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Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx took bass, guitar and vocal lessons during lockdown

It's never too late to learn more – not even after you've had a key part in selling more than 100 million albums. Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx isn't shy about letting the world know he took bass guitar lessons during lockdown to enhance his playing, and while he was at it he took guitar and vocal tuition too.

"Before the pandemic, I got into this lesson thing," Sixx explained to My Mom's Basement With Robbie Fox in the video interview above.

"I started taking guitar lessons online," he explained. "I just pluck away on the guitar, and I can write an ok song on the guitar, but I don't know a lot about the instrument other than I like to write from root notes.

"So I started taking guitar lessons online, and then eventually in person," Sixx added. "I started taking bass lessons online, eventually in person. Then I was pushing myself to play with my fingers. … On The Dirt soundtrack, all those songs I played with my fingers, which was the first time. And it took some adjustments with the audio because I'm an aggressive pick player."

And he didn't stop there either.

I was surprised at the range that I had

"While I'm at it, why don't I just take vocal lessons?" Sixx continued. "I'll be a better background singer, and when I'm writing songs, it'll be easier to explain to the actual singer or whoever. … And I was surprised at the range that I had, but it was a little bit in the lower register — I like to sing more of a falsetto-y thing."

But anyone expecting the rocker and author to switch to the spotlight on lead vocals will be dissapointed. "I don't have enough years under the hood [as a lead singer]. I don't have a lot of control over my voice," Sixx reasoned. "I seem to have been able to sell over a hundred million records with this crackly old thing I've got now, so I kind of let that go for some reason. … That would have all gone bye-bye with the pandemic anyway."


Nevertheless, it's good to see a musician 40 years into a successful career talking openly about looking to improve. And Sixx hasn't just been busy with music; he's just released his latest memoir, The First 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx, via Hachette Books. 

Find out more at TheFirst21Book.com

Rob Laing

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before that I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar.