Category Archives: Brian’s Bass Booth

Bass Pedal Tricks with Michael League ‘Snarky Puppy’

Brian’s Bass Booth

This newly released video from shows some pretty cool tricks that bassists are always doing with these pedals.  It’s no surprise that pedals are an excellent way to represent your particular style of playing as they have been around for a long time and have always been the companion of guitarists but over the years, bassists have learned to use them for their music as well.

In this case, Michael League, bassist for ‘Snarky Puppy’ tells us that he uses pedals so that he can sound more like a ‘key’ bass.

Otherwise, he strives for the James Jamerson or Bootsy Collins sound with his bass playing.  However, he relies on pedals to make sure that the music itself is well represented.  He says that he only uses a pedal when it would be “musically inappropriate” not to. Well said!

Then, like all pedal enthusiasts, he dives right into describing his set-up and giving us a taste as to what each of them sounds like. He even tells us all little about his musical past and his influences over the years.

In between it all, Michael League unleashes a sound on his bass each time that just makes this whole video work.  As much as I like to hear about the pedals, I love to hear how he uses is to his unique advantage.

Therefore, there’s really no point in agonizing over what to play and how to play it because when you see this video, you begin to realize that this guy absolutely loves to play bass which is the beginning of all that is great!  Check it out:

LA Bella Strings – Limited Edition – “Tiger’s Blood”

By: Brian Wilkes

The “Tigers Blood” strings are Copper White Nylon Tape Wound Bass Strings with Black Silken stripes under silky smooth white nylon tape,

Unfortunately no more Tigers Blood strings are available.


However, there will be another color released and they are all released in limited quantities.These strings are new to the LA Bella Line of nylon tape strings. LA Bella has had nylon tape strings in black and in white. The black nylon tape string is usually made of stainless steel with the nylon tape and the white nylon tape string comes in Golden Alloy (80/20 brass), copper and stainless steel as well.

I set up the “tiger’s Blood string” on my Warrior Isabella 5 string tenor bass.


I also used a Tsunami cables chain into a IRig2 – into an iPad air 2,with the app,Bias FX set up with a GK 800 and Beats pro studio phones. I turned all pedals off and all knobs were set to flat to get a neutral tone. The strings are very smooth and have a very warm tone to them. They have a good sound for finger style funk, and can also fit in a lot of different genres. They have a decent sustain, very warm lows and very nice, clear and crisp highs. I found it good for finger style, chords and two hand tapping. Using a pick also sounds good. The lows are pretty warm and it doesn’t have that sharp attack. The highs are also still good.

Now, slap is definitely a different sound but if you like a warm thump with a crisp high on a pull then these strings might be for you.  However, the low end of the slap to me sounds very muted. I really believe these would work great on a fretless bass as well. Especially if you want a round wound, warm sound, these are perfect because they do not have a lot of sliding noise that normal round wounds have. These strings are smooth as Silk because that nylon tape gets rid of the sound of me sliding on the strings.

LA Bella is doing a great job making innovating strings for all instruments. They have been making hand made strings in the U.S. since 1914 which makes them one of the oldest string companies in the United States. The family has been making strings since 1640. These new nylon tape strings are available now as they just released this style at the 2016 NAMM show. If you want more info or to buy some LA Bella string go to:


I know I am going to start putting these on my fretless!

Hope you found this helpful.

Brian’s Bass Booth – Part 2 – The Many Styles Of Bass Playing

So, Brian has been keeping us busy with all of the bass updates (thank you very much) and in this series of videos, he wants to show us the many different styles of bass playing that can be done.  Below, you will see music videos featuring bassists playing slap bass in the dark, tapping in the snow, playing flamenco on an upright bass, doing Cliff Burton’s bass line to the song “Anesthesia” by Metallica AND a cover version of the song “Hello” from the popular singer, Adele, on a fretless bass .

With regards to this last video, I have to say that listening to a popular pop song on the bass (minus everything else) is much easier than listening to the original version.  I don’t always like to hear the latest and greatest music that the world considers a “hit” but that is why we are glad to get a version that we can relate to.

There is something about these videos that gives us the sense that bass is more than just an instrument, it is a way of expressing our deepest emotions.  These players all have an uncanny ability to draw us into their song, whatever it may be.  Also, these videos are well done with terrific sound. You can also be sure that you about to hear a wide range styles on the bass because Brian Wilkes shows no signs of sticking to anything, in particular.  He is a true BassCraver who enjoys treating us all to some of the great bass playing that is taking place, right now, on the web!  Take a look:

Fernando Molinari “Tropical Rain” – Heavy Slap Bass.

Payam Ghasemi – Bass Tapping In The Snow.

Renaud Garcia-Fons “Bajo De Guia” – Flamenco On Upright Bass.

Rob Scallon “Anesthesia” by Metallica – Upright Bass Cover.

Zander Zon “Hello” by Adele – Fretless Bass.

Brian’s Bass Booth – Part 1 – NAMM Recap

Brian Wilkes, an army veteran, good friend and avid BassCraver who has also been a long-time contributor to NorCal BASSIX is now receiving his own space on in order to inform us of the latest and greatest artists and equipment in the bass world.  We will call it:

“Brian’s Bass Booth”

Brian Wilkes on NorCal BASSIX

Brian Wilks

He will be helping us maintain this steady stream of information because he has a deep passion for the bass and therefore, is our honorary BassCraver!  We want to thank Brian for this information and encourage him to keep it coming!   Here are his latest links and videos for us to check out that were recently captured at the NAMM 2016 show by other bass enthusiasts.

As far we’re concerned here at, all websites and BassCravers are welcome and therefore, besides providing you with original content, we are glad to share with you what others have found at NAMM.  Thanks again, Brian, for tracking down these videos.  We hope you enjoy them: