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  • Overcoming Stage Fright

    Overcoming Stage Fright

    Do you ever get nervous about performances? I certainly do. I’ll spend hours and hours learning material, charting it out, listening to it in the car, and getting everything in order for the gig, and even after all of that, I’ll still be nervous! For some reason, I think that everyone else will be cool... »

  • Performing Live: Memorization vs. Reading vs. Improvisation

    Performing Live: Memorization vs. Reading vs. Improvisation

    Photo by istolethetv Q: I’m not a professional musician, but lately I’ve been performing a lot more often. I play both upright bass and bass guitar, and I like to play just about any style of music: pop, funk, folk, jazz. These two things have made me somewhat “in demand” in part-timers’ circles and has... »

  • Stage Volume: Turn Up and Play Light (and Other Considerations)

    Stage Volume: Turn Up and Play Light (and Other Considerations)

    Q: In hard rock and metal music, many players – including me – resort to playing with a heavy right hand to cut through the mix of distortion. As time goes by my right wrist starts to experience some pain and I’m thinking I should be playing lighter. Jeff Berlin and Gary Willis have been... »

  • DI, Mic or Both? Perspectives from Bassists and Engineers

    DI, Mic or Both? Perspectives from Bassists and Engineers

    Q: Could you do an article or a poll about whether to mic your bass amp during live gigs or to use a direct line into the mixer? I’ve heard opinions on both sides. A: I definitely have my own thoughts and opinions based on my experiences, and I’ve also asked some engineers this question... »

  • Playing a Gig with No Prep Time: A Guide for Bass Players

    Playing a Gig with No Prep Time: A Guide for Bass Players

    Q: I will soon be filling in on a gig with no rehearsals or charts. I’m a little freaked out. They said we’d get a few minutes during sound check to run through a tune or two, but how can I expect to play well when I can’t really prepare? A: I feel your pain,... »

  • Bass in an Acoustic Setting: Knowing How to Play Your Role

    Bass in an Acoustic Setting: Knowing How to Play Your Role

    Q: I think I have a good suggestion for an area you may have not covered: the role of a bassist in an acoustic setting. No drummer (maybe a Djembe), just acoustic guitar, bass and vocals. How do you keep it grooving, how do you fill the space, how do you make it sound good?... »

  • Following the Singer: A Guide to Dealing with Rhythmically Challenged Vocalists

    Following the Singer: A Guide to Dealing with Rhythmically Challenged Vocalists

    Q: What do you recommend when you’re tasked with accompanying a seriously rhythm-challenged vocalist? I was both music director and bassist for a recent musical review, with our band backing up a variety of vocalists. Two talented singers passed the audition with their carefully prepared selections, but with new show music, we discovered some serious... »

  • Adam Ben Ezra: Live Victor Wooten Concert Performance

    Adam Ben Ezra: Live Victor Wooten Concert Performance

    What a show this must have been! Here’s Israeli bassist Adam Ben Ezra performing his arrangements of “Black Orpheus” and “Besame Mucho” live at a Victor Wooten show in Tel Aviv in May, 2011. Bassists ruled the night, the way it should be! »

  • Headhunters: Chameleon, Live

    Headhunters: Chameleon, Live

    Check out this 1998 performance of Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters, performing Chameleon. Bassist Paul Jackson is holding down the low end (and the upper register too!) Also on the date: Benny Maupin on sax, Bill Summers on percussion and Mike Clark on drums. »