THIS GOES TO TWELVE
Bass Player|July 2020
Idaho-resident bassist Mark Rowe owns what is thought to be the world’s largest collection of 12-string basses. We meet him for a chat about the thang behind the twang...
Mark Rowe

How did you get into 12-string basses, Mark?

I’ve been playing in various rock and country bands for 40 years, and I’ve done well over 2000 gigs. I first got into these basses back in 1987, when I picked up a fretless Rickenbacker eightstring. That’s the only fretless eight that Rickenbacker has ever built, according to the documentation. I got into it because I was living in Missoula, Montana, which is a college town with a great music scene. There weren’t enough bands to go round, so I ended up playing in 14 different groups over a three-year period. A lot of those were three-piece rock bands, and although I love that format, the problem is that the sound drops out when the guitarist starts playing a solo. The eight-string was a solution because it has a bigger sound. Later, in 1999, I got into 12-string basses and I’ve been hooked since then—it’s a real passion for me.

A lot of us are a bit intimidated by these things. Should we be?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BASS PLAYERView All

Freekbass

The funk master talks us through five career high points.

1 min read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021

ASHDOWN RM-800-EVO ll

What a lightweight! Kev Sanders tests the new head from Ashdown

3 mins read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021

DUVOISIN Standard 5

Mike Brooks gives this Swiss-style five a road test…

3 mins read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021

I WAS THERE!

A historic moment in bass world – recalled by those who were there to see it

2 mins read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021

BAREFACED - One10T Cabinet

A new Barefaced cab? Kev Sanders feels the quality

3 mins read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021

KRIST NOVOSELIC

It’s 30 years since the release of Nirvana’s era-defining album, Nevermind, and high time that we revisited this 2011 chat with the great bassist turned political activist, Krist Novoselic, a musician who witnessed a truly chaotic period in music history

10+ mins read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021

BASS PLAYER AWARDS 2021

After a year off thanks to the pesky virus, BP’s annual Lifetime Achievement Awards return—and this time we add a new category. Raise your glass to this year’s winners, Marcus Miller, Gail Ann Dorsey, John Taylor and Charles Berthoud.

10+ mins read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021

RUSH TO READ

Rush’s Geddy Lee will release an “epic” memoir in 2022

2 mins read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021

STAYING POWER

Tal Wilkenfeld’s recent album Love Remains features a five-string in tenor tuning with a capo. Ellen O’Reilly finds out why…

5 mins read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021

TONEWOODS EXPLAINED

Do woods really determine tones?

3 mins read
Bass Player
Holiday 2021