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Weekly Top Ten: The Top Bass Stories, Videos and How To’s for the Week of May 19

There were a couple of unplanned trends this week on No Treble… starting with the top two how to’s being focused on open strings: one to get warmed up and the other to get funky.

And funk was another: the open strings lesson I just mentioned, and a video demo on developing the funk/soul bass groove.

There was sad news to report this week too, with the passing of Spiders From Mars’ Trevor Bolder.

Here are the top 10 most read stories and how to’s and the most watched videos on No Treble for the week of May 19-25, 2013.

Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing, as always.

Lesson: Funky Bass Grooves and Fills with Open Strings

1. Lesson: Funky Bass Grooves and Fills with Open Strings

Here are some cool patterns for you to try out, using open strings for creating fast passages and note doubling. In the video demonstration, I first play it at full speed, followed by a reduced speed. Follow along with the notation/TAB…

Starting Your Day with Open Strings: A Warmup Routine for Bassists

2. Starting Your Day with Open Strings: A Warmup Routine for Bassists

Many people simply pick up their instrument and start playing without any warm-up. While there is value to this approach, I generally advise a gradual warm-up for students. Dr. D shares how starting out with open strings using the bow can help get you going…

Mr. DanZ: Proto Cosmos

3. Mr. DanZ: Proto Cosmos

I’ve never heard of Mr. DanZ until today, but I was glad I found them. Here’s the group – with bassist Ben Shepherd laying it down, slapping, soloing and jumping – performing their cover of Alan Pasqua’s “Proto Cosmos”. Tight.

Primus Reissues “Sailing the Seas of Cheese”

4. Primus Reissues “Sailing the Seas of Cheese”

Nearly 22 years to the day, Primus’ second studio album, Sailing the Seas of Cheese is being reissued. Bassist Les Claypool oversaw the restoration project, which has been remixed for the new release…

Bass of the Week: KR Guitars Ursa

5. Bass of the Week: KR Guitars Ursa

This week we check out the Ursa from KR Guitars, a striking multi-scale bass that’s handmade by luthier Kevin Robertson in Vallejo, California. While the bass can be built with whatever woods are requested, this particular bass caught our eye with its 5A California Claro Walnut top and 5A flame maple back…

Damien Langkamer: Funk/Soul Bass Groove Development

6. Damien Langkamer: Funk/Soul Bass Groove Development

Bassist Damien Langkamer put together this funky video to teach us how to build on the groove. (And how about that tone?) Check this one out…

Organizational Skills for Bassists: A Checklist for Getting There

7. Organizational Skills for Bassists: A Checklist for Getting There

Whether you’re trying to be a working player, or a serious hobbyist, you should create method for organizing your notes, practice books, music and material for gigs. Ryan Madora speaks from experience and offers some guidance in her newest column…

Getting Noticed – Part 1: Your Demo

8. Getting Noticed – Part 1: Your Demo

Damian kicks off a new multi-part answer/series to a reader’s question about getting noticed as a bassist, and building on your reputation. This first installment covers the importance of having a demo…

Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Omar Hakim & Stanley Clarke: “Cantaloupe Island” (1991)

9. Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Omar Hakim & Stanley Clarke: “Cantaloupe Island” (1991)

Back in 1991, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Omar Hakim and Stanley Clarke took the stage at the Jazz à Vienne festival. Here’s the quartet playing Herbie’s tune “Cantaloupe Island” and having a lot of fun with it.

In Memoriam: Trevor Bolder

10. In Memoriam: Trevor Bolder

Trevor Bolder, who played with David Bowie’s backing band Spiders From Mars, has passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 62. Born in Kingston Upon Hull, England, Bolder was a prominent member of the local R&B scene in the ’60s before replacing Tony Visconti in Bowie’s band…