Victor Wooten – All You Need to Know About The Bass Virtuoso
Victor Wooten is a world-renowned bass player and music educator known for his virtuosity and innovative approach to the instrument. He is a founding member of the Grammy-winning group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones and has released numerous solo albums and instructional materials.
Victor Wooten is one of the most prolific bass players to have ever touched the instrument. His influence and style of bass playing have shaped and inspired many musicians across the globe. But how much do you know about the bass virtuoso? Let’s take a more in-depth look at who he is, what he has accomplished, what gear he uses, etc.
Who is Victor Wooten?
Victor Lemonte Wooten was born in 1964 in Nashville, Tennessee, and grew up in a musical family as the youngest of five brothers. All of the Wooten brothers were proficient musicians, so his brother Regi began to teach him bass at the young age of 2.
By the time Victor was just 6, they formed a group called the Wooten Brothers Band in which Victor played bass. The group toured extensively and released several albums, and afterward, Victor also began a solo career and released his first solo album, “A Show of Hands,” in 1996.
In 1988, Victor Wooten joined the group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones as a full-time member, and the group has since released more than 15 albums and won numerous Grammy Awards. In addition to his work with the Flecktones, Victor has released several solo albums and has also written several instructional books and DVDs on bass playing.
Playing Style and Technical Prowess
Victor Wooten is known for his highly technical and musical approach to bass playing, incorporating elements of funk, jazz, and other styles into his playing. He is also known for his use of percussive techniques on the bass and his use of tapping and slapping to create complex rhythms and melodies.
In addition to his skills on the bass, Victor is also a skilled vocalist and guitarist. However, no one can argue that the most impact he has had is with his bass playing. He was one of the first successful bass players to showcase the bass as a solo instrument.
What gear does Victor Wooten use?
Victor has used a few bass guitars since he first started playing and often incorporates different effects pedals as well as amplifiers to pump out his signature tone.
Victor Wooten is known for his signature Fodera basses, which he helped design and has used throughout his career. The top’s design and construction feature a signature Yin Yang design. His most famous and used Fodera bass is the 1983 Monarch Deluxe which has a Kahler tremolo system model 2400 bridge.
Victor has used a variety of amplifiers but has landed on Hartke HyDrive cabinets (usually two 4×10 and two 1×15 speaker cabinets). In addition, he also incorporates two LH 1000 heads for preamps.
As far as pedals go, Victor has and still uses a variety of pedals that shape his signature sound like the EBS Envelope Filter, the BOSS RC-20XL, and the Lexicon Jamman. However, his most used and popular effects pedal is a tie between the BOSS GT-6B (a Multi-Effects pedal) and the Boss RC-50 Loop Station.
For strings, he relies on the high-quality DR PURE BLUES (PB-40). Hand-wound on round cores, they feature a Quantum-Nickel alloy which gives enough punch while providing a smooth and natural tone. They are suitable for all types of bass playing including slap, tap, and picking styles.
In addition to his music career, Victor Wooten is also a music educator and runs the Victor Wooten Bass/Nature Camp, which is a week-long camp for musicians of all levels to learn from Victor and other musicians.
He is also the co-founder of the Victor Wooten Bass/Nature Camp and the Victor Wooten Bass/Nature Academy, which offer year-round educational programs for musicians. Additionally, he co-leads the “Victor Wooten/Berklee Summer Bass Workshop”.
He has written several instructional books and DVDs on bass playing, including “The Music Lesson” and “The Bass Handbook”.
Victor Wooten is a highly accomplished and influential bass player and music educator known for his virtuosity, innovative playing style, and dedication to music education. He has made a significant impact on the world of music through his work and his instructional materials have helped countless musicians improve their skills on the bass.