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  • Basic Care of Your Upright Bass: Part 1

    Basic Care of Your Upright Bass: Part 1

    While there are certainly deals out there, an upright bass can cost. Even a “student model” plywood bass, properly set up, can easily set you back around $2,000 US. The prices only go up from there. Needless to say, most of us would like to protect this investment. Here are some basics everyone should know... »

  • Musical Diplomacy: Bassists, Drummers and Locking In

    Musical Diplomacy: Bassists, Drummers and Locking In

    Q: I’m having trouble grooving with the drummer in my band. My bread and butter is hip-hop and R&B, and he is coming from the world of straight-ahead jazz. We play in a very backbeat-oriented group, and the only time there is ever a pocket is if I put him in mine and carry him... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Ray Brown

    Bass Players To Know: Ray Brown

    It’s about time to spread the love a little for the double bass, and today we’re focusing on the superbly classy and undeniably classic, Ray Brown. So who is Ray Brown? A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Brown grew up playing piano and made the transition to bass while in high school. Like many Pennsylvanian-born bass... »

  • Articulations and Expression: A Bass Video Lesson

    Articulations and Expression: A Bass Video Lesson

    Q: I’m at a point where I’m trying to finally get into soloing, and playing bass as a vocal, expressive instrument. But I’m running into a wall. Any chance you’d be down to do a quick video on articulations? As in, the slick slides you use, the fantastic trills, expressions and so on. And blue... »

  • Things to Know About the Bridge on Your Upright Bass

    Things to Know About the Bridge on Your Upright Bass

    Having a properly set up bridge on your upright is an important factor in the playability, sound and the long-term health of your instrument. Here are some things every upright player should know: The internal, not external, notches you see on the F-holes determine the proper distance of the bridge from the fingerboard. They should... »

  • Saving Your Ears: A Discussion for Gigging Bass Players

    Saving Your Ears: A Discussion for Gigging Bass Players

    Q: I regularly gig in a blues-rock power trio, and I have to solo over one or two tunes. Every time, the lead guitarist asks me to crank up the volume because he plays at a really high volume… too loud in my humble opinion. I don’t want to crank up the volume because I... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Rick Danko

    Bass Players To Know: Rick Danko

    As a solo artist, folk legend accompanist, and low-end driver of The Band, Rick Danko made an indelible mark on roots, blues, and rock music. Born in Ontario, Canada, Danko began playing at an early age and was inspired by country, rhythm and blues, and gospel. As a teenager, he left school to pursue music... »

  • Replacing Lead Guitar with Piccolo Bass?

    Replacing Lead Guitar with Piccolo Bass?

    Q: I am a high school musician in a relativly serious band with my friends, and we are about to make the transition into college. Unfortunately, our fantastic lead guitarist is going away for college, so rather than find a new lead guitarist, our frontman asked me if I would be willing to play lead... »

  • Secrets of Playing Great in a Group Setting: Listen, Acknowledge and Respond

    Secrets of Playing Great in a Group Setting: Listen, Acknowledge and Respond

    Be it on the bandstand, the concert stage, or the corner of a bad club, most musicians yearn for great musical communication in an ensemble. Great musical communication between players leads to great ensemble playing. If you have experienced it once, you will want it again. To have the shot at this, we need to:... »

  • Playing Bass without Sheet Music: Time, Feel & Harmony

    Playing Bass without Sheet Music: Time, Feel & Harmony

    Q: I’ve been playing bass for about 7 years. Before bass I was a very good tuba player and a halfway decent cellist. My problem is I never learned to play without music notation. I can’t even play tabs. I either need the notation or the chord progression. What’s the best way for me to... »