Your Favorite 12-String Bassists

The entry form for our 1st Anniversary Contest in 2004 included a few questions about what you liked about this site, what you thought we could do that we aren't already doing, and who is your favorite 12-string bassist. Thanks to everybody for taking the time to answer these questions! The comments and suggestions have been very helpful. They have given us some new ideas to think about and act upon.

It was interesting reading through the comments as to who were your favorite bassists. This was certainly not a scientifically valid survey but it made for fun reading anyway. The answers fell into three specific categories: Well-known players, lesser-known players, and "Potpourri for 100, Alex".


Among the well-known players, Doug Pinnick was mentioned as the favorite 43% of the time, with Tom Petersson a very close second at 41%. Monty Colvin, Jeff Ament, Jamie Hunting, Nikki Sixx, David Henning and John Entwistle accounted for the remaining votes in this group. (If more than one player was mentioned they each got counted to come up with these percentages.)

Comments about Doug included:
    "Besides being a great song writer and singer, who else looks that cool when they're playing?"
    "Because he makes the 12 sound like a bear that wants to eat!"
     "Can you say TONE?"
    "The reason I got into 12 string."
    "Aside from that legendary tone, his feel is amazing and the grooves he comes up with are untouchable."
    "His sound is so huge, but also has a pureness to it - it's never out of place or jarring. He's also a technically fantastic player, and his voice is just stunning!"
    "He has taken the instrument to a higher level."
    "He plays it as a rhythm guitar, but still with lots of melody."

Comments about Tom included:
    "Grandfather of all that is 12 string bass."
    "Tom has this playing style that's just to die for."
    "My idol."
    "You already know why........."
    "He's a pioneer."
    "I love his sound. Many others have come close but there is only one TP."
    "He uses the 12-string bass in a way that is unique to him. His tone is my favorite and his subtle use of fills and bends is great."

There were many votes for lesser-known players. Some people actually voted for themselves but it was obvious that in most cases it was all in fun. There were a couple of players who were serious about it though, here's my favorite comment: "I'm just getting into this but my playing style is amazing..."

Our contest got mentioned on one of the on-line sweepstakes bulletin board sites. I'm convinced that very few of these people had ever heard of the 12-string bass before, nor did they know any of the players. But many of these folks apparently did browse through the site and at least came up with a name to include on the form. Without exception every one of our Featured Players was mentioned at least once, usually by someone who lives at least 1,000 miles away from them! I guess the moral to that story is that if your information is on the net, sooner or later people are going to notice it and maybe even act upon it. Let's just hope that only a small percentage of those people are mentally unbalanced, eh?

The final category of players mentioned can only be described as Anything Goes. People included names of their spouses, children, pets, anything to fill the space on the form. Famous bassists, guitarists and singers were mentioned, none of whom to my knowledge have ever played a 12. Several people wrote that Jimi Hendrix was their favorite 12-string bassist, a pretty neat trick since he was gone long before Tom and Jol ever got together to build the first one. Hey, maybe now there should be a new entry in the Unofficial History section about Jimi...

Anyway, I thought you might find some of this stuff interesting. And for the record, yes, I was mentioned as somebody's favorite player. To the person who did this, Thank You, and I'll buy you a beer if you are ever in this neck of the woods.