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  • What Should I Play At Soundcheck?

    What Should I Play At Soundcheck?

    Q: What should I play at soundcheck? I always feel like I should be impressive or something when the sound tech says “okay, let’s hear the bass,” But maybe just pulsing on the open E string is enough? What’s your soundcheck agenda? A: This is the perfect opportunity for me to: a) make a suggestion... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Habit Vs. Intuition

    The Lightbulb Moment: Habit Vs. Intuition

    If there’s one thing I love doing, it’s pedaling eighth notes. So much so, you might say that I make a habit of it. There’s something incredibly therapeutic about playing one note, but playing it well, and focusing on all of the ways this seemingly simple rhythmic pattern can be manipulated. The art of the... »

  • Tips for Being a Professional Bassist

    Tips for Being a Professional Bassist

    Q: I often wonder what kinds of little nuggets of wisdom some of my heroes have that would help us mortal bassists in the trenches. Things we don’t even know that we should know, or wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn. It might be a weird thing to ask (me not having an actual... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Batman and Bruce Wayne

    The Lightbulb Moment: Batman and Bruce Wayne

    It’s a cold, dark night and a white light beckons in the distance. We’re drawn to it, like a moth to the flame, acknowledging how it signifies the evening’s potential for adventure. Perhaps that image is the bat signal, or maybe it’s just the marquee of the club that we’re loading in to. Gosh, I... »

  • Is Bass Face Okay on the Gig? A Discussion on Stage Presence

    Is Bass Face Okay on the Gig? A Discussion on Stage Presence

    Q: Is “bass face” acceptable or not on a gig? I know a band where the leader was telling the bassist not to have their (un)usual bass face on; they should smile or relax their face. I just performed at a gig where my head is in the jazz charts in front of me (I... »

  • What to Do When They Don’t Give You the Gig Details

    What to Do When They Don’t Give You the Gig Details

    Q: I recently had a strange experience when I got asked to play a gig, but was given practically no information. When I asked for more details (when, where, how long, how much, etc.), I got vibed hard by the guy, as if I was only in it for the money and why couldn’t I... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Setting The Stage

    The Lightbulb Moment: Setting The Stage

    I’m standing in front of my amp. I’m sure of it. It’s two feet behind me, the light is on, and there’s definitely sound coming out of it – well, at least I’m pretty sure that there’s sound coming out of it. There comes a time in every musician’s life when you realize that a... »

  • How Can I Play In Any Setting?

    How Can I Play In Any Setting?

    Q: I’ve been checking out this site for a while. Love it all. However, I have a problem: I don’t know where to start. Let me tell you a little about me. I’ve played bass for quite some time and even taken lessons by some famous players. I’m the student that everyone dreams of. I... »

  • How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    So I just came home from a recording session and the conversation I had before I split had me thinking for the entire drive home. We were speaking about a few other bassists that the band had tried to use, and the various issues they encountered. The songwriter chimed in at that point with a... »

  • Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Q: My band and I have started playing out in bars and clubs, and one thing keeps me on edge: No matter how much we prepare and rehearse, there are always hiccups. How do the pros know how to deal with things going wrong (like someone going to the wrong section of the tune, the... »