Verdine White: “Apart from the drums, the bass is the instrument you need to play the longest to become truly funky”

Verdine White
(Image credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Race to Erase MS)

There’s no arguing with Verdine White. Now 70, but with the energy of a bassist half his age, he’s seen it all. Back in 2004, we asked him about his bass philosophy, and specifically about funk, and he went into a friendly diatribe about how important it is to get the feel right, as well as the evils of picks, the usefulness of a classical education, and a highly unlikely influence from the north-west of England.

What is the essence of funk for a bassist?

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.