The Real World: April 2013

Home base Los Angeles
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Robert Harper

Home base Los Angeles
Occupation AmeriCorps/musician
Gigs Tina Van Merkenstyn, solo artist, session player
Basses Schecter Hellraiser Extreme 5-strings
Rig DNA Amps 1350 head and 4x10 cabinet, Bag End 4x10 cabinet
Effects Snarling Dogs Bootzilla Fuzz Wah, Visual Sound H20 Chorus/Echo, Dunlop CryBaby Bass Wah, FullTone Distortion, Fishman Fission Bass Powerchord, and Morley AccuTuner, Optical Volume, and T.M. Stevens Fonk Wah pedals
Strings Ernie Ball
Heroes & Inspiration Louis Johnson, Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, T.M. Stevens, and Bootsy Collins

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How did you come to play bass?

I saw a live band up close for the first time as a child when I was around 11. The guitar player fascinated me, so my grandmother and I went to look at electric guitars, and then basses. I figured four strings would be easier than six, so I chose the bass and immediately fell in love with it!

What’s a lesson you’ve learned along the way?

No matter how small a gig may be, there is always a significant amount of experience to be gained. And don’t play a million notes when you’re auditioning; give the band what it needs—good solid bass!

What are your musical goals?

To finish new songs in the studio, reissue my CD/ EP, continue marketing my music merchandise, produce a female gospel group, and tour with a major act.

Want to introduce yourself? Find submission guidelines at Get selected for The Real World and receive a set of D’Addario EXL170 bass strings and a T-shirt. All those who submit will receive D’Addario’s FretBuzz newsletter.