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Reader Spotlight: Cristian Tisselli

Cristian Tisselli

Meet bassist Cristian Tisselli, a musician from Argentina with a cool story about following dreams and a great line: “I could play a big stadium or in a small bar, I don’t really care.”

Cristian is a man ahead of his times: he took the approach of turning a guitar into a bass when he first started out, way before we even posted our how-to video!

Cristian is our player in the spotlight for the week of May 29, 2012. (Hint: you can be our next one, just follow the link at the end of this article, after reading all about Cristian.)


I started playing the piano when I was eight years old, but the teacher who came to give me lessons bored me. What I really wanted was to play the drums, so I left the piano. But I never got a drum set since my family didn’t have much money to buy me a real one — only toy drums.

When I was 15, my cousin’s rock band needed a bass player, so I told them “I can do that!” I started taking lessons without owning a bass by practicing with an old acoustic guitar that I put a microphone on to amplify it, and I detuned it to get the “right” sound.

A year after I finally got my first bass, I was invited to play in local jam sessions. When I was 17 (2003), I started Architecture School and stayed in it for two years, but I left the school when I watched a Tribal Tech video for the first time (after three days of downloading it). Gary Willis was one of my favorite bass players since I started playing the bass. So after years, I have played many different music styles from R&B to Brazilian styles, funk, fusion, blues, jazz, rock… everything.

In 2009, I returned to Architecture School, but I kept playing and giving bass lessons. Two years after that, I went on a trip to San Francisco and ended up recording a jazz fusion album as a session bass player with recognized musicians of the city. When I returned to Argentina after my trip I decided to leave school two years before I became an architect, and just focus on being a bass player.


City Bell / Buenos Aires / Argentina

Day gig:

I give bass lessons.

Years experience:

12 years.

Bands & Gigs:

I’m playing in some independent projects, including a band named Contusion. It’s a fusion band with music influences of Allan Holdsworth and Tribal Tech. We going to record our first album this year.


  • Fender Victor Bailey Jazz Bass V
  • SDGR 905 by Ibanez V
  • Gallien Krueguer 800RB
  • SWR Goliath Junior III 2×10″
  • EDEN Preamp
  • Boss Loop Station RC-3
  • MXR Envelope Filter

Why I play the bass:

I think I always felt attracted to the low frequencies. My cousin’s rock band needed a bass player, so I took the job.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

Recording as a professional musician in the US. Also I met some of my heroes: Jimmy Johnson and Allan Holdsworth.

So what I want is to keep meeting my heroes and learning from them, and playing good music with good people and musicians. After that, I could play a big stadium or in a small bar, I don’t really care.

My influences

I think all the musicians I’ve ever heard, but as far as bass players go: Stanley Clarke, Victor Bailey, Anthony Jackson, Gary Willis, Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, Abraham Laboriel, Doug Wimbish, Billy Sheehan, Nathan East, Chuck Rainey, Skuli Sverrisson, Dave Carpenter, Tony Levin, Randy Hope Taylor, James Jamerson, Jimmy Johnson, Larry Graham, Matthew Garrison, Steve Swallow, Eddie Gomez, John Patitucci, Dave Holland, Rocco Prestia… etc, etc.

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