Adam Nitti is a prominent name in bass guitar and bass guitar education. Based out of Nashville, Tennessee, Nitti is a leading name for session work and all things bass guitar. From session work to touring, teaching to producing albums, giving talks and more, Nitti is one of the industry and instrument’s hardest working and accomplished names. His credits include working with artists like the Dave Weckl Band, Kenny Loggins, Carrie Underwood, Michael McDonald, Steven Curtis Chapman, Susan Tedeschi, Victor Wooten, and more.
While Nitti as a player is well known, he is a noteworthy bass teacher, writer and educator as well. Nitti has penned many columns columns for Bass Player Magazine and Bass Musician Magazine, has his own subsection of the popular bass guitar forum, TalkBass and showcases a myriad of instructional videos and masterclass sessions up on his own YouTube page. Bass players also have the option to learn from Adam himself through his online classroom for bass players, Adam Nitti Music Education.
Get to know more about Adam Nitti in this edition of How I Play.
Where Are You Currently Located?
What is Your Current Gig or Project?
Primarily right now my own band project, “Renaissance Men”, and Kenny Loggins
What is One Word That Describes Your Playing?
What is Your Current Setup and Your Favorite Piece of Gear at the Moment?
For live stuff, I’m using one of two rigs primarily. For tours and larger venues, an Aguilar DB751 or DB750 head and one or two Aguilar DB410 cabinets. For smaller venues and all-around portability in town, I use an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 head with two Aguilar SL112 cabinets.
Occasionally, I will add a third 1×12 if I want to be louder. For recording I run three simultaneous chains. The first is into an Aguilar DB680 tube preamp going to a Tube-Tech CL1B compressor. The second is into a Creation Audio MW1 and Aguilar Tone Hammer preamp/d.i., and the third is a line coming from a mic’ed 1×12 speaker cabinet using an Audio Technica ATM250 microphone. My pedal board contains various combinations of pedals from Aguilar, Boss, Visual Sound, Daring Audio, and EBS. I don’t really have a favorite piece of gear at the moment. I rely on the synergy between all my components to achieve what I’m looking for tonally, from basses to pedals to preamps to amplifiers.
What is One Thing You Could Not Live Without?
(Real) Italian food
What Is Your Practice Space Like?
I don’t really have an established practice space, which is not necessarily a good thing. I practice wherever and whenever I can. Sometimes it’s in a hotel room; other times in the studio during downtime on a session, in my living room, between students, etc. Since my schedule varies from day to day and week to week, I have to get resourceful if I want to keep improving.
John Coltrane. Although he is no longer with us, I have for decades been inspired by his musical voice and fascinated by his life and career. It would be amazing to hear about his practice habits and hear his answers to basic questions like these!
What’s the Best Piece of Advice You’ve Ever Received?
“Don’t try to play what you think people want to hear. Play who you are.”