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Reader Spotlight: Tom Sinnett

Tom SinnettMeet Tom Sinnett, a bassist living in London, doing the music (and the coffee) thing. Tom is a man of many styles, as you’ll see below. He’s our No Treble reader in the spotlight this week, and here’s his story…

Bio:

I’m a bassist/composer/teacher, originally from Wales but now based in London. I started out at 14 playing rock and metal, plus some school big band gigs, and somehow ended up studying a BMus (Hons) in Jazz at the Birmingham Conservatoire. I’ve always liked variety, so I kept playing lots of different styles and branching out, working with loads of different groups of musicians. A friend of mine owns a great recording studio, so for the last 5 years I’ve been his first call bassist for sessions, which has made that a special area of expertise for me. Put simply, I just love playing bass and increasing my knowledge of music, learning is a huge addiction for me.

Location:

London, UK

Day gig:

Session Musician, Teacher, and Coffee Ninja (Barista) for Harris + Hoole.

Years experience:

15 Years now

Bands & Gigs:

I work with a bunch of different (and awesome) musicicans, but there’s a common thread with a lot of the bands, as many of us work together a lot in a studio in Wales called StudiOwz. The owner has built his own equivalent of The Swampers/Wrecking Crew/Funk Brothers, and a lot of us end up on the same sessions together.

I’m currently working with: Welsh singer/songwriter Jodie Marie, Jimmy Brewer, Valleyers, a great new band called Elephants (with Joe Webb and Jamie Doe), a London Electro-Soul band called Queens Troubadour, as well as other studio sessions for artists like Rosey Cale, Benjamin Mason and many others. I also co-produce the odd thing, like the Sleepwalking EP by Tree Of Wolves, and a few singles for We’re No Heroes.

On top of that stuff, I do the usual wedding/function band work, theatre shows and other reading gigs. And I’m working on a solo bass project too…I’ve just released my first decent video, a tune of my own called Mermaid’s Lullaby (shameless plug: go check it out on YouTube).

Gear:

  • GB Rumour 6 String Custom Bass
  • 1979 Fender Precision Bass
  • Aguilar Tonehammer 500 Head and SL112 Cab
  • Darkglass Vintage Microtubes
  • Aguilar TLC
  • Boss OC3
  • Mission Engineering VM-Pro
  • TC Electronic Flashback X4
  • Strymon Big Sky
  • Boomerang III Looper

Why I play the bass:

I was hanging out with my friends in the music practice room in school before lessons started, having just dropped my trumpet off. The head of music came in and said they needed a new bassist for the school big band, and asked if anyone wanted to learn. Nobody put their hand up, so I said “Oh, alright… I’ll give it a go”. I took to it like a duck to water, and I’ve barely played a trumpet since.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

I guess my superpowers are melody, tonal consistency and good note lengths. Knowing where to stop a note is as important as where it starts.

My influences:

Pino Palladino, Leland Sklar, James Jamerson, Tim Lefebvre, John Patitucci, Tony Grey, Steve Swallow, Jimmie Lee Sloas, Jeff Berlin, Joe Hubbard, Dave Holland, Scott LaFaro, Paul Chambers… Ah, the list could go on forever, and that’s just bass players!

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