Reader Spotlight: Ted Gould, aka Blyss

Ted "Blyss" Gould

We first featured bassist Ted “Blyss” Gould back in September, with his all bass cover of the Stylistics tune, “People Make the World Go Round”. It was a hit.

Now Ted shares his story in this week’s bassist spotlight. We love how he measures his experience in days, not years (though we’re pretty sure it is out-of-date now. Or will be soon). Ted is our player in the spotlight for the week of December 4, 2012.


I am originally from New Orleans but now live in the San Francisco Bay area and work as a bassist and elementary school music teacher. It is always important for me to acknowledge my New Orleanian roots because that’s where the core of who I am as a musician comes from.

In addition to playing with many different local artists, churches and theater companies I am the local bassist with funk music pioneer, co founder of the Original Meters and living legend Zigaboo Modeliste. Talk about a groove education!


San Francisco Bay Area, California

Day gig:

Music Educator. In addition to private in-person and Skype-based lessons I teach general music to about 400 elementary school kids in San Mateo Country, California. That is probably one of the most intense gigs ever! Kids are a trip and they KNOW when you aren’t ready for THEM!

Years experience:

9131.05 days

Bands & Gigs:

Main gigs:

  • Zigaboo Modeliste – funk
  • oMega LIVE! – funk / soul / rare groove

Theater Companies:

  • Broadyway by the Bay
  • Tri Valley Rep
  • Pinole Players

Churches / Ensembles:

  • 6:13 band / Neighborhood Church of Castro Valley
  • Bridges Community Church
  • Oakland Youth Chorus

Various Artists


  • Mike Lull M5V
  • Warmoth Jazz 4
  • NS Design WAV 4 EUB
  • Aguilar DB751
  • Aguilar TH500
  • Aguilar GS112 (2)
  • Aguilar GS210 (2)
  • MXR bass fuzz
  • MXR bass octave deluxe
  • MXR bass envelope filter
  • MXR compressor

Why I play the bass:

Even though I loved the bass from the first time I heard Prince’s “Uptown” I originally wanted to play guitar. I was, however, quite lazy. I thought that 4 strings would somehow be easier than 6. Boy, was I in for an awakening!

My second cousin was married to a guy who had a Gibson SG that I would, uh, “borrow” when he wasn’t looking. Even though I still wasn’t nearly as serious as I thought I was I never put it down and here we are today, still at it.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I played bass for many many years by ear, by instinct. Much later in my life I decided to go to school. At 35 I started playing upright and ended up getting a B.A. in Music with my main instrument being classical double bass. I don’t know if I’d call it a super power but it’s something that I’m really proud of; to have quit the “security” of a day job to pursue a degree in music was one of the most humbling and rewarding things I’ve ever done.

My influences

In no particular order and off the top of my head:

Prince (and just about every bassist who has played for him from Andre Cymone to Rhonda Smith. No offense to great players like Josh but by the time he came along I was listening a bit differently)

Marcus Miller

Anthony Wellington

Larry Graham

Pino Palladino

Victor Wooten

Marc Adams

Paul “St. Paul” Peterson (The Time / The Family / fDeluxe)

Terry Lewis (the Time / The Original 7even)

MeShell Ndegeocello

More on the web:

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Share your thoughts

  1. Good to see some Bay Area bass family representing. Keep the groove!

  2. Nice that Blyss gave a shout out to Marc Adams from Slave!

  3. man I love me some Blyss, what an inspiration.