Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Victor Lemonte Wooten (born September 11, 1964) is one of the most celebrated electric bass players of all time. The youngest of five brothers, his oldest brother Regi taught Victor to play bass at age three. The Wooten Brothers band (Regi, Rudy, Roy, Joseph and Victor) played for many years in the 1970s around Williamsburg, Virginia in the Busch Gardens theme park, as well as opening up for Curtis Mayfield and War. After moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 1988 Victor was immediately recruited by blues and soul singer Jonell Mosser . A year later he was hired by banjo maestro Béla Fleck, along with keyboardist and harmonica player Howard Levy and Victor's brother Roy Wooten (a.k.a. Future Man). Their group, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones became famous first by playing a mixture of jazz, funk, and bluegrass, then later becoming one of the most stylistically free-swinging bands of the modern era. (Levy left the group and was replaced by Jeff Coffin on saxophone.)
The evolution of a higher standard in electric bass guitar construction methods, such as a lower action (the distance from the string to the neck) more akin to that of a six-string electric guitar, allowed Wooten to develop many new fingering techniques that were essentially undiscovered before his time. His most innovative are the double-thumbing technique, which utilizes the thumb in a manner similar to a guitar pick in conjunction with a funk slapping technique, and the open-hammer-pluck technique, which uses sometimes multiple hammer-ons from open strings to the desired fretted pitch.
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