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  • Does It Take 10,000 Hours To Master An Instrument?

    Does It Take 10,000 Hours To Master An Instrument?

    Q: What would you say that it takes for someone to master an instrument? I’ve heard the “10,000 hours” thing but sure not all 10,000 hours are created equal? A: I couldn’t agree more with you that not all hours in the shed are created equally. Time spent with well-considered goals for yourself – practicing... »

  • Building Your Audience

    Building Your Audience

    Q: I’ve been struggling with a question, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. I’ve been playing in a band for the past two years, mainly in bars and functions. Finally, we are getting some contracts to play in clubs, which is great! However, instead of the annoying sound of loud voices and... »

  • How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    So I just came home from a recording session and the conversation I had before I split had me thinking for the entire drive home. We were speaking about a few other bassists that the band had tried to use, and the various issues they encountered. The songwriter chimed in at that point with a... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Drums and Bass – Complementary Flavors

    The Lightbulb Moment: Drums and Bass – Complementary Flavors

    Every so often, I’m asked about some of my favorite drummers to play with and why that is. Whether it’s for a gig referral or for the sake of conversation with my fellow musicians, it’s a question that doesn’t always have the same answer. The context of a gig, the type of music being played,... »

  • Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Q: My band and I have started playing out in bars and clubs, and one thing keeps me on edge: No matter how much we prepare and rehearse, there are always hiccups. How do the pros know how to deal with things going wrong (like someone going to the wrong section of the tune, the... »

  • A Drummer’s Perspective on Bass Playing

    A Drummer’s Perspective on Bass Playing

    For this week’s column, I asked a good friend of mine – Seattle-based drummer Tarik Abouzied – to talk about what he looks for in a bassist, from a drummer’s perspective. I thought he may have some insights as he’s also a pretty phenomenal bassist, in addition to being a complete badass on the drums.... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Ron Carter

    Bass Players To Know: Ron Carter

    While the name Ron Carter makes a frequent appearance on No Treble, I decided it was time to officially add him to the list of Bass Players To Know. Inspired by an NPR “Fresh Air” interview of Antonio Carlos Jobim, it was clear to me that Carter’s playing can be heard all across the jazz... »

  • What Do I Need To Record Bass At Home?

    What Do I Need To Record Bass At Home?

    Q: What kind of gear might I need to start recording bass lines from home? I’m thinking of the ability to record for albums remotely but also to get better sound for social media videos and things along those lines. Preferably something that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars! I’m curious what you use, too. A:... »

  • Making Music Your Career

    Making Music Your Career

    Q: I have a job which a) takes up a lot of my time and b) doesn’t pay very well. I’ve been thinking about something you’ve mentioned before about when you quit your job and made your music career your job. Do you have any advice on how to manifest that? A: I will preface... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: A Week In The Life

    The Lightbulb Moment: A Week In The Life

    Every now and then, a fellow bass player asks me what it’s like to write the “Bass Players To Know” column for No Treble. My mind immediately goes to the moments of researching, writing, and editing… the hours sitting in front of my computer screen, the obsessive re-readings, and the wildly diverse Spotify searches. Once... »