New School: Nathan Navarro

Nathan Navarro

Nathan Navarro has been experimenting with the bass’s role in different genres for some time now, but his recent exploration into electronica and dubstep bass have captured the attention of the bass community. His band’s live cover of Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” has reached over 2.5 million hits on YouTube.

We caught up with Nathan to find out more about this “new school” bassist.

What makes you new school?

The contemporary variety in tones that I use is the most “new school” aspect of my playing. Through the use of technology and a hybrid of playing techniques, new and old, I’ve found a way to achieve sounds that previously have been incapable and unheard of in the realm of real-time bass guitar.

What I’m really trying to say is, I’ve found the brown note and I’m sorry about your pants.

How did you discover your new school style?

I feel that discovering my style as a bassist and composer is an ongoing journey. It’s what keeps music from growing stale to me and brings me back to it every morning.

In my early stages of playing, my focus was solely on technique. That later grew to incorporate expression in composition, and recently, more advanced sound design. My current writing process most often begins with expanding on ideas from my head, as apposed to noodling with my bass for ideas as I did in years past. Essentially, the more I develop as an artist, the less I write from a bass player’s perspective, and the less I write from a bass player’s perspective, the more I am challenged as a bassist. This has encouraged me to grow as a technical and innovative player while helping me define my current new school style.

Do you have any Youtube videos that show off your thing?

Yes! I put up Youtube videos often because I love feedback from the bass community, fellow musicians and the general public. Doing this has also helped me grow as an artist.

What kind of gear do you use?

Spector basses:

  • Legend 5-string (de-fretted, holoflash)
  • NS-2A (1986, Kramer Era, white)
  • NS-2O (1980’s, flamed maple) *stolen at a gig this summer

Source Audio effects:

  • Hot Hand
  • Bass Envelope Filter Pro
  • Multiwave Bass Distortion Pro
  • Midi-Exp Controller

What kind of gigs do you get with your new school style?

I’ve been working full force with Pinn Panelle over the last few months, and we’ll be touring much of the U.S. beginning in February. Our band is heavily influenced by electronic music, and this has helped us develop a new school sound of our own.

Any traditional playing gigs?

Absolutely; I’ve toured with the California Baptist Male Choral, worked in the studio with producer Sylvia Massy (Tool, RHCP, Sublime, etc), and have worked as a non-private music teacher. Currently, I worship with music at my church in Lexington, MA, compose for online clients and teach lessons via Skype and in person.

Do you have albums where we can hear your new school style?

I’m currently writing with Pinn Panelle. Our album will most likely be out in mid 2012. Stay tuned at

Where can we find you on the web?

What’s next for you?

Right now it’s all about writing and preparing for the spring. I’m very excited for the tour coming up because my band members and I will have a chance to meet our fans! They’ve been tremendously supportive and we can’t thank them enough for helping our dreams become much more of a reality.

What else do you want to share?

Thanks to everyone at No Treble. Your site is such an instrument of inspiration to bassists like myself. God bless.

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  1. so cool interview

  2. really dude your not playin the bass your just beating on it hell a 5 year old can do what your doin’.

    • Angry much, Dean?

    • Corey Brown not angry at all just stating my opinion

    • i rarely anger that doesn’t anger me bein’ a bassist myself it dissapoints the hell out of me there were no melodies or bass lines at all in any of that,no chord shapes he just strummed it at different intervals.

    • Dean Fisher Sound jealous bro, how come you didn’t think of it and get 3 million hits on youtube?

    • I’m more impressed that he can emulate that bass sound that normally takes weeks on a computer to make, live. If you think a five year old can do it, you make a video and show us. Not as easy as it looks.

    • Since I’ve known Nathan in person and grew up with him a few blocks away from his house I was there when he began first learning to play his bass, and I can say with confidence that he knows absolutely everything about the bass, especially now and other instruments at that. He is a very intelligent person and puts all he can into what he does. I think you should research a person more before you put on blast just one part of something they do.

    • Dean Fisher You sound pretty angry, Dean Fisher. Perhaps even buttmad.

    • Dean Fisher, you are an idiot. this is awesome and yes i am a bassist also. If you dont appreciate the diversity of music you are not a true musician. this is amazing, it is a really well put together cover
      but Josh Bouwhuis, i can make that sound on my computer in hours not days… Sorry to say, and im not trying to show off or anything. But it is a really impressive cover

    • you have not watched his personal videos on youtube. I am sayin g this because i am a lifetime bassist and the lead on one one two or his bass sweeps video alone are enough to make most bassists blush.

    • Dean Fisher No bass lines or chord shapes in “Waltham (Bass Solo)”? You trollin’ bro? hahaha

    • Nathan Navarro is the Bass-Lord of Counter-Trolling, as of this moment.

  3. Very proud of your achivements! There are so manny people in this world that knows a good thing when they see it!

  4. He’s a really good player. Haters should just shut up. Especially if they are spelling and grammar challenged. Yes, you Dean. You might also want to try punctuation if you don’t want to sound like an idiot. I am curious why Nathan’s wearing a glove though. What’s that about?

    • no he’s not a really good player,spelling or grammar challenged has nothing to do with it.i’ve been playing longer than you’ve been i know when some one can play or not and imo that was a joke,the glove no idea part of the lameness of his playin abilities,and lastley i’m not a hater and you my friend have no right to tell anyone to shut up especially me “son”.

    • Dean Fisher , you seem too full of your ego to see a talent. Would be good idea to just stop trolling and go playing what you have played for last 73 years. Nevermind that times change and bass guitar with it, just do what you do :)

    • Dean Fisher – I’m sure you’re a brilliant player (how could you not be with an ego this huge? Besides you must have spent all your time practicing instead of figuring out where periods go so people can understand you) but before you go slamming strangers unintelligibly watch this video and tell me he’s not a good player:
      …on second thought why don’t you just shut up “pops”. gfy, then shut up again.

  5. Your the man Nathan. Keep up the amazing work!

  6. “Skrillex” Is really cool and interesting, an excellent demonstration of technology in music. But I was much more impressed with the “Waltham” piece. Nice use of the “hot hand” but it seemed overdone in the “Skrillex” and “Follow Me” videos.

  7. you didn’t ask him why he wears a glove?

    • We got an answer for you Nate. Nathan says, “I use the glove when playing dubstep songs that have many glissandos. It helps with sustain during the slides and also makes them much smoother because I don’t have nearly as much friction to get caught on with the flat-wound strings. I first used it one day in rehearsal with Pinn Panelle because we had been practicing for many hours the day before and my fingers were full of blisters. It was then that I noticed all of the glove’s advantages for those songs.
      Thanks for the interest!”

    • Kevin i think i might need one ………… thanks for your reply. is it a special type of glove? (silly question) or is it a special one?

    • Nate, its all about the thumb ring!!

  8. Love your work. Can’t wait for more from Dot!

  9. Cool stuff Nathan! Love that Hot Hand!