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  • Is It So Bad To Play The Root When I Solo?

    Is It So Bad To Play The Root When I Solo?

    Q: I’ve been working on my soloing and I had a question. It keeps getting repeated to me by other players, teachers, and books that I shouldn’t play the root when I solo. What do you think? Is it really such a bad thing? A: I have a few thoughts on the subject. Some are... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Creative Space

    The Lightbulb Moment: Creative Space

    Every now and then, you may get lucky enough to do a gig or to jam with players in a truly creative and inspired way. You get to play in the greatest sense of the word, and better yet, you get to be your best musical self. You feel a sense of camaraderie with your... »

  • Should I Bother With Modes?

    Should I Bother With Modes?

    Q: First of all thank you very much for your past reply to my question! Lately while working on improvisation and in particular on linear melody through changes, I started asking myself why I should bother with modes. For instance, if there’s a Fmin7 moving to an Amin7 chord and I want to think about... »

  • Should I Study Music Written For Other Instruments?

    Should I Study Music Written For Other Instruments?

    Q: I was recently talking to a guitar player friend about feeling bored with practicing, and he recommended that I try to incorporate studies from different instruments into my routine. You’ve talked about using drum rudiment books to practice rhythm, and that totally makes sense, but what could I gain from studying a book on... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Nick Movshon

    Bass Players To Know: Nick Movshon

    If you’ve been to a wedding in the past five years, either as a guest or a band member, there’s a good chance you’ve heard or played a handful of Bruno Mars and Amy Winehouse hits. Producer Mark Ronson is the mastermind behind many of these now-standard-repertoire tunes such as “Valerie” and “Locked Out Of... »

  • Does It Take 10,000 Hours To Master An Instrument?

    Does It Take 10,000 Hours To Master An Instrument?

    Q: What would you say that it takes for someone to master an instrument? I’ve heard the “10,000 hours” thing but sure not all 10,000 hours are created equal? A: I couldn’t agree more with you that not all hours in the shed are created equally. Time spent with well-considered goals for yourself – practicing... »

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  • Building Your Audience

    Building Your Audience

    Q: I’ve been struggling with a question, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. I’ve been playing in a band for the past two years, mainly in bars and functions. Finally, we are getting some contracts to play in clubs, which is great! However, instead of the annoying sound of loud voices and... »

  • How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    So I just came home from a recording session and the conversation I had before I split had me thinking for the entire drive home. We were speaking about a few other bassists that the band had tried to use, and the various issues they encountered. The songwriter chimed in at that point with a... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Drums and Bass – Complementary Flavors

    The Lightbulb Moment: Drums and Bass – Complementary Flavors

    Every so often, I’m asked about some of my favorite drummers to play with and why that is. Whether it’s for a gig referral or for the sake of conversation with my fellow musicians, it’s a question that doesn’t always have the same answer. The context of a gig, the type of music being played,... »

  • Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Q: My band and I have started playing out in bars and clubs, and one thing keeps me on edge: No matter how much we prepare and rehearse, there are always hiccups. How do the pros know how to deal with things going wrong (like someone going to the wrong section of the tune, the... »