Nikki Sixx started taking bass lessons again before the pandemic

Nikki Sixx
(Image credit: Ollie Millington/Redferns)

Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx started taking bass lessons again before the pandemic, in a bid to become more adept at playing using only his fingers.

The bassist – a staunch pick user – explains in a new episode of My Mom's Basement With Robbie Fox that he “got into this lesson thing” right before the pandemic, and was inspired to further his skills with the instrument.

“I started taking bass lessons online, [and] eventually in person,” Sixx says. “Then I was pushing myself to play with my fingers.”

He continues: “On The Dirt soundtrack, all those songs I played with my fingers, which was the first time. And It took some adjustments with the audio because I'm an aggressive pick player.

The Dirt – a biographical comedy-drama detailing Mötley Crüe's rise to success – was released on Netflix in March 2019. It features Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, Machine Gun Kelly as drummer Tommy Lee, Iwan Rheon as guitarist Mick Mars and Daniel Webber as vocalist Vince Neil.

Sixx adds that he also tried to further his six-string playing abilities, revealing that he “started taking guitar lessons online”.

“I just pluck away on the guitar, and I can write an okay song on the guitar, but I don't know a lot about the instrument other than I like to write from root notes.”

“[I know] simple chords,” he continues, “[but] all the suses and all the interchangeable notes that work within that chord, I don't have a ton of knowledge [about], [though] I can kind of figure it out.”

But bass and guitar aren't the only musical disciplines Nikki Sixx has pursued. As he recalls, he also took vocal lessons in the hopes of becoming a “better background singer”.

“I was surprised at the range that I had, but it was a little bit in the lower register – I like to sing more of a falsetto-y thing,” he says.

He might be taking lessons and improving his skills, but Nikki Sixx still rates himself highly as a bassist. Back in 2020, in response to a tweet asking who the most underrated bass player ever is, he replied, “Me”. 

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.