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  • Making Arpeggios Musical

    Making Arpeggios Musical

    Q: I know how to outline chords but how do you play them so they don’t sound mechanical or like an exercise? Any particular patterns that you like when approaching a chord? Thanks bud for all of your hard work! A: I’ve written quite a bit about playing arpeggios and inversions through changes (using the... »

  • Maximizing Resonance with the Bow

    Maximizing Resonance with the Bow

    If you play the bass long enough you’ll hear someone talking about making a “resonant” sound. When we are searching for a resonant sound we are attempting to create an unrestricted sound, one with some “depth,” where the strings and the bass itself both vibrate freely. Obviously, some basses vibrate more easily than others. These... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Norbert Putnam

    Bass Players To Know: Norbert Putnam

    There’s something special about overturning the rocks of musical history and revealing the identity of a bass player to know. It’s a treasured moment of discovery, a series of lines connecting the dots, and a great reason to be inspired by our instrument and those who have played it best. This Bass Players to Know... »

  • On Harmony

    On Harmony

    I spend quite a bit of time traveling both within the U.S. and abroad. As of this moment, I have been on a month-long trip that has brought me through Canada, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, and I’m currently in Lebanon. Before this trip, I was in Hong Kong. In a few months, I’ll be in... »

  • Custom Shop: SVS Designs

    Custom Shop: SVS Designs

    Many basses tend to have similar body shapes, but that’s not the case with SVS Designs. Each bass is drawn from the imagination of its owner and tweaked for real life use by luthier Shawn Shannon. With a background in extreme metal, it’s no surprise that the basses carry a certain extreme quality in their... »

  • Promoting Yourself as a Bassist

    Promoting Yourself as a Bassist

    Q: I’m currently playing for a punk band that has pretty good local success in that genre, however, having done this for a while I know no band lasts forever and I would like to aim higher. I would also like to get my name out as a bassist available for side projects, lessons, etc.... »

  • Getting Started: A Beginner’s Guide to Improvising a Bass Line

    Getting Started: A Beginner’s Guide to Improvising a Bass Line

    Whether you are a beginning bassist, or an accomplished musician who is simply accustomed to reading written music, it can be daunting when first asked to improvise a bass line. Some people stumble, others freeze. Some think they need to be well versed in college level theory. However, there is no reason to fear even... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Support Your Local Economy, Part 1

    The Lightbulb Moment: Support Your Local Economy, Part 1

    We live in a pretty hectic world. In addition to our day-to-day worries, such as battling traffic and remembering to buy toilet paper, we can’t seem to escape from the never-ending news cycle. Lately, politics seem to have taken over; there is ongoing discussion of constitutional amendments, how to deal with big business and the... »

  • Solving Finger Pain To Continue Practicing

    Solving Finger Pain To Continue Practicing

    Q: As a bass player, having practiced all day until one’s fingernails are aching, what is the solution for a quick pain relief so I can continue to practice the next day, without skipping a day? A: While I can’t imagine what kind of practice makes your fingernails hurt (double thumb workouts?), I do have... »

  • Soloing When The Band Drops Out

    Soloing When The Band Drops Out

    Q: I’ve been reading through your No Treble columns and had a question pop into my head. I’ve been asked to play more solos recently at a lot of different gigs from jazz to R&B. I find that half (or more) of the time, when it comes to the bass solo, everyone stops playing except... »