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Sting on his 1954 Fender Precision: "It's called the b-rig bass"

"I love old basses," says Sting. And it has to be said, he's got some beauties. During the Police legend's new On The Bridge video series ahead of the release of his new album The Bridge, Sting's been providing us with a glimpse into his world. 

Interview

This time he's rehearsing for a Later With Jools Holland live performance alongside guitarist Dominic Miller, and showing us his bass of choice for the performance. 

"This is not the bass I use all the time," explains Sting. "It's called the b-rig bass. I use it when my other bass has gone back to America. But this is actually older, this is from 1954. It's younger than me [Sting turned 70 in October) but it doesn't have that big groove [in the body from playing wear]. It's a lovely bass, a 1954 P-Bass and it's been bashed about a bit." 

Sting's US bass is a 1957 Precision which he admits has been "carved by use", and he also has a 1955 model as its backup. Both have serious vintage mojo. 

“It's very, very battered looking but it has a growl that a modern bass guitar simply does not possess," String told us in 2016 of his '57 P-Bass. "It has a handwound pickup. I imagine Leo Fender himself put it on a lathe to make it, and it's got a genuine spirit.

It's very, very battered looking but it has a growl that a modern bass guitar simply does not possess

“When you play an instrument, the more you play it, the more responsive it is. It's almost spiritual, if you can say that about an inanimate piece of wood. For me it's not inanimate: it's got a character."

Sting also has a 1962 Jazz Bass that he uses for studio work that he goes way back with.

"I started with a Fender Jazz, which I still have," Sting told us. "I bought it in Newcastle for about 150 quid. It was a lot of money back then. I don't know what it's worth now." 

The Bridge is released on 19 November via Cherrytree Records. 

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.