the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu

Best of 2015: The Top 10 Lowdown with Dr. D Columns

The Lowdown with Dr. DDr. Donovan Stokes’ “Lowdown with Dr. D” column debuted here on No Treble on September 3rd, 2009, making it one of our longest running columns.

Since then, it has become one of our most popular, by the Professor of Music at Shenandoah University-Conservatory and founder of Bass Coalition.

Here are the top 10 reader favorite “Lowdown” columns in 2015. Time to hit the shed…

Beginning Jazz Soloing: A Melody First Approach

1. Beginning Jazz Soloing: A Melody First Approach

Some methods of learning improvisation start out by asking us to memorize chords, scales, and to play patterns in every key. This can be a daunting task. Dr. D has some suggestions for those who want a less intensive beginning…

Some Thoughts on the 1-2-3-4 Fingering System for Double Bass

2. Some Thoughts on the 1-2-3-4 Fingering System for Double Bass

For as long as there have been bassists, there has been debate about what fingering system to use on the double bass. While most players today use a three-finger technique, some suggest a four-finger technique. Dr. D breaks it all down…

Improving Practice: 4 Pitfalls to Avoid in the Practice Room

3. Improving Practice: 4 Pitfalls to Avoid in the Practice Room

We learn and grow musically from a variety of sources. Teachers, performances, fellow musicians all play a role, but our most direct improvement comes from our time in the practice room. Dr D lays out 4 pitfalls to avoid…

Improving Your Musical Ears

4. Improving Your Musical Ears

Dr. D put together an incredible guide for improving our listening skills – aka our musical “ears”. This is a must read guide…

The Importance of Cooling Down After Playing

5. The Importance of Cooling Down After Playing

Most musicians are aware of the importance of warming up. Fewer musicians, however, seem aware of the benefits of cooling down. Good thing Dr. D is around. Check out what he has to say about this important step…

Memorization: Tips for Bass Players

6. Memorization: Tips for Bass Players

Dr. D received this question from a bassist: “How can I keep from having memory slips on stage?” He has the answer in this Lowdown column…

Introduction to Chromatic Scales

7. Introduction to Chromatic Scales

For many bassists, the chromatic scale is an underused resource in their practice toolkit. Properly approached, practicing chromatic scales can vastly improve our shifting, intonation and mental map of the fingerboard. Here are a few beginner exercises…

Beginning Exercise for Improving Left Hand Finger Independence

8. Beginning Exercise for Improving Left Hand Finger Independence

Dr. D shares some thoughts and an exercise for improving left hand finger independence…

Improving Time and Rhythmic Accuracy

9. Improving Time and Rhythmic Accuracy

As important as playing with good intonation is, it is even more important to play with good time and rhythmic accuracy. Dr. D shows us the way…

Learning a Tune “On the Spot”

10. Learning a Tune “On the Spot”

Dr. D received a question about how to memorize a tune fast. He offers up his prescription in this column…