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  • Knuckle Cracking: Bad for Bassists?

    Knuckle Cracking: Bad for Bassists?

    Q: I have a tendency to crack my knuckles, and my bass teacher really frowns on it. Do you have an opinion on this? A: I’ve heard both sides of the story, and I crack my knuckles, and always have. So I decided to do some research. Here’s what I’ve learned: Cracking your knuckles does... »

  • Breaking Down Music: Start with the Songs You Love

    Breaking Down Music: Start with the Songs You Love

    When it comes to music, we all have our favorite bands, our favorite songs, favorite singers, bass players and maybe even some guitar solos. Some of us develop a preference for certain genres; they shape our music library, our concert expenditures and our playing repertoire. It’s easy to know that we like something, mainly because... »

  • Chord Voicing on Bass

    Chord Voicing on Bass

    Q: I know you have covered bass chords before, but what I was wondering is about the actual chords, not the progression played as arpeggios. I try playing chords my guitar buddies have shown me, and they sound awful on bass but great on guitar. What chords played on bass sound good? A: Bass players... »

  • What’s In My Gig Bag? Part 1: Classical

    What’s In My Gig Bag? Part 1: Classical

    One of the things every gigging bassist needs to refine is what they bring to the gig, in addition to their bass and amp (if appropriate). We all have items we might need for gig emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. Showing up to the gig and having an equipment problem is no fun and ultimately it... »

  • Going Full Time: Making Music Your Day Job

    Going Full Time: Making Music Your Day Job

    Q: I recently moved to a new city, and I am starting to meet new musicians rather quickly (or at least, faster than I expected). I put an ad on Craigslist to meet and jam with bands – blues, rock, funk, jazz stuff. I received a reply from a band that needs a full time... »

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  • Overcoming Stage Fright

    Overcoming Stage Fright

    Do you ever get nervous about performances? I certainly do. I’ll spend hours and hours learning material, charting it out, listening to it in the car, and getting everything in order for the gig, and even after all of that, I’ll still be nervous! For some reason, I think that everyone else will be cool... »

  • Travel Tips for Bass Players

    Travel Tips for Bass Players

    Q: I am going on my first tour with a band. Do you have any travel tips? Any travel tips relating to driving or flying tours would be appreciated! A: I most certainly do, as I’m sure readers of this column do as well. In no particular order, here are some things that come to... »

  • Focus on Breathing: An Essential Guide for Bass Players

    Focus on Breathing: An Essential Guide for Bass Players

    So many of us play with unneeded tension and spend a great deal of time trying to remedy this. We spend untold hours searching for the freedom of motion that will allow us to transcend our instrument. One aspect of tension that is sometimes overlooked is a player’s breathing. If you have never paid attention... »

  • When a Band Member Quits: A Discussion of Music Rights, Replacements and Other Considerations

    When a Band Member Quits: A Discussion of Music Rights, Replacements and Other Considerations

    Q: I play with the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots (Arlington, VA). The only founding member of the band who’s been with the band longer than I have has just decided to call it quits. He was responsible for the riffs on our first album, which is also still under production. Now while I am... »

  • When Technology Breaks: A Survival Guide for Bassists

    When Technology Breaks: A Survival Guide for Bassists

    Technology is a wonderful thing. Compared to a century ago, our day-to-day lives are completely different; we no longer need to hand wash our clothes, build a fire to eat, or take a horse and buggy to visit friends in an adjacent state. Instead, we can simply purchase magical devices such as washing machines, microwaves,... »