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  • The Great Bass Picksperiment

    The Great Bass Picksperiment

    Photo by Carl Raether I was a pretty picky eater when I was a kid. Okay, a very picky eater. Oh yeah, and I still am. Wednesday nights typically revolved around my father making pasta and having to put up with my self-imposed dietary restrictions: I was an anti-tomatite. Dad tried as hard as possible,… »

  • Spend Money to Make Money: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Spend Money to Make Money: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Yes, that’s right, the words of my college accounting professor ring true to this day. You need to spend money to make money. While we often think of this term in reference to the boring section of the local paper or as the guiding principle behind buying lemons to sell lemonade, it’s impossible to think… »

  • Makers of the Melody: Part 3 – Time to Take that Solo

    Makers of the Melody: Part 3 – Time to Take that Solo

    It’s official. You’ve been given the nod from the guitar player and called out by the vocalist… time for a solo. Against your better judgment, you accept and try to switch your thinking from root notes and walking to playing the lead, expressing your thoughts, and showing off your musicality. You’re stepping out of your… »

  • Makers of the Melody: Part 2 – Soloing

    Makers of the Melody: Part 2 – Soloing

    Bass solo! Bass solo! The bandleader points his finger at you, giving you the okay and hushing the rest of the band. Great. Now what? We’re not the guitar player… we haven’t worked on Hendrix licks or memorizing the solo section to "Freebird". We can’t just crank up the distortion or create mesmerizing soundscapes with… »

  • Makers of the Melody: Part 1

    Makers of the Melody: Part 1

    As we begin our journey as bass players, we are drawn to particular types of grooves. Perhaps our ears perk up with a soulful R&B line, the sound of a walking upright, or a rock tune where the bass is pedaling the roots. Many of us are intrigued by vibrant staccato grooves, the slaps and… »

  • Fumbling Fingers: When Common Tasks Take Their Toll on Bassists

    Fumbling Fingers: When Common Tasks Take Their Toll on Bassists

    Photo by Gonzalo G. Useta For some of us, finding the time to playing bass is a luxury. We don’t get many opportunities to sit down and groove, learn our favorite songs, or hit the woodshed to practice technique. Work takes up too many hours in the day and after having to make dinner, spend… »

  • The Backline Blues: Preparing for the Mystery Rig

    The Backline Blues: Preparing for the Mystery Rig

    Photo by Jessica Spengler Getting hired for a gig is great! Knowing that you’re getting paid well is awesome! And then finding out they’ve got backline? The stars have aligned. This gig just got easy. Will you have to wrestle your cabs into the car? Nope. Drag them back into the house at 2am? No… »

  • Holiday Gigging: A Moveable Feast

    Holiday Gigging: A Moveable Feast

    Photo by OldSacks Hear ye, hear ye, it’s holiday time again. Time to gear up for big dinners, excessive shopping, family gatherings - and yes - holiday gigs. It’s time for celebration, relaxation, days off from work, and days in cleaning and preparing for company. As a professional musician, the holidays have quite an impact,… »

  • Preparing for Studio Success

    Preparing for Studio Success

    Photo by Ralph Daily Going into the studio to make a record can be a pretty daunting task. Yes, there are a select few who do that every day, but for the rest of us mortals, a session on the books is a pretty rare and special occurrence. Although some folks have sufficient equipment to… »

  • Sitting In: Just Say Yes

    Sitting In: Just Say Yes

    Photo by Josep Tomàs There are certain things in life that require a great deal of courage... bungee jumping off a bridge, rafting through class five white water, snowboarding down a double black diamond mountain side, etc. Even the daredevil in me doesn’t have the guts to try those things. These are pretty extreme cases… »