Can Girls Play Bass Guitar? – Tal Wilkenfeld is one Smoking Bassist!


Herbie Hancock and Tal Wilkenfeld

I once got a message on my blog saying something like, “…women should not play bass.  It’s far too masculine.  You should play something more feminine like flute. ” I know he was just trolling.  But, it really gives you a level of resolve to be a better player doesn’t it.  For the troller, it could be a level of jealousy that he had.  That perhaps the so called weaker sex could play better than him.  Don’t you think?

Tal Wilkenfeld Bass Player Sadowsky Bass Guitar

Tal with her Sadowsky bass

Tal Wilkenfeld really puts that kind of thinking where it belongs.  Back in the 19th century.

Tal was born and raised in Sydney Australia.  At age fourteen she starting playing guitar and after only two years she decided that music was her passion and decided to move half way around the world to study music in Los Angeles.  Within about six months she found her true calling and switched to bass guitar.

After only a few months Roger Sadowsky saw her playing and immediately signed her up as an endorser.  Since then you always see her with her Sadowsky bass guitar.  (No that’s not a Fender Jazz Bass)

At age eighteen she moved to New York city and started writing music and formed a band.

In 2006 she was busy performing with the likes of Russell Ferrante, Kenwood Dennard, Hiram Bullock, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Leni Stern, Susan Tedeschi, and the Allman Brothers Band.  During that same year she recorded her first album, “Transformation.”

Soon after recording her album she learned that Chick Corea was looking for a bassist for an upcoming tour.  She sent him demos of her Transformation CD and Corea was impressed enough to sign her on.  In 2007 she did an Australian tour with Corea, Frank Gambale and Antonio Sanchez.

One month after the tour, famed jazz/rock guitarist Jeff Beck asked Tal to join him on a European Summer Tour. The Beck tour culminated at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival.   A number of her performances are available on the DVD Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007.  Much of this can also be found on Youtube.

This performance of Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers was filmed at Ronnie Scott’s in London in November of 2007. (She wasn’t even turning 21 until the following month.)

Interestingly, veteran player Jeff Beck was more nervous performing in this small club that he was performing at Crossroads in front of 40,000 people. Saying that people would be so close up and personal that they would be able to see and hear everything.

Regardless, these performances are amazing and a must see.

Kudos to the awesome talent of Tal Wilkenfeld.  She’s one hot bass player and someone that’s done in a few short years what most people dream of, but never achieve in a lifetime.

“Stay Tuned!”

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