Meet Jonathon McMillan, a bassist who is equally comfortable on double bass, fretted and fretless bass guitars. (Though today, his preference is the double bass). Of course, this accounts for quite a gear list, as you’ll see below.
Jonathon is the No Treble reader in the spotlight for the week of November 9th, 2015, and here’s his story…
I am a bassist in the Albuquerque, NM area, playing upright, fretless, and fretted basses. Music is in my blood, and I was pretty well hooked on the bass by age 9. I studied privately in high school, and eventually played with the school jazz and pep bands in college, which led to many years of studying jazz and theory. Since moving to Albuquerque in 2006, I’ve had the great pleasure of playing live and recording with many of the area’s top artists and musicians in genres spanning Jazz, Bluegrass, Rock, Americana, Blues, Pop, Western Swing, and Country. In 2012, after 25 years of electric bass, I dove head-first into the Upright and I never looked back; it has since become my primary instrument.
Albuquerque, NM, USA
My time is pretty well split between music and electronics design consulting.
Bands & Gigs:
I play about 100-120 gigs per year, or thereabout. My main gig is playing upright with a Blues/Roots/Bluegrass trio called The Gregg Daigle Band. I play electric and upright with The Real Matt Jones (Pop/Americana/Rock), a fusion/jazz trio called Right About Now, post-rock outfit After Osmosis, and I’m a regular with the team at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. I also do quite a bit of session work with Matthew Tobias at Empty House Studio.
I do freelancing gigs, too – recent artists include Eric McFadden, Justin Thompson, Gabrielle Louise, Lovers and Madmen, Cactus Tractor, Sammy Perez, Caitelen, and others.
- Shen SB200 Willow URB w/Fishman Full Circle
- ’70’s Carved Romanian URB
- French bows
- AMT S25B mic
- Acoustic Image Flex Preamp
- Regenerate Guitar Works VRB4-P
- Regenerate Guitar Works Malibu 6
- EBMM Bongo 5 HH
- Rick Turner Electroline Fretless 5
- G&L L2500 fretless
- LTD fretless P/J 4
- Warmoth Jazz 4
- Warmoth Gecko 5
- RGW/Franken-fretless 4 w/MM-style electronics
- Greco hollowbody
- Phil Jones Bass Super Flightcase
- Phil Jones Bass D600
- Phil Jones Bass C8 and C4 cabs
- Ashdown LB-30 tube amp
- SWR Bass 350 (old burgundy-face)
- Manley, Aguilar DB900, Radial J48, and PJB Bass Buddy DI’s
- Darkglass Duality Fuzz
- Xotic BB Bass Pre
- Boss OC3
- TC Flashback
- Aguilar Filter Twin
Why I play the bass:
As a kid, I studied guitar, piano, bass, and trumpet – all within a few years of each other – but I gravitated toward the bass because I loved how it could define the music. It all grew from there! I love having the responsibility of keeping the groove and creating the foundation that everything else is built on, and I take it seriously.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
I don’t know that I have any “superpowers”. I would say that I’m solid and consistent, which is what tends to get me hired. I’m also well versed in a wide range of genres and I play upright and fretless bass even more than fretted. And I have a very good ear, which keeps me out of too much trouble.
My biggest influences are all session players more than solo artists – Lee Sklar, Pino, Gary Lunn, Jimmie Lee Sloas, Neil Stubenhaus, Nathan East, Anthony Jackson, Glenn Worf, and the list goes on and on.
For upright, my influences are guys like Chris Wood, Dennis Irwin, John Patitucci, Ray Brown, Christian McBride, Rob Wasserman, Todd Philips, Victor Kraus, Greg Garrison, Mark Fain, Mark Schatz, and so on.