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  • Bass Players To Know: Alphonso Johnson

    Bass Players To Know: Alphonso Johnson

    As a Philadelphia native, there’s a lot to live up to as a bass player. Stanley Clarke, Christian McBride, Jaco Pastorius, Gerald Veasley, Gail Ann Dorsey, Victor Bailey, and our latest bass player to know, Alphonso Johnson, all hail from the City Of Brotherly Love. Heck, you may even say that bass playing is “in... »

  • Bass Effects Overview

    Bass Effects Overview

    I recently met a player in Portland who completely blew me away. (We soon realized, we only live two blocks away from each other!) He’s new to town and hasn’t been gigging here yet. His girlfriend plays in the symphony and he’s been getting his bearings in the new city. Long story short, we got... »

  • What to Do When They Don’t Give You the Gig Details

    What to Do When They Don’t Give You the Gig Details

    Q: I recently had a strange experience when I got asked to play a gig, but was given practically no information. When I asked for more details (when, where, how long, how much, etc.), I got vibed hard by the guy, as if I was only in it for the money and why couldn’t I... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Setting The Stage

    The Lightbulb Moment: Setting The Stage

    I’m standing in front of my amp. I’m sure of it. It’s two feet behind me, the light is on, and there’s definitely sound coming out of it – well, at least I’m pretty sure that there’s sound coming out of it. There comes a time in every musician’s life when you realize that a... »

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  • Dyslexia and Music

    Dyslexia and Music

    Q: I’m 28 and I have played bass since I was 18. I’ve always been a hard-working student but always had trouble in reading music, no matter how I hard I tried. Now I’m a bass student at the Palermo Conservatory in Sicily, and despite my very good grades in all other subjects, I keep... »

  • Should I Be Afraid of Breaking the Rules of Harmony When Composing?

    Should I Be Afraid of Breaking the Rules of Harmony When Composing?

    Q: I have been playing bass for others for years but when it comes to writing my own music I constantly question myself about the rules. I understand if it sounds good play it but, “what key could this be and, can I play a dominant 7 here, and will it still be in a... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Lloyd Trotman

    Bass Players To Know: Lloyd Trotman

    As a soul music enthusiast, one of the greatest assets to my record collection has been the Atlantic Rhythm And Blues 1947-1974 compilation. It documents the early years of popular American music, the rise of the R&B genre, and the classic recordings that continue to show up in film, television, and radio. The musical selections... »

  • Practicing Slower Tempos

    Practicing Slower Tempos

    Q: I don’t know about you, but when I was a younger and less experienced player, I used to dread playing the faster, up-tempo passages or songs. But that all seemed to resolve itself with practice, and now as an older – hopefully wiser – player, I have come to realize what I have should... »

  • How To Play Relaxed While Getting a Good Sound

    How To Play Relaxed While Getting a Good Sound

    Q: When I listen to people playing bass, I always notice two things: 1) They play relaxed with their right hand and don’t use a lot of force and 2) while they do this, they STILL get a good volume and tone. When I play bass, I use quite a bit of force with my... »

  • How Can I Play In Any Setting?

    How Can I Play In Any Setting?

    Q: I’ve been checking out this site for a while. Love it all. However, I have a problem: I don’t know where to start. Let me tell you a little about me. I’ve played bass for quite some time and even taken lessons by some famous players. I’m the student that everyone dreams of. I... »