Reader Spotlight: Carlos Holguin

Carlos Holguin

Meet Carlos Holguin, a bassist from Las Vegas who got his start in middle school, thinking it would be a temporary situation. But he ended up loving the bass, and the rest is history.

Carlos is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. Here’s his story…


I have always been musically inclined. To my disdain I was placed in orchestra class in middle school, not really caring, I picked the bass thinking I’d only be there a semester. I ended up loving it. Things happen for a reason and now I am a professional musician. I love learning new things and realize that the only thing I know for sure is that I have a lot to learn.


Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Day gig:

I am a full-time musician and public speaker.

Years experience:

I have been playing the bass since I was eleven years old. That makes twelve years.

Bands & Gigs:

I am currently gigging full-time. I play many styles and in various capacities. Every week is different. One week I could be playing a big production or broadway show in a Las Vegas Hotel/Casino. Another week I can be playing a concert and filling in as a “ringer” with a local college jazz ensemble. Another week I can be found playing with a jazz trio in a nice restaurant or lounge on upright bass. I can be found playing pop/R&B/soul music in a nice lounge or for a corporate event with a vocalist and possibly singing back up vocals. I can be found playing my upright bass slapping and playing country music as well as regional Mexican music and singing lead or back up vocals. And during the week I may be in and out of rehearsals or the recording studio working on my own compositions. Often times, I play both electric and upright bass on one gig and I will switch back and forth during the performance.

Sometimes, this and more can all happen in one week or weekend. Those are the most fun.


This is what I use the most:

  • Lakland 55-02
  • Eastman Upright bass -3/4 Size
  • Acoustic Image Ten2 S4 Plus
  • Genz Benz 15″ cabinet with a bullet tweeter

Why I play the bass:

My middle school band class was full so I was placed in orchestra. I didn’t like it at first. I picked bass because they needed someone to play bass and to me, it was the least dorkiest instrument.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

I can play both electric bass and upright bass proficiently and in many styles. I also sing lead vocals and can perform backing vocals for other singers. If I don’t know how to do it, I am confident that I can learn!

My influences:

So many! Victor Wooten, James Jamerson, Joe Dart, Bernard Edwards, Larry Graham, Ray Brown, Derek Jones, Steve Flora, Ron Carter, Joe Zinkan, Sly and the Family Stone, Bruno Mars, The Meters, Vulfpeck, JD Blair, The Wooten Brothers, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Earth Wind and Fire, any and all Motown, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Miles Davis, Claude Debussy, Santa Fe and the Far City Horns, Stax Records, Duke Ellington, Muddy Waters, George Strait, Merle Haggard, The Beatles, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Bob Marley.

Spanish: Los Ramones De Nuevo León, La Leyenda, Los Tesoros de Samuel Ramos, Ramon Ayala, Irakere, Grupo Retoño,

And many, many more!

More on the web:

Want to be featured in an upcoming Reader Spotlight? Just fill out the interview questionnaire.

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Share your thoughts