(Player Profile) Michael Manring

Michael Manring is a pretty well-known soloist among bass players, but less so among mainstream music listeners.

He’s known for his custom fretless Zon Hyperbass guitar shown in this video performance/interview from Bass Player LIVE! 2013:

He was the youngest of four in a musical family. He took classes at the Berklee College of Music and studied with Jaco Pastorius. A very technical player,  his style includes use of the e-bow, changing tunings mid-song, slapping, popping, muting, and two-handed tapping. To understand his style, it helps to know that he considers the bass guitar a very expressive instrument. He develops techniques that expand on that expressiveness, including quite heavy use of alternative tunings.

Much of Michael’s music could be considered instrumental “calm jazz” that is often filed as New Age or Adult Alternative, but he has a variety of styles and sometimes plays loud, upbeat, bouncy, funky music. He considers his work to be genre agnostic and doesn’t worry about fitting into any particular category.

His music recordings are very prolific, with of hundreds of collaborations and guest appearances with artists such as Alex Skolnick, Montreux, Jeff Loomis, and Paolo Giordano thanks in part to his role as house bassist with Windham Hill Records. He has also released a number of solo studio albums.

Original solo work (links to Amazon):

1986 Unusual Weather
1989 Toward the Center of the Night
1991 Drastic Measures
1994 Thonk
1995 Up Close 21
1998 The Book of Flame
2005 Soliloquy