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  • Finding the Right Tone Setting For Slap Bass

    Finding the Right Tone Setting For Slap Bass

    Q: I have seen a lot of Slap Pop tutorials, but none of them cover which pick up on the bass to use or tonal settings on the bass or amp. I am still working on proper striking technique, but I am wondering if part of getting the proper sound might be that I am... »

  • Dealing With Songs That Go Beyond Your Last Fret

    Dealing With Songs That Go Beyond Your Last Fret

    Q: I have a student entering his final year of secondary education. He has just purchased a 5-string Fender Jazz Bass. He is focusing on two handed tapping for his music subject. My worry… much of the music we have accessed (“Overjoyed”, “Rock and Roll” Bass Solo, etc.) requires between 21 and 24 frets according... »

  • Accompanying “Smaller” Instruments on Bass

    Accompanying “Smaller” Instruments on Bass

    Q: I have a question in regards to the best way to accompany “light sounding” instruments such as a ukulele, mandolin, banjo, or even just auxiliary percussion. I find that whenever I’m playing with these types of instruments I have to limit my style to playing more open, simple lines so as to not drown... »

  • Can Hanging a Bass on the Wall Damage the Neck?

    Can Hanging a Bass on the Wall Damage the Neck?

    Q: I have several basses that I keep out of the case both on wall displays and on a Hercules stand for easy access. I’m wondering if there are any ill effects on the neck of the bass if it is left suspended by the headstock on a hanging stand for an extended period. Music... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: It’s All in Your Head(space)

    The Lightbulb Moment: It’s All in Your Head(space)

    “Um, hey guys… excuse me… guys?!… Can you turn it down a little?” I glance behind me at the drummer and our eyes meet with the same surprised expression. He can’t be serious, right? We’re not playing rock and roll here… the drummer has yet to play with sticks instead of brushes, the keyboard player... »

  • Can You Learn Bass Using a Guitar?

    Can You Learn Bass Using a Guitar?

    Q: Is it possible to learn to play bass by using my six-string acoustic/electric guitar? I don’t really have the extra bread to buy a bass and amp right now, but I feel called to learn and with time, become proficient on the electric bass and maybe double bass eventually. My goal is to take... »

  • Finding Your Voice vs. Conventional Bass Playing

    Finding Your Voice vs. Conventional Bass Playing

    Q: I have really been obsessed with wanting my own unique voice and approach on the bass. Do you think that I’d be doing myself any harm in the long run if I avoid conventional approaches to learning (like scales, changes, learning blues lines, etc…) in an attempt to develop something new? A: That’s an... »

  • How to Change Up Your Practice Routine When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing

    How to Change Up Your Practice Routine When You Don’t Feel Like Practicing

    Q: What does one do about practice when you just don’t feel like playing and can’t get into it? Do you walk away for a few days or force yourself to play? A: Everyone likely has a different approach, but I have a few things that I try to do before throwing in the towel... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Never Have I Ever…

    The Lightbulb Moment: Never Have I Ever…

    Ah, there’s nothing like a 4:30 load in for a 7pm show. At a local club. With backline. That means that you arrive at the gig, hope that all of the other band members show up, watch the soundman set up the stage, and do a quick check before the doors open. In other words,... »

  • Singing While Playing? A Discussion for Bass Players

    Singing While Playing? A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: I’ve been reading your columns with great interest for the last year or so, but here’s a question I haven’t seen addressed yet: How do different bass players approach the problem of playing and singing at the same time? I’ve been playing for going on forty years now – both professionally and as a... »