“Sometimes the simplest bassline is the most difficult to play!” How Richard Bona developed his percussive right-hand technique

Richard Bona performs on October 8, 2010 at the Palace of the Culture in Abidjan.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Richard Bona’s staggering talent on the bass guitar has seen him emerge as one of the instrument’s most identifiable players since Jaco. With equal facility on fretted and fretless instruments, Bona delivers improvised lines with astonishing speed and fluidity, while holding down percussive right-hand grooves using a muting technique he developed playing balafon as a child in Cameroon.

“As a kid I was a percussion player so I grew up surrounded by different grooves,” he told BP. “So I use muted notes a lot and I like to tap the strings with my fingers and come in and out of different tonalities. I just love grooving!”

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.