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  • Should I Quit the Bass? A Discussion on Burn Out (and More)

    Should I Quit the Bass? A Discussion on Burn Out (and More)

    Q: I’m a semi-pro bassist of 15 years and have been playing for about 25 now, I’ve been with my current band for nearly six years and are about to release our second album. For the past two years, I’ve not been very happy playing, and it is a real conflict because of how much... »

  • Starting Out: Getting Work

    Starting Out: Getting Work

    Photo by Alan Levine Q: I recently saw a video that talked about going to music school. After watching it I got the impression that maybe school wasn’t such a good idea. At the same time it seemed like the only way to get work as a musician, was to go to school and use... »

  • Jam Session Etiquette

    Jam Session Etiquette

    Q: I have never been to a random, strangers-in-the-night jazz jam as a bass player and a lot of jams tend to have their set bass player (ahem – often the organizer of said jam – ahem). What’s the etiquette if you just want to walk a few tunes with everybody? A: First of all,... »

  • 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... »

  • Should Hobby Bassists Learn Arpeggios and Scales?

    Should Hobby Bassists Learn Arpeggios and Scales?

    Q: As a “hobby” bassist who doesn’t really want to study as much music as a professional might, is it most important to learn arpeggios or scales? I am not a chord player nor do I want to be as far as I know. (I have difficulty chording due to neuro-muscular problems in my hands.... »

  • Talent vs. Hard Work

    Talent vs. Hard Work

    Q: I have a question on talent. Here is some background first: three years ago, I took up learning electric guitar (aged 45) without any prior learning of music, instruments, etc. – truly from scratch. I took classes in a music school and practiced daily a half and hour to 2 hours every day. I... »

  • A Few Tips from a Traveling Bassist

    A Few Tips from a Traveling Bassist

    Performing on the road as an upright bassist can be both a rewarding and challenging experience. Here are a few tips I’ve learned on, and picked up from colleagues, to help things go smoothly. Be Physically Fit We don’t need have the physique of an Olympic athlete, but having a certain level of fitness will... »

  • Dealing with a Bad Band Leader

    Dealing with a Bad Band Leader

    Q: Since you have travelled and played with many you might be able to shed some light on this: My band has enjoyed some success in our home country, we have an album released via a label and have played the better venues of our area. We are now on our first tour – a... »

  • Bass in the Spotlight and Overcoming Self-Doubt

    Bass in the Spotlight and Overcoming Self-Doubt

    Q: A couple of months ago, I quit my band and because of the state of the guitarists in my area, I decided to start go small, with bass, drums and vocals. Now that some time has passed, I feel that everything is falling apart, which is depressing. Do you think it is a good... »

  • Choosing the Right Path for Your Music Career

    Choosing the Right Path for Your Music Career

    Q: I’ve been weaving in and out of bands for a few years, since bassists in my town are scarce. But I rarely find a band I enjoy playing with due to either the members’ personalities or the music I end up playing. As someone who wants to make a living playing music, starting my... »