Derek Frank

Versatile Session Bass Player

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3 Reviews
Derek Frank on SoundBetter

Bass player, currently in both Gwen Stefani's and Shania Twain's bands. I've also worked with: Air Supply, Shakira, Mindi Abair, The Boneshakers, Victoria Justice, Dancing With the Stars, Aly & AJ, Brian Auger, and many others. When not on the road, I'm working in my studio, recording bass tracks for songwriters and producers all over the world.

I'm a versatile bass player with over 20 years of experience in the Los Angeles recording and touring scenes, fluent in all genres and a strong sight reader. My arsenal of 30-some basses includes vintage, modern, boutique, new, and quirky basses... so I'm confident I can give you any sound that you're looking for. Please check my website for a full list of gear, credits, and discography.

Send me a note through the contact button above.

3 Reviews

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  1. Review by Mike Avenaim
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    Derek is one of the best bass players I’ve worked with. He’s incredibly versatile and can lock into anything. I highly recommend working with him. You will not be disappointed. His variety off basses and musical knowledge will get you exactly what you need.

  2. Review by Tom Spiker
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    I've known Derek since the mid-90s. He is one of the few with the talent AND the work ethic. His resume speaks for itself, plus he's a seriously solid dude. I wouldn't hesitate to hire him for pretty much any musical situation.

  3. Review by Aviv Cohen
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    I've had extensive experience working with Derek, both on tour and in the studio, and he was always an absolute pleasure to work with. Consistent with his great tone, pocket, feel, and musicality, Derek is an extremely tasteful player and true professional whom i'm always happy to recommend whenever someone is looking for a bass player.

Interview with Derek Frank

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: Definitely my new solo album. I wrote all the songs during the first few months of the pandemic, and recorded it during the Summer of 2020. Creating that project for myself is absolutely what has kept me sane during this crazy year with no live music.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: I just recently released my second solo album, titled "Eleven Years Later", so I'm doing what I can to promote that project.

  5. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  6. A: Mostly analog... because you just can't beat the tried-and-true sound of wood, metal, and tubes. I'm old school in my approach... most of the music I like has been recorded on analog gear, so that's where I lean when I'm recording.

  7. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  8. A: That I'll approach their music with passion, experience and taste, and they'll be happy with the results.

  9. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  10. A: Making good music with good people.

  11. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  12. A: That it's easy :)

  13. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  14. A: What published song(s) influenced the current production? What type of style and sound are you looking for? Do you have any solid ideas for the bass line? Do you want a vintage or modern sound? Do you have specific instructions, or do you trust me to use my experience to figure out what the best approach is for the song?

  15. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  16. A: Do your research; know WHO you are hiring, WHY you are hiring him/her, WHAT you are looking for them to provide, and WHEN you need the work done.

  17. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  18. A: My 1973 Fender Precision bass, my 1965 Ampeg B-15 amp, my Noble tube preamp/DI, my Apogee interface, and a laptop.

  19. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  20. A: I started playing bass at the age of 14, and got serious pretty quickly. I moved to Los Angeles in 1997, and immediately started working in the session and touring scenes. My career has been following an upward trajectory throughout the past 23 years in LA, and I intend to keep moving forward.

  21. Q: How would you describe your style?

  22. A: Passionate, tasteful, and grooving.

  23. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  24. A: I would love to work with Sting or Paul McCartney because their SONGS are so good... Unfortunately, they're both bass players, so I don't think that'll ever happen :)

  25. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  26. A: Don't overthink things... if it SOUNDS good, then it IS good!

  27. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  28. A: Many different genres, mainly pop, rock, soul, R&B, country, blues, jazz, and funk.

  29. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  30. A: Versatility. I'm a firm believer that there are only two kinds of music: good and bad. I listen to many different genres of music, and enjoy playing all of them.

  31. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  32. A: Tone, taste, and support.

  33. Q: What's your typical work process?

  34. A: I typically ask my clients to send a rough bounce of the song without bass, but stems work great as well. I use Logic, so I am not able to work with full Pro Tools sessions. If a client has recorded a scratch bass part, and if they're happy with their ideas, then I ask them to send that file separately. If they have some sort of chart or lead sheet, that's helpful but not necessary. I also ask my clients if they have any songs they can provide for reference, so that I can get an idea of what sort of tone and vibe they're going for. Once I have all the files and references, I'm ready to start tracking! I'll usually do 3 takes, and send rough bounces for approval. I'll do as many revisions as required, within reason. Once the client approves the takes, I'll send the files via WeTransfer.

  35. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  36. A: I have approximately 30 different basses, including vintage, modern, boutique, quirky, 4-string, 5-string, fretted, fretless, solidbody, hollowbody, electric and acoustic. Eighty percent of my clients only require a direct signal; in these cases, I'll use one of the following direct boxes: A-Designs REDDI, Avalon U5, Universal Audio 710, or Noble Tube Preamp/DI. My DIs then go thru a Universal Audio 610 or 710 mic preamp (if needed), and a Distressor (Compressor). For clients requiring a mic'd amplifier, I typically use either my 1965 Ampeg B-15 flip-top or my Aguilar DB750 with a DB410 cabinet. I mic these with a Sennheiser MD421 mic, and run it through a Universal Audio 610 mic preamp.

  37. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  38. A: My ears are always open, and I'm inspired in some way by every piece of music that I hear. It could be a bass line, a guitar riff, a production element, a mix, a lyric, or a song in it's entirety. Bass-wise, I get much of my inspiration from players such as: Paul McCartney, Pino Palladino, John Paul Jones, Anthony Jackson, Chuck Rainey, Marcus Miller, Stevie Wonder, and Prince.

  39. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  40. A: Artists, songwriters, composers, and producers reach out to me when they need a solid bass track that supports their specific song. Genre-wise, my skill set is all-encompassing; I am often hired to play songs in many different musical genres, and I'm experienced and comfortable in all.

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Shania Twain - Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? (Live in Las Vegas)

I was the Bass Player in this production

GenresSounds Like
  • James Jamerson
  • Paul McCartney
  • Pino Palladino
Gear Highlights
  • I have a vast collection of top-level vintage
  • boutique
  • and modern instruments
  • amps
  • effects
  • and recording gear. Full list available upon request.
More Photos