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Rodney Nobles

Bassist

Rodney NoblesIt's all in the family! Well any one that knows this writer knows that I'm from a family of 10 (ten) children. I am the one in the middle; the one that keeps the family balanced kind of like a bass player does in a band. This story is not about me though . . . it's about my extended family. I moved to California back in 1987 and met my lovely wife through a true friend . . . her Bass playing brother. I was fascinated with his style and technique from day one. I thought that I could out play him for a minute, but as I listened I knew that this was just pure genius.

I was sixteen when I first started playing the bass guitar. My dad was the one that got me started. He played in a local quartet as a bassist. He wanted to pass down something to me and my brother so there you have it . . . . Music! My first bass guitar was a short scale Fender copy with a homemade particle board pickguard that my dad made. This bass was later stolen at one of our church conventions. (I know, it sounds sad but its true)

My earliest influence on the bass guitar was my dad. He gave me the bass and said have fun with it. From time to time, he would show me a few chops. Another early influence was a guy by the name of "black". Well, that was his nickname. He played with a quartet; every Saturday night at my church, we would have local quartet groups come in to sing. This guy was nice. I thought that was cool at the time and thought that it would be nice to play for a band or church group some day. My influences now are guys like Gary Willis, Marcus Miller, and my fellow church musicians. As the writer notes throughout this site, most of the best bass players are in the church. The world gets a peek every now and then when gospel artist release new projects that crossover into the mainstream.

Most of my training I must say is by ear. I guess you can say that I have perfect pitch or something very close to it . . . I do not read music anymore; however, I did learn to read music during high school then I graduated . . .the rest is history. I would recommend any new player to learn to read music; it does have its benefits.

After high school, I purchased a Carvin 4-string bass. Then I got a Carvin 5-string bass. Carvin is a great brand because the quality is superb and the price matched my budget constraints. "starving musician was serious back in those days" Later, I purchased a Warwick 6-string WIDE-neck so that I could keep slapping & poppin'; I wanted the string spacing to be the same as a four string. Ken Bebensee Custom 5-string, awesome sound and feel on this bass. Finally, I purchased a Ken Smith 6-string to see what everyone was talking about.

The gear that I play on now is a SWR 400 Amp, Hartke 15" cabinet, Frankenstein 2-10 cabinet. The gear that I would love to end up with is a completed David Eden rig . . . that would be awesome. My dream bass would be a Benavente custom 5; or a Fodera Monarch 5; or a Conklin custom 5; or a Warwick thumb 6. I like to play on any stainless steel strings that I can get my hands on . . . they provide a smooth tone and they have good feel to them.

Challenge, challenge, challenge, I love a challenge. I like gospel choir and jazz fusion. Check out some of the links below to hear more . . .