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Top Ten: Bass / Not Bass Discussion, New Signature Basses and Gear, Plus the Top Videos & Columns of the Week

Last week, our conversation about what makes bass actually “bass” took top billing. We expect this conversation to go on for some time, and we’ve really enjoyed reading all the viewpoints. If you missed it, be sure to check it out and add your voice to the mix.

In videos, we saw the return of Dirty Loops, once again taking a song we really can’t stand (Justin Bieber’s “Baby”) and redoing it with bass awesomeness. We don’t know how these guys keep doing it, but we like it. Readers also loved Uxia Martinez Botana’s powerful performance of Persichetti’s “Parable XVII for Double Bass”.

As we get closer to NAMM, gear is starting to reign supreme once again, and last week saw a lot of great coverage making the top ten. Two signature basses kicked things off, with Mike Lull’s Jeff Ament JAXT4 Signature Bass and the prototype of Thomas Risell’s – better known as MarloweDK – Sandberg signature bass.

Rounding out our gear coverage making the top ten includes our bass of the week, the beautifully crafted Marleaux Diva bass, plus two newcomers – the new Kala Cherry Burst U-Bass and Fuchs new Bruiser Bass Amp Models.

Once again, Dr. D delivered with his Guide to Improving Your Walking Bass Lines – practical advice for those looking to improve their improv skills. Also, Damian Erskine weighed in on a reader’s question about reading, and the necessity to learn to read bass clef.

Check out these and the entire top 10 most read features on No Treble for the week of December 18-24, 2011.

Ed. note: We featured many holiday videos last week which actually made the top 10. Now that the holidays are behind us, we pushed these off the list, but if you’d like to check them out, visit our holidays page.

All Bass, No Treble: When is a Bass Not “Bass”?

1. All Bass, No Treble: When is a Bass Not “Bass”?

Here at No Treble HQ, we watch a ton of bass videos, read a ton of email from bassists, and get all the news releases about everything bass. Sometimes, the bass we feature isn’t considered to be “bass” at all. Join in the conversation about what makes bass, bass…

Dirty Loops: Baby (Justin Bieber Cover, with Bass Awesomeness)

2. Dirty Loops: Baby (Justin Bieber Cover, with Bass Awesomeness)

This one is blowing UP! Dirty Loops has done it again. This time the Swedish trio has created a pumped up version of Justin Bieber’s hit “Baby,” with an absolutely killing solo from bassist Henrik Linder at the 1:41 mark. Dirty Loops has a reputation for taking pop songs we can’t stand and making them…

Mike Lull Unveils Jeff Ament JAXT4 Signature Bass

3. Mike Lull Unveils Jeff Ament JAXT4 Signature Bass

Mike Lull Custom Guitars has announced the Jeff Ament JAXT4 Signature bass, to be available starting in January 2012. The Pearl Jam bassist worked closely with Lull on the specifications of the bass, which is a modified version of Lull’s T4. One of the key features to the JAXT4 is it’s oversized body, which is…

Sandberg Previews MarloweDK Signature Bass

4. Sandberg Previews MarloweDK Signature Bass

Thomas Risell, better known as MarloweDK, is one of the most watched bassists on Youtube. His instructional and playalong videos have been viewed more than 22 million times on Youtube, and his lessons here on No Treble are incredibly popular as well. No surprise then, that the bassist caught the attention of Sandberg Guitars, who…

Bass of the Week: Marleaux Diva

5. Bass of the Week: Marleaux Diva

Gerald Marleaux’s artistic flair really shines through in his Diva model, a fretless bass with an avant-garde body shape and three-octave rosewood fingerboard. Designed to have an acoustic resonance reminiscent of an upright bass, the neck-through bass is built with a three-piece padauk neck with a custom choice of woods for the body wings and…

Dr. D’s Guide to Improving Your Walking Bass Lines

6. Dr. D’s Guide to Improving Your Walking Bass Lines

I regularly see students who are unhappy with their walking bass lines. Perhaps they don’t like how their lines lead (or don’t lead) from chord to chord. Perhaps they find themselves falling into predictable patterns over and over again. Perhaps their range is limited. Perhaps they just don’t find their lines satisfying. All of this…

Uxia Martinez Botana: Persichetti’s Parable XVII for Double Bass

7. Uxia Martinez Botana: Persichetti’s Parable XVII for Double Bass

Twentieth century American composer and music educator Vincent Persichetti is well known for his collection of works entitled Parables, a series of works for unaccompanied instruments which he wrote between 1965 and 1987. “Parable XVII” (our favorite) was written for solo double bass. Here’s a clip of Uxia Martinez Botana performing the piece in recital….

Kala Expands S-U-B Series with Cherry Burst U-Bass Option

8. Kala Expands S-U-B Series with Cherry Burst U-Bass Option

Kala has added a new Cherry Burst finish to its S-U-B line of solid body U-Basses. The new bass shares all the characteristics of its brethren, including a solid body, a 21″ scale, a Shadow active pickup system, a 2-band EQ, Hipshot-licensed tuners and proprietary polyurethane strings. Kala, a ukelele company, first introduced the U-Bass…

Fuchs Announces Bruiser Bass Amp Models

9. Fuchs Announces Bruiser Bass Amp Models

After nearly a year of product testing since displaying a prototype at the last Winter NAMM Show, Fuchs Audio Technology has announced three final models of their Bruiser Bass Amp: The Bruiser, the Bruiser-I, and the Bruiser-II. The main difference between each head is power, as the original Bruiser is rated 500 watts into 4…

Reading Requirements: Bass and Treble Clef?

10. Reading Requirements: Bass and Treble Clef?

Q: I can already read treble clef fairly instinctively, having played the clarinet for years. I started playing jazz (on bass) a few months ago, and now can find my way around most lead sheets, but my question is: should I bother to learn bass clef, when treble clef feels more natural to me? I…