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  • Marcus Miller’s “Renaissance”: A Review

    Marcus Miller’s “Renaissance”: A Review

    [Editor’s note: Marcus Miller’s latest album, Renaissance hits the shelves today.] Renaissance sees Marcus Miller at his very best, in a band context with a group of young, talented musicians. A renaissance is a time of renewal and revival. Marcus wants his music to be a part of revival and renewal of music and society.... »

  • I Wish I Knew That: Making The Music Better

    I Wish I Knew That: Making The Music Better

    Let’s face it, sometimes we find ourselves in not-so-ideal playing situations. In a perfect world, we would always have our favorite drummer on the gig and could lock in and groove all night long. We would never have to compete with the busy left hand of a keyboard player, stay alert during the 15-minute guitar... »

  • How and Why Woods Affect Your Bass Sound

    How and Why Woods Affect Your Bass Sound

    Q: Experience and all instrument makers tell us that the choice of wood affects the sound of a bass. Of course we know and feel the difference of alder vs. ash bodies, ebony vs. rosewood vs. maple fingerboards, and so many other differences. But, do we know why exactly this affects the amplified sound? What... »

  • Left Hand Dexterity Drills on Three and Four Strings

    Left Hand Dexterity Drills on Three and Four Strings

    After mastering the exercises on one and two strings, you will be ready to challenge yourself with some three-string exercise, like the ones below. Some Notes: These exercises can be done pizzicato or arco. If done pizzicato, I suggest beginning each pattern using the second finger of your right hand, followed by the first (i.e.... »

  • Gigging Life: Elevating Your Game with the Right Musicians (or Vice Versa)

    Gigging Life: Elevating Your Game with the Right Musicians (or Vice Versa)

    Q: I’ve found myself in somewhat of a middle-ground with my gigs. Some gigs I have are with much better musicians than me, and I find that I actually play better with these guys. But many more of my gigs are just your everyday bar gigs. I’m noticing that I just can’t play the same... »

  • Getting to Know Your Bass: How Many Strings Does It Take to Screw In A Lightbulb?

    Getting to Know Your Bass: How Many Strings Does It Take to Screw In A Lightbulb?

    Ok, this column’s title is a bad joke (feel free to come up with you own punch line). In the past few columns of this “Getting To Know” series, we’ve examined a number of topics that relate to what your instrument can do, why you prefer it, and how that impacts your playing ability on... »

  • Getting the Same Swing Feel on Electric and Upright (or… Be Patient in Practice)

    Getting the Same Swing Feel on Electric and Upright (or… Be Patient in Practice)

    Q: I can’t get the same swing feel on electric as upright. Any advice? A: While I don’t play upright, this does present an opportunity to share a broader concept that may help you. Patience, padawan… patience (and focused practice). I’ve found with a vast majority of my students that whenever something is not “clicking”,... »

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  • Left Hand Dexterity Drills on Two Strings

    Left Hand Dexterity Drills on Two Strings

    After you feel comfortable with the single string exercises from last time you may want to challenge yourself a bit more with the two string exercises below. Two String Left Hand Dexterity Drill Notes: These exercises can be done pizzicato or arco. If done pizzicato, I suggest beginning each pattern using the second finger of... »

  • Triplets: A How To Guide to Timing and Practice

    Triplets: A How To Guide to Timing and Practice

    Q: Can you give me some exercises to play with a triplet feel? I’d also love a comparision of how the division is different from a binary feel. A: Simply put: A triplet is kind of like shifting the time where you can fit three notes in the space of two: A half-note triplet is... »

  • Getting to Know Your Bass: How Your Bass’s Action Influences What You Can Do

    Getting to Know Your Bass: How Your Bass’s Action Influences What You Can Do

    Keeping up with Getting to Know Your Bass series, today we’ll take a look at the action of your bass and how that influences what you can play. While your action doesn’t necessarily impact your note choice, it certainly factors into the amount of force necessary to play the instrument and the techniques that you... »