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Top Ten: The Hottest Bass Videos and Gear, Mod Shop, Practicing with a Looper, and Talking About the Blues Bass Scale

Gear. Videos. How-to’s.

Readers can’t get enough of them (neither can we).

Last week, Evan Marien’s “Soulseek” took top honors, with Viz Maurogiovanni’s solo performance of Fauré’s “Pavane, Op. 50” and the duet of Grant Stinnett and Michael Manring performing “Money Talks” making the list too.

Our gear coverage ranged from old school cool to weird and wacky, plus a new bass too. Our bass of the week is the Bas-Extravaganza Fluffy. You have to see it to believe it. In Old School, we take a look at a 1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass. The new Aristides Arium “050” bass is one unique axe, and rounded out the top gear coverage.

In his latest Mod Shop column, Rob shared tips on his considerations before making the leap, with plenty of examples and advice along the way.

Damian Erskine shares his own how-to on using a looper in every day practice, thanks to a reader’s question. (We’re always on the lookout for new questions too, so email Damian if you have a question you’d like answered.)

Rounding out our top how-to columns is Ryan Madora’s latest Blues Bass entry, “Let’s Talk About the Blues Scale”. As always, Ryan brings a lot of clarity to the topic, and readers continue to make this one of the most read on No Treble.

Plus, one of the most enjoyable Player Spotlights we’ve had, thanks to Glenn “SmittyG” Smith.

Be sure to check out the top 10 for the week of November 20 – 26, 2011.

Evan Marien: Soulseek

1. Evan Marien: Soulseek

Here’s an awesome studio performance by Evan Marien with drummer Dana Hawkins on the bassist’s song “Soulseek.” The duo keeps a tight groove which opens up for Marien to let loose with some blazing soloing. Evan offers a live version of the track on his Bandcamp page.

To Mod or Not to Mod: Considerations for Modifying Your Bass

2. To Mod or Not to Mod: Considerations for Modifying Your Bass

You guys have followed me through a few projects now and, if Iʼve done my job, some of you have been inspired to take an instrument and make it fit you better in some way. This month, I want to talk about why we do this and pose some questions you should answer for yourself…

Bass of the Week: Bas-Extravaganza Fluffy

3. Bass of the Week: Bas-Extravaganza Fluffy

While this bass may conjure images of ZZ Top, the idea for the Bas-Extravaganza Fluffy actually came to proprietor Bas Wittenberg on a trip through IKEA. The luthier saw a rug and immediately decided to put it to use as a “finish.” “This is a real party bass,” he writes. “Women love it, and men…

Old School: 1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass

4. Old School: 1978 Fender Musicmaster Bass

Fender’s Musicmaster was first introduced in 1971, and in production through 1981. As with Fender’s guitar bearing the same name, the bass was a simpler version of Fender’s Mustang Bass. The Musicmaster was Fender’s budget-priced bass at the time, made from surplus parts from other Fender models. The bodies were from the Mustang production line,…

Aristides’ New and Unique Arium “050” Bass Now Available

5. Aristides’ New and Unique Arium “050” Bass Now Available

Dutch instrument maker Aristides has released their newest bass, the 050. The 050 is a 5-string bass with a unique design which sets it apart from most: it is made of Arium, a synthetic tone material created for maximum sustain and resonance. The body and neck are all one piece molded from the material. The…

Viz Maurogiovanni: Fauré’s Pavane, Op. 50

6. Viz Maurogiovanni: Fauré’s Pavane, Op. 50

With the help of an ebow and a looper, Italian bassist Viz Maurogiovanni creates a beautiful solo bass rendition of Gabriel Fauré’s “Pavane,” Op. 50, proving that great music transcends time.

Let’s Talk About the Blues Scale

7. Let’s Talk About the Blues Scale

The Blues Scale. Why do so many players talk about this as the quintessential soloing tool? Have you ever wondered why the blues scale doesn’t always sound good while being played over a blues progression? Aren’t you looking for something more “realistic” in terms of an approach for soloing? Although this column is starting to…

Grant Stinnett and Michael Manring: “Money Talks” Duet

8. Grant Stinnett and Michael Manring: “Money Talks” Duet

Hearing Michael Manring and Grant Stinnett perform together is really quite an experience. Not only are they both absolute wizards on the bass, they really complement each other equally well. Here, the duo performs “Money Talks”, originally recorded on their Project M album, which also features bassists Rob Gourlay and Jim Stinnett.

Getting Started with a Looper: A How to Guide

9. Getting Started with a Looper: A How to Guide

Q: I recently bought a looper after reading some of your columns. It’s for practicing, not for performing, but I’m stumped as to what I should actually do with it. Any thoughts on good (or bad) ways to use a looper for practicing?

Player Spotlight: Glenn “SmittyG” Smith

10. Player Spotlight: Glenn “SmittyG” Smith

Meet Glenn “SmittyG” Smith, a bassist from Texarkana who can play the spectrum of music from country to punk to jazz and everything in between. The player spotlight is one of our favorite features on No Treble, and it is people like Glenn who really make it extra special. I’m sure you’ll enjoy his sense…