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  • Who Am I? A Thought Exercise for Bassists

    Who Am I? A Thought Exercise for Bassists

    I whole-heartedly believe that who we are as people translates to who we become on our instrument. I’ve been kind of meditating lately during any down moments on every aspect of my personality and how it may or may not relate to any given part of my style of playing – the good and the... »

  • Intentional Practice

    Intentional Practice

    Too many instrumentalists begin their daily practice session without knowing specifically what they wish to accomplish that day. If they think about their practice goals at all, they do so in a cursory, vague and last minute manner. Even worse, some serious students think the goal of practice is simply to “put in the time.”... »

  • Muscle Memory

    Muscle Memory

    Q: I keep hearing bassists talk about muscle memory. What is that? A: Good question! And one that can open up a bigger discussion on the purpose of daily practice. First, let’s look at the Wikipedia definition of muscle memory, which is a good one: “Muscle memory has been used synonymously with motor learning, which... »

  • The Blues Shuffle: It’s All About the Feel

    The Blues Shuffle: It’s All About the Feel

    Aside from knowing the 12 bar blues progression, familiarization with different bass patterns and feels becomes crucial. Since many songs have the same progression, the pattern and/or feel is the main characteristic that differentiates one blues from another. This column will focus specifically on the feel, how to differentiate one kind of shuffle from another... »

  • The Purpose of Practice

    The Purpose of Practice

    Q: Hi Damian, a few weeks back I started doubting the “purpose” of practice, due to the fact that if you practice a specific tune, or any give exercise, its only for a short period of time (couple of months or so) and then it goes to the back of your head. How can I... »

  • The Rise of Blast Cult

    The Rise of Blast Cult

    After settling up with customers left from the demise of King Doublebass brand, luthier Jason Burns went to work to create a new upright venture catering to the alternative bassist. Blast Cult officially launched this month with their One4Five model bass, a design cultivated from Burns’ 20 years of building. Among the first instruments built... »

  • A Guide for the Self-Taught Bassist

    A Guide for the Self-Taught Bassist

    Q: I’m in the middle of high-school, and I’m really thinking of pursuing bass as a career. However, with a lack of decent teachers around, I’ve turned to teaching myself. But there’s so much to cover… where do I start? A: I would first suggest that you continue to keep your eyes and ears open... »

  • The Buzz Killer: How To Shield Your Bass

    The Buzz Killer: How To Shield Your Bass

    This month, we’re going to talk about an all too common problem: the humming and/or buzzing you get from radio frequency waves interfering with the electronic signal in your bass. These waves can be emitted from any number of sources, many of which are common on the stage and in the home. Neon and fluorescent... »

  • Major and Minor Blues: What Are These Chords?

    Major and Minor Blues: What Are These Chords?

    When it comes to playing bass, it’s easy to stick to specific patterns, rely on our ability to provide the musical foundation with the root and the fifth, and leave the chord knowledge up to the guitar players. Although there are musical situations where playing the root and the fifth is appropriate, it is essential... »

  • Custom Shop: M Basses

    Custom Shop: M Basses

    After growing up around woodworking, Jon Maghini turned his fascination of instrument building into a reality when he founded M Basses about a decade ago. Though the Connecticut-based luthier has built completely custom basses in the past, he began streamlining his process by focusing on J-style basses late last year with his Mj model, eventually... »