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  • Introduction to Chromatic Scales

    Introduction to Chromatic Scales

    For many bassists, the chromatic scale is an underused resource in their practice toolkit. Properly approached, practicing chromatic scales can vastly improve our shifting, intonation and mental map of the fingerboard. Below are a few beginner exercises using the chromatic scale that I find to be useful for those just becoming familiar with the chromatic... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Michael Rhodes

    Bass Players To Know: Michael Rhodes

    There’s nothing like setting foot in a new city. You open the door to an unchartered group of restaurants, find yourself meeting tons of new people, and most importantly, get the opportunity to discover a new music scene. Once you check off the touristy spots, it’s time to talk to some locals… it’s the fastest... »

  • Should You Study Double Bass To Improve Your Electric Bass Playing?

    Should You Study Double Bass To Improve Your Electric Bass Playing?

    Q: I play electric bass. I’ve started taking some lessons here in Italy with a jazz player in order to study jazz and improvisation, and he has suggested I could study classical double bass at the Conservatory in order to have “serious” training. This idea fascinated me for a while, but now I’m starting to... »

  • Learning the Bass: Should I Get a Teacher?

    Learning the Bass: Should I Get a Teacher?

    Q: I am a beginning bassist. I want to know your opinion about studying bass with a teacher vs. self-teaching. Which do you think is more useful and advantageous? I’ve studied with a teacher since last year, but I don’t find I’m progressing anymore, and I’m in doubt if I should continue with the same... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Toil And Trouble

    The Lightbulb Moment: Toil And Trouble

    It’s finally jacket weather. The leaves are falling, the sun is setting earlier every day, and the pumpkin spice latte has returned. Halloween is just around the corner, which means that my friends will search for the creepiest haunted houses and hayrides, only to force me to join them on an adventure that will make... »

  • Making Your Own Latin Jazz Bass Lines

    Making Your Own Latin Jazz Bass Lines

    Q: I’m sitting here listening to your Trios CD, which has become one of my favorite discs – if it is at all possible to wear out a CD, I’m doing it with Trios! For “Mambo for Tajrid”, “Costa Del Sol”, Corea’s “Spain”, et al, on the CD, what suggestions do you have for getting... »

  • Can Hanging a Bass on the Wall Damage the Neck?

    Can Hanging a Bass on the Wall Damage the Neck?

    Q: I have several basses that I keep out of the case both on wall displays and on a Hercules stand for easy access. I’m wondering if there are any ill effects on the neck of the bass if it is left suspended by the headstock on a hanging stand for an extended period. Music... »

  • Learning a Tune “On the Spot”

    Learning a Tune “On the Spot”

    Last week I received a question about how to memorize a tune fast: “…For example, [bassist] playing a jazz tune you’ve never played before with a pianist as they shout out the changes for one chorus, then stop for the second. How can we develop skills to memorize these changes instantly?” No doubt the situation... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: It’s All in Your Head(space)

    The Lightbulb Moment: It’s All in Your Head(space)

    “Um, hey guys… excuse me… guys?!… Can you turn it down a little?” I glance behind me at the drummer and our eyes meet with the same surprised expression. He can’t be serious, right? We’re not playing rock and roll here… the drummer has yet to play with sticks instead of brushes, the keyboard player... »

  • Can You Learn Bass Using a Guitar?

    Can You Learn Bass Using a Guitar?

    Q: Is it possible to learn to play bass by using my six-string acoustic/electric guitar? I don’t really have the extra bread to buy a bass and amp right now, but I feel called to learn and with time, become proficient on the electric bass and maybe double bass eventually. My goal is to take... »