Photo: Bob Hakins


PoconoPhoto: Art Seigel

"I have never worked with anyone more proficient on his instrument, professional in his conduct, or pleasant to be around. I was not kidding when I suggested he open a school for sidemen. There are a lot of talented players out there but Paul Olguin is the full package.

P.S. please don't hire him away from me."

- Shana Morrison, singer/songwriter

Paul Olguin is a freelance bassist, living and working in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. Originally from Los Angeles where he learned his craft both in school and on the job in a vibrant and thriving music scene in which the friendly though sometimes fierce competition provided a fertile learning environment.

Averaging 250 + bass jobs per year, Paul brings his knowledge of the instrument, general musicality and sense of humor to bear on every gig he plays.

A firm believer in preparedness, stylistic adaptability and having fun while delivering the goods seem to be the key to steady employment. That and showing up on time in a clean shirt.

In performing/ recording and teaching Paul draws from his wealth of experience to bring about the desired results, whether it be a blues gig in SF's North Beach, a concert to a sold out crowd with one of the many artists he works with,or a bass lesson with a beginning student.


"Paul Olguin is the best of the 5 bass teachers I have tried. There are many bass teachers who are excellent musicians but are merely adequate as teachers. Paul stands out as both. Three decades of experience as a working professional bassist playing any style of music he gets paid for says a lot. He knows what you need to learn from actual real world opposed to other teachers who merely repeat what they were taught at the Berklee School of Music, or similar music college. Spend your hard-earned money on the best instructor out there...Paul Olguin."

- Vince Boston, Student

"Paul what you want to play, your ability & then helps you to understand the steps to get there".
- Inge Hinrichs, Student


In teaching bass, Paul tailors the lessons to the individual student and helps them reach their desired goals. He draws from 30 + years experience as a working musician to give his students the skills and knowledge they need to feel confident and enjoy playing bass . . . and he does believe you should enjoy playing the bass.

Paul has taught students ranging in age from early teens to mid sixties and found that a good solid grounding in the fundamentals of bass playing- from knowing the notes on the fingerboard to theory and note and chord chart reading are real world skills that will be helpful no matter what kind of music you play.

It is also important to be able to play by ear and figure out parts from cds, helping develop your own style and parts.

More advanced skills would be analyzing recorded examples of bass parts and figuring out why things work the way they do, figuring out how to play with a band and have an impact on the sound of the band, how to play well with the drummer, and how behave as a professional musician.

Paul also will help his students find an instrument that fits them and their style in local stores or on Craigslist and eBay, and refer them to qualified and honest repair people to help them get their bass and amp tuned up and ready to gig.

These are all things Paul has real world experience in and can help the student learn before they get to the gig, or help them refine their skills to help them better enjoy playing bass.

PoconoPhoto: Dan Dion

Paul Olguin

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LUCINDA: Jesse DeNatale
From the CD: Soul Parade

I'LL BE TRUE: Mighty Mike Schermer
From the CD: Right Hand Man V.1

DEEPEST DEEP: Erika Luckett
From the CD: Unexpected

HAUNTED: Tom Heyman
From the CD: Deliver Me

ST. LOUIS BLUES: Victor Krummenacher
From the CD: Patriarch's Blues

HOLLYWOOD: Lauren Jordan
From the CD: Dreams

STRONG ON YOU:Shana Morrison
From the CD: That's Who I Am

From the CD: Everything

RUNNING CRAZY: Jeffrey Halford
From the CD: Broken Chord



PoconoPhoto: Danny Plotnick

Paul Olguin


Mary Wells, Brenton Wood, The Drifters, Rosie and The Originals, Tony Allen, Richard Berry, The Sheiks of Shake, Sabia, Mazzy Star, Dale Watson, Will Ray (Hellecasters), Eddie Dean, Cliffie Stone, Susan James, Hal Marcus, Mike Zapruder, Nearly Beloved, Brad Soules, Jeffrey Halford, Dallis Craft, Chris Molla, Amy Meyers, Jesse DeNatale, Walmart/3 of Hearts, Craig Nuttycombe, Chuck Prophet, Erika Luckett, Slim, Justin Dillon, Sonny Smith, Shana Morrison, Patty and Abigail, Stefanie Naifeh, Tony Goldmark, Henry Salvia, Crooked Roads, The Cinders, Judea Eden, Christina Kowalchuck, Nancy Cassidy, Lauren Jordan, Patrick Conway,  Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne, Maria Muldaur, Victor Krummenacher, Bob Weir, Henry Kaiser, Elvin Bishop, Tracy Nelson, Dr. Elmo, East of Eden, Brenda Boykin,  Jules Broussard, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Huey Lewis, Ron Thompson, Alvon Johnson, Phil Guy, 'Mighty' Mike Schermer, Tom Heyman, The Ruby Rakes, Daniel Castro, Marshall Chapman, Tom Armstrong, Jessie Turner, Angela Strehli, Shana Morrison, Erika Luckett, Lisa Kindred, Denny Geyer, Loralee Christensen, Jesse DeNatale, Big Bang Beat, Jonathon Richman, Dave Martin's House Party, Kathi Goldmark Y Los Trainwreck, The Seducers, Doug Adams, Blind Lemon Phillips, Michael McNevin, Austin DeLone, Earl Thomas, Jan Fanucchi, Mike Peloquin, Mitch Woods, Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne, Carl Weathersby, Willy Jordan, Tom Heyman, Augie Meyers, Jose 'Chepito' Areas, Wendy DeWitt, Holly Near, Adam Levy, Rancho Deluxe, The Soul Delights, 77 El Deora, Jessie Jay Harris,Lucia Comnes, Frank Bey, Anthony Paule,Stan Erhart,Nancy Wright,Cathy Lemons,Lisa Kindred, A.C. Myles, Lara Price, David Landon, Annie Sampson, Keta Bill, Terry Hiatt, Roy Rogers, Mark Karan, The Volker Strifler Band, Tracy Nelson, Dorothy Morrison, Prairie Home Companion, West Coast Live, KPIG, KFOG, KRSH, KVMR, KPFA . . .


"A stellar musician, dependable, and professional, Paul always cuts the live performance or recording session with a sense of humor, panache, and the ultimate in musicality."
- Karen Mullally, singer/songwriter

"Paul is the finest Bass player I've ever had the pleasure of working with; bar none! He did have some strange habits, that it took some getting used to; like learning the material and performing it perfectly first time out, never complaining, looking good and being punctual to every gig. Being a brilliant player wasn't required, but just a little added bonus with Paul."
- Elmo Shropshire, Dr. Elmo, "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"

"There are bass players, and then there are exceptional musicians whose instrument happens to be the bass. That's why Paul Olguin brings so much to any musical situation. He doesn't just follow the chord progression. He listens to the melody and enhances it with what he plays. He's completely "in the moment" of what's going on. That's why he can play so many different styles, and add so much to them. As a singer, I'm always confident that he will rise to the occasion, even if it's a last-minute situation with minimal or no rehearsal. And, he also happens to be a lot of fun to work with. What more would you want?"
- Angela Strehli, The Queen of Texas Blues

There are very few bass players that can play with the range of style and feeling as Paul Olguin. More than a joy to work with in the studio, his wry  sense of humor has everyone on the floor. He is quite simply, one of the best!
- Jeffrey Wood, Producer, Studio Director -Fantasy Studios

"Deep, deep groove, and he always digs in and plays what's right for the song. I love working with Paul"
- James Nash, Guitarist- The Waybacks

"I want a bass player that offers groove, an awareness of space, pocket, and the taste to carry the bottom end. Paul O. brought an extraordinary presence to my CD, Unexpected, which went on to win "Best International CD" from World Arts Celebrities Journal and "Album of the Year" from the JPF awards - largest music awards in the world with over 100,000 albums considered from over 80 countries."
- Erika Luckett, Singer/Songwriter

"When you want it done, and done right all you gotta do it call Paul Olguin.
He'll also hook you up with other players and knows who'll be perfect for the project. Paul will already have an idea or two as to how a song should go, and what the artist might want as he pulls from his incredible reservoir of musical knowledge and experience. And if the artist wants to go a different direction, it's no problem, and Paul will take it anywhere you want it to go - happily and enthusiastically. When a sessions is called at a certain time, he's there a minute early, everything needed (and usually an extra thing or two), charts, in one trip and he's set up and ready to rock. The dude's actually brought me to tears with his playing!"
- Robert Preston, Engineer/Producer

"Paul Olguin is a terrific bass player and is always pleasant to work with. He is a true pro."
- Randy Craig, Pianist/Composer

"I've used Paul extensively as a professional studio musician on numerous recording projects. His knowledge of music, his preparation, and his professionalism are just some of the reasons he is my first call for recording sessions. Having also performed live with Paul, I have witness his generosity, patience, and natural abilities as a mentor and for that, I am grateful".
- Adam Rossi, Engineer/Producer/Keyboardist

"Always plays the part that is the truest to the song, instead of the flashiest line. . . .and a fantastic road companion!"
- Pamela Rose, Jazz/Blues Vocalist Extraordinaire

"I had the pleasure of playing with Paul Olguin for one of my Mama Pacho annual Halloween gigs at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. Paul is fantastic. smooth, responsible and well just a DAMN GOOD bass player. He also sings quite well. He is so fun to play with, he is goofy and joyful. As a musician, his execution is flawless; timing impeccable. Overall he has a wonderful ear as well. When I think of Paul I think of deep musicality with a cerebral slant rolled into a cheeky man/boy. His enthusiasm for adventure and mischief are infectious. Paul can play just about anything from blues, to rock, to funk, to jazz. He is super reliable. He has a wicked sense of humor. He is immensely patient. All these qualities make Paul one of the top bass players in the Bay Area. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a gifted bass player and/or dedicated teacher. Paul Olguin RAWKS! "
- Jo Ann "Mama" Pacho, Blues/Rock Vocalist

"I love Paul Olguin's bass playing-who wouldn't? He's also a total pro, a snappy dresser, and a great guy".
- Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Singer/Songwriter/Author

"Paul is a great player and a total pro who can step into any musical situation and play it right."
- Joe Goldmark, Pedal Steel Guitar Virtuoso

"I was happy to be able to play with you after having met you through working with Jesse de Natale. Besides your sartorial resplendency and dashing good looks, I just dig your playing. I really appreciated that you always showed up prepared and on time, and that by the first time you played with me, you had already learned the music despite my not having given you any charts. You're a total pro and it was a pleasure to play with you! "
- Val Esway, Singer/Songwriter

"If you want to learn to rock climb or speak Swahili you might not want to take lessons from Paul Olguin. If you want to learn music, especially the bass, you couldn't do better than to take lessons from Paul Olguin. "
- Doug Adams, Guitarist/Violinist/Composer

"In an age when most bass players sound like frustrated lead guitar players, Paul Olguin stays the true course. He never plays more than what is necessary yet always adds something special to the song, the groove and the overall vibe of the performance. He also has a deep understanding of many styles of music. I have worked with him in a variety of situations and he always has just the right sound and attitude for whatever gig or session we are on."
- Mighty Mike Schermer, 2010 Blues Guitarist/Songwriter
(Elvin Bishop, Angela Strehli, Marcia Ball and many others)

"Paul Olguin is what I refer to as a transparent player. When I hire him, I don't have to even think about him behind me. I trust him. He is always prepared and where preparation fails, his instincts are solid. Even his mistakes sound good. And beyond his high technical chops, Paul is one of the most musical bass players I know. I can't believe I am actually saying this, but even his bass solos hold my interest... and that borders on something very, very wrong."  
- Maurice Tani, Guitarist/Songwriter (77 El Deora)

"Paul Olguin plays the bass with style and grace and is always a pleasure to work with. He's never at a loss for what to play in any musical genre, as he such is a well rounded musician. He is a rare find - a great player that understands his instrument and plays it with creative zeal ".
- Dawn Richardson - Drummer
(4 Non Blondes/Tracy Chapman and many others)

"If you're looking for a bass teacher, Paul Olguin would make a great choice.Not only does he have vast experience and knowledge as a bass player, but also he has the ability to articulate and communicate musical ideas. Wwe have worked together in many different musical situations, and whether in a trio or a twelve piece band, Paul understands the role of bass in an ensemble". 
- Todd Swenson, Guitarist/Educator

" I have had the opportunity to work with Paul a number of times over the years, mostly in the recording studio. He is a fine player with a natural understanding of the instrument. He's also an absolute pleasure to work with in terms of personality, with a great sense of humor and a spirit of cooperation. Paul is a good man! "
- Garth Webber, Guitarist (Miles Davis,Gregg Allman),Engineer,Producer

"Paul Olguin is everything I look for in a bass player: rhythmically solid, stylistically appropriate, knowledgeable and, above all, musical. He's got the chops, the tone and the groove - he knows where the bass should be and he puts it there - with the creative flair and organic feel of the very best ensemble players. Paul is a bass player with musical wisdom."
- Andrew Goberman, Blues/R&B Guitarist/Vocalist

"Paul is always the best prepared bass player I can get on a gig. We've been playing together for almost 30 years, and I still learn something new about music every time we play."
- Matthew Lax, Singer/Songwriter

"Whenever I need to hire a bass player for studio session work, Paul is on the very short list of people I consider. He always comes ready and eager to play! I can always count on him to honor the music first and foremost, while at the same time respecting the human dignity of everyone on the session. If I need him to play a part where simplicity is of the utmost importance, he's happy doing that. If I need him to play a part where complexity is of the utmost importance, he's happy doing that. If I have a harebrained idea I want him to investigate, he's happy trying it. If he's got a harebrained idea, he's not afraid to volunteer it. We all have ego, by definition. The perfect session player is a person who maintains a beautiful balance of self-assuredness with self-awareness- look up "session player" in the dictionary, and there'll be a picture of Paul, wearing his Mona Lisa smile, looking right back at you. Paul isn't at all afraid to speak his mind, but he's also always listening to anyone else who speaks theirs. As a producer (and a human being), I can't ask for more than that when associating with my colleagues and friends, both of which I consider Paul to be. And I'm mighty glad of it."
- Bruce Kaphan, 7/28/2010, Pedal Steel Virtuoso /Producer/Engineer
(American Music Club, David Byrne, REM, Sheryl Crow)

"Timing is everything. Everyone wants to play with a bass player that plays with perfect timing.On the beat, push, pull, whatever is right. THAT'S how Paul approaches every song, every measure actually. And I learned A LOT from every song I heard him play."
- Doug E. Blumer, Ethic Recording Artist

"Paul can play simple or busy whatever is needed, can play all styles, has a great melodic concept and excellent time!"
- Denny Geyer, Guitarist/Songwriter

"As a professional bassist myself, I ask those who play bass for me have an understanding that playing something simply and perfectly is as good as blasting 16th note 2 octave runs. Thankfully in Paul I've got both of those things plus an understanding of the importance of what makes good bass tone. Paul's playing bass for me renewed my inspiration for the instrument when I play for Camper Van Beethoven and reminded me to be studied, prepared, fearless and bold. That's a cool trick."
- Victor Krummenacher, Bassist/Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter
(Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker, Monks of Doom)

"It's a cliche, but in this case it's also a fact. Paul is the man. Professional, courteous, focused. Best of all, very musical!"
- Tim Prince, Ridgetop Sound, Aptos Ca.

"When I first met Paul Olguin he was only playing with the goldfish. i think it was at a state fair in Cleveland, Then I saw him years later at a summer camp and he playing with the trout., What amazes me more than time flying, are the interests and abilities of people., The last time I saw Paul he was playing with the bass, and he was making it laugh!"
- Jesse DeNatale, Singer/Songwriter

"Paul played bass on my CD, Under Beautiful Skies. Paul is an amazingly quick study, and is able to develop great bass lines that truly complement the songs. At my CD opening at Freight & Salvage, Paul rocked the house with his rhythmic and fluid playing. He is solid, always in the pocket and pitch perfect. Paul's playing creates a rhythm, vibe and mood which take the performances to another level. He is truly a gifted artist."
 - Steve MeckFessel,  Singer/Songwriter