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  • Wearing a Ring while Playing: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Wearing a Ring while Playing: A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: I’m getting married soon and thought about how much wearing a wedding ring could affect my playing. I suppose it takes some time to adjust to it anyway, but I’m especially thinking about fret and string noise, or neck scratches. I noticed that you play with a wedding ring yourself and seem pretty comfortable... »

  • Staying Fit During the Holiday Season

    Staying Fit During the Holiday Season

    Although the title may suggest it, this is not a gym advertisement, nor a plan for a special low-fat diet. And, while we consider our vacation time as a way to take off from work for a few days, hang with our friends and family, and eat lots of goodies, our practice schedule usually falls... »

  • Read Up! How Reading at Your Leisure Can Double as Practice Time (Part 1)

    Read Up! How Reading at Your Leisure Can Double as Practice Time (Part 1)

    They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well then, here goes… I’m a bookworm. So much so that it takes an enormous amount of will power to pry myself away from a good novel before being late to work. It’s easy to get caught up in a story,... »

  • Getting Recognized: Advice for Bassists

    Getting Recognized: Advice for Bassists

    Q: How do I brand myself as an internationally recognized bass player? How does one get endorsed to an international brand? A: You’d be surprised by how many times I get this question. It seems that many think there may be a trick or a simple solution to “making it”, “getting discovered” or “scoring an... »

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  • Isolating Your Right Hand: Exercises for Bassists

    Isolating Your Right Hand: Exercises for Bassists

    When confronted with a difficult passage that just isn’t getting any better, most of us will isolate the left hand to improve our accuracy. We may change from arco to pizzicato to isolate the left hand. We may “shadow bow” the passage. Perhaps we may finger the strings in the left hand alone, completely taking... »

  • Singing and Playing: A How-To Guide for Independence for Bass Players

    Singing and Playing: A How-To Guide for Independence for Bass Players

    Q: I have great vocal chops, which I exercise frequently in my alter ego solo acoustic guitarist thing. I play bass in a blues/R&B band and have the best vocal talent in the band. But I can’t sing over a bass line to save my behind. Can this be learned? Any tips? A: Keep in... »

  • Developing Speed on the Bass: Take Your Time

    Developing Speed on the Bass: Take Your Time

    Q: I have been playing upright for about a year and wanted to know what I can do about developing speed. I mostly play jazz and at the college I go to it seems like everyone wants to play uptempo tunes (Charlie Parker, Rhythm Changes, etc.) I feel as though I’m falling behind trying to... »

  • More Forked Fingering Techniques: Using the Thumb

    More Forked Fingering Techniques: Using the Thumb

    Last time we talked about playing fourths across strings using two adjacent fingers, a concept sometimes called “forked fingering.” For example: We can, of course, use the same exact concept in the upper registers of the bass, or thumb position. For example: As mentioned before, this can be easier to execute effectively in the upper... »

  • Metronomes: The Debate for Bassists

    Metronomes: The Debate for Bassists

    Q: What do you think about Jeff Berlin’s approach to teaching music, specifically: no metronomes? A: Uh oh… This could mean trouble! Here’s my spin on it: I think different things and methods work for different people. I disagree with Jeff’s statements that metronomes are bad for everyone. I think he has a bit of... »

  • When The Gig Gets Canceled…

    When The Gig Gets Canceled…

    Let’s face it, we usually don’t enjoy picking up the phone and finding out that our gig is canceled. Hearing the news via email or text doesn’t make it any better, especially if it’s short notice. On one hand, the middle-schooler in us delights in the fact that we can stay home in our PJ’s,... »