there was this jazz bass player who never changed a string or took care of his bass. he said it messed up the tone: James Jamerson used La Bella heavy-gauge (.052-.110) flatwound strings that he never changed. He never took care of the instrument, and it is possible that the neck eventually warped, as many claimed it impossible to play. While this made it more difficult to fret, Jamerson believed it improved the quality of the tone. On occasion, Jamerson also tucked a piece of foam underneath the bridge cover to lightly dampen the strings' sustain. Early in the '70s, a producer attempted to modernize James Jamerson's sound by asking the bassist to switch to brighter-sounding roundwound bass strings. Jamerson politely declined. James Lee Jamerson (January 29, 1936 - August 2, 1983) was an American bassist. He was the uncredited bassist on most of Motown Records' hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971), and he has become regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history and the "father of modern bass guitar." He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.