Far too many people write off Billy Sheehan because a lot of the music he’s been involved in was mainstream 80’s rock. Yes, he was the bassist for Mr. Big. Yes, he played for David Lee Roth. But the dude also provided the low end for Steve Vai, and his current group, The Winery Dogs, is a power trio that also includes Mike Portnoy and Richie Kotzen…. yes, I know Kotzen also played in Mr. Big. Who cares? He and Sheehan fucking shred.
Sheehan’s entire, hour-long Bass Player Live clinic has been uploaded, and it doesn’t just feature some killer playing (seriously, how many players can you think of that can play at those speeds with their fingers). Some of the techniques he discusses are things I’ve literally seen before. For example, that thumb work. Plenty of bassists slap with their thumbs, and a couple weirdos like Sting just pluck quarter notes thumb-style, but that flamenco guitar-inspired bit is a new one to me. And that bizarre cross-handed “capo” tapping technique? I’m not sure of the advantage of the position swap, but it sure is impressive.
You know where else you can get your Billy Sheehan clinic fix? At Metal Masters 5, livestreamed to you straight from NAMM on January 22nd, courtesy of Gear Gods. Conveniently you can also get your fixes for Phil Anselmo, Kerry King, Rex Brown, Frank Bello, Mike Portnoy, Scott Ian, Dave Ellefson, and more, all at the same time.