“It’s a special breed of people who can do something that is contrapuntal,” he says in the below clip. “In other words, you can sing a song and strum a guitar along. It’s kinda easy. Whereas if you play the bass, it’s a bit like patting your head and making circles on your tummy. You’re doing something that involves two sides of your brain. And not many people develop that skill, and it’s something that I was very proud of.”
Sting says he first accomplished this goal by slowing down his playing and singing.
“I could slow the playing down, slow the singing down – I saw where the gaps were and like a jigsaw puzzle fitted it together,” he continues. “So now it’s become like second nature to me to play bass and sing. Other musicians will come and say, ‘How do you do that?’ I say, ‘Well, it’s just practice. It’s what you do.’ I’ve always enjoyed having that particular skill set. I didn’t want to be a guitar hero. I play the guitar; I write guitar parts. But that’s not part of my thing. I want to be a bass player who sings.”
The segment – which you can hear below – appears in Sting: Upon Reflection, which debuts March 25 via Audible, Amazon’s audiobook and podcast service. In his episode, according to a statement from the company, the musician “unpacks his journey from life in a hardscrabble Northern England town to an unlikely ascent to superstardom and beyond in story and song.”