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Want to get Lemmy's bass tone? The new Bass Player reveals all

Bass Player 417
(Image credit: Future)

Whatever you may have thought of Motörhead, you couldn’t deny the impact of their music, delivered by the genuinely iconic Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, who died in 2015 at the age of 70. Of course, a lot of people didn’t like his songs, his singing or his image, come to that: Lemmy wasn’t exactly someone you could easily define or ignore. As a bass player, his tones and playing style were unorthodox to say the least, but they propelled him to a godlike position in our world... even if his music wasn’t for you.

In this issue, we show you to achieve those very bass tones, we look back at Lemmy’s chaotic life, and we ask why he remains as popular in the afterlife as he was when he walked among us.

We’ve enjoyed quality time elsewhere in this issue with Kristin Bidwell, a bassist whose trajectory has encompassed a variety of bass roles; Specials bassist Horace Panter, on the creative form of his career; former Black Flag bassist (and now Emmy award winner) Kira Roessler; Jared Nickerson of Burnt Sugar; and Bill Gould of the unclassifiable but funk-heavy Faith No More.

That’s a ton of bass talent right there, and that’s before we even consider our reviews of Godin, Harley Benton, Kustom, Ashdown and Fender gear, and our unbeatable lessons from a wide range of world-class experts.

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Joel McIver is the Editor of Bass Player 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 and occasionally teaches at BIMM.