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  • What Scales Do I Use Over a Minor ii-V Progression?

    What Scales Do I Use Over a Minor ii-V Progression?

    Q: I have a question about minor ii-V’s. In a major ii-V7-I progression, each chord is diatonic to the I chord. The ii chord is Dorian, the V chord is Mixolydian and it resolves to a Major tonic. In a minor ii-V, the 1 would be natural minor, which makes the ii chord Locrian (7th... »

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  • Should I Quit the Bass? A Discussion on Burn Out (and More)

    Should I Quit the Bass? A Discussion on Burn Out (and More)

    Q: I’m a semi-pro bassist of 15 years and have been playing for about 25 now, I’ve been with my current band for nearly six years and are about to release our second album. For the past two years, I’ve not been very happy playing, and it is a real conflict because of how much... »

  • Learning the Fretboard Without Getting Bored

    Learning the Fretboard Without Getting Bored

    Q: I’m wondering how to develop an expanded knowledge of the fingerboard without falling into a rut. I have been working on “Straight, No Chaser” for a couple of months. I know I should bifurcate my practice time to learn tunes I like and add melodic and technical ideas to my “bag of tricks.” However,... »

  • Going Wireless: What to Look for in a Wireless System

    Going Wireless: What to Look for in a Wireless System

    Q: Every so often, I get a question and have no experience with the subject matter. Rather than ignoring it, I like to get someone else involved who can answer it better than I could. Case in point: I received a question some months ago asking about wireless systems and for suggestions as to what... »

  • Serious Play and the Bass Solo

    Serious Play and the Bass Solo

    A good friend of mine came to a gig I had recently in Seattle. Jeremy Sherman lives in San Francisco and our relationship began as one of student and teacher (he would fly to Portland on occasion to take a few lessons from me and hang out for a weekend) and we soon became friends... »

  • Ask Damian: More Album Recommendations

    Ask Damian: More Album Recommendations

    Q: I really dug the last column about albums to check out, if you want to get into jazz. I found a ton of great stuff that I actually liked in there! Do you have any more suggestions that extend beyond the jazz genre? A: Thanks! I’m glad that you discovered some new music. That’s... »

  • Album Suggestions for Getting Into Jazz

    Album Suggestions for Getting Into Jazz

    Q: Do you have any suggestions for what albums I might check out if I wanted to get into jazz? I’ve, of course, heard bits and pieces of things before flipping through radio stations, in restaurants, etc., but nothing ever really grabbed me. What should I check out that might ignite the interest? A: Alright,... »

  • When It’s “Go” Time, Make Sure to Hit the Gas!

    When It’s “Go” Time, Make Sure to Hit the Gas!

    As so often happens, I was recently having a conversation with a musician before a gig and we both commented on how that conversation would make a great No Treble column. First a little background: This guy is a great guitarist that I know and play with relatively often. He’s been actively trying to make... »

  • Do I Have To Like Jazz To Improve My Playing?

    Do I Have To Like Jazz To Improve My Playing?

    Q: I’ve read some interviews of yours, and you mentioned that when you started studying jazz, you weren’t actually all that into the music, but you came to appreciate it later through study, etc… I’ve been trying to work through standards, exercises through chord changes and bebop/chromatic-type stuff, but I don’t know what I’m trying... »

  • Getting Back to Basics in a Band

    Getting Back to Basics in a Band

    Q: I’d like some advice on a sensitive issue. I find myself working with a band whose musical ambitions seem quite often to outstrip their technical abilities. While it is always a good thing to stretch yourself, I can’t help but feel that a grasp of some the fundamentals might be something worth considering. How... »