Tone Talk with Ebony “Basschick” Miller

Photo Credit: Arthur Minnie Photography

Ebony “Basschick” Miller is a graduate of Saint Louis college with her degree in Health. She is a mother of two and has always had music as an integral part of her life. Born into the church choir and having lead her first song at 5, Gospel music has always been her favorite genre. She is the founder and creator of “Low is the way” musician apparel, and next looking to create her very own signature bass. Because women bassists are rare in the music industry, Basschick seeks to inspire and give hope to other African-American females that have always wanted to play but just don’t have that push to go out and do it.

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?

My definition of tone… well, I’m a bass player and I have to have my same tone all the time!!! It’s a must for me to have a good balance of lows, mids and highs. I also love to mute. I play mostly with my thumb so I am always using my right and left hands for many different types of techniques. I typically use right hand to set my pickup selector half way so that I get half the perfect balance of my front and back pickups. 

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using and why?

I fell in love with Fender guitars about 4 years ago. I was an Ibanez chick for the longest time and I would top those off with Bart pickups on a sunburst body. I currently play my 5 string Squire Jazz By Fender and although it’s still equipped with factory pickups, its still a monster. I am looking to spice it up some more with a new pick guard and eventually new pickups. For amps, I’m a big fan of Bugera. Im a fan of the low muddy sound it gives so Bugera is definitely the way to go. I play through a 115 as well as the 210 stacked. It gives me all the power I need to pull off rockstar energy at my shows. For heads I use a Bugera Veyron Tube BV 1001. It’s very compact, gives out about 2,000 watts, and has some great features that I have not got around to fully testing out. But I love it. 

What about strings?

So I have a project bass that I play around with. On that bass I have the Ernie Ball 2832 Regular Slinky’s on it and I really love the sound it gives. But I must say on my Fenders I tend to use the Dunlop Super Bright Nickel Wound 45/125. It gives me that crisp top end with great mids and a balanced bottom. Sometimes I switch up and use D’Addario’s.

Are there certain recording techniques you prefer in the studio?

Well, I’m new to studio recording. I have done a few live recordings with my family, but when I’m live I run through a D.I. box to the Presonus Studio Live 32.4.2. I also use my Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 for overdubbing. 

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?

Keeping my sound consistent. As long as I have my Bugera combo and Fender Squire, I’m pretty much set and good to go!!!!

What does your practice consist of?

My practice is different each time. I play a lot of gospel Quartet Music so I typically play some Canton Spirituals, Lisa Knowles or some of my Original bass lines from my own group “Sent By God”. I also will spend some time practicing scales but I am still a work in progress and am working at getting better each and every day.

What is your advice for young women who hope to work in the music industry?

My advice to other young women out there is don’t let up. Put your mind to it and do it. Practice, practice, practice!!!! And Practice. Lol. I use to struggle with worrying if I would be accepted in other Genres of music because of my long history playing gospel but I kept the faith in myself alive and started getting calls to play more R&B and other genres I enjoy playing. With that said, i encourage young girls and women to open up your minds to different music. Don’t just be one sided. Always remain Cute and fly and do what you were born to do!!!!!

You can follow Ebony “Basschick” Miller on IG @_therealbasschick_

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Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan is an Atlanta Native and proud graduate of Spelman College and Vermont Law School. Her background in environmental and music law fueled her desire to start and manage the international all-women touring collective, TxLips Band, LLC. Logan believes it is important for artists to be well rounded and versed in many areas of the music business, thus inspiring women worldwide to be an unstoppable force. She is the Diversity Editor for Guitar Girl Magazine and the Board Chair for Girls Rock Asheville.