Leland Sklar

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Leland Sklar
Sklar performing live in 2017
Sklar performing live in 2017
Background information
Birth nameLeland Bruce Sklar
Born (1947-05-28) May 28, 1947 (age 74)[1]
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
OriginSouthern California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Session musician
  • Bass guitar
  • Guitarrón mexicano
  • vocals
Years active1962–Present
Associated acts

Leland Bruce Sklar (born May 28, 1947) is an American electric bass guitarist and session musician. He is a member of the Los Angeles-based instrumental group The Section, who served as the de facto house band of Asylum Records and were one of the progenitors of the soft rock sound prevalent on top-40 radio in the 1970s and 1980s. Besides appearing as the backing band on numerous recordings by artists such as Jackson Browne, Carole King, Phil Collins, Linda Ronstadt, and James Taylor, the Section also released three solo albums of instrumental rock. Both in The Section and separately, Sklar has contributed to over 2,000 albums as a session musician. He also has toured with James Taylor, Toto, Phil Collins and other major rock and pop acts, and recorded many soundtracks to films and television shows.

Early life and career[edit]

Sklar studied at California State University, Northridge. [2] It was during that time he met James Taylor, who invited him to play bass at some venues. They both thought that the work would be short-term, but soon Taylor's career took off with his first hit records, and Sklar came into the limelight and was asked to record with other artists.[3] In the late ‘60s he was briefly the bass player of the band Wolfgang, which featured Ricky Lancelotti as their vocalist. However, their only recordings were unreleased demo tracks. In the 1970s, Sklar worked so frequently with drummer Russ Kunkel, guitarist Danny Kortchmar, and keyboardist Craig Doerge that they eventually became known as "The Section" and recorded three albums under that name between 1972 and 1977.


Sklar's favorite instrument is a bass guitar assembled from parts of various basses, consisting of a Fender Precision Bass body, Precision Bass neck which has been shaved down to the proportions of a Fender Jazz Bass and fitted with mandolin wire frets and two sets of reversed position EMG Precision Bass pickups. It has been used on nearly all of his recordings and he refers to it as the "Frankenstein bass".[4]

In 2004, Sklar began playing a signature model five-string bass made by Dingwall Guitars.[5] This was his main bass on tour and was also used in various recordings. The bass uses fanned frets, which result in longer low strings and shorter high strings.

In 2010, Sklar began playing the Warwick Star Bass II, which has since become his main bass in the studio.[6]

In 2013, after years of having been a Warwick Star Bass II user, he became an endorser of that instrument.[7][8]

At Winter NAMM 2016, Warwick announced their Lee Sklar signature bass, based on the Star Bass but with an offset body shape and a forearm contour.[9]

Previously, Sklar also had signature instruments from Gibson and Valley Arts Guitar.

Selected discography[edit]

Selected albums[10][edit]

Selected film and television soundtracks[edit]

Selected film appearances[edit]

  • Rhinestone (Actor: Rhinestone House Band, as Lee Sklar) — (1984)
  • Ticker (Actor: Blues Band Bass) — (2001)


  1. ^ Leland Sklar at AllMusic
  2. ^ Levy, Piet. "Milwaukee-born bass legend Leland Sklar keeps busy during pandemic with YouTube channel, new band, coffee table book". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  3. ^ Session Players biography. Archived June 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Accessed November 2008.
  4. ^ "Interview: bass legend Leland Sklar on sessions, gear and getting hired". musicradar.com. Archived from the original on February 27, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "Lee Sklar Signature". Dingwall Guitars. Archived from the original on May 18, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  6. ^ "Lee Sklar is the Latest Member of the Warwick Family". bassmusicianmagazine.com. Archived from the original on November 28, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  7. ^ "Lee Sklar is the Latest Member of the Warwick Family". Bass Musician Magazine. Archived from the original on November 28, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  8. ^ "Lee Sklar is the Latest Member of the Warwick Family". Warwick. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  9. ^ "[NAMM] Warwick Lee Sklar Signature". audiofanzine.com. January 22, 2016. Archived from the original on December 7, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  10. ^ 601. The Immediate Family ‘Cruel Twist’, retrieved June 19, 2021
  11. ^ "Albums". stevelukather.net. February 22, 2008. Archived from the original on August 30, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011.

External links[edit]