Snarky Puppy's Michael League: “I’m a 4-string guy. I just play better when I have less to work with”

Snarky Puppy performs on stage at Ahoy at North Sea Jazz Festival on July 12, 2014 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
(Image credit: Photo by Peter Van Breukelen/Redferns via Getty Images)

Having picked up a fifth Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2023, Snarky Puppy’s recorded catalogue grows more impressive from album to album, each one inspired by the earth-shattering bass guitar playing of Michael League.

Rarely seen without his 1959 Fender Precision Bass, League attests to being a 4-string player. “I play better – simpler, more rhythmically, more like a drummer – when I have less to work with. I feel like I have too many options with a 5-string!”

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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.