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  • Improving Your Time and Feel on Bass

    Improving Your Time and Feel on Bass

    Q: I’ve been having some trouble with time. I can keep time and play in time with a metronome or with drummers I know well, but when I play with other drummers who are a little more ahead of me, it’s harder for me to keep time. It happens too when I’m playing Latin music.... »

  • Kicking Off a New Series: Bass Players You Need To Know

    Kicking Off a New Series: Bass Players You Need To Know

    Over the past year, I’ve dug deep into the nether-regions of my brain, week after week, to figure out all of those things I wish I knew. Lucky for me, the crazy turmoil that is life as a professional musician has been inspiration enough. My goal in writing this series was to highlight those things... »

  • Types of Listening: Three Approaches for Bass Players

    Types of Listening: Three Approaches for Bass Players

    Q: How do you hear music, as in a critical method of hearing? How can your playing or musicality get better just by hearing a certain genre or style? Do you perhaps hear a piano comping and try to do the same if you are digging it? A: The answer to this question could fill... »

  • Playing Bass… Slow

    Playing Bass… Slow

    Every bassist, at some point, wants to learn to play fast. This is a reasonable technical goal to have, of course. Much music demands this sort of technical facility. Furthermore, if we want to be able to truly express ourselves musically, we must have this ability. However, fast playing isn’t everything, in fact it’s only... »

  • Making the Decision to Go Pro as a Bassist (Or Not)

    Making the Decision to Go Pro as a Bassist (Or Not)

    Q: What is your experience before becoming a professional musician? Is it something that naturally occurred or did you have to decide to make it a career? Could you share a story in which you reconciled any doubts you may have had? A: Interesting question! I’ve always played music, and I always assumed that music... »

  • The Great Bass Picksperiment

    The Great Bass Picksperiment

    I was a pretty picky eater when I was a kid. Okay, a very picky eater. Oh yeah, and I still am. Wednesday nights typically revolved around my father making pasta and having to put up with my self-imposed dietary restrictions: I was an anti-tomatite. Dad tried as hard as possible, time and time again,... »

  • Custom Shop: Nordstrand Guitars

    Custom Shop: Nordstrand Guitars

    Following your dreams isn’t always an easy path, but it’s an honest and rewarding one. It’s also one that Carey Nordstrand has followed to create his bass business. After finding his passion for bass, Carey took opportunities to get into the business and expand his knowledge. His bass company, Nordstrand Guitars, has grown from a... »

  • 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... »

  • Playing Bass… Fast

    Playing Bass… Fast

    At some point most bassists want be able to play “fast.” The question that usually arises is obvious: “How?” The most common barriers to being able play quickly on upright bass are: Poor bass setup Inefficient technique. (Too much tension, etc.) Lack of stamina Lack of familiarity with the passage, tune, line, etc. (Trying to... »

  • How to Build Muscle Memory: A List for Bass Players

    How to Build Muscle Memory: A List for Bass Players

    Q: I hear everybody talking about “muscle memory”, i.e. being able to play without looking at the fingerboard. How do you get there? Any special advice or exercises, especially for fretless? A: Muscle memory is crucial to your development as a player. I also consider the ability to use harmonic devices (like substations and different... »