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  • Bass Players to Know: Richard Davis

    Bass Players to Know: Richard Davis

    As a college student, I spent many an afternoon roaming the streets of New York City, finding new routes to take me from my hole-in-the-wall apartment to the halls of academia, and creating new musical playlists along the way. I developed a healthy obsession to certain songwriters… Van Morrison, Janis Ian, Paul Simon, and even... »

  • Exploring the Value of Slap Bass

    Exploring the Value of Slap Bass

    Q: I get so excited with seeing and hearing amazing slap bass playing. However, I’m wondering how many eggs to put the “slap basket.” I have tried a couple of different books and videos and have finally settled on Louis Johnson’s DVD from 1984. I am still working on the first lick and able to... »

  • From the Shed to the Stage: Translating Practice to Performance

    From the Shed to the Stage: Translating Practice to Performance

    Q: I’m having a difficult applying what I’ve learned into playing. When I play, my fingers can’t seem to do what they did when I practiced. Is there any suggestion to making things stick? A: The first word that pops into my head is repetition. Lines, licks and harmonic devices – such as arpeggios, scales... »

  • Bass Players To Know: George Porter Jr.

    Bass Players To Know: George Porter Jr.

    It should be no surprise that George Porter, Jr.’s picture was used to feature our announcement of the Bass Players to Know series, because frankly, he’s one of the funkiest men out there. Devilishly hiding behind an old, authentically road worn Fender P-bass, he can speak volumes with a single note played in just the... »

  • Cover Bands: Configuring a Band to Balance Size, Cost… and the Right Sound

    Cover Bands: Configuring a Band to Balance Size, Cost… and the Right Sound

    Q: My cover band is about to start learning new material of tunes released over the last couple of years. We’re a 5-piece (vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keys) and a lot of the songs have synth parts – more than one keyboard player can play – and brass parts that I feel are important to... »

  • 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... »

  • Basic Care of Your Upright Bass: Part 2

    Basic Care of Your Upright Bass: Part 2

    While there are certainly deals out there, an upright bass can cost. Even a “student model” plywood bass, properly set up, can easily set you back around $2000 US. The prices only go up from there. Needless to say, most of us would like to protect this investment. The suggestions below are a continuation of... »

  • Thoughts On Multi-Instrumentalism

    Thoughts On Multi-Instrumentalism

    Q: What is your opinion on playing multiple instruments (for example double bass or piano) versus focusing on one instrument? I noticed a double bass in the background of one of your recent videos and wondered what your thought process had been when deciding to take up a new instrument. A: I was primarily a... »

  • Bass Players to Know: Willie Dixon

    Bass Players to Know: Willie Dixon

    There comes a point in every bassist’s life when it’s time to play the blues. Perhaps it’s in a garage, where you’re jamming with some friends for the first time and with rudimentary technical skill and limited song knowledge, someone suggests playing a “Blues in E.” Or perhaps it’s during a lesson, where your teacher... »

  • Deciding if the Gig is Worth It

    Deciding if the Gig is Worth It

    Q: I auditioned last night for a seventeen year old up-and-coming female country star. She has recorded an album with well known Nashville producer and has hits with a few her songs. I feel it is just a matter of time before she is signed to a major deal. She has everything the new Nashville... »