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Top 10: The Best Bass How-To’s, Bass Videos, New Gear and Bass of the Week

No Treble readers must be busy practicing these days, because three of the top 10 articles last week were how to columns. Damian Erskine shared “A Practical Guide to Modes and Scales”, Ryan Madora posted her latest Blues Bass how-to, “Jump Blues, Two-Beat and ‘The Bump'”, and Dr. D shared his insights on practicing on his latest lowdown column, Dedication: A Guide to Practicing.

On the gear front, our Bass of the Week is likely the world’s most expensive bass, the Ritter Royal Flora Aurum. You have to see it to believe it. Line 6 released their new Mobile In for iOS devices, and Barefaced Ltd introduced the Big Twin Bass Cab. Plus, Rob Doane added a new Mod Shop column, on swapping out tuners.

In videos, Bryan Beller rips it up with Steve Vai, live, Gary Willis impresses in a live performance with Tribal Tech and Randy Coven goes “NU School”.

Check out these and the rest of the top 10 for October 23-29, 2011.

A Practical Guide to Modes and Scales

1. A Practical Guide to Modes and Scales

Q: What are modes and how do they work? A: I get this question a lot, but have only touched on it in past columns, as it relates to other questions. Here’s a straightforward guide to modes and scales to follow. Modes are a very simple concept but can take some time to really understand…

Mod Shop: Upgrading Your Tuners

2. Mod Shop: Upgrading Your Tuners

I’ve told you a little about my Lab Rat bass and showed you some of what I’ve done to it so far. The Lab Rat was a brand-new SX Ursa 4 that I paid about $150 plus shipping, and I bought it for the specific purpose of experimentation. I had a pickup configuration in mind…

Bass of the Week: Ritter Royal Flora Aurum

3. Bass of the Week: Ritter Royal Flora Aurum

Based out of Deidesheim, Germany, Jens Ritter is an electric bass luthier known for his artistic flair and luxurious basses. In addition to his exceptional line of basses is the Ritter Royal collection, which are set apart due to a “unique feature or an exceptional design history aspect of Jens Ritter’s career as a luthier.”…

Randy Coven: NU School

4. Randy Coven: NU School

Here’s a cool video for the title track to Randy Coven’s album NU School. Ironically, the tune is laden with classical elements and some pretty intense technique by the bassist, who has toured with Ynwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai and many more.

Dedication: A Guide to Practicing

5. Dedication: A Guide to Practicing

Recently I wrote to you about purposeful practicing. Purposeful practice can ensure that we are constantly solidifying our foundation and moving forward, both as an instrumentalist and a musician. However, creating a practice plan and schedule with intent is simply the first step. We must put this plan into action for it to be successful….

Tribal Tech: The Big Wave, Live in Israel

6. Tribal Tech: The Big Wave, Live in Israel

After laying a perfect background for guitarist Scott Henderson, bassist Gary Willis rips an amazing solo of his own during this performance in Israel for television. Though the progressive fusion band dissolved after 2000’s Rocket Science, Henderson revealed earlier this year that he and Willis have worked out nearly 30 tunes for a new album.

Line 6 Releases Mobile POD Software and Mobile In Hardware for iOS Devices

7. Line 6 Releases Mobile POD Software and Mobile In Hardware for iOS Devices

Line 6 has expanded their line of amp modeling devices to include a new iOS adaptor and corresponding software. Mobile In is a digital input adaptor allowing bassists and guitarists to plug their instruments into their iPhone or iPad. Adding the company’s new Mobile POD software to the mix transforms the pair into a multi-effects…

Steve Vai: “Now We Run”, Live with Bryan Beller

8. Steve Vai: “Now We Run”, Live with Bryan Beller

Hold on to your hats! Here’s Steve Vai and the String Theories band performing “Now We Run” live. Bryan Beller holds down the low end for the group, laying down some hard-hitting, driving bass and some great unison lines with Vai. This comes from the DVD Where The Wild Things Are – Live In Minneapolis.

Barefaced Ltd Introduces Big Twin Bass Cab

9. Barefaced Ltd Introduces Big Twin Bass Cab

Barefaced Ltd has released the Big Twin, a 1500-watt bass cabinet containing two 12″ woofers, a high-output midrange driver, and huge ports for maximum low end while keeping an “unusually” flat frequency response. The cab also boasts a full 2-way crossover with steep slopes, similar to that found in studio monitors, resulting in higher efficiency….

Blues Bass: Jump Blues, Two-Beat and “The Bump”

10. Blues Bass: Jump Blues, Two-Beat and “The Bump”

So far, we’ve examined different kinds of blues progressions, tips for playing on the bandstand, and two common blues feels: the shuffle and the slow blues. In this column, as well as the following one, I’d like to dig deeper and discuss other standard blues feels that you’ll be likely to play. I’ll try to…