Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten

Wooten playing at the Belly Up in 2006.
Background information
Birth name Victor Lemonte Wooten
Born (1964-09-11) September 11, 1964
Mountain Home, Idaho, United States
Genres jazz fusion, funk, funk rock, hip hop, progressive metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer, author
Instruments bass, fiddle, cello, drums, keyboards, guitar
Years active 1980–present
Associated acts Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Steve Bailey, Vital Tech Tones, SMV, Greg Howe, Chick Corea Elektric Band, Octavision
Notable instruments
Fodera Monarch
Fodera Monarch Yin-Yang (4 string)
Steinberger bass guitars

Victor Lemonte Wooten (born September 11, 1964) is an American bass player, composer, author, producer, and recipient of five Grammy Awards.[1]

Wooten has won the "Bass Player of the Year" award from Bass Player magazine three times in a row, and was the first person to win the award more than once.[1] In 2011, he was named #10 in the "Top 10 Bassists of All Time" by Rolling Stone.[2] In addition to a solo career and collaborations with various artists, Wooten has been the bassist for Béla Fleck and the Flecktones since the group's formation in 1988.

In 2008, Wooten joined Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller to record an album. The trio of bassists, under the name SMV, released Thunder in August 2008 and began a supporting tour the same month.[3]

Wooten has also written a novel titled "The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music".[4] On his website he has stated that he is currently writing a sequel and intends to release at least three more books.[5]

Wooten also operates his own record label, Vix Records, on which he releases his own music.[6]

Early life

Born to Dorothy and Elijah Wooten, Victor is the youngest of the five Wooten Brothers; Regi, Roy, Rudy and Joseph Wooten, all of whom are musicians. Regi began to teach Victor to play bass when he was two, and by the age of six, Victor was performing with his brothers in their family band, The Wooten Tootin' Brothers Band.[7] As a United States Air Force family, they moved around a lot when Victor was very young, finally settling in the Warwick Lawns neighborhood of Newport News, Virginia in 1972. He graduated from Denbigh High School in 1982. While in high school, Victor and his brothers played in the country music revue at Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, Virginia. In 1987, he traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to visit friends that he made at the theme park, one of whom was a studio engineer who introduced him to Béla Fleck, with whom he still collaborates musically.[8]


Wooten playing his Steinberger headless bass guitar at the Belly Up in San Diego 2006.

Wooten is most often seen playing Fodera basses, of which he has a signature model. His most famous Fodera, a 1983 Monarch Deluxe he refers to as "number 1," sports a Kahler Tremolo System model 2400 bridge. Fodera's "Yin Yang" basses (co-designed by and created for Wooten) incorporates the Yin Yang symbol—which Wooten uses in various media—as a focal point of the top's design and construction. The symbol is created from two pieces of naturally finished wood (Ebony and Holly, for example), fitted together to create the Yin-Yang pattern.[9] As well as playing electric bass (both fretted and fretless) and the double bass, Victor also played the cello in high school. He still plays cello occasionally with the Flecktones as well as in the 2012 Sword and Stone/Words and Tones tour.[10] This is the instrument to which he attributes his musical training.

Wooten has also experimented with backward vocals, chanting, and Asian percussion.


In 2000 Wooten created a Bass/Nature camp that has since expanded into Victor Wooten's Center for Music and Nature, located in Only, Tennessee, outside of Nashville. He holds the classes in spring and summer.[11] Wooten also leads the "Victor Wooten/Berklee Summer Bass Workshop" for summer programs at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. At Berklee, Wooten incorporates his educational concepts from the Victor Wooten Center for Music into his collaborations with Berklee Bass Department chair, Steve Bailey.[12] In 2013 and 2014 he appeared - among others like John Patitucci, Lee Sklar, Stuart Hamm and Alphonso Johnson - on an annual Bass Camp of the German bass manufacturer Warwick.[13][14][15]

He was featured on the May/June 2014 cover of Making Music Magazine[16][17] to discuss the music nature camps.


With Bass Extremes
  • Cookbook (1998)
  • Just Add Water (2000)
With Vital Tech Tones
  • Vital Tech Tones (1998)
  • Vital Tech Tones 2 (2000)
With The Wootens
  • The Wootens (1985)
With Greg Howe
With SMV

With Béla Fleck and the Flecktones


  1. The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music, ISBN 978-0-425-22093-1, Penguin Group, 2008
  2. Tonya Jameson, Pop Music Writer. "Pushing the Envelope; Flecktones Bassis Victor Wooten hits a new stride in two-disc album." Charlotte Observer, The (NC) 01 Dec. 2000: NewsBank - Archives. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  3. Ron, Wynn. "Victor Wooten expands his profile with two ambitious solo records; To the Victor .." Nashville Scene (TN) 20 Sept. 2012: NewsBank. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  4. Robert, Bell. "Friday To-Do: Victor Wooten." Arkansas Times: Blogs (AR) 27 Sept. 2012: NewsBank. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  5. Gary, Demuth. "Bassist Victor Wooten takes spiritual approach to music.; Victor Wooten 2/1;." Salina Journal, The (KS) 1 June 2007: NewsBank. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  6. "Victor Wooten's Mystical Quest." Downbeat 77.7 (2010): 26-35. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  7. Michael, Deeds. "Music runs in Victor Wooten´s family." Idaho Statesman, The (Boise, ID) 31 Jan. 2003: 20. NewsBank - Archives. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  8. Wooten, Victor. "I Saw God." YouTube. Google, n.d. Web.[18]
  9. The Baltimore Sun; Sam, Sessa. "A Natural Language; Star Bassist Victor Wooten says music is best taught through performance, not practice; Concerts." Sun, The (Baltimore, MD) 2 July 2010: NewsBank. Web. 11 October 2012.


  1. 1 2 "Victor Wooten official website/biography". Official website. VixLix Music. 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  2. "Rolling Stone Readers Pick the Top Ten Bassists of All Time". 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  3. "Marcus Miller News". Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  4. Salina Journal (2010)
  5. "Biography". Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  6. "Victor Wooten Announces A Show of Hands 15". 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  7. Brodkin, Fran (2013-11-29). "The Wootens: Band of brothers grow up with music and values". Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  8. McDonald, Sam (February 21, 2000) "High Profile: Victor Wooten", Daily Press, Retrieved 2016-03-04
  9. "Victor Wooten Yin Yang 4 String". Archived from the original on March 6, 2010. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  10. "Playing with Words and Music". NoTreble. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  11. "Victor Wooten chosen in 'Rolling Stone' 'Greatest Bass Players of All Time' poll". 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  12. "Victor Wooten/Berklee Summer Bass Workshop | Berklee College of Music". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  13. Herrera, Jonathan (September 30, 2013). "Warwick Bass Camp 2013: The Best of the Bass". Premier Guitar. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  14. Wetzel, Michael (September 11, 2013). "Video: German Warwick Bass Guitars". Deutsche Welle TV. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  15. "Our Week in Germany". ForBassPlayersOnly. September 29, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  16. Freddy Villano (2014-05-01). "Victor Wooten's Music and Nature Camps | Making Music Magazine". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  17. "Victot Wooten Music and Nature Camps". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  18. "Victor Wooten - I Saw God (Live Gărâna '08)". YouTube. 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
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