:
My main project is Stephen Konrads and the Eternals. We have a record coming out in May that I’m very excited about. The first single, “Looter’s Tunnel”, is out now:
- 1973 Fender Precision Bass
- Custom Baxandall-style pre-amp (dubbed The Whittaker) through a 500W power amp
- 2×10 Avatar Speakers cabinet
- 4×10 Ampeg SVT
- Ampeg B-100R
Why I play the bass:
It was a natural attraction. I bought an acoustic guitar the summer before I started high school, and when I was trying to learn songs I found myself gravitating towards the bass lines. My parents picked up on this and surprised me with a bass that Christmas. The moment I started playing it felt like home.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
I’d like to think that I serve the song, and try to let my parts evolve organically as opposed to forcing anything for my own benefit. If that means playing one note for 4 minutes, so be it. I try and pick my spots to add an interesting fill or texture. That, and I’ve got a pretty good ear.
Paul McCartney, James Jamerson, Pino Palladino, Leland Sklar, Gary W. Tallent, Chuck Rainey, Donald “Duck” Dunn and countless others.