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  • Musical Growth: Finding Those “Aha” Moments

    Musical Growth: Finding Those “Aha” Moments

    Q: What were some of the breakthroughs or “aha” moments in your bass playing? Specifically, what are some of the things you’ve learned that unlocked a higher level of knowledge and technique? A: That’s an interesting question… and the answer tends to be different for everyone. Everyone learns differently and is likely to have different... »

  • Finger Stamina Exercises for Bassists

    Finger Stamina Exercises for Bassists

    In our quest to develop left hand strength, flexibility, speed and stamina, we will discover and create many exercises and finger twisters. Sometimes, however, the simplest exercises are the best. Apply the two practice techniques below to your trills and reap the benefits. Trills for time Play a fast trill between two fingers (i.e. 1-2)... »

  • Fretless Bass: A Guide for Choosing the Best Strings

    Fretless Bass: A Guide for Choosing the Best Strings

    Q: I’ve been wanted to get a fretless bass recently to expand my horizons, and a question that’s come up in my mind is the type of stings I’d play on fretless. Roundwounds, flatwounds, half wounds… so many to chose from and all with different pros and cons. Right now I play roundwounds. What are... »

  • The Blues: It’s Not “Just a Blues”

    The Blues: It’s Not “Just a Blues”

    Believe it or not, I’m a huge fan of the blues. This particular genre caught my attention at a young age and it has taken years (and, I expect, will require many more) to appreciate some of its subtleties. If you’ve had an opportunity to check out my series on blues bass playing, then this... »

  • Life as a Working Bassist: Where Does the Money Come From?

    Life as a Working Bassist: Where Does the Money Come From?

    Q: What is the reality of how guys like you earn a living? I don’t mean to imply that you are “rolling in it,” but how do bassists who focus on freelance work actually make ends meet? A: Great question! Although I’ve talked about the various ways to make things happen in a career or... »

  • Understanding and Getting Around Roadblocks in Musical Development

    Understanding and Getting Around Roadblocks in Musical Development

    For this column, I wanted to answer a question I received on Facebook, as it is an important component in our musical development. Q: I’ve been working on these exercises for six months now and I haven’t made any progress on them. I am very frustrated and do not know how to move forward. Do... »

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  • Sight Reading for Auditions: Tips for Bass Players

    Sight Reading for Auditions: Tips for Bass Players

    Q: I’m a bassist starting my last year in high school now. I really feel that I need to become a sight reader as quickly as possible due to an upcoming audition for the music university I wish to attend. A friend of mine did the audition and they ended up handing him some crazy... »

  • Five Minute Practice Sessions

    Five Minute Practice Sessions

    Do you have five minutes of free time? Yes, you do. You may say that you don’t, but really, you do. It’s easy… wake up five minutes earlier than you usually do and pick up your bass before work. Or, go to bed five minutes later. Or, DVR your favorite TV show, watch it and... »

  • Lines on a Fretless Bass: Is it Cheating?

    Lines on a Fretless Bass: Is it Cheating?

    Q: Is it cheating to have lines on the fretboard of a fretless bass? Also, what would be better for a first fretless: picking up a quality used instrument and de-fretting it (assuming I cant find a used fretless) or a brand new entry-level one? The only fretless basses I’ve played so far I liked... »

  • Structuring Your Practice: A Checklist for Bass Players

    Structuring Your Practice: A Checklist for Bass Players

    Any serious musician will practice regularly. While consistency is the most significant factor in our progress, we need to make good use of our practice time if we want continued improvement. No one set of specific materials (i.e. specific etudes, etc.) will be appropriate for everyone, but any successful long-term plan will hit on a... »