Skip to main content

Happy 400th birthday Bass Player! Legends of the low-end pay tribute

Bass Player
(Image credit: Future)

Depending on your point of view, 400 issues of Bass Player magazine – which has variously been a bimonthly, monthly and four-weekly publication over the last 30 years – might mean 400 hours of reading over a coffee; it might signify several thousand interviews with bass players; or it might involve hundreds of hours of slaving over lessons and transcriptions, bass in hand. 

It might mean all of those things, or something else entirely. That’s the beauty of an information source like this one – you take from it what you will. But there’s more to BP than that. For us, the magazine staff and writers, and those who came before us, it means years of dedication – an entire career’s worth of it in some cases. 

We sink our hearts and souls into this magazine, not because it’s a job, but because bass is our lifeblood. Bass isn’t the world’s most popular instrument, but it is the coolest, damn it. We’re part of a unique community that cannot be broken – and Bass Player magazine has documented the passions and pratfalls of that community for 30 years.  

Of BP’s 400 issues since 1990, only the most recent 26 have been produced by me and my staff – so the congratulations offered to us from the world’s greatest bassists in the pages that follow should really go to our predecessors. 

Bass isn’t the world’s most popular instrument, but it is the coolest, damn it

For the record, because everyone who has supervised this magazine deserves recognition, and because you won’t find this data anywhere else, the editors of Bass Player have been: Jim Roberts (March 1990 to December 1996); Karl Coryat (January 1997 to January 1998); Richard Johnston (February 1998 to July 2001); Bill Leigh (August 2001 to March 2009); Jonathan Herrera (April 2009 to December 2010), Brian Fox (January 2011 to June 2014); Chris Jisi (July 2014 to October 2018); and me (November 2018 to date). 

It was Jim, Karl, Richard, Bill, Jonathan, Brian, and Chris, as well as the incredibly talented writers, designers, reviewers and publishers who worked alongside them, who made this magazine what it is today. Hats off to those who built BP, and the community that anchors it. 

Will Bass Player go on to publish another 400 issues? With your help, it might well be possible. If so, I’ll see you at the bar in 2050 – we’ll have earned it – but even if not, rest assured that the greatest musical instrument ever invented will still be around. Keep the low frequencies flowing... good times are ahead!
– Joel McIver, Editor
Thanks to Mike Brooks, Chris Jisi, and Dave Swift.

Peter Hook

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future)

“Four hundred issues is a fantastic achievement, and shows to my mind that us bass players are solid, dependable and here to stay, just like you! Here’s to 400 more Bass Player magazines, hopefully with me on the cover of 399 of them and my son Jack on the other. Massive congratulations!”

Guy Pratt

“Congratulations on reaching 400. That’s a hundred issues per string! I love that you’re there, love reading you, love being in you – no snickering at the back – and one day I really am going to check out some of the excellent instructional stuff . No, really. Maybe. Keep doing what you do!”

Divinity Roxx

“Congratulations on 400 issues of keeping it low. Here’s to over 400 more!”

Jason How, Rotosound

“Well done Bass Player magazine, from the world’s premier bass guitar string manufacturer and supplier to bass legends for over 50 years.”

Leland Sklar

Leland Sklar

Leland Sklar (Image credit: Jun Sato/ WireImage/Getty Images)

“Congratulations on Bass Player magazine’s 400th issue. That is quite a milestone and so well deserved. A benchmark for all bassists. Here’s to 400 more!”

Richard Jones, Stereophonics

“Bass Player magazine was and still is a great source of inspiration and knowledge for me, so congratulations on your 400th issue!”

Mark Gooday, Ashdown Engineering

“Having built bass amps for 38 years, Bass Player magazine has been part of my life and an important part of our bass world. Long may it continue to support our family of bass players globally.”

Tony Levin

“Bringing information, education and entertainment to us denizens of the low end for 400 issues... Big congrats from us bass players to Bass Player.”

Roger Glover (Deep Purple)

“Four hundred is a super achievement, congratulations. It speaks of a dedication to the cause by all concerned, to make the magazine this successful. Well done!”

Malcolm Joseph (Grace Jones)

“Huge congrats to Bass Player on your 400th edition. Your magazine is full to the brim with everything you need to know in the bass world. We salute you!”

Randy Hope-Taylor

“Four hundred issues of Bass Player! I’m glad to be part of such an important musical archive. See you in another 400 issues.”

Mark King (Level 42)

“Many congratulations to my favorite bass magazine on your 400th issue. Strong work Joel and the team, here’s to the next 400!”

Jeff Berlin

Jeff Berlin

Jeff Berlin (Image credit: Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images)

“Congratulations for the 400 publications of love and support shown to all of us that play the bass!”

Justin Norvell, executive vice president, product, Fender

“A huge congratulations to Bass Player magazine, which has been an inspiration to players all over the world for over 30 years. Here’s to the next 400 issues.”

Tracy Wormworth (B-52s)

“Congratulations Bass Player! Thanks for being the phenomenal, informative and always enlightening publication you are! Here’s to 40,000,000 more!”

Bootsy Collins

“Congratulations Bass Player on your 400th issue for keeping the funk alive as well as all other genres of live, groovy music. There’s a lot of exciting new bass players showing up on the scene everywhere. A few of my favorites are Aron Hodek, Alissia Benveniste, and Manou Gallo. Thanks again and stay P-Safe! Bootsy baby!”

Hans-Peter Wilfer (Warwick & Framus)

“Congratulations on your 400th issue! Thank you for providing a great magazine for bass musicians. Wishing you many more years of success.”

Billy Sheehan

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

“A gigantic congratulations to all at Bass Player magazine on commemorating your FOUR HUNDREDTH issue! Thanks to everyone at the magazine for your incredible job of keeping the bass community together. We are all supremely thankful for what you do. Here’s to 400 more! Much gratitude and respect...”

Juan 'Snow Owl' Garcia-Herreros

Juan 'Snow Owl' Herreros

(Image credit: Dita Vollmond)

“Happy 400, BP! Thank you for the outstanding coverage on the best instrument in the world. Your magazine has helped me and many others to feel part of an amazing community. Here’s to many more issues. Salud!”

Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten (Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

“Bass Player magazine has been a very important part of my whole career. I owe you a lot. Thank you for your continued contribution to the world of bass. Congratulations!”

Paul Turner (Jamiroquai)

“I bought the first issue of Bass Player and still feel excited when I see a new issue. It continues to bring me interviews with favorite players and introduce me to new ones Thank you, BP!”

Ned Steinberger

“Through thick and thin, Bass Player magazine has served the bass community with quality reporting on the issues that matter, not just for players, but also for those of us who provide the instruments and equipment that are the tools of the trade. Over the years, Bass Player has helped to connect me with the players and suppliers that I needed to realize my aspirations. I just want to say thank you, and congratulations on this 400th issue!”

Dave Avenius (Aguilar)

“Bass Player magazine has been a valuable resource to the bass community since its first issue. I learned from its pages as a teenage bass player in the Nineties and have also been lucky enough to get to know many of the writers and editors over the years. Congratulations to everyone who has been part of the magazine over the years. Getting to issue 400 took the efforts of many, many great people!”

Tomm Stanley (Stonefield Musical Instrument Company)

“I can remember when Bass Player’s first issue hit the newsstands and thinking, ‘Finally, a voice of our own’... 400 issues later and BP is still the voice of bassists  everywhere’. Congratulations on hitting this remarkable milestone.”

Michael Mondesir

“Happy 400th issue, Bass Player! Keep sharing the wealth! Here’s to 4000 more!”

Brian Ball, CEO, Ernie Ball

“Congratulations to our friends at Bass Player magazine on reaching their 400th issue. What a milestone! In this ever-changing world of print/digital and trends in MI, it’s great to have such a consistent voice holding down the low end.”

Cody Wright

“Congratulations to everyone at Bass Player magazine on their 400th issue! Thanks for all your hard work. Sending peace, love and low end!”

Andre Cymone

“I want to congratulate Bass Player magazine on your 400th issue – that’s 400 opportunities to serve the music community with player information and knowledge, and hippin’ us to what’s new and what’s cool. They know how to keep it funky on the low end. Ain’t no funk like some Bass Player funk, can ya hear me? Thank you BP and keep on keepin’ on...”

Brian Beller

“How many things can you think of that you’ve done successfully 400 times? No, not that, you heathens. I mean something that’s truly improved the bass playing community? It’s no small feat, and Bass Player has pulled it off, 400 times. Congratulations to all of the current, future, and past contributors to this fi ne publication!”

Dean Mark

“Huge congratulations to Bass Player magazine for the 400th addition of such a fantastic magazine, inspiring, encouraging and bringing together bass players around the world.”

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future)

Suzi Quatro

“Congratulations to Bass Player and your 400th edition. Something I have always said is that ‘Bass and drums are the engine of the band – without them, you have diddly shit! Bass players, raise your fist and be proud.”

Rex Brown

“Happy 400th Bass Player, the best platform for us bassists worldwide! From the front cover to the back, it helps shape us with new gear, up-and-coming players and a community that seldom sees the spotlight. Cheers to 400 more...”

Paz Lenchantin

“Congratulations on Bass Player’s 400th issue! Looking forward to 401. Rock on.”

Carol Kaye

“Congratulations to Bass Player magazine for 400 issues – you’re an important connection for us.”

Lee Pomeroy

“Congratulations Bass Player on reaching your 400th issue. Thanks for giving us all the low down on the low end all these years, here’s to many more. Cheers!”

Larry Graham

Larry Graham

Larry Graham (Image credit: Future)

“Congratulations on the 400th issue of Bass Player magazine. Thanks a million for all of the very positive and informative articles you’ve written about me in the past. I also wish you all the best in creating your next 400 issues and beyond. Your friend forever!”

Scott Reeder

Scott Reeder

(Image credit: Chris Miller)

“Huge congratulations to Bass Player magazine on your milestone of 400 issues! With big dreams, I started playing shortly a few years before issue #1. It was and continues to be exciting to learn about other players’ approaches and their gear – and it will always be a thrill and honor every time I make it into those hallowed pages for us bassists. Thank you so much for your major part in bringing the worldwide bass community together!”

Ida Neilsen

“Huge congratulations to Bass Player and thanks for keeping us up to date on all things bass for 400 issues!”

Roger Sadowsky

“Congratulations to Bass Player on their 400th issue. From the beginning with Jim Roberts to Joel McIver today, no other magazine has made a larger contribution to the bass playing community!”

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future)

Steve Lawson

“Wow – 400 issues is tens of thousands of pages of killer bass journalism. I’ve learned so much, having read the mag pretty much from the start. Though gear reviews, lessons, interviews, and even following entirely new trends in what the bass is capable of, Bass Player has fed my bass-centric soul for well over half my life, and for that I’m extremely grateful. That I’ve had a small part in that journey as both interviewee and columnist is one of the proudest aspects of my career so far. Happy birthday!”

Brian Bromberg

“Congratulations Bass Player magazine on 400 issues. Here’s to another 400 issues keeping bass world in the know!”

Doug Wimbish

Bass Player magazine! Congratulations on the 400th issue anniversary! Always keeping the pulse on legendary as well as up-and-coming players and products! Keeping bass in your face!”

Ashley Reeve

Ashley Reeve

Ashley Reeve (Image credit: Future)

”To the magazine that inspired me at 11 years old to become the bassist I am today – congratulations, Bass Player, on your 400th issue! Thank you for all the low-end inspiration!”

Stuart Zender

“Peace and love to the readers and all the staff keeping such a valued institution up and running all these years.”

Tony Choy

“Huge congratulations to BP’s imminent 400th issue, where it’s not just about stories, updates, and legacies – it’s about unity.”

Jim Bergantino (Bergantino Audio Systems)

“Congratulations to Bass Player magazine’s milestone of 400 issues! No small feat. From my first NAMM show in 2001 to today, almost 20 years later, BP has shown a continued commitment and dedication to the bass-playing community by delivering the best and most valuable resources the industry has to offer. Not to mention all the lifelong friendships you have cultivated along the way. Here’s to the next 400 issues!”

Scott Devine

“As a long-time reader, I can say without doubt that this is the best bass magazine on the planet. Period!”

Jessica Pimentel

“Congratulations to reaching an amazing milestone! Thanks for all the years of tips and tricks for us low-end theorists.”

Larry Hartke

“I remember it like it was yesterday – even though it was 32 years ago – when the bass community got their very first magazine, Bass Player! The year was 1988 and Hartke had the back-cover ad on that very first issue. And if my memory serves me well, BP wasn’t even a monthly publication in the beginning. 

“That ad was ‘The Experts Agree’ featuring Darryl Jones, Garry Tallent, and Will Lee! Here we are all these years later, and still together for Bass Player issue 400. Congratulations to the great people who have steered this ship over these many years!”

Mo Foster

Mo Foster

Mo Foster (Image credit: Mo Foster)

“I set up the first ever bass guitar course at Goldsmiths College, University of London in 1975. It was a start, but there was still nothing to unify the players, both students and professionals. A magazine was clearly needed, and Bass Player came to the rescue. Here was an erudite source of information on all things bass. It was a treat – especially for those long journeys!”

Rudy Sarzo

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future)

“Congratulations to Bass Player magazine on this milestone. We bass players owe a debt of gratitude to BP’s outstanding staff for documenting the inspiring musical journeys of our favorite low-enders.”

Frankie Poullain (The Darkness)

“Four strings still strumming our hearts in these strange times – some say stay safe, I say stay grounded in your own groove.”

Steve Harris (Iron Maiden)

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future)

“Fantastic that Bass Player is celebrating 400 issues! Congratulations – and here’s to many, many more.”

Frank Bello (Anthrax)

Frank Bello

Frank Bello (Image credit: Future)

”A big happy 400th, Bass Player magazine! You continue to inspire and help us learn all the wonderful things bass has to offer. I look forward to the next 400 issues!”

David Ellefson (Megadeth)

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future)

“Happy 400th, Bass Player magazine! You’ve united, inspired, entertained and educated our little bass tribe for all these years. Let’s do another 400 together!”

Andy Rourke

“Congratulations to Bass Player magazine on your 400th edition – wow, 400! I feel privileged to have guested on one of your front covers and humbled to be in the company of my peers. Thank you for championing me along the way.”

Stuart Hamm

“Congrats to all at Bass Player for 400 issues! I must have read and played through the examples in all of them. Here’s to 800 and beyond!”

Sean Yseult (ex-White Zombie)

“Congrats Bass Player magazine on your 400th! May we all have the fortitude to be so productive and carry on for so long!”

Sheldon Dingwall

“Congratulations on your 400th issue! What an achievement! Before Bass Player magazine, bass information was limited to a few pages in guitar magazines. BP gave us a voice of our own, providing fertile soil for the bass world to grow into the rich and vibrant community we enjoy today. Thank you!”

Eva Gardner

Eva Gardner

Eva Gardner (Image credit: Press)

“Before there was internet, we had Bass Player magazine! As an aspiring bassist, it was my steady source for low end love – I’m so glad that it’s still going strong. Congratulations on 400 issues of the best in bass!”

Freekbass

“Before I was even playing bass, I was reading Bass Player magazine. I would read every article and study every gear advertisement, from cover to cover. Now that I’m grown and engulfed in the music industry, what do I do? I read every article and study every gear advertisement, from cover to cover.

“Bass Player is not only a magazine, but a community of low-end fanatics like myself, who understand what makes this planet go round. Congrats to the big 400 and for giving our ‘mission-of-the- groove’ a roadmap!”

Mike Kroeger (Nickelback)

“Congratulations to Bass Player magazine on the 400th issue! The magazine has been a source of inspiration and connection for me and the rest of the bass community. Keep on rockin’ steady, BP!”

Jonny Good (Lady Gaga)

“Congratulations to the amazing Bass Player team on reaching their 400th issue! I would not be who I am as a musician without having BP in my collection of educational and informational magazines and books. I can still remember going to Barnes & Noble and other book stores just to look through the back pages of BP so I could copy down the bass tab that was always in the magazines. 

“I used to dream of being in Bass Player! I can still remember reading columns and studying tab from legends like Billy Sheehan, Jaco and James Jamerson while dreaming of the days where maybe, if I worked hard enough, I could one day read my own words, written in the legendary magazine. 

“BP has been a huge part of my development as a bassist and I am truly grateful to have been selected to be featured in such a prestigious selection of musicians off ering wisdom, advice and educating bassist all over the world!”

Rhonda Smith

”Congratulations Bass Player on your 400th issue! Thank you for spotlighting decades of amazing bass players, gear and stories. I’m looking forward to many more...!”

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future)

Michael Manring

“The very first issue of Bass Player felt like a coming of age. It was as if all the collective sweat, dedication and perseverance of countless bassists was finally being recognized as the creative force it is. It hasn’t been an easy road with all the changes in the music and publishing worlds over these years, but regardless of who’s featured, each issue feels like a victory for all of us. 

Congratulations and many, many thanks to everyone at Bass Player for figuring out where we’re going, writing it down and putting it out into the world so the rest of us have the perspective to continue to groove, rock, swing, sing, innovate, create and move our instrument forward.”

Gene Simmons (KISS)

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future)

John Taylor (Duran Duran)

“Bass Player magazine is 400 issues old. FOUR HUNDRED! That is an extraordinary achievement, and I want to congratulate everyone who is involved in the making of the magazine, and thank them for the service they render to us, the bass players. The Four String Clique is a special one, and we are blessed with many particular characteristics. 

“We don’t do the pizazz – typically – of the guitarists, or the physical bluster of the drummers. We rarely share the level of musicality of our keyboard brethren, and yet, we occupy a unique and special place amidst it all – in the engine room, with the throb and pulse, maintaining a connector rod between high-flying harmony and root and branch rhythm.

We bassists need the intel, we need the upgrades, and most importantly, we need the thoughts and ideas about how a bass player can best operate in today’s musical climate

“It’s not always an easy post to occupy, and these last few years, with technological ‘advances’, it sometimes feels like we are going the way of the cellist... they were hip too, once! Bassists need all the help we can get.

“We need the intel, we need the upgrades, and most importantly, we need the thoughts and ideas about how a bass player can best operate in today’s musical climate. We get so much of that, once a month, from our friends at BP. Thanks guys, and here’s to the next 400!”

Joe Dart (Vulfpeck)

Bass Player

(Image credit: Future)

“Congratulations on 400 issues to a magazine that has long been a source of inspiration to me! Your covers are a flipbook of my bass heroes, and I feel so lucky to have graced your pages on occasion. Thanks for all that you do for the bass community. Here’s to many, many more.”

Justin Chancellor (Tool)

“Congratulations BP. I look forward to devouring the next 400!”

Soren Koch (The Zombies)

“Happy 400th issue anniversary. Keep ’em coming – and keep on digging low.”

Stanley Clarke

 “Congratulations to Bass Player magazine on reaching issue 400! Keep inspiring the next generation of young bass players.”

Alex Claber (Barefaced Amps)

“In 1997 Bass Player magazine published a list of the 30 albums that every bassist must own. I started buying them immediately... and it changed my life!”

Michael League (Snarky Puppy)

“Big congratulations from us to Bass Player on the release of your 400th magazine! It’s been a pleasure to be along for the ride, both as a reader (ever since I was a teenager) and a participant. Here’s to many more!”