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|Born||St. Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Occupation(s)||Instrumentalist, studio engineer, producer|
|Instruments||Clarinet, trumpet, bass guitar, banjo|
|Associated acts||Travelling Black Hillbillies|
|Conklin Midi 9 string bass
Benavente 11 string MIDI bass
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Caldwell started out as a clarinet player and moved on to the trumpet. He attended Mississippi Valley State on scholarship. He has played for a variety of entertainers including Vanessa Williams, He also works for hire on studio albums as a session musician. He has performed on a number of television shows.
When Caldwell plays electric bass, he usually performs using Extended-range basses, (or "ERBs"), which are electric bass guitars with more range (usually meaning more strings, but sometimes additional frets are added for more range) than the "standard" 4-string bass guitar. The techniques used to play the extended-range bass are closely related to those used for basses, including finger plucking, slapping, popping, and tapping, though a plectrum is very rarely used. The upper strings of an extended-range bass allow bassists to adopt playing styles of the electric guitar. One such style is the practice of "comping", or playing a rhythmic chordal accompaniment to an improvised solo. Al Caldwell was the first MIDI 9 string bassist. Conklin Basses made the first Midi 9 string for Al Caldwell. Al Caldwell had Benavente Basses make the first 11 string MIDI bass.
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