the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • The Lightbulb Moment: Learn Lots of Songs

    The Lightbulb Moment: Learn Lots of Songs

    Here I am, once again, on the bandstand with a bass in hand. Two sets down, one to go. It’s a free for all… no official set list and a handful of requests. A guy with a twenty in his hand walks up to the stage and says, “Do ya’ll know ‘Whipping Post’?” The guitar... »

  • Cutting Through a Big Band: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Cutting Through a Big Band: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: I’m playing in a jazz band of over 40 people in a song featuring bass guitar. I’m looking for a pedal that will make my sound distinct and rise above the band but not distort it. Any recommendations? Thanks. A: Personally, I wouldn’t change my sound much at all. You might leave yourself a... »

  • Dealing with Sound Engineers

    Dealing with Sound Engineers

    Q: I have a question regarding how I might get my sound man to successfully change all the monitors on stage, (5 stage mixes) before a song with a different lead singer and making the original lead singer a backup and not in the musicians mix anymore. Changing to a song that is led by... »

  • Gigging Without a Car: A Discussion on Gear

    Gigging Without a Car: A Discussion on Gear

    Q: Since I don’t own a car anymore, I was thinking about changing my gear to better fit my new way of moving around (public transportation). Do you have any suggestion about ways to reduce the amount of stock I need to move around while keeping a good sound on stage? A: I think that... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Toil And Trouble

    The Lightbulb Moment: Toil And Trouble

    It’s finally jacket weather. The leaves are falling, the sun is setting earlier every day, and the pumpkin spice latte has returned. Halloween is just around the corner, which means that my friends will search for the creepiest haunted houses and hayrides, only to force me to join them on an adventure that will make... »

  • Learning a Tune “On the Spot”

    Learning a Tune “On the Spot”

    Last week I received a question about how to memorize a tune fast: “…For example, [bassist] playing a jazz tune you’ve never played before with a pianist as they shout out the changes for one chorus, then stop for the second. How can we develop skills to memorize these changes instantly?” No doubt the situation... »

  • 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... »

  • 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,... »

  • Should I Use an Amp, a Monitor or In-Ears?

    Should I Use an Amp, a Monitor or In-Ears?

    Q: I want to choose a new rig. I’m quite happy with my basses and my effects I own at the moment, and I am searching now for a way to amplify my signal. I have a very good, portable upper-middle-class halfstack, but I can rarely use it because I often do small gigs and... »

  • Learning Songs Note for Note vs. Doing Your Own Thing

    Learning Songs Note for Note vs. Doing Your Own Thing

    Q: I have been playing bass for a while now and when I play covers, I usually create my own lines for the song (unless it is an integral part of the song, like “Another One Bites The Dust”). I tend not to worry about learning the original bass line. Lately, I have been thinking... »