Meet Ben Titus, a multi-instrumentalist who calls himself a bassist first, and who keeps busy with a variety of music-related gigs.
Ben in this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. Here’s his story…
I’m a born and raised Virginia native who is a recent transplant to the Mid-West. Music has alternately been my salvation and my greatest frustration, sometimes at the same time! I’ve had the good fortune to share the stage with folks like Eric Marienthal (saxophone), the late James Moody, and have been able to open for groups like Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, Edwin McCain, and Chase Rice.
Milwaukee, WI, USA
Music education (bands, orchestras, and general music) at various levels in school and private lesson settings.
Bands & Gigs:
I do a lot of sub work for established groups (jazz, blues, rock, pop, country, classical), since I’m still relatively new to the scene here. I have one main group I work with called Big Spoon, where we play a wide variety of music – from the entire Dark Side of the Moon album to Tupac to Tool to Huey Lewis, it’s all what we want to play and not solely based on “does it sell”. All of us play in other groups or have day jobs, so it’s a ‘for fun’ project that is turning into a sought-after group because it’s different.
I’ve had a lot of fun incorporating a looper into live band situations. It has allowed several groups I’ve worked with to sound much fuller because I can cover other parts in addition to a bassline- either stepping into a rhythm guitar role using a 6-string bass, or just freeing myself up to be an additional improviser as needed. This works particularly well on that Floyd stuff I mentioned earlier!
Aside from this, I also direct and play in pit orchestras for local musical theater companies… sometimes doing both at the same time.
- Skjold Design Guitars Drakkar 6 (build in-progress)
- Elrick Evolution Gold Series 6 Bolt-On
- Pedulla ET5 Thunderbass
- Pedulla Buzz 5
- Fender Limited Edition Sandblasted P-Bass
- Kala U-Bass
- Christopher 3/4 Upright with Fishman pickup
- Genz Benz Streamliner 900
- Genz Benz Uber Bass 410
- Phil Jones Bass Super Flightcase
- Boss GT10B Effects Processor
- Boss RC-300 Looper
Why I play the bass:
I’ve always enjoyed the low-end. I started playing guitar and bass at the same time, but always gravitated to bass. The tone, the feel, everything is just better with bass.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
My superpower may be a little odd, but it’s that I’m a multi-instrumentalist. Bass is by far my favorite and where I spend the most time, but I also play drums, guitar, was classically trained on clarinet and can get around on most school band instruments because of my day job. As a result of this, I have a deep understanding of where the bass is supposed to fit into a wide variety of situations and can step into most gigs and fit right in.
Gustav Holst, Mozart, Beethoven, John Williams, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Lee Hooker, Metallica, Tool, Bryan Beller, Brittany Frompovich, Michael Manring, Gerald Veasley, Darren Michaels, Adam Nitti, Doug Johns