Steve Bailey (born February 10, 1960) is an American bassist who is famous for his pioneering work with the six string fretless bass. He was voted runner up for "Bass Player Of The Year" in 1994 and 1996. In 2012 and 2013, Steve toured with Victor Wooten on the Sword and Stone/Words and Tones tour, playing electric bass, upright, keyboards, and trombone.
Steve began playing the bass guitar at age 12 and started playing fretless bass after he ran over his fretted Stuart Spector with his car. Bailey not only plays electric bass, but he also plays double bass; he started playing upright after hearing Stanley Clarke playing with Return to Forever. Steve received full scholarships to both North Texas State University and University of Miami. Steve is currently Chair of the Bass Department at the Berklee College of Music. He has previously been a faculty member at Coastal Carolina University and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He was also a faculty member at Hollywood's BIT for 10 years. He has done extensive work as a studio musician, as well as numerous collaborations including several albums with fellow bassist Victor Wooten. Steve is a core contributor to Victor Wooten's Bass/Nature Camp, which helps to teach bassists of all ranges. He is an avid tennis player and surfer, and also a Warwick Signature Artist.
Bailey performing at Stanford University
|Birth name||Steve Bailey|
|Born|| February 10, 1960
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion, funk|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, fretless bass, upright bass, keyboards, trombone|
Steve has played with a huge range of artists, including Victor Wooten in Bass Extremes, Bryan Duncan, Paquito D'Rivera, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Dave Liebman, Claudio Roditi, Michel Camilo, The Rippingtons, David Benoit, Chris Duarte, Jethro Tull, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Billy Joe Shaver, Scott Henderson, Larry Carlton, Emily Remler, Brandon Fields, Carol Kaye, Kitaro, Max Highstein, T Lavitz, Tab Benoit, Johnny Witherspoon, Toni Price, Mel Tormé, Ernestine Anderson, Mark Murphy, John Patitucci, Billy Sheehan and others. He has released albums with many of these artists.
Steve endorses TC Electronic's RH450 rig (since 2009), as well as Ibanez, Michael Kelly, Aria (since 1995), Fender (since 2008) and Warwick basses (since 2011). He used a custom-made signature Aria Pro II six-string bass, the Avanti AVB-SB-6, equipped with a pair of custom-wound, dual-coil Basslines humbuckers powered by an 18V active 3-band EQ and strung with D'Addario EXLS510 strings. This signature bass was also available in 4 (AVB-SB-4 - endorsed by Carol Kaye) and 5-string versions (AVB-SB-5), fretted and fretless.
Steve teamed with Fender in 2008 to create his own signature Jazz Bass modeled after the Aria Pro II AVB-SB signature series basses. This bass is no longer in production, being the only production "Low B" 6 string bass in Fender's history alongside the Tye Zamora signature 'Oar' bass. Already a collectors item.
The Artist Series Steve Bailey Jazz Bass VI (introduced in 2009 and discontinued in 2011) featured a select alder body, a quartersawn maple neck with an asymmetrical profile, a 9.5” to 14” compound-radius two-octave ebony fingerboard, a pair of custom 6-string Jazz Bass pickups, a recessed Stratocaster jackplate, 18-volt active electronics, an onboard mute switch, onboard active 2-band EQ, a heavy-duty fully adjustable Fender locking convertible modular bridge and Bailey’s initials on the back of the headstock. It was offered in 3-tone sunburst and black, in fretted  and fretless versions .
As of 2011, Steve is an endorser and user of Warwick basses, made in Germany. He has a signature six-string bass, based heavily on the Streamer Stage I design. It features a bolt-on neck with fretless snakewood fingerboard (a fretted variant is available), his signature Seymour Duncan Basslines pickups and electronics, an asymmetrical neck profile and a chrome pickguard. In addition to the premium German-made model, a Korean-made Artist Series version is also available.
Steve is the author of a successful series of bass instructional books.