Reader Spotlight: Brian Haringa
Meet Brian Haringa, a bassist from California who got his start on bass thanks to demand, and now relies on his 1969 Fender Jazz (for 20 years and counting).
Brian is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight. (you could be next!). Here’s his story…
I’ve been playing bass in bands since the mid ’90s… mostly rock ’n roll. I also played upright bass in the jazz band at my college way back when I was a music major (I graduated college in 2001). Right now, I play in an original roots/rock/soul band called the Sixty Grit Band for the past 8 years or so, and we just released our second full-length album in February of this year! Bass (and really, just music in general) and family are what my life revolves around, and I have a 2 year old daughter who already shows a deep passion for music too (yes, that makes be very very happy)!! She LOVES to watch Dad play live and dance! I also build basses and collect and restore vintage Fender basses!
East Highland, CA
Why I play the bass:
When I was in high school most of my friends played music, and most were guitar players and drummers. It seemed like everyone was always looking for a bass player (and that’s never changed), so I naturally just gravitated to the bass! As I played it more and more, I just fell in love with the groove!
My #1 bass for the past (almost) 20 years now is an a 1969 Fender Jazz. It still has the original sunburst finish, but all of the red has faded out over time, so it’s just yellow and black now (except under the pickguard and chrome covers). For recording, I usually use my “Frankenstein” P bass that I put together years ago…. It’s a vintage 1961 rosewood slab neck and tuners, mated to a white/blonde ’59 Fender Custom Shop relic body (with a gold aluminum pickguard), and a 1980 P pickup in it. There’s something special about the tone of that P bass and it always just sits in the mix perfectly on my recordings.
For amps, I’ll either use my Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 and 2 Aguilar SL112 cabs, or my Ampeg V-4B reissue with 2 Ampeg SVT-210AV cabs. I love both of these rigs equally. The Aggie rig is super lightweight and has such a wide variety of tones you can get out of it. The Ampeg is more of a “one trick pony”, but that “one trick” sounds incredible! There’s this fatness and weight to the notes that the Ampeg gives, that nothing else but a real tube amp can do.
The first bassist I really got into for his playing style was John Paul Jones. I was obsessed with learning as many of his basslines as I could in my early years, as well as classic rock songs in general… and I still love to learn and play any and all music that I like, in any style. I’ve always been a huge Motown fan too, so Jamerson is another very big influence of mine. Really though, I think all the music I’ve ever heard throughout my life influences me, and I think it all comes to the surface in my playing eventually. We are what we hear!
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
My bass superpower is definitely my groove! I’ve always been a pocket player first and foremost. I’ll take a solo once or twice during a show, but for the music I play and love the most, it’s about layin’ it down with the drums 98%, and gettin’ crazy 2%.
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