Greetings! Professional since 1997, I've played over 4,500 shows, 70 albums, countless singles and demos with world class jazz musicians, beginner to award-winning songwriters, Americana bands, avant garde, South American, filmmakers, etc. No I haven't played with Sting or Alisha Keys but I love new projects and guarantee we'll work well together!
I play and record upright, electric, and fretless bass professionally. Send me your project file and I'll get to work. I provide three different takes for you to choose or comp from. If you have a chord or lead sheet send along too. If you have sheet music I'm a very good sightreader. I started on piano at age 8 and switched to trumpet in 6th grade and added jazz guitar in high school. In college I completed a music education bachelors degree while becoming a busy go-to bass player, and haven't looked back since. I'm very experienced, creative, intuitive, flexible, and easy to work with. My specialties include tone, rhythm, improvisation, sightreading, creating parts for songs, bowed bass, plus electric and fretless bass. Please check out song samples here, on soundcloud, or my website craigakin.com.
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
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Interview with Craig Akin
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a unique signature to a song whether it's a simple three chord or more complex. My sound is a creative blend of jazz, funk, motown, blues, folk. My 1860 upright bass has an excellent tone with plenty of sustain and growl.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Anytime I overdub bass parts from home and the client is happy then I'm proud. When I track with a full band in the studio I get involved in the production unless I detect too many cooks in the kitchen. In other words I engage with the team and help keep the vibe and music great, as opposed to checking out and being distant.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I work on making videos of solo bass for my youtube channel, website, facebook, and Instagram. Audio in Logic and video in DaVinci. I also live stream solo bass from time to time on Facebook via OBS.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I am easy and flexible to work with. I will revise my part until you get what you want.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Creating bass parts for a project and elevating it sonically, anchoring the music because bass is the foundation of sound.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Clients ask if I like their project and is it in my wheelhouse. The answer is always yes.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Anybody can play bass. While this is true on some level it's not necessarily easy to create good parts for any situation, with great sound and intonation. That takes a lot of practice and years of experience.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I like any production notes a client may have. Where do you want me to begin recording? Where do you want me to solo if any? Do you want upright, electric, or fretless? Do you prefer a simple part or more melodic? Do you have a sample part I can listen to?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Take a look at my youtube channel Craig Akin the Bassist, my website craigakin.com, my facebook music page Craig Akin the Bassist so you can be sure I'm a good fit for you. Listen to examples and watch videos.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My 1860 German upright bass, my frankenstein Fender fretless jazz bass, my '73 Fender P bass, computer/mics/interface.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started on piano age six and age 12 I began trumpet. In high school I played trumpet and jazz guitar. Once in college I played trumpet then eventually bass. Soon I was a first call upright and electric bass player in Kansas City and began playing full time in 1997. For ten years I average 270 gigs/year and moved to NYC in 2007. I have been touring, recording, overdubbing from home since.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My playing is creative and adventurous, a blend of jazz, funk, soul, motown, blues. I play melodic bass parts or simple parts when the music calls for it. And I'm always ready to improvise.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I like artists who are also highly skilled musicians for example Stevie Wonder. Artists who are musicians can speak the language, know what they want and how to communicate it.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Surround yourself and create with great pros that are passionate, experienced, and easy to work with.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I have mostly recorded with singer/songwriters of many types; pop, folk, rock, etc...
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill would be my musical intuition, knowing what to play and what not to play any given moment.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When I receive a song file I listen through to learn the song or write out a chart. Then I get to work recording, simple as that.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Not a fancy setup but I find the sound and results are what matters. I use Logic Pro X, have an assortment of condenser mics, and Pro Tools interface.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm inspired by anyone creating original music. I'm also inspired by bass players of all kinds. When I need to lift my mood I listen to Bach, jazz, heavy metal, whatever I'm feeling.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I overdub bass onto existing projects. Could be upright, electric, or fretless. Sometimes a client will send me a track with piano and vocals, sometimes a track with drums and guitar. Whatever the situation I'm able to deliver the goods professionally.