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  • A Quick Left Hand Warmup

    A Quick Left Hand Warmup

    Most people are aware of the importance of warming up before we practice or perform. A slow warmup can protect against injury and help to ensure we are performing at our optimum level. In situations where time is short, however, it can be tempting to forgo the warmup portion of the day. When I am... »

  • Finding the Right Tone Setting For Slap Bass

    Finding the Right Tone Setting For Slap Bass

    Q: I have seen a lot of Slap Pop tutorials, but none of them cover which pick up on the bass to use or tonal settings on the bass or amp. I am still working on proper striking technique, but I am wondering if part of getting the proper sound might be that I am... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Wilbur Bascomb, Jr.

    Bass Players To Know: Wilbur Bascomb, Jr.

    “Come Dancing”, “Play With Me”, “Led Boots”… these were some of the funkiest songs I had ever heard! It was 2005 and a bass player friend had just turned me on to Jeff Beck’s Wired. The groovy keyboard parts, punchy bass lines, and space-age sounds of Beck hooked me like a fish. It was a... »

  • Choosing the Right Bass Strings

    Choosing the Right Bass Strings

    Q: I’m making a custom 5 stringer tuned from E to C. It’s a 34 inch scale and the string spacing are 18mm. What strings are recommended, and what gauge are preferred to get both tighter E and a great high C? I’m used to nickel medium gauge. My luthier promised me it wouldn’t have... »

  • Ensuring a Productive Rehearsal

    Ensuring a Productive Rehearsal

    Over the years I’ve been involved with ensembles of varying sizes and genres. As a result, I’ve experienced some extremely productive rehearsals, and some less than productive rehearsals. Below are a few things that can help your next series of rehearsals run well. Be Prepared It is important to have your part ready to the... »

  • Making the Switch from 4- to 5-String Bass

    Making the Switch from 4- to 5-String Bass

    Q: I have recently made the move from 4-string to 5-string bass. I love the extended range (my bass is tuned E-C), but I’m finding I need to add more practice time to accommodate the additional string. There were exercises that I played on 4 strings and I am now expanding that to include the... »

  • Motivation for Practicing

    Motivation for Practicing

    Q: I have days where I feel like I’m the worst player on the planet, and I have no drive to practice even though I should be. Do you have any tips for practicing/motivation on off-days? A: I’ve written about this in one form or another in past columns. I’ve often recommended finding something (that... »

  • Multi-Stop Travel With Your Bass – Part 3: On the Plane, Bass and Travel

    Multi-Stop Travel With Your Bass – Part 3: On the Plane, Bass and Travel

    Most people realize that there are special considerations when flying with your upright bass. These considerations are significantly expanded if your musical journey requires a series of planes, trains, and automobiles, before you arrive back at your home door. To wrap up my discussion on this topic, below are a few ways I prepare for... »

  • Writing Bass Lines in Odd Time Signatures

    Writing Bass Lines in Odd Time Signatures

    Q: I have been playing bass for a while now and have recently started a jazz-fusion project where we are creating original material. At our last rehearsal, I was handed a lead sheet for a song written in 5/4. The member then explained that the song wasn’t in two three or three two, but in... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: A Matter of Taste

    The Lightbulb Moment: A Matter of Taste

    I love pasta. Spaghetti, Bucatini, Ziti, Rigatoni. There are dozens of different types, each originating from different regions of Italy or morphing after be adopted by other cultures and taken across seas. Some are made to look like pumpkins or little ears, some are long cuts, some are bite size, some contain filling, and some... »