Stanley Clarke Teases New Stratocaster Bass

Stanley Clarke with Strat Bass

Photo by Raj Naik

In a new interview with Bass Guitar Magazine’s Joel McIver, bass legend Stanley Clarke revealed he’s working with Fender on a new four-string bass based on the Stratocaster guitar. The bass was designed with Clarke’s longtime collaborator Thomas Lieber, who builds his Spellbinder instruments. As it takes its cues from the Strat, they took it to Fender. Clarke is well known for playing his Alembic basses, and that’s something that’s not changing, he says.

“What I wanted to make clear with Fender is that it isn’t a replacement bass; most guys that make basses say, ‘Okay, you can take this bass and get rid of your Warwick or your Fender or whatever,’” he explains. “This is an actual addition, much like a guitar player has a Strat and maybe a Les Paul and this and that. With this bass, you can play basslines and it sounds great, or you can really play solos with it.”

There is not much information yet on specs, but the bassist did explain one of his favorite features. “It has a reverse headstock, like a Jimi Hendrix bass, which gives the E string a longer scale by the time it gets to a tuning peg,” he said. “When you pull it, it’s a little looser, and the sound is a little different. It’s a very cool bass.”

Clarke adds that Fender is considering the model name right now and that he hopes the “Strato” part makes it into the moniker. There’s no word yet on a release date, but we’ll keep you updated as details become available.

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  1. Muz

    With all due respect to Stanley. If the scale length is 34 inch, and the string is tuned to E, then it should be the same as any other bass with the same type of strings? I thought the reverse headstock difference had been thoroughly debunked on TV and elsewhere.