Nathan East – The Busiest Bass Player On The Planet

You’ve heard this guy’s basslines many, many times in your life even if you don’t know it. A quick scan of his credits reveals involvement with some of the most famous songs throughout the decades. Songs including, Footloose (Kenny Loggins), Get Lucky (Daft Punk), and Tears In Heaven (Eric Clapton). He has worked with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Geroge Harrison and Beyonce. I’m going to stop there as just listing the names would take up a whole post.

As a live performer, East toured extensively as the bass player for Phil Collins and Eric Clapton.

The Secret To Success As A Session Bass Player

Watch this clip from Nathan’s DVD The Business Of Bass (skip to 23 seconds).

This is what artists want from Nathan (and you too if you want to make a living as a session player).

  1. Listen
  2. Play what’s appropriate
  3. Be professional
  4. Be a nice person to hang around with
  5. Know how to play lots of styles of music well

Versatility

East is also an accomplished songwriter having co-written the mega-hit Easy Lover with Phil Collins and Philip Bailey.

He sang backing vocals on Footloose and also takes the lead in the video above. He also finds the time to lead a prolific jazz group; Fourplay. Being this good has enabled him to live in this massive house.

Bass Gear

A long-time Yamaha endorsee, East favours five-string instruments live but plays six-string and upright too.

Nathan East's Yamaha Bass - Bass Gear

Modelling yourself on the great bass players is a sure-fire way to improvement. You don’t have to copy them, just see what works and do more of the same in your playing. For a career in bass playing, Nathan East is a pretty decent blueprint. Check out more awesome bass players here.