Can you tell us about yourself?
James Werts, Tallinn Estonia (originally from Detroit Michigan)
When and why did you start playing bass?
I started playing the bass guitar at the age of 12 years old. I started playing after a friend of mine who was 10 years old at the time (he played guitar and bass) taught me a few baselines lines to play. I also had drum lessons in Jr and high school.
Tell us the impression when you play sire guitar for the first time?
My first impression when playing the SIRE Marcus Miller V7 bass guitar for the first time was I took it from the box and without trying it out at home, I took it without a backup bass guitar and I was in total shock. My reaction from the first note I played had me saying….”Oh, this is it”.
Describe your first instrument?
Drums were my first bought instrument as a 11 years old kid. I saved up money from my summer job and bought a used set. Very durable set which came with 2 cymbals, hi hat, 2 toms, 1 floor tom, 1 bass drum and hardware.
How many guitars do you own? Beside Sire, which one is your favorite gear. Why?
I have 4 bass guitars. 3 electric jazz basses and 1 semi acoustic bass guitar. My first love was my special made “Pavel Jazz Deluxe 5” (3), then came my Fender MIM jazz bass (2) and now I’m in love with number 1, my SIRE Marcus Miller V7 jazz bass.
The MM V7 is my main “Go to” bass guitar now. Knowing what my other two electric basses can do, once I plugged in the MM V7, that warm vintage sound that I was looking for in the other high-end basses, the MM V7 provided just that. And the bass guitar SIRE didn’t stop there, it also provided me with a great modern tone. Crisp high-end with a growl. And a passive mood is probably what every vintage jazz bassist imagine what they want and should have in their jazz bass(s) sound.
How often and for how long do you practice?
I virtually practice at least 5 days a week. Mostly at home and at night (headphones). And most of the time it’s only me. As I tend to keep the practice time I have for myself. My practice time ranges from 2-3 hours a night. Mainly working on songs, chops. I am also performing at least 3 to 4 days a week as well.
What do you practice?
New tunes (original, covers), semi hard tunes and various genres from Jazz, Funk, Pop, Hip hop, Brazilian, African, Gospel.
Do you perform in public? (Are you famous in your country, town?)
I perform in public. Our band tends to draw a large audience who are ready to dance and have a great time. We performed many concerts in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Egypt, Turkey, Sweden, Hong Kong and Russia. Am I famous in this country? Let’s just say that they (the people) think I’m famous, I don’t think so. I am known throughout Estonia and parts of Latvia, whether from TV, radio, magazine interviews in the music genre. :)
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I don’t make mistakes!!!! Hahahaha! I can cleverly disguise my mistakes, right! Hahahahaha!
Who was your first music teacher?
Self taught. I’ve since learned to read musical notes. But I have the ear which comes first in learning new tunes. Just other than my good friend Jesse teaching a blues bass line in my early days.
What advice would you give to beginners?
It’s not an over-night success for playing the bass. You have to dig in a start from the bottom in learning how to play the bass guitar. I suggest learning to read music as well. So be prepare to be hit with a lot of challenges in learning your bass guitar. And most of all, be sure this (bass guitar or any music instrument) is what you want. No regrets.
What are you listening to lately?
Jazz and funky jazz. Deep soulful R&B, groove tunes.
Choose one recommendable music video(youtube) to share with others?
Cory henry and Michael league in RIO www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cfpQdPY2pM
If you could get any musician, living or dead, who would be in your "DREAM BAND?"
Cory Henry on keys, Marcus Miller on bass, Kenny Garrett sax, Chris Coleman drums
Where would you like to find yourself in ten years? Why?
Still doing what I LOVE, music!
Do you think the Music can do something to this world?
As well all know music is the ultimate language where most everybody understands. In every genre of music around the world, each and every one of us truly can talk through music.
What does music mean to you?
Music means a lot to me. It fulfill my thirst, and I’m always thirsty for music. Whether playing before a large audience or before a small group of people or even in my home practicing, I get the joy of spreading the ultimate language to many people and myself.
Any advice or suggestion to Sire guitars?
Start working on getting a bigger work staff to compete with the influx of bassists inquiring to buy themselves a Marcus Miller V7 bass. There’s a huge storm of bass guitarists coming, and they’re readying to buy your beautiful made bass guitars and guitar. SIRE and Marcus Miller just up’s the game!