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  • Types of Listening: Three Approaches for Bass Players

    Types of Listening: Three Approaches for Bass Players

    Photo by Juan Croatto Q: How do you hear music, as in a critical method of hearing? How can your playing or musicality get better just by hearing a certain genre or style? Do you perhaps hear a piano comping and try to do the same if you are digging it? A: The answer to… »

  • Playing Bass… Slow

    Playing Bass… Slow

    Photo by giulia gasparro Every bassist, at some point, wants to learn to play fast. This is a reasonable technical goal to have, of course. Much music demands this sort of technical facility. Furthermore, if we want to be able to truly express ourselves musically, we must have this ability. However, fast playing isn’t everything,… »

  • Making the Decision to Go Pro as a Bassist (Or Not)

    Making the Decision to Go Pro as a Bassist (Or Not)

    Photo by Bryan Rosengrant Q: What is your experience before becoming a professional musician? Is it something that naturally occurred or did you have to decide to make it a career? Could you share a story in which you reconciled any doubts you may have had? A: Interesting question! I’ve always played music, and I… »

  • The Great Bass Picksperiment

    The Great Bass Picksperiment

    Photo by Carl Raether I was a pretty picky eater when I was a kid. Okay, a very picky eater. Oh yeah, and I still am. Wednesday nights typically revolved around my father making pasta and having to put up with my self-imposed dietary restrictions: I was an anti-tomatite. Dad tried as hard as possible,… »

  • Custom Shop: Nordstrand Guitars

    Custom Shop: Nordstrand Guitars

    Following your dreams isn’t always an easy path, but it’s an honest and rewarding one. It’s also one that Carey Nordstrand has followed to create his bass business. After finding his passion for bass, Carey took opportunities to get into the business and expand his knowledge. His bass company, Nordstrand Guitars, has grown from a… »

  • Road Gear: A Discussion for Gigging Bassists

    Road Gear: A Discussion for Gigging Bassists

    Q: For the last couple months, I have been doing weekend warrior gigs with a pop artist who tours all over the country. The venues we play have been everything from large hotel ballrooms to amphitheaters to large concert halls, and we mainly rely on backline gear. Here’s my issue: we fly a lot, and… »

  • Playing Bass… Fast

    Playing Bass… Fast

    Photo by Ellen (Jurischk) At some point most bassists want be able to play “fast.” The question that usually arises is obvious: “How?” The most common barriers to being able play quickly on upright bass are: Poor bass setup Inefficient technique. (Too much tension, etc.) Lack of stamina Lack of familiarity with the passage, tune,… »

  • How to Build Muscle Memory: A List for Bass Players

    How to Build Muscle Memory: A List for Bass Players

    Q: I hear everybody talking about “muscle memory”, i.e. being able to play without looking at the fingerboard. How do you get there? Any special advice or exercises, especially for fretless? A: Muscle memory is crucial to your development as a player. I also consider the ability to use harmonic devices (like substations and different… »

  • Spend Money to Make Money: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Spend Money to Make Money: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Yes, that’s right, the words of my college accounting professor ring true to this day. You need to spend money to make money. While we often think of this term in reference to the boring section of the local paper or as the guiding principle behind buying lemons to sell lemonade, it’s impossible to think… »

  • Focused Learning: A Bass Player’s Guide to Practice and Rehearsals

    Focused Learning: A Bass Player’s Guide to Practice and Rehearsals

    Photo by Hani Amir Q: I'd like your advice on what a bassist should be thinking during a practice session or when learning new material? What do you think about during those times? What should I be thinking? A: This question struck me as interesting. Primarily, I think it’s because it relates to a conversation… »