the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • What Makes a Good Bassist?

    What Makes a Good Bassist?

    Q: I was wondering what – in your opinion – makes a good bassist? A: This will be the most subjective article I’ve ever written, most likely, and I imagine that many of you will have a different view by one degree or another. There are many valid view points to be shared. I think... »

  • My Double Bass Setup: Part 2 – Number of Strings, Tuning and Fingerboard Length

    My Double Bass Setup: Part 2 – Number of Strings, Tuning and Fingerboard Length

    I play a five-string bass with both a higher string and a low C, via an extension. My specific tuning is (from lowest to highest) C, B, E, A, D. The low C string can be tuned via capos (on the C extension) to any chromatic note between C and E (the more standard low... »

  • Bass Players to Know: Tommy Cogbill

    Bass Players to Know: Tommy Cogbill

    For those of you keeping tabs, it’s safe to say that I’m a soul music junkie. Motown, Philly Soul, R&B from Memphis and Muscle Shoals, you name it — I can’t get enough. I’m a sucker for listening to old records, reading books about the development of record labels such as Stax and Atlantic, and... »

  • Thinking Fast When Improvising

    Thinking Fast When Improvising

    Q: I have been practicing with some jazz musicians who are more experienced than I am. For the most part, everything is fine, but I’m having trouble keeping up with the more up tempo numbers – walking and especially soloing. I just feel like my brain and fingers can’t keep up with the music. How... »

  • Get the latest bass news!

    Subscribe to the No Treble Update

  • Defining “Practice”: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Defining “Practice”: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: How do you define “practice”? I’m curious because a friend asked me how I practice, and I said that I just play a lot and wasn’t sure how to answer the question. He said that “there’s a difference between playing and practicing”. Do you agree with that? A: My quick answer is yes, I... »

  • My Double Bass Setup: Part 1 – The Bow

    My Double Bass Setup: Part 1 – The Bow

    Usually in this column I talk about general double bass (upright bass) subjects, or answer specific questions that I think will be of benefit to the largest number of readers. Lately, however, I’ve been getting a great many questions about my personal bass setup. So, in the next few columns I’m going to go through... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Support Your Local Economy, Part 3

    The Lightbulb Moment: Support Your Local Economy, Part 3

    The world is a big place. Thankfully, no matter where you go, there’s a good chance that you’ll run into some pretty talented people. Every now and then, these gifted individuals muster up the courage to put their money where their mouth is; they take a leap of faith and invest in their own abilities,... »

  • Learning Lots of Songs Quickly

    Learning Lots of Songs Quickly

    Q: I have a dep gig in 5 days and need to learn 23 songs. Any tips? I’m quite a good reader and have all the songs transcribed so I can probably read the music as I play but it’s for a rock gig and wouldn’t look particularly cool. A: For those who don’t know... »

  • Getting the Most Out of Your Bass

    Getting the Most Out of Your Bass

    Q: I use a Fender American Standard Jazz bass and have Labella Flats on it. It’s a great bass, but not suitable for the type of genres that I play. I am seeking for a fatter and tighter sound, as deep as possible but with a lot of clarity. I have been looking into different... »

  • Should I Play French or German Bow?

    Should I Play French or German Bow?

    Q: I’m just starting out and I can’t figure out if I should play French or German bow? – Marisol G. A: One of the seemingly most controversial, yet entirely manufactured non-controversies among double bass players is whether one should play using an overhand (aka “French”) bow or an underhand (aka “German”) bow. Note: “German”... »