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  • Custom Shop: Wilkins Guitars

    Custom Shop: Wilkins Guitars

    Pat Wilkins of Wilkins Guitars is a man who can appreciate the Old School. After getting his start in amps in the ’70s, he soon switched to guitar building, where he eventually started his own brand. Most recently, Wilkins has turned to recreating vintage basses, right down to the smallest detail. Of course, his work... »

  • The Bass Debate: Pick vs Fingers

    The Bass Debate: Pick vs Fingers

    Q: I prefer playing the bass using my fingers, but I see a lot of bassists these days using a pick. What’s your take on that? A: As with all things that come down to taste and music, I say: “follow your ears!” If you don’t like the sound of a pick, or it just... »

  • In the Studio: Part 2 – Setting the Stage for a Good Performance

    In the Studio: Part 2 – Setting the Stage for a Good Performance

    Last time we focused on the importance of being prepared before we enter the studio with our projects. Today, let’s talk about setting the stage for a good performance after we walk into the studio. Communication Communication between musicians is an important aspect in obtaining a quality performance, and thereby a more exciting and pleasing... »

  • Musical Mastery: You’ve Arrived When You Realize the Journey Never Ends

    Musical Mastery: You’ve Arrived When You Realize the Journey Never Ends

    This question came from a student the other day… Q: Was there a time when you knew that you had “arrived” with your playing, in some way? Is there a definitive moment or is it just a slow gradual process with no big leaps? Photo illustration by AlicePopkorn A: The answer to this question is... »

  • Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine

    Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine

    Confession: I played bass for years without ever practicing. I didn’t know what to focus on and certainly didn’t have enough discipline for it… I just wanted to play. I played along with records, I fooled around and discovered certain licks, and I hung out with musical buddies who would give me tips now and... »

  • Zero Fret: What’s the Point?

    Zero Fret: What’s the Point?

    Q: What’s the point of a “zero fret”? A: I haven’t noticed much of a difference having a zero fret vs. not having one. My Skjold basses all have zero frets in them, while my Zon’s do not. However, I believe that that the zero fret serves two functions: It gives an open string the... »

  • In the Studio: Part 1 – Preparation

    In the Studio: Part 1 – Preparation

    Recently I’ve had the good fortune to take several trips into the recording studio, each situation was entirely different from the last. Each session, or group of sessions, highlighted in my mind different features necessary for an efficient, pleasant and successful session. Unless you are doing both the performing and the engineering, (something I advise... »

  • Custom Shop: An Interview with Michael Pedulla

    Custom Shop: An Interview with Michael Pedulla

    Passion trumps all. That’s what master luthier Michael Pedulla learned after building his business to greater and greater heights. Starting as a one man shop in 1975, Pedulla reached a pinnacle in production during the mid-1990’s, putting out close to 750 basses each year. Michael was forced to work more on running the company than... »

  • Dealing with Multiple EQ’s

    Dealing with Multiple EQ’s

    Q: I’m an amateur bassist, and my current setup consists of an active bass, multi-effects pedal and a combo amp. All of these have equalizers built in, and I’m really unsure how to use them all to the best of their potential. The multi-effects pedal has the most versatility, having separate modules for high and... »

  • Essential Items for the Gigging Bassist: A Gig Survival Checklist

    Essential Items for the Gigging Bassist: A Gig Survival Checklist

    No matter how prepared someone usually is, most gigging bassists will find themselves at a gig, searching through their bag of “stuff” and saying: “hey, where’d my _____ go?” It happens to everyone at least once. If this has happened to you, you’ve probably experienced one of three outcomes: You get extremely lucky since you... »