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  • Road Gear: A Discussion for Gigging Bassists

    Road Gear: A Discussion for Gigging Bassists

    Q: For the last couple months, I have been doing weekend warrior gigs with a pop artist who tours all over the country. The venues we play have been everything from large hotel ballrooms to amphitheaters to large concert halls, and we mainly rely on backline gear. Here’s my issue: we fly a lot, and... »

  • Spend Money to Make Money: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Spend Money to Make Money: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Yes, that’s right, the words of my college accounting professor ring true to this day. You need to spend money to make money. While we often think of this term in reference to the boring section of the local paper or as the guiding principle behind buying lemons to sell lemonade, it’s impossible to think... »

  • Self Expression: Thoughts and Discussion for Bass Players

    Self Expression: Thoughts and Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: Most pros say that playing with other musicians is one of the most important things a bassist can do. After practicing alone for a few years, I’ve returned to the band setting. I love gigging and I love band practice, but I find myself playing very conservatively. In no way am I trying to... »

  • On Stage Monitor Mix Advice for Bass Players

    On Stage Monitor Mix Advice for Bass Players

    Q: I play on a weekly gig and I use in-ear monitors. Things sound fine during sound check, but I don’t realize I need something until I’m lost in the middle of a song and find myself unable to find the keys or guitar in my monitor. This happens fairly regularly. I’ve even had most... »

  • Heavy Music with a Hollow Body Bass?

    Heavy Music with a Hollow Body Bass?

    Q: Here’s my problem: I’m a big fan of archtop guitars and I love the lighter tonal quality. I also don’t like playing solid body basses since they don’t go well with my slightly weaker left shoulder (which is made worse since I’m left-handed but play right-handed). That’s not the real problem though. The big... »

  • The Backline Blues: Preparing for the Mystery Rig

    The Backline Blues: Preparing for the Mystery Rig

    Getting hired for a gig is great! Knowing that you’re getting paid well is awesome! And then finding out they’ve got backline? The stars have aligned. This gig just got easy. Will you have to wrestle your cabs into the car? Nope. Drag them back into the house at 2am? No way, Jose! What if... »

  • Holiday Gigging: A Moveable Feast

    Holiday Gigging: A Moveable Feast

    Hear ye, hear ye, it’s holiday time again. Time to gear up for big dinners, excessive shopping, family gatherings – and yes – holiday gigs. It’s time for celebration, relaxation, days off from work, and days in cleaning and preparing for company. As a professional musician, the holidays have quite an impact, both on the... »

  • When to Play with the Harmony: A Discussion for Bass Players

    When to Play with the Harmony: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: The (new) guitarist in my band has mentioned a few times that I’m not “holding it down” because I don’t always play the root, and he finds it “detracts from the song.” He is an extremely good musician and I respect his opinion. However the chords in our songs are super vanilla. Our vocalist... »

  • Setting a Path to Session Work

    Setting a Path to Session Work

    Q: I have been toying with the idea of starting a session band. I have the right musicians, we are already tight and working on our own stuff, but I have started wondering how one would go about promoting themselves as a session musician. I have been trying to get in with some professional organizations... »

  • Life as a Working Bassist: Where Does the Money Come From?

    Life as a Working Bassist: Where Does the Money Come From?

    Q: What is the reality of how guys like you earn a living? I don’t mean to imply that you are “rolling in it,” but how do bassists who focus on freelance work actually make ends meet? A: Great question! Although I’ve talked about the various ways to make things happen in a career or... »