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  • Matthew Garrison’s 4-Finger Technique How-To

    Matthew Garrison’s 4-Finger Technique How-To

    Here’s one to keep you in the woodshed for a while. Bassist Matthew Garrison posted this great video explaining his 4-finger right hand technique, which he developed during his time with Joe Zawinul’s band. While he says that the 2-finger technique creates a fatter sound, the 4-finger technique allows for playing lines at mind-boggling speeds. »

  • Rhythms and Transcriptions: A How To Guide to Notating Rhythmic Patterns

    Rhythms and Transcriptions: A How To Guide to Notating Rhythmic Patterns

    Q: I have a question about transcribing. I’m a pretty skilled player and can read, but I have a lot of problems writing down the rhythms that I hear either in my head or from a particular song. Any suggestions on how I should go about learning to notate more difficult rhythms? A: Rhythms can... »

  • The Best of “Ask Damian Erskine”

    The Best of “Ask Damian Erskine”

    Damian Erskine‘s “Ask Damian” column is our longest running here on No Treble, and for good reason. Readers ask great questions (hint: send Damian your questions), readers love reading Damian’s responses, and Damian has a way of breaking things down that makes it all come together. Damian is touring the globe this month, so we’re... »

  • A Guide to Memorizing Tunes

    A Guide to Memorizing Tunes

    Q: Do you have any tips on how to memorize tunes? I have the hardest time remembering tunes! A: I’ve been there. But a few years ago, I discovered the key: repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition… For years, I’ve always been a chart reader on gigs. I never understood how people could memorize so... »

  • Slow Blues: The Art of Making Each Note Count

    Slow Blues: The Art of Making Each Note Count

    The slow blues: a song that can last anywhere between 3 minutes and 30 minutes… depending on the guitar solos! For bass players, we’re challenged to keep our (and the audiences’) interest in the music and fuel the fire that makes the 30-minute rendition of “Red House” seem like something worth listening to. The style... »

  • Intentional Practice

    Intentional Practice

    Too many instrumentalists begin their daily practice session without knowing specifically what they wish to accomplish that day. If they think about their practice goals at all, they do so in a cursory, vague and last minute manner. Even worse, some serious students think the goal of practice is simply to “put in the time.”... »

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  • Holding the Upright Bass

    Holding the Upright Bass

    There are a plethora of ideas on how one should hold the double bass and new variants seem to surface every day. Some stance decisions will be made based on specific performance situations, but most will reflect someone’s pedagogical background (i.e. who their teachers were) and personal preference. For example, it is unlikely you will... »

  • Insuring Your Gear

    Insuring Your Gear

    Q: I recently had a stolen instrument scare. It got me wondering, what do you and other working professionals do? With all your traveling, I’m sure it’s a small worry in the back of your mind. What do you use to ensure the safety of your gear? Do you have instrument specific insurance or some... »

  • Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues

    Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues

    In case you missed it, check out part 1 of this series. Since blues is an ideal genre for jamming and improvising, your knowledge of certain terms and feels can dramatically boost your value as a player. Whether you’re doing a blues gig, going to blues jam at a local club, or getting together with... »

  • How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)

    How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)

    Ok, I admit it; I’m not the person that you think of when you envision a “blues bass player.” I’m exactly five feet and one quarter of an inch tall, I’m a 24-year-old girl from a suburban neighborhood in Philadelphia, and, as many people point out, the bass is bigger than I am. I don’t... »