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Reader Spotlight: Cole Millward

Cole Millward

Meet Cole Millward, who started on bass out of necessity (a bass player quit, Cole was handed a bass and asked to learn fast). Today, Cole stays busy with a few bands – including playing upright in a bluegrass Pink Floyd tribute band.

Cole is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. Here’s his story…


I started playing bass in my youth group as a teen, and quickly discovered a love for the instrument. I co-founded a progressive metal band in 2009 and we are still going strong writing and performing, but I also play in several gigging bands in my area. I have my degree in music performance and composition, and a vocational certification in audio engineering. I almost exclusively play 6-string basses, as 4- and 5-stringers just don’t fulfill everything I want in an instrument, and 7-string basses are a bit much. In particular, I have a love for the Yamaha John Myung Signature basses.


Charlotte, North Carolina

Day gig:

When not playing bass, I work recording, mixing, and producing local music acts, as well as teaching at a music instruction school and running sound at a church.

Years experience:

7.5 years

Bands & Gigs:

I play in the progressive metal band I co-founded, named Ozai. I also play in a karaoke band, a wedding band called Four Star Daydream, and a yet-unnamed cover band. I also play upright bass in a bluegrass Pink Floyd tribute band called New Car Caviar, and fill in on bass for several local acts when needed. Lastly, I have my own progressive metal solo studio project called Hairy Parrot.


  • Two Yamaha RBX6JM John Myung Signature 6 string basses (one in Eb standard tuning, one in D standard), which I use for my prog metal band
  • Yamaha RBXJM2 John Myung Signature bass in standard tuning
  • Agile 8 string guitar for use in recording my solo project,
  • Darkglass Microtubes B3K distortion pedal and Bass Muff Pi for recording tones,
  • iPad running Positive Grid’s Bias FX for live performances,
  • Positive Grid BT4 Bluetooth midi footcontroller for controlling the iPad

Why I play the bass:

My decision to play bass was out of necessity; the previous bass player in the youth praise band at my childhood church quit for school reasons, and I was given the communal bass guitar (a red Fender Squier P Bass) to learn so that I could play in the band. That necessity motivated me to learn quickly and improve very quickly.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

My most unique characteristic in my playing, aside from my technical skill, is my ear; I often jump in on bass duties last minute for some bands, and have to play songs I may not know. In these instances, I usually pick up on the necessary bass parts very quickly. Many bands highly value this ability, as it frequently eliminates the need for time-consuming rehearsals.

My influences:

My bass influences are John Myung, Billy Sheehan, Adam “Nolly” Getgood, Jaco Pastorius. My music-writing is most often influenced by the work of Dream Theater, Haken, Meshuggah, and Periphery.

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