Bobby Vega: "I wasn’t that consistent with my fingers, so I got dexterity and stamina from the pick"

Bobby Vega
(Image credit: Paul Haggard)

For many musicians, seeing Bobby Vega play for the first time is an unforgettable experience. The sheer range of colors he’s able to pull out of a passive 4-string—soulful chords, surprising harmonics, monstrous thumpin’, and neck-spanning fingerstyle grooves, all delivered with extraordinary time, feel, dynamics, and distinctively clear tone—make him a one-of-a-kind bass maestro who sounds like no one else on earth.

Of all his skills, however, it’s Bobby’s mastery of the pick that has brought him the most attention. His funky, melodic style is what got him on record with Sly Stone when he was 17, and it’s what has set him apart from other San Francisco Bay Area badasses since the ’70s.

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