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Top 10 of the Month: Gear, Basses of the Week, Lessons and an Old School Fender

As we looked back at the most read stories, columns and features on No Treble last month, one thing is clear: you guys love the Bass of the Week feature. Three of the top 10 stories in March were just that.

Add to that some gear news from Fender and Traveler Guitar, plus our latest Old School entry on Jay Fortier‘s 1963 Fender Jazz bass, and the gear category on No Treble once again takes top honors.

Our how to’s and lessons aren’t far behind though, thanks to some great columns by MarloweDK, Ryan Madora and Damian Erskine last month.

Plus, Kevin Johnson’s interview with Juan Alderete was not only among the top 10 in March, it was one of our most read bassist interviews to date.

Here is the top 10 for March, 2012. Thanks for reading!

Bass of the Week: Atlansia Solitaire

1. Bass of the Week: Atlansia Solitaire

There’s been an on-going discussion about what constitutes a bass, and specifically how more than four strings is “breaking the rules.” Well, what if there’s only one string? Enter the Atlansia Solitaire. Based in Nagano, Atlansia is known for outlandish designs – so much so that their website has to specify that the instruments are…

Bass of the Week: Norton Guitars Wraith Bass

2. Bass of the Week: Norton Guitars Wraith Bass

Norton Guitars takes a unique approach to building instruments by utilizing what they call the “Norton Mainframe” – a skeleton made of T6061 aircraft grade aluminum. The bass is then built with wood and electronics from there. A prime example of their work is their Wraith model bass. Featuring the “Tube” frame version of the…

Fender Upgrades American Standard Series for 2012

3. Fender Upgrades American Standard Series for 2012

Fender has raised the bar for 2012 by upgrading their American Standard series of instruments, including the Precision and Jazz basses. The main change is the inclusion of Fender Custom Shop pickups for each model, while other slight adjustments and a new finish also help to update line. First up, the American Standard Precision and…

Harmonizing the Major Scale: Using a Number System on Bass

4. Harmonizing the Major Scale: Using a Number System on Bass

This week, I’m kicking off a new lesson focusing on the foundation of music – the major scale. Read over this lesson and then be sure to check out the video for a demonstration. Western music harmony is mostly based on the 7 steps of the major scale, and the chords built on the major…

Traveler Guitar Unveils the Ultra-Light Bass

5. Traveler Guitar Unveils the Ultra-Light Bass

New for 2012 is the Traveler Ultra-Light Bass, an extremely lightweight and compact bass guitar. The whole instrument measures 33 3/4˝ in length and weighs in at a mere three pounds and 6.5 ounces. Built from a solid piece of Eastern American Hard Maple, the Ultra-Light Bass features a removable metal lap-rest and a built…

Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine

6. Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine

Confession: I played bass for years without ever practicing. I didn’t know what to focus on and certainly didn’t have enough discipline for it… I just wanted to play. I played along with records, I fooled around and discovered certain licks, and I hung out with musical buddies who would give me tips now and…

Old School: 1963 Fender Jazz Bass

7. Old School: 1963 Fender Jazz Bass

In our last edition of Old School, we shared Mark Anderson’s 1963 Fender Shoreline Gold Precision bass. This time, we’re showcasing Fender’s Jazz bass from the same year, and specifically Jay Fortier‘s ’63 Jazz. Fender introduced the first Jazz in March, 1960, becoming the company’s second bass model after the Precision. In 1963, Fender replaced…

The Bass Debate: Pick vs Fingers

8. The Bass Debate: Pick vs Fingers

Q: I prefer playing the bass using my fingers, but I see a lot of bassists these days using a pick. What’s your take on that? A: As with all things that come down to taste and music, I say: “follow your ears!” If you don’t like the sound of a pick, or it just…

Bass of the Week: Kristall Solid Electric Bass

9. Bass of the Week: Kristall Solid Electric Bass

German builder Andreas Kristall makes a host of impressive basses, including this week’s bass of the week: The Kristall Solid. Available in 4, 5, and 6-string models, the Solid sports a singlecut design with bolt on construction. Kristall says the bass was built for “Rock character, sound, look, and feel.” As each piece is made…

Bassist Redefined: An Interview With Juan Alderete

10. Bassist Redefined: An Interview With Juan Alderete

Juan Alderete is a man who stays busy. After getting his break with thrash metal outfit Racer X, Alderete now contributes the low-end to progressive rock giants The Mars Volta, whose new album Noctourniquet hit stores this week. The record marks the band’s sixth effort anchored by Aldererte, who joined their ranks in 2003. Additionally,…