Sebastian Steinberg: The Singer Is Always Right

The beloved veteran bassist and prolific session player shares his unique knowledge and talks about whatever he wants

Sebastian Steinberg: The Singer Is Always Right

The beloved veteran bassist and prolific session player shares his unique knowledge and talks about whatever he wants

Greetings! I have been asked to write my very first column for Bass Magazine on pretty much anything regarding bass, causing my brain to spin. What on earth should I write about? Electric versus acoustic bass? The joys and horrors of traveling with instruments you love? Drummers? Bass being a function versus an instrument? As I spun out, overwhelmed with choice, I suddenly remembered this phrase: The singer is always right. At this point, you either know, you’re irritated, maybe curious, maybe all three. Read on. Say you’re playing bass on a gig. A wedding, at that. There is a singer, and you are politely playing jazz standards. Let’s say you are padding your way through “Night and Day,” solos are being dutifully passed around, sticking to the ABABCB form, C being the bridge. Everyone has finally had their say, and it’s time for the vocals to take us home. Let us further say that you’ve stuck to the form, which dictates the vocals re-enter on the bridge (C). But instea
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