Reader Spotlight: Kurt Skrivseth

Kurt Skrivseth

Photo by: Abi Baumann

Meet Kurt Skrivseth a multi-instrumentalist who plays bass and guitar in the band Pale People. Kurt has overcome some pretty amazing physical challenges with playing bass, as you’ll see in this story…


I’m a 27 year old bassist from Montana. I’ve played in numerous local bands, big bands, jazz combos, cover bands, corporate gigs and musical theater productions. Shortly after high school I got to play a gig with Slash and Snoop Dogg which was incredibly inspiring/motivational. Afterwards I went to college for music composition where I learned above all, to be true to yourself and not wait for other peoples permission.


Missoula/Montana/United States

Day gig:

Bassist/guitarist/music producer/audio engineer/video editor at Pale People.

Years experience:

12 years

Bands & Gigs:

I’m the bassist and guitarist in the band Pale People. We’re a “progressive punk/theatrical art rock” trio that formed in May 2015. We gig frequently and will be spreading out/playing shows around the Northwest hopefully by this summer. We just self released our debut album (which I had the honor of producing), “Bright Ideas” which is available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Youtube, Bandcamp, etc.


  • Custom Fender Deluxe Jaguar Bass (signed by: Victor Wooten, Billy Sheehan, Bootsy Collins and Nate Watts)
  • Custom Warwick Corvette $$ NT Fretless 5 string
  • Warwick Standard Corvette 5 string
  • Music Man Stingray 5 Classic
  • Gibson Thunderbird
  • Spector Legend Custom 5 string bass
  • Ibanez BTB456QMTK 6 string bass
  • NS Designs NXT5 Electric Upright Bass
  • Takamine G Series Acoustic 4 string bass
  • Fender Pro 400 2×10 Combo Bass Amp
  • Fender American Deluxe Strat
  • Epiphone 1965 Re-issue Elitist Casino (signed by all members of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s band.
  • Customized Mexican Fender Telecaster
  • Gibson Firebird V
  • Gibson Flying V
  • Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul (signed by Slash)
  • Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Guitar Amp
  • Takamine G Series 12 String Acoustic
  • Taylor 510-ce Acoustic
  • Morgan Monroe Serenade Acoustic
  • Flatiron F-style Mandolin

Why I play the bass:

When I started playing guitar at 15, so did every other suburban youth, which led to many openings for a bass player. My father owned a 1972 Gibson Les Paul Triumph bass, so the duty fell to me. I quickly learned that I loved playing bass way more than other guitarists did.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

I can’t move any of the fingers in my right hand and I’m missing the radial nerve in my right arm so my thumb wiggles free from the joint. This makes it so that the only way I can physically play is to slap the bass. It’s given me the challenge of coming up with my own style from the moment I picked up the instrument.

My influences:

I’d say my top influences on my playing are: Flea, Geddy Lee, Stefan Lessard, Jeff Ament, Jim Creegan, Alex Katunich, Alex James, John Paul Jones, Sting, and Chris Thile.


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  1. “I can’t move any of the fingers in my right hand…” Wow. You really found a way. No excuses. Very cool.