the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 1: Basic Technique

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 1: Basic Technique

    Common injuries that rob bassists of stage time Let’s start with an overview of the most common types of injuries bassists experience, the dreaded tendonitis, also known as repetitive stress injury, which will usually be felt in the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, or neck and shoulder. As repetitive stress injury suggests, overuse is the cause... »

  • Recording the Upright Bass

    Recording the Upright Bass

    Steve Bunker, a rockabilly player, recently asked me about the “best way to record the upright bass.” While I don’t think there is any one single way that is the best to record every upright bass in every style of music, I have noticed a few things over the years. Get your sound before you... »

  • Choosing an Amp

    Choosing an Amp

    Q: I have a question regarding power amps and cabinets. There are so many choices out there, and even more when you consider every amp available online (but probably won’t see in a store). How do you go about choosing an amp without just throwing a dart at the board and taking a huge financial... »

  • Past the Point of Unknowing

    Past the Point of Unknowing

    Q: I tend to hit a wall while practicing over a tune, where I don’t know what else to play. I know you’ve explained some chordal exercises and other ways to expand one’s vocabulary, but do you have any other thoughts about what to play when you just don’t know what to play? A: Actually,... »

  • Upright Bass Set Up for Playability and Sound – Part 2

    Upright Bass Set Up for Playability and Sound – Part 2

    This is part 2 of this series by Dr. D. Check out Part 1. Set Up for Sound In terms of sound, there are any number of things that can affect the volume, sustain and tone of your instrument. The bottom line is that everything you do to the instrument matters. Strings matter. Tailpiece length... »

  • Lessons Learned from Scott LaFaro: Playing the 1825 Abraham Prescott Bass

    Lessons Learned from Scott LaFaro: Playing the 1825 Abraham Prescott Bass

    Recently, I had an experience that changed the way I think about instruments. Years ago, I used to get nervous sitting in on other people’s gigs for fear of not being able get “my sound” out of their bass. You know what I’m taking about, right? You grab someone else’s bass, play a few notes,... »

  • Playing Pain Free

    Playing Pain Free

    Q: As someone who wants to practice for hours each day, what advice would you give to prevent injury? Do you have any warm up routines or other advice? A: You know, I’ve been lucky. I’ve never consciously warmed up when practicing, and I’ve never had any pain issues. However, I’ve noticed more recently that... »

  • Custom Shop: JC Basses

    Custom Shop: JC Basses

    Meet Jared Carpenter, the sole proprietor of California-based custom shop JC Basses. We first discovered his work after watching Seth Horan, whose custom bass features fanned frets and an eye-catching red finish. After picking up bass, Carpenter quickly realized he couldn’t get what he wanted from a production instrument and boldly decided to make his... »

  • Playing by Ear (and Self-Evaluation)

    Playing by Ear (and Self-Evaluation)

    Q: I have been playing bass for about 12 years now, and over the last 5 years, I have been practicing more and more. I’m definitely seeing progress in the areas of practive, but sometimes I feel there are holes in my playing. For example, I get very nervous when I´m in a situation where... »

  • Upright Bass Set Up for Playability and Sound

    Upright Bass Set Up for Playability and Sound

    I thought I would address a question left on No Treble’s Facebook page regarding string action on upright and volume discrepancies between different strings by talking a bit about set up on the upright bass. When someone talks about getting the upright bass set up, they are referring to a number of things, from bridge... »