the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • Shifting Exercises for Bass

    Shifting Exercises for Bass

    Sometimes, just for fun, I like to work on the short shifting exercise below. It helps me measure my accuracy, ensure I am light during the shift, and that I am using minimum pressure with my fingers, all while keeping my shifting fluid. It’s short, fun and challenging. Keep the following things in mind: Play... »

  • Low Action on a Bass: The Pros & Cons

    Low Action on a Bass: The Pros & Cons

    Q: I was at a bass players’ get-together a while back, and I noticed the other cats have their action set really low, and some used ramps like yourself. A lot of high dollar basses too. I thought “this is too low for me”, and I was pulling too hard. My basses feel good to... »

  • Learning New Tunes: Go Beyond the Bass

    Learning New Tunes: Go Beyond the Bass

    Let’s face it, we’re not all singers. Some of us opted to join band in school instead of choir, and in doing so, we missed out on the vocal warm-ups and breathing lessons. We never took the bull by the horns and sang lead, be it on stage or around a campfire, and maybe a... »

  • Deciding on an Amp: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Deciding on an Amp: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: Damian, what’s in your rack and why? The last time I had a paying gig, I could just roll in my Acoustic 360, plug in, and play. Now I’m trying to get back in to playing just as a hobby. What do you need for today’s amplification? A: Personally, I’m an Aguilar guy. I... »

  • Pyramiding: An Approach to Musical Exercise

    Pyramiding: An Approach to Musical Exercise

    There are many ways to approach a given exercise (e.g. trills, vibrato, etc.) and each have benefits. Some, of course, are more thorough than others. When I want to truly want to intensive on a particular area of technique I sometimes apply a concept borrowed from bodybuilding known as “pyramiding.” In simplest terms (when applying... »

  • Get the latest bass news!

    Subscribe to the No Treble Update

  • Rhythmic Bass Playing: Making it Fit the Musical Setting

    Rhythmic Bass Playing: Making it Fit the Musical Setting

    Q: For a while, I’ve been focusing on developing a percussive finger style bass technique, in a similar style to yours. I have great fun with it when playing on my or own or looping, but whenever I try it in a band situation, it just never sounds as good. All the detail – and... »

  • Buying a Bass: There’s More to the Budget than Meets the Eye

    Buying a Bass: There’s More to the Budget than Meets the Eye

    Investing in a new instrument is a lot like moving into a new house. You have a budget in mind, a good idea of the amenities that you want and need, and a few sources to help you find the perfect place. Finally, you find the right home; it’s in your price range, you sign... »

  • Truly Listening: Playing Bass with Impaired Hearing

    Truly Listening: Playing Bass with Impaired Hearing

    Q: I’m an intermediate level hearing-impaired bassist who cannot identify notes or pitch or key by ear. I play songs by memory. How would I go about breaking through to the next level? A: Wow, this may be the hardest question I’ve ever had to attempt to answer. The impression that I have is that... »

  • Settling into a Groove: A Guide for Bass Players

    Settling into a Groove: A Guide for Bass Players

    One of the most important things we do as bass players is to create and lock into a groove. When I practice this I prefer a drum machine to a metronome. Here’s a guide to working with a drum machine to master the groove: 1. Set the tempo and style. Choose all the styles you... »

  • Choosing a Bass: Price, Age, Quality, and Other Questions

    Choosing a Bass: Price, Age, Quality, and Other Questions

    Q: I’d like to know the difference between a quality bass and a mediocre one. I have a 1977 Fender Precision bass I absolutely love (I paid $450.00 for it in 1976. Until this year, I thought it was a ’76 P bass, but according to the serial number it’s a ’77). I also have... »