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Top 10: The Best of No Treble – The Month’s Top Bass Lessons, Interviews and Features

September was a great month for No Treble readership, especially with our how to columns and lessons, our new transcription series by Stuart Clayton, interviews with Victor Wooten and Nathan East and a look back at the continued influence of Jaco Pastorius.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading, commenting and sharing, as always.

Creating Bass Lines: Getting Your Mind Right

1. Creating Bass Lines: Getting Your Mind Right

Damian answers this reader question: I’m struggling with the thought process behind coming up with bass lines. What advice would you give for ways to approach and think about constructing lines?

Arpeggio Work for Bass Players: A Daily Practice Routine

2. Arpeggio Work for Bass Players: A Daily Practice Routine

I have mentioned previously that our daily scale practice should include arpeggio work. There are numerous ways to approach this, and most scale books devote some time to various approaches to arpeggios. I find the patterns below to be good solid foundational patterns for any bassist’s daily routine…

Rhythm Bass? What To Do When the Rhythm Guitar is Missing

3. Rhythm Bass? What To Do When the Rhythm Guitar is Missing

Damian answers this reader question: I play bass in a rock/metal band with only one guitarist, who does plenty of guitar solos. I was wondering if you had suggestions on how to fill up the space, so to speak, to overcome the lack of rhythm guitar. Any insight you might have would be greatly appreciated!

25 Years Later: The Continued Influence of Jaco Pastorius

4. 25 Years Later: The Continued Influence of Jaco Pastorius

In the 25 years since Jaco’s passing, a lot has changed in the world of bass. But one thing has remained consistent: Jaco’s enormous influence. We take a look back at the last 25 years of bass after Jaco…

Transcription: Evan Marien’s Arrangement of Jaco Pastorius’ “Havona”

5. Transcription: Evan Marien’s Arrangement of Jaco Pastorius’ “Havona”

Evan Marien‘s fantastic take on the Jaco Pastorius-penned classic “Havona” was high on my list of pieces to transcribe for this monthly feature. Evan’s breathtaking melodic soloing on the chord changes simultaneously calls to mind the spirit of the original, while showcasing his own unique melodic voice…

Trill Exercises for Bassists

6. Trill Exercises for Bassists

For better or worse, trills grab the listeners attention. If a trill is quick, clear and under the performer’s control it can generate excitement in the listener. If it is slow, clumsy and uncontrolled, however, it can have a most deleterious effect…

Bass of the Week: Citron AE4 and AE5 Swallow Acoustic/Electric Bass

7. Bass of the Week: Citron AE4 and AE5 Swallow Acoustic/Electric Bass

This week we take a look at the Citron AE4 and AE5 Swallow Basses built by luthier Harvey Citron in collaboration with jazz legend Steve Swallow. Citron first presented Swallow with one of his acoustic/electric basses, and their work went from there…

Stories Behind the Songs: Nathan East

8. Stories Behind the Songs: Nathan East

Nathan East’s prolific playing has graced so many albums, it would probably be easier to list who he hasn’t work with rather than who he has. The Philadelphia-born, San Diego-raised bassist picked up his first 4-string at 14 after studying cello in school and went on to be one of the world’s most in-demand session players…

Rhythm Calculator: A Look at the Rhythm Helper App for iOS

9. Rhythm Calculator: A Look at the Rhythm Helper App for iOS

I just discovered JET Powered Apps’s Rhythm Calculator app, a gem of an app I guarantee will live on my phone for quite some time, and I suspect that’ll be true for you other iOS device-carrying folks as well. Rhythm Calculator is exactly what the name suggests: an interface that allows you to enter rhythms…

Playing with Words and Music: An Interview with Victor Wooten (Part 1)

10. Playing with Words and Music: An Interview with Victor Wooten (Part 1)

In connection with Victor’s new releases this month, No Treble will be featuring three different interviews with Wooten, each focused on a different aspect of these new albums. In the first of these conversations, we got a chance to ask Victor about the motivation for such an unusual move. As you might expect, his reasons are anything but ordinary…