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  • Play Other Instruments! Such as… Piano

    Play Other Instruments! Such as… Piano

    Like many other bass players, I’ve traveled a long and winding road before discovering my passion for the instrument. A few years of piano lessons, three months of playing the flute, and a handful of years in the school band’s percussion section were just a few of my “trial and error” experiences before making the... »

  • Going Unnoticed: Our Role as Bassists (Or: The Not-So-Obvious Compliment)

    Going Unnoticed: Our Role as Bassists (Or: The Not-So-Obvious Compliment)

    There’s an old saying in the musical world that goes a little like this: “I didn’t even notice the bass until it wasn’t there!” While this may seem a bit unfair – as if all of the other instruments receive the listening attention they deserve while we stand in the back – it happens to... »

  • Finding the Musical Treasures in Your Own Backyard

    Finding the Musical Treasures in Your Own Backyard

    A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to check out the Summer NAMM show in Nashville. Although it was great to walk around the showroom floor, check out all of the new gear, and run into some friends, the most exciting part of the show was the congregation of truly fantastic players. The NAMM... »

  • I Wish I Knew That: Making The Music Better

    I Wish I Knew That: Making The Music Better

    Let’s face it, sometimes we find ourselves in not-so-ideal playing situations. In a perfect world, we would always have our favorite drummer on the gig and could lock in and groove all night long. We would never have to compete with the busy left hand of a keyboard player, stay alert during the 15-minute guitar... »

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  • Learning the Song – Part 2: Comparing and Contrasting Multiple Versions of a Tune

    Learning the Song – Part 2: Comparing and Contrasting Multiple Versions of a Tune

    Welcome to Part 2 of “Learning the Song.” If you checked out the first part of this series, you’ll be familiar with some of the essential elements of learning a song, such as the key, the chord progressions, the form, and so on. Learning “the song” is a great exercise in ear training, adapting theory... »

  • Learning the Song – Part 1: Breaking It Down for Performance

    Learning the Song – Part 1: Breaking It Down for Performance

    It’s time for a real life gig story. I was recently given a set list for an upcoming gig… two sets, roughly 25 tunes, mostly classic rock and soul. Glancing over the set list, I saw many tunes that I already knew, so I figured I’d be fine, right? Guess again. As it turns out,... »

  • Treat Yourself to Some Inspiration

    Treat Yourself to Some Inspiration

    As artists, we are constantly on the search for one thing: inspiration. Inspiration fuels our art, influences our style, and pushes us to perfect our craft. It’s what keeps us learning bass line after bass line, way into the wee hours of the morning, and it persuades us to call one drummer over another. It... »

  • Ear Training and the iTunes Game

    Ear Training and the iTunes Game

    As a musician, our greatest tool is our ears. Our job within a musical context is to listen, and quite frankly, to play notes that sound good. As a bass player, we need to be on our toes and quickly decipher the bass line and at the very least, the root notes of the chords... »

  • Food for Thought: A Guide to Healthy Eating for the Working Bassist

    Food for Thought: A Guide to Healthy Eating for the Working Bassist

    We all know that it’s important to eat right, get exercise, have a healthy lifestyle, and stay away from fried foods and candy, but what does that have to do with playing music? The fact is, playing an instrument is both a mental and physical endeavor that requires a certain amount of fuel. It may... »

  • Repeat After Me: Metronomes (and Drum Machines) Are Fun

    Repeat After Me: Metronomes (and Drum Machines) Are Fun

    First things first, I’m not trying to open a “metronome debate.” I’m also not trying to lecture people about using (or not using) a metronome during their practice sessions. Instead, I’m going to shed some light on why and how metronomes can be useful tools when it comes to practicing and experimenting with your instrument.... »