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Best of 2013: The Top 10 “I Wish I Knew That” Columns

Editor’s Note: For the last week of year, we’re sharing the best of No Treble for 2013, based on readership. Be sure to check back each day until January 1st for the most popular features, lessons, videos, bassists and more.

Every other Friday, columnist Ryan Madora shares the lessons she’s learned along the way as a working bassist in her “I Wish I Knew That” column.

Here are the top 10 most popular IWIKT columns for 2013. Enjoy!

Bass Strings: To Change Or Not To Change

1. Bass Strings: To Change Or Not To Change

For years, bass players have debated the concept of changing strings and most people have asked the same questions: Doesn’t it change the sound of the instrument? Does the funk disappear? (And more.) Here are a few different viewpoints on the subject and some good suggestions for knowing when you should (or when you shouldn’t) change the strings on your bass…

Looping the Bass: 7 Activities for Musical Growth

2. Looping the Bass: 7 Activities for Musical Growth

If you’ve ever worked with a looper, then you’ve probably experienced the frustration of coming up with a cool groove, executing it perfectly, hitting the pedal and realizing that there’s an extra thirty-second note delay every time the groove goes around. Here are seven of my favorite looping activities to help you get going…

Buying a Bass: There’s More to the Budget than Meets the Eye

3. Buying a Bass: There’s More to the Budget than Meets the Eye

Investing in a new instrument is a lot like moving into a new house. You have a budget in mind, a good idea of the amenities that you want and need, and a few sources to help you find the perfect place. Here are some tips to help you create (and stick to) your budget for your next bass…

Sitting In: Just Say Yes

4. Sitting In: Just Say Yes

Whether you’re just starting out as a bassist, or you gig on a regular basis, sitting in can bring out your inner scaredy cat. So what do you say when asked to sit in? You say yes. Here’s how…

Five Minute Practice Sessions

5. Five Minute Practice Sessions

Do you have five minutes of free time? Yes, you do. You may say that you don’t, but really, you do. So what can you do with those five minutes? Here are 8 things you can do in that time to improve your playing…

When Technology Breaks: A Survival Guide for Bassists

6. When Technology Breaks: A Survival Guide for Bassists

All the technology around us has made our lives easier and better… for the most part. But technology has a flaw: it breaks sometimes. Here’s my survival guide for being prepared when the technology we rely upon fails us…

It’s All in the Hands: Time to Dust Off the Old Axe

7. It’s All in the Hands: Time to Dust Off the Old Axe

If you have more than one bass, chances are there’s one (or more) in the corner or the case collecting dust. Here are a few reasons why it’s good to dust off the old axe now and again and to revisit a bass that you don’t frequently play…

The Blues: It’s Not “Just a Blues”

8. The Blues: It’s Not “Just a Blues”

Saying a song is “just a blues” happens to be one of my number one pet peeves. So lets break down the blues and see why it isn’t just “the blues”…

Earplugs… A Love-Hate Relationship (Part 1: Options)

9. Earplugs… A Love-Hate Relationship (Part 1: Options)

Mention the word “earplugs” in conversation with other musicians and you’ll find people somewhat polarized by the concept. This column isn’t meant to dwell on why people should or shouldn’t use them, but to highlight the different kinds you can use, what they’re good for, and how to decide when it’s appropriate to use (or not use)…

Organizational Skills for Bassists: A Checklist for Getting There

10. 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. Here are 5 tips to help you get it together…