Happy Birthday to Leland Bruce “Lee” Sklar! – born May 28, 1947

Leland Sklar

Leland Bruce “Lee” Sklar (born May 28, 1947) is an American musician. A prominent electric bass guitarist, Sklar has contributed to over 2,000 albums as a session musician. He has collaborated with a number of well-known performers and recorded soundtracks to films and television shows.


Sklar’s favorite instrument is a bass put together from various parts and consists of a Precision-bass body, a Jazz-bass neck with mandolin frets and two Precision-bass pickups. It has been used on 90% of his recordings and he refers to it as the “Frankenstein bass”.

“I had a bass built in 1973 by John Carruthers. What happened was, I had a Precision neck – no body, but the neck was real nice – and we took a template from my ’62 Jazz and reshaped the Precision neck into that.

“When Charvel first started, I went out there and saw a bunch of nice alder bodies, and I hung them on wires and tapped them until I found the one that really resonated. So I took that body to John and we made a bass out of it. It’s kind of my Frankenstein.

“I’ve got first-generation EMG pickups on it. Also, I have two sets of Precision pickups, and I have them where Jazz pickups would’ve normally gone. But I reversed their position, which totally evens things out. In redoing the neck, we had to strip the frets off, and we ended up replacing them with mandolin wire, which is very small fret wire. We didn’t know if it would work, but it turned out great. So that’s been my main bass since about 1983.”

More on Leland here.

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