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  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 5: Odds & Sods

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 5: Odds & Sods

    Lift Off — Common Sense Guidelines for Lifting and Moving Your Equipment Most of us carry our own gear around. Sometimes we get lucky and use house gear or somebody else’s gear (which isn’t always as good a deal as it may sound). At times, some of us are fortunate enough to have somebody else... »

  • Preparing Your Demo Material to Land that Next Gig

    Preparing Your Demo Material to Land that Next Gig

    Q: I’m challenged by my lack of demo material. I figured I would accumulate some good clips along the way and build up a portfolio. However, my networking skills have outpaced my gigging experience (I’m picky). I’ve recently been asked by some high B-list caliber artists for samples. Gulp… I don’t have any so the... »

  • Understanding Blues Forms and Common Substitutions

    Understanding Blues Forms and Common Substitutions

    In this lesson, we’re going to examine a couple of different blues forms, specifically the 12 bar, 8 bar, and 16 bar blues. Additionally, we’ll go over a few different approaches to playing through the form and knowing when it would be appropriate to substitute chords or when to adhere to the traditional changes. Here... »

  • Balancing Music School and Practicing

    Balancing Music School and Practicing

    Q: I am a music student at a music conservatory, and I just had a year off for practice and teaching. Now I’m back to finish the last two years of my music education, and I’ve just received my lesson plan for the next 12 months. I have four lessons a day Monday and Wednesday.... »

  • Holding the Upright Bass

    Holding the Upright Bass

    There are a plethora of ideas on how one should hold the double bass and new variants seem to surface every day. Some stance decisions will be made based on specific performance situations, but most will reflect someone’s pedagogical background (i.e. who their teachers were) and personal preference. For example, it is unlikely you will... »

  • Custom Shop: Birdsong Guitars

    Custom Shop: Birdsong Guitars

    Founded in 2004, Birdsong Guitars is a company with a distinct reputation for excellent short-scale basses – one that founder Scott Beckwith prides himself on. After getting his start building in the late ’90s, Beckwith set up shop in Texas where he has been honing his craft with the aid of his wife and other... »

  • Insuring Your Gear

    Insuring Your Gear

    Q: I recently had a stolen instrument scare. It got me wondering, what do you and other working professionals do? With all your traveling, I’m sure it’s a small worry in the back of your mind. What do you use to ensure the safety of your gear? Do you have instrument specific insurance or some... »

  • Mod Shop: Bridge Replacement

    Mod Shop: Bridge Replacement

    Upgrading the Lab Rat: Bridge Replacement I have a bass I call the Lab Rat. It’s a really cheap Jaguar knock off I bought to experiment with some ideas I’d been kicking around. I’ve upgraded all the electronics already, and we’ll briefly go over some of that in future articles. I’m on to the hardware... »

  • Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues

    Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues

    In case you missed it, check out part 1 of this series. Since blues is an ideal genre for jamming and improvising, your knowledge of certain terms and feels can dramatically boost your value as a player. Whether you’re doing a blues gig, going to blues jam at a local club, or getting together with... »

  • Cabinet Size: Is Bigger Better?

    Cabinet Size: Is Bigger Better?

    Q: I have a question regarding the cabinet sizes. I see a lot of players lugging around some real beasts. I tend to use my DI for most medium to larger gigs and sometimes just go through the PA. I can’t see a need for a monster rig and wonder why so many bassist are... »