the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • New Beginnings: Exploring New Bass Tunings (and String Counts)

    New Beginnings: Exploring New Bass Tunings (and String Counts)

    Q: I have been playing bass professionally for over 15 years, but I’ve recently decided to expand my horizons by tuning one of my 5 string basses E-C. I decided to do this after playing a six string bass in a music store one day and realizing how easy it was to play lines across... »

  • Play Other Instruments! Such as… Drums

    Play Other Instruments! Such as… Drums

    This installment of “other instruments” takes a look at playing the drums. Yes, they are fun. Yes, you can play loud and beat on things with sticks. No, you won’t have to fall victim to the jokes. On a more serious note, the attention paid to rhythm and feel is one and the same while... »

  • What Makes A Great Bassist? Part 2: Expressing Yourself

    What Makes A Great Bassist? Part 2: Expressing Yourself

    With all the things to work on to improve ourselves, it’s easy to lose sight of why we play bass. That’s why we’ve been polling famous bassists and the community at large on what they think makes a great bassist. (Be sure to check out What Makes a Great Bassist? Part 1: Playing for the... »

  • Connecting with the Drummer: A Discussion for Bassists

    Connecting with the Drummer: A Discussion for Bassists

    Q: I’ve found myself in a situation where I can’t set up a musical connection with my drummer. It’s been three months of rehearsals, but I just don’t feel comfortable playing, the rhythm-sections suffers and we don’t sound good. In my other bands, the great, non-verbal communication came right after one or two rehearsals. I... »

  • Scale Pattern Work for Bassists

    Scale Pattern Work for Bassists

    I have mentioned previously that daily scale practice should include scale patterns, and indeed most scale books devote some space to such patterns. There are, of course, innumerable patterns that we can apply, but certain scalar patterns occur more frequently than others in the music we play. Although the number of possible patterns are seemingly... »

  • No Bass Amp? A Guide to Hearing Yourself Practice

    No Bass Amp? A Guide to Hearing Yourself Practice

    Q: My amp and most of my gear got confiscated when I got to college because they said it was a fire hazard. What do you recommend for some amp-less ways for me to get my sound amplified? I really have no idea. A: My first question is: what kind of amp did you have... »

  • Play Other Instruments! Such as… Guitar

    Play Other Instruments! Such as… Guitar

    In the previous column, we introduced an exciting concept: the importance of learning your way around on a few other instruments. Aside from being able to sit down at a piano or pick up an acoustic guitar, a bit of musical variety can influence your approach to the bass. Having some basic knowledge of piano... »

  • Bass Players: Get Out of the Shed and Into the World

    Bass Players: Get Out of the Shed and Into the World

    Q: I practice a lot, but I don’t get to play music with other people all that often. How important do you think it is that I play with other actual humans? A: The short answer? Extremely important. There is no shortage of reasons why this is important, but here are the most important in... »

  • Arpeggio Work for Bass Players: A Daily Practice Routine

    Arpeggio Work for Bass Players: A Daily Practice Routine

    I have mentioned previously that our daily scale practice should include arpeggio work. There are numerous ways to approach this, and most scale books devote some time to various approaches to arpeggios. I find the patterns below to be good solid foundational patterns for any bassist’s daily routine. The patterns below are presented in C... »

  • Life as a Bassist: Balancing Art and Income

    Life as a Bassist: Balancing Art and Income

    Q: I do regular cover gigs, but I also play with a few original artists and I’m worried about them conflicting. I was wondering how you balance your “work” gigs with your “fun” gigs? A: I have touched on this in previous columns, but this is a topic worthy of its own dedicated discussion. For... »