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Rewind: Esperanza Spalding’s Duet with Bobby McFerrin, Practicing Scales & Chord Voicings, New Bass Gear, RIP Mark Tulin and Mark Adams

Here are the most read, most popular stories and features on No Treble for the week of February 27 – March 5, 2011.

Esperanza Spalding and Bobby McFerrin Duet at Grammys

1. Esperanza Spalding and Bobby McFerrin Duet at Grammys

Here’s an electrifying clip of Best New Artist Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding with vocal phenom Bobby McFerrin performing at the Grammy pre-telecast ceremony, which they co-hosted. Esperanza’s playing is a great mix of jazzy and funky, and McFerrin deserves bonus points for picking up the bass line while she takes a solo halfway through.

Practicing Scales

2. Practicing Scales

The last installment of the Lowdown inspired a question from a reader about the “proper way to practice scales.” That would all depend on your specific goal, whether it be a technical or a musical one. There are innumerable ways to practice scales, and a plethora of material available to give you guidance. At the…

B.C. Rich Introduces Mockingbird Masterpiece Bass

3. B.C. Rich Introduces Mockingbird Masterpiece Bass

B.C. Rich unveiled a few new basses this year, including the Mockingbird Masterpiece. The model is a variation on the brand’s Heritage Classic version, but instead features bolt-on construction, different pickups, and a Rosewood fingerboard. The bass includes a Dragon Blood-finished Mahogany body and Maple neck with 24 jumbo frets and cloud inlays on the…

Exploring Alternate Chord Voicings

4. Exploring Alternate Chord Voicings

Q: Do you have any thoughts on how I can explore some alternate chord voicings? I’m having a hard time going beyond the typical root position chord shapes. A: Yes! I recently posted a Youtube video in which I work through a Steve Swallow tune (“Falling Grace”) in real time and demonstrate a great exercise…

RIP: Mark Tulin

5. RIP: Mark Tulin

Mark Tulin, bassist for the psychedelic 60s band The Electric Prunes, passed away on February 26th at the age of 62. He was helping out at the Avalon Underwater Clean-Up in Avalon, California when he collapsed. Tulin and The Electric Prunes pioneered the psychedelic sound with hits like “Get Me To The World on Time,”…

Jaco Pastorius: Live Solo (Berlin Jazz Festival, 1979)

6. Jaco Pastorius: Live Solo (Berlin Jazz Festival, 1979)

In this video, Jaco Pastorius takes a solo during a Weather Report appearance at Berliner Jazztage ’79. This was broadcast as “Focus on Jazz” on German TV. Jaco covers a lot of musical ground, including Wayne Shorter’s “Delores”.

RIP Mark Adams

7. RIP Mark Adams

Mark Adams, the bassist from the popular ’70’s Ohio funk band Slave, has passed away. Adams, who co-wrote the band’s first hit “Slide,” was an influence to many budding bassists. Anthony Wellington shared his thoughts: “My very first bass hero/idol Mark Adams (Mr. Mark) died last night,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I remember…

Ashdown Introduces Drophead DP-200 and LB-30 Combo Amps

8. Ashdown Introduces Drophead DP-200 and LB-30 Combo Amps

Ashdown Engineering has introduced a new all tube head, the DP200H, as well as two new tube “flip-top” combos incorporating the new head and the company’s Little Bastard with 15” speakers. The DP-200 Drophead H features the preamp from the company’s 427 Small Block head, utilizing two ECC82 tubes, a ECC99, and two ECC82 tubes,…

Markbass Announces New TTE 500 Head and Micromark 801 Combo Amp

9. Markbass Announces New TTE 500 Head and Micromark 801 Combo Amp

The list 2011 line of new Markbass gear continues with the introduction of the Ground Stereo Pre preamp and BAS-121 Lite powered cabinets. Ground Stereo Pre Preamp Markbass teamed up with endorser Alain Caron to design the components of a new rig, resulting in the Ground Stereo Pre and BAS-121 Lite powered cabinets. The Ground…

Bunny Brunel Introduces Custom Carved EUBs

10. Bunny Brunel Introduces Custom Carved EUBs

Bunny Brunel is expanding on his signature line of electric upright basses with a new custom carve option, in eco-friendly Mahogany wood. Introduced last year, Brunel’s EUBs are 3/4 size uprights (41 1/4″ scale), with an Italian-style D neck. The custom carve basses start at $6,500.00 and ship with a custom flight case and gig…