Steve Bailey

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Steve Bailey
Bailey performing at Stanford University
Bailey performing at Stanford University
Background information
Birth nameSteve Bailey
Born (1960-02-10) February 10, 1960 (age 60)
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S.
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, funk
Instruments Bass guitar, fretless bass, upright bass, keyboards, trombone
Years active1981–present
Website Official Website

Steve Bailey (born February 10, 1960) is an American bassist who is famous for his pioneering work with the six string fretless bass. He was voted runner up for "Bass Player Of The Year" in 1994 and 1996. In 2012 and 2013, Steve toured with Victor Wooten on the Sword and Stone/Words and Tones tour, playing electric bass, upright, keyboards, and trombone.

Steve began playing the bass guitar at age 12 and started playing fretless bass after he ran over his fretted Stuart Spector with his car. Bailey not only plays electric bass, but he also plays double bass; he started playing upright after hearing Stanley Clarke playing with Return to Forever. Steve received full scholarships to both North Texas State University and University of Miami. Steve is currently[ when?] Chair of the Bass Department at the Berklee College of Music. [1]He is also an Artist in Residence at Coastal Carolina University. He has previously been a faculty member at Coastal Carolina University and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He was also a faculty member at Hollywood's BIT for 10 years. He has done extensive work as a studio musician, as well as numerous collaborations including several albums with fellow bassist Victor Wooten. Steve is a core contributor to Victor Wooten's Bass/Nature Camp, which helps to teach bassists of all ranges. He is an avid tennis player and surfer, and also a Warwick Signature Artist.

Boston, MA and Myrtle Beach, SC are Steve's primary residences.

Steve has pre-released 3 tracks from his upcoming 18 song release, which features all Duets, with Willie Nelson, Becca Stevens, Ian Anderson, Ron Carter, Mike Stern, Dennis Chambers, Victor Wooten, Howard Levy, Anthony Jackson, and others. The Full release is set for Summer 2019.

Associated Acts

Steve has played with a huge range of artists, including Victor Wooten in Bass Extremes, Bryan Duncan, Paquito D'Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Dave Liebman, Claudio Roditi, Michel Camilo, The Rippingtons, David Benoit, Chris Duarte, Jethro Tull, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Billy Joe Shaver, Scott Henderson, Larry Carlton, Emily Remler, Brandon Fields, Carol Kaye, Kitaro, Max Highstein, T Lavitz, Tab Benoit, Johnny Witherspoon, Toni Price, Mel Tormé, Ernestine Anderson, Mark Murphy, John Patitucci, Billy Sheehan and others. He has released albums with many[ quantify] of these artists.

Instruments and Electronics

Steve endorses Warwick AMPS (current) TC Electronic's RH450 rig (2008-2010), as well as Ibanez, Michael Kelly, Aria (since 1995), Fender (since 2008) and Warwick basses (since 2011). He used a custom-made signature Aria Pro II six-string bass, the Avanti AVB-SB-6, equipped with a pair of custom-wound, dual-coil Basslines humbuckers powered by an 18V active 3-band EQ and strung with D'Addario EXLS510 strings. This signature bass was also available in 4 (AVB-SB-4 - endorsed by Carol Kaye) and 5-string versions (AVB-SB-5), fretted and fretless.

Steve teamed with Fender in 2008 to create his own signature Jazz Bass modeled after the Aria Pro II AVB-SB signature series basses. This bass is no longer in production, being the only production "Low B" 6 string bass in Fender's history alongside the Tye Zamora signature 'Oar' bass. Already a collectors item.

The Artist Series Steve Bailey Jazz Bass VI (introduced in 2009 and discontinued in 2011) featured a select alder body, a quartersawn maple neck with an asymmetrical profile, a 9.5” to 14” compound-radius two-octave ebony fingerboard, a pair of custom 6-string Jazz Bass pickups, a recessed Stratocaster jackplate, 18-volt active electronics, an onboard mute switch, onboard active 2-band EQ, a heavy-duty fully adjustable Fender locking convertible modular bridge and Bailey’s initials on the back of the headstock. It was offered in 3-tone sunburst and black, in fretted [1] and fretless versions [2].

As of 2011, Steve is an endorser and user of Warwick basses, made in Germany. He has a signature six-string bass, [2] based heavily on the Streamer Stage I design. It features a bolt-on neck with fretless snakewood fingerboard (a fretted variant is available), his signature Seymour Duncan Basslines pickups and electronics, an asymmetrical neck profile and a chrome pickguard. In addition to the premium German-made model, a Korean-made Artist Series version is also available.


  • Main basses: Warwick Steve Bailey signature 6-string fretless bass, Fretless Fender SRB 6-string, 1964 Fender Jazz Bass, 1959 Fender P Bass, Jean Larrivee custom 6 string fretless acoustic (first of its kind from 1988) Michael Kelly 6-string acoustic bass guitar, Warwick Alien, circa-1910 Juzek upright, French round back, circa 1860
  • Basses on So Low … Solo: Fender SRB 6, Aria AVB-SB 6, Ibanez custom SDGR 6, all recorded through a Radial J48 Active DI into Tube-Tech MP1a or Avalon VT-737SP mic preamps, into Pro Tools HD2 (at 24-bit/96 kHz).
  • Strings: D’Addario XLS (.032, .045, .065, .085, .105, .135)
  • Amps: Warwick LWA 1000 and 4x8/2x8 cabinets (current), TC Electronics, various (2009-2011)SWR SM-1500 head and two Goliath 4x10 cabinets; Ampeg PB-800 PortaBass head and BXT410 cabinet; Ampeg SVT classic and BXT series cabs (designed by Bailey and Wooten) Radial Bassbone DI (for no-amp gigs)
  • Effects: Boss RV-3 Digital Reverb/Delay, various octave pedals, and boss/bass distortion.


  • Roberto Perera - Erotica (1987)
  • Paquito D'Rivera - Live at the Keystone Korner (1983)Taste of Paquito (1991)
  • Starfighters - In-Flight Movie (1982)
  • Compilation Album - Guitar Fire!: GRP Gold Encore Series (1983)
  • Masi - Downtown Dreamers (1985)
  • Max Highstein - Stars (1988)
  • Compilation Album - GRP: On The Cutting Edge (1989)
  • Bryan Duncan - Strong Medicine (1989)
  • The Rippingtons - Tourist in Paradise (1989)
  • Roberto Perera - Erotica: Enhanced CD (1990)
  • David Benoit - Inner Motion (1990)
  • Compilation Album - Just Friends: A Gathering in Tribute to Emily Remler (1990)
  • Compilation Album - Just Friends: Tribute to Emily Remler, Vol. 2 (1990)
  • The Rippingtons - Welcome to St. James' Club (1990)
  • The Rippingtons - Curves Ahead (1991)
  • Compilation Album - GRP Digital Sampler: On The Cutting Edge
  • Compilation Album - Just Friends, Vol. 3: Tribute to Emily Remler (1991)
  • Harry Sheppard - This-A-Way That-A-Way (1991)
  • Kilauea - Antigua Blue (1992)
  • Wendi Slaton - Back Here Again (1992)
  • Kitaro - Dream (1992)
  • Compilation Album - GRP 10th Anniversary Collection (1992)
  • David Benoit - Letter to Evan (1992)
  • Robert Hicks - New Standard (1992)
  • Tab Benoit - Nice & Warm (1992)
  • Harry Sheppard - Points of View (1992)
  • Guy Bailey - A Good Day for Tea (1992)
  • Kilauea - Spring Break (1992)
  • Kilauea and Daniel Ho - Tropical Pleasures (1992)
  • The Rippingtons - Weekend in Monaco (1992)
  • Steve Bailey - Evolution (1993)
  • Steve Reid - Bamboo Forest (1994)
  • David Benoit - Shaken Not Stirred (1994)
  • Tab Benoit - What I Live For (1994)
  • Kilauea and Daniel Ho - Diamond Collection (1995)
  • Compilation Album - GRP Christmas Collection, Vol. 2 (1995)
  • Russ Freeman - Holiday (1995)
  • Jesse Dayton - Raisin' Cain (1995)
  • David Rice - Released (1995)
  • Jeff Kashiwa - Remember Catalina (1995)
  • Jethro Tull - Roots to Branches (1995)
  • Shaver - Highway of Life (1996)
  • Doug Cameron - Rendezvous (1996)
  • Steve Reid - Water Sign (1996)
  • The Rippingtons - Best of the Rippingtons (1997)
  • Steve Bailey and Victor Wooten - Bass Extremes Vol. 2 (1998)
  • Toni Price - Lowdown & Up
  • Robin Williamson - Old Fangled Tone (1999)
  • Victor Wooten - Yin-Yang (1999)
  • Ray Price - Prisoncer of Love (2000)
  • Bobby Boyd - Honky Tonk Tree (2001)
  • Bass Extremes - Just Add Water (2001)
  • Compilation Album - Leaflets, Vol. 1 (2001)
  • Jessie Allen Cooper - Moment In Time (2002)
  • Mark Winkler - Garden of Earthly Delights: The Best of Mark Winkler (2003)
  • Victor Wooten - Soul Circus (2005)
  • Steve Bailey - So Low … Solo (2007)
  • Victor Wooten - Palmystery (2008)


Steve is the author of a successful series of bass instructional books.

  • Rock Bass (Steve Bailey Bass Guitar Series) (1991) ( ISBN  978-0739040805)
  • Advanced Rock Bass (Steve Baily Bass Guitar Series) (1991)
  • Five String Bass (Steve Bailey Bass Guitar Series) (1991)
  • Six String Bass (Steve Bailey Bass Guitar Series) (1991)
  • Fretless Bass ( ISBN  978-0739040799)
  • Bass Extremes (1993) by Steve Bailey and Victor Wooten ISBN  0-7692-4915-9 ISBN  978-0769249155


  • Fretless Bass REH (1992)
  • Bass Extremes: Live (1994) (Warner Bros.)
  • The Day Bass Players Took Over the World, Victor Wooten, Oteil Burbridge (2006)
  • Warwick: Fuss on the Buss 1, featuring Larry Graham, Bootsy, TM Stevens, etc (2009)
  • Warwick: Fuss on the Buss II, featuring Bootsy, Robert Trujillo, Lee Sklar, Verdine White,etc (2011)
  • Warwick: Fuss on the Buss III, featuring Ralph Armstrong, Larry Graham, Jonas Hellborg, Ryan Martini, TM Stevens, etc (2012)


  1. ^ "Steve Bailey - Berklee College of Music". Retrieved 2013-12-15.
  2. ^ "Steve Bailey Signature 6-string". Retrieved 2013-12-15.

External links