Ernest Tibbs was born and raised in Los Angeles, having grown up in a very musical family. His father constantly exposed him to different sounds and his aunt Bobbette Jamison-Harrison, is a well-known and sought after vocalist. His home was filled with all the sounds of R&B, Gospel, Jazz, and even singer-songwriter Pop music.
It was when Ernest was 11 that his grandmother bought him his first bass. His Father introduced him to the basslines of Ray Brown and Neils Henning Orsted Pederson. His father's philosophy was if you want to be a real bass player, your walking lines had to be impeccable. Ernest learned his first walking bass parts from the sounds of Ron Carter.