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  • Gear, Tone and Reality

    Gear, Tone and Reality

    Q: I know a lot of guys who spend quite a bit of time and money on their gear. In your opinion, how much of a bassist’s sound is contained in the rig that they are using versus the hands and so on? A: I’m glad you asked! I just had this conversation the other... »

  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 2: Posture, Posture, Posture

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 2: Posture, Posture, Posture

    The Importance of Posture, in Life and Music In this installment, our focus is on posture, and how it – and lack of it – can affect bass playing in particular, and everything else you do in general. Bad habits started when we were young have a way of sticking with us as we get... »

  • Technique Series: Fast Fingers

    Technique Series: Fast Fingers

    Although there are musical situations when we want our left hand fingers to strike the fingerboard forcefully, we most often want to use the minimum amount of pressure, and no more. To do otherwise is generally inefficient, clumsy, noisy and speeds up muscle fatigue, among other things. When it comes to left hand technique, the... »

  • Musical Explorations: 12 Tones, 12 Beats and Franc O’Shea

    Musical Explorations: 12 Tones, 12 Beats and Franc O’Shea

    Q: Is there anything outside of the norm that you are working on or thinking about with your musical explorations? A: Actually, in the May issue of Bass Guitar Magazine (UK), Franc O’Shea (his columns are always enlightening and thought provoking), wrote an interesting piece on dividing the chromatic scale and giving every semi-tone a... »

  • Grace Under Pressure

    Grace Under Pressure

    This week’s column is inspired by a conversation I had with someone on a recent tour. Everyone in this story will remain nameless, so as not to get anyone into trouble. The “someone” is one of the best guitarists I’ve known, and he’s a stand up guy. He’s played with just about everyone who you... »

  • More Approaches to Jazz Tunes

    More Approaches to Jazz Tunes

    I’ve talked in the past about delving into a new tune using what I call “The Treatment.” It’s a flexible yet organized way to become more fluent on a tune, especially if it is new to you. Sometimes, however, we are looking to delve even more deeply into a tune, or perhaps we find ourselves... »

  • Custom Shop: The Making of Orchid (Part 4)

    Custom Shop: The Making of Orchid (Part 4)

    This week, we’re wrapping up the series on the making of Orchid, an in-depth look at the build process for a custom bass for No Treble’s founder, Corey Brown, by luthier Rick Toone. If you missed the earlier part of the series, check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Shaping Contours Sculpting the... »

  • Dealing with Repetitive Stress Injuries

    Dealing with Repetitive Stress Injuries

    Q: Every morning, when I wake up at about 5 am to practice my bass, I find that my fingers get cold and blood stops going to them. When I stop and rest, I feel the blood rushing back to them. This started happening since I upgraded my practice time from four hours to about... »

  • 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... »