Jason Newsted on playing the guitar

5 years ago by in Interviews Tagged:

The legendary bass player of Metallica, Voivod and Flotsam and Jetsam has just formed his own band called Newsted in which he also sings and plays guitar, just like in his side-project Papa Wheelie. We asked Jason Newsted about his musical beginnings to find out what was his first instrument…

TopGuitar: What came first for you: the bass or a regular six string guitar?

Jason Newsted: Well, I got a six string acoustic when I was nine years old, but I pulled the middle two keys off the headstock and I had four strings: one string going down one side of the neck, one string down the other side of the neck and two going in the middle. I wanted the acoustic guitar to be a bass and I put on the biggest gauge strings I could [laughs]. That was when I was nine, and then I got electric bass when I was thirteen or fourteen. That was it. I started learning Kiss and Black Sabbath, Doobie Brothers, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix, stuff like that.

TopGuitar: But still you play guitar in the band Papa Wheelie and you write guitar riffs for your Newsted band…

Jason Newsted: I never learned any chords on a six string guitar, I always played bass. But in the Newsted band on the “Metal” EP I play all of the rhythm guitars, I play a lot of the melodies and then there’s me on the bass. On the LP we have the two guitar players take over and I did another little bit of rhythm guitars but most of the guitar stuff is done by Jessie [Farnsworth]. Live I play guitar also, I leave the bass for a song or two and play my [Gibson] SG for a couple of songs and sing.


Printed since 2005, TopGuitar is a monthly issued magazine of opinion for professional and amateur musicians, as well as all guitar and bass fans in Poland and The Polish diaspora (people of Polish origin who live outside Poland). The Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Dariusz Domanski, a guitarist and academic teacher, doctor of musical arts. Every issue contains more than 15 reviews of various guitar-related musical gear, along with interviews and original articles on world’s most popular artists, CD and DVD reviews, event reports, guitar workshop and tips, latest product and artist news. TopGuitar for mobile devices: topguitar.pl/android and topguitar.pl/ios

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