Many bassists we cover here didn’t start out on bass. But for Thomas Melville, the path was about as unique as it gets.
There’s no doubt that he found his calling. Just check out this quote from his story:
There’s no greater feeling than locking in with the drummer and playing a tasty bass line that compliments the melody.
Thomas is the No Treble reader in the spotlight for the week of January 5, 2014.
Rewind to 1992, I’m handed a tin whistle and brought to Irish Traditional music lessons. Over the following 10 years I go from the tin whistle to keyboard to piano accordion to banjo to bass player in a rock band. Bit of a drastic change the last one but the best change of my musical life!
Over the next 10 years I immersed myself in the instrument. I learned about many great bass players and played in many bands of different genres (rock, metal, blues, folk, funk, cover). I found my own sound and style (after emulating many of the greats). In the end I came full circle and played bass in an Irish Traditional group who toured the world. I was lucky enough to get to tour China and Denmark with the group, as well as many gigs at home. The heads always turned when the bass player started playing jigs and reels with the rest of the group, not just holding down the chords.
Software Engineer. I’m a weekend warrior! It gets tough at times but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bands & Gigs:
At the moment I’m in 2 bands:
A funk cover band that plays around town.
And a wedding band that plays all over the country.
- Peavey Grind-4, rewired and fitted with Seymour Duncan SSB-5 pickups and rocking Ernie Ball Coated roundwound strings. My baby! 12 years old and it’ll always be my number 1 bass!
- Cort Fretless-4
- Warwick Streamer-5
- TC-Electronic BG250
- Boss Octave, Chorus & Flanger pedals
Why I play the bass:
We started a band in school and we needed a bass player so I got the job. I’m glad I got the job, the more I learned the more I knew it was the instrument for me. I loved that the bass is the link between the time and the melody. There’s no greater feeling than locking in with the drummer and playing a tasty bass line that compliments the melody.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
The ability to plays jigs and reels on the bass! Those tunes are fast! And get faster as the session goes on!
Jason Newsted, Flea, Les Claypool, John Paul Jones, Victor Wooten, Bernard Edwards, Bootsy Collins, Nathan East, James Jamerson, Jaco Pastorius…