Through his innovative work as a solo artist and his contributions as a sideman to Joe
Satriani and Steve Vai, Stuart Hamm has firmly established himself as one of the most influential electric bassists of the past half-century. Extending the non-traditional function of the electric bass previously revolutionized by Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke in the
1970s, Hamm helped to reshape the contemporary concept of the bass guitar as an unaccompanied instrument with the utilization of polyphonic, two-handed tapping, slapping and popping techniques, chords, and harmonics. Although Hamm certainly wasn’t the first bass player to debut during the 1980s and employ an unorthodox approach to playing the electric bass, he was undoubtedly at the forefront of the generation who effectively fused the application of these unconventional techniques.
As one of today’s leading bassists, Hamm has released six critically acclaimed studio recordings. On Radio Free Albemuth (1988), Kings Of Sleep (1989), The Urge (1991), and
Outbound (2000), Hamm showcased his unique style of playing the bass as a lead instrument both in a solo environment and within various ensemble formats on a genre-spanning spectrum of repertoire that merged rock, jazz, fusion, classical, country, and urban sounds.
Live Stu X 2, the fifth solo project produced by Hamm, features a diverse compilation of classic tracks recorded by Hamm during his set on the first leg of the Bx3 tour in Philadelphia in 2006 as well as a few previously unrecorded pieces that were captured in San Francisco before a live audience in 2004.
2010’s Just Outside of Normal is Hamm’s 6th solo release, and his most diverse and best received CD. Featuring guitarists Joe Satriani, Robert Fripp and Frank Gambale and drummer Stanton Moore, it has been hailed as “one of the more diverse and satisfying instrumental themed releases heard in some time.“
In addition to his barrier-breaking solo sessions, Hamm has been hailed for his recording and touring stints with guitar icons Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. His long-time associations with Vai and Satriani garnered Hamm award-winning recognition on a global scale, and as a result, Hamm has received an extensive list of accolades such as being voted “Best Jazz Bassist” two years in a row and “Best Rock Bassist” three years in a row by Guitar Player Magazine, becoming the only bassists to win the award in both genres and at the same time. On January 17th, 1993 Hamm was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus award for “Outstanding achievements in contemporary music performance” from his Alma Mater, Berklee College of Music. He has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards for his recordings with Satriani and Mexican super group Caifanes.
Besides his projects with Satriani and Vai, other studio--‐related productions that have spotlighted Hamm’s trademark style and technical facility include his three collaborations as a member of the trio dubbed GHS with guitarist Frank Gambale of Chick Corea’s Elektric Band and former Journey drummer Steve Smith.
For the past two decades, Hamm has toured as one of the world’s premier bass clinicians. He was the first bassist to have a Signature Model Electric Bass with Fender, and has helped design amps and instruments for the Hartke, Washburn and Korg musical corporations. He has also demonstrated his signature techniques and methodologies to avid students through his best-selling instructional videos, Slap, Pop & Tap For The Bass and Deeper Inside The Bass, and a book of transcriptions, Stuart Hamm—The Bass Book, which contains a collection of Hamm’s greatest hits from his first three solo releases. He has also created an introductory course to bass guitar called “Bass Basics” with the folks at TrueFire.com, followed by his best-selling course “Fretboard Fitness.” 2012 will see the next two releases, courses in Slap Technique and Tapping, to complete the “Stu-U” series of instructional courses.
Based on the highly successful G3 tours he was a part of in the 1990’s which featured guitarists Satriani, Vai, and Eric Johnson, Hamm founded the Bx3 tour in April 2006 that has subsequently taken him along with fellow bass pioneers Billy Sheehan and Jeff Berlin from the United States to Asia.
In 2010 ‐ 2011 Stuart toured the world with guitarist Greg Howe and Uber--‐Drummer Dennis Chambers. In the summer of 2011 he accepted the position of Director of Bass Programming at the prestigious Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, tasked with taking the bass department and curriculum into infinity and beyond. In his short time at Musicians Institute, Hamm has successfully breathed new life into the Department, bringing in world class talents such as Marcus Miller and Darryl Jones to give Master Classes, and initiating a revamping of the curriculum that will reflect the changes in the music industry while exposing the students to a wide array of different approaches to the bass and careers in music.