13 Dec 2011
December 13, 2011

Pro’s Tools: Stefan Redtenbacher

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Hello! My name is Stefan Redtenbacher and I’m a bass player;)

I’ve been playing bass since 1984… a while back!

I’m originally from Salzburg, Austria and after a few years of playing in bands there and teaching myself about music with, compared to todays offerings, slim resources as all fellow bassists of my age had to experience, I made it into the jazz department of the Vienna conservatory.

After shortish spells in Spain and lots of Jazz practise and Big band gigs in Paris, France, I ended up at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, with a bit of very much needed scholarship support. I always loved Blues, Soul, Funk and Jazz and my love for these styles was dramatically heightened in the buzzing environment that was and still is Berklee College of music.

With my first album in tow (Redtenbacher’s Blue Funkestra – ‘Boozing Wizards – Searching for the Stone of Funk’, literally recorded with my last cents) I ended up in London, England with the determination to forge a music career there and a hunger for the cosmopolitan lifestyle – a very different and colorful departure from my initial stomping ground…

And here I still am, having made England my choice of home for the past 15 years.

Although I still work and have worked in various capacity with ‘stars’ of all echelons (Jack Bruce, Sam Brown, Adam Ant, Steve Winwood, Herb Alpert, Alexandra Burke, Olly Murs, Amy Winehouse, Kiki Dee, Louise Marshall, Sandie Shaw and many others that you might now or not;), I first and foremost run my own band, the Redtenbacher’s Funkestra – a fortified and high octane funk band with a strong jazz flavor and penchant for horns.

Redtenbacher's Funkestra

We are about to release our fifth record ‘The Cooker’ featuring the finest horn players from the London’s souly, jazzy, funky music scene as well as Erik Krazno from the band Soulive, Lenny Pickett from Tower of Power and the Hornheads, Prince’s longstanding horn section from the 90s, led by trombone virtuoso Michael B Nelson.

Previous records brought us in touch with equally illustrious and fabulous musicians like funk legend and long time James Brown collaborator Fred Wesley on trombone, drummer Stanton Moore from Galactic, bari player Stephen ‘Doc’ Kupka and trumpet player Lee Thornburg from Tower of Power, guitarist Elliott Randall from Steely Dan, the Brand New Heavies and Incognito hour sections…the Funkestra family is ever growing with fabulous musicians…

Have a more detailed look at http://www.rbfunkestra.com if you fancy….

We are playing on a regular basis in London and the southeast. It would be fabulous to see some of you who are reading this right now (yes, you!) at one of our gigs. We could talk about bass strings and such things;)

Just download an album from my store and use download receipt as guest ticket…just let me know about it.



‘Boozing Wizards – searching for the stone of funk’

‘Falling from Insanity’


‘Concubine Chronicles’

‘Brendan Reilly and RB Funkestra’ EP

‘The Cooker’ January 2012 release

You could also order Funkestra transcriptions or even limited prints from previous cover art. Hopefully you’ll find something…perhaps you just want a bunch of free bass transcriptions …just have a look around at my site.

Ah, yes, Phil kindly asked me to write about my bass gear:

I’m a dedicated four-string player and probably belong to the seemingly endless army of retro gear lovers. My bass of choice is a 1973 custom shop alder jazz bass, black with rosewood fingerboard and original parts…this one sounds better than anything I’ve ever had.  For years I have also played my trusty metallic blue Ernie ball Sterling four-string. A fantastic bass, however I feel that my jazz bass just sits better in my live band and recordings.  

Live, I’m a dedicated user of Aguilar heads, in particular the DB-750 and for rehearsals and small clubs I also love the Tone Hammer 500 – it is lighter than my gig bag;). Larger gigs warrant my Aguilar 2×12″ cab and club dates normally see my Accu Groove 12″ and loads of other smaller drivers in action.

In the studio I use either my trusty Aguilar DB-680 preamp, serial number 43, bought at a time when people where wondering what this Aguilar thing is all about , or a super easy to use and superb sounding Universal Audio LA-610. Running the compression around -2 to -3 db with fixed compression ratios is just perfect for me.

At times, if a session so requires I dust off my beautiful sounding 1972 Ampeg flip top and record with a mic only. Plugging in my ’73 jazz bass creates a sound equivalent to at least half my record collection (ok, mp3 collection) as this was the trusty combo for countless records in the hey day of the 70s.

Playing funk I have to have, of course, an arsenal of talent boosters, i.e my pedals.

I love my Moogerfoogers – low pass filter, phaser… but also the new Aguilar wah pedal, the more obscure Discombulator by Emma and also the Bass Balls by Electro Harmonix (it is dirty alright). Being picky about loosing my dynamics and low frequencies I’m using splitter pedals from Gigrig and also, on a non pedal note, Auralex acoustic foam underneath my speakers cabinets to cut unwanted bass frequencies traveling on the stage or venue floor if needed.

Being out and about with my bass I entrust the transport to Harvest leather gig bags. To me they are the bees knees of gig bags and finally after disposing of copious amounts of gig bags, many more than I care to mention, I found a safe and cool looking bag that I’m proud to carry. Flying abroad I stick both my ‘travel jazz’ souped up with the splendid John East ‘j-retro’ preamp and my Harvest gig bag into a SKB travel flight case in the knowledge that I will be able to leave the flight case at the hotel and can move lightly between hotel and venues with the gig bag only.  For many years Strings And Things have been kind enough to provide me with Ernie Ball strings. My favourite ones are Super Slinky Bass Nickel wound: .100 – .80 – . 65 – .45.

And finally, I have helped bring a funky new app in to this world! MyBeat is a funky super accurate metronome with cool features like shaking the iphone to set the tempo and customising the background. You can see my friend Paul Turner playing along to MyBeat in this short vid.

For more info:


Mybeat metronome