People might recognize him for his distinct bass playing, his long, grey beard or a combination of both. Either way, Leland Sklar, one of the most successful session bassists of all time, has been making a huge impact on the music scene for four decades.
He’s one of Hollywood’s “A” list musicians, singer-songwriters and film score composers whose bass playing has been heard on hits by James Taylor, Billy Cobham, Linda Ronstadt, Hall & Oates, Jackson Browne, Phil Collins, Clint Black, Carole King, Reba McEntire, and George Strait, just to name just a few.
He’s contributed on many television and movie scores, including “Forrest Gump,” “Ghost,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “My Best Friend's Wedding” and many more. In addition, he and a trio of musicians formed their own band called The Section, recording their own albums and touring in the 1970s.
Sklar was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but moved to Southern California when he was a young boy, around the time he began playing piano at the age of four. By the time he hit junior high school, music was a large part of Sklar’s life and he hoped to become a pianist, but the universe had other plans. With no pianist positions available in his junior high school music program, his instructor offered to teach him how to play bass. According to Sklar, the decision to go for it changed his life.
Then, after completing his education at California State University, Northridge as a music/art/science major, Sklar met James Taylor and they started performing gigs together for what they thought would be a short time. But soon after, Taylor's "Fire and Rain" became a huge hit record and the buzz surrounding this new bass player (Sklar) didn't take long to spread around Hollywood, and suddenly he was an icon in the making.
Most recently, Sklar finished the Troubadour Reunion Tour, one of the most successful tours of 2010, bringing the original band back together from the first shows they did at the Troubadour in Hollywood in 1970 with James Taylor, Carole King and the Section. His successful career continues.
Of the TASCAM equipment Sklar has long relied on he says, “I have been using the Portable CD Bass Trainers, both the CD-BT1MKIIand the CD-BT2. Next to my bass I have found this unit to be the best piece of gear to help me prepare for touring and studio work.”
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