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  • How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)

    How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)

    Ok, I admit it; I’m not the person that you think of when you envision a “blues bass player.” I’m exactly five feet and one quarter of an inch tall, I’m a 24-year-old girl from a suburban neighborhood in Philadelphia, and, as many people point out, the bass is bigger than I am. I don’t... »

  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 4: You’ve Got Some Nerve

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 4: You’ve Got Some Nerve

    Strapped — Proper Strap Construction and Use Typically bassists are used to having a heavy weight around their necks. Earlier in this series we studied problems related to the wrists and forearms, which are usually muscle and tendon related (tendons attach muscles to bones, hence when overuse occurs it is from the pulling that the... »

  • Practice Your Scales… But Which Ones?

    Practice Your Scales… But Which Ones?

    Q: Scales… everyone should practice scales. But which scales? For someone that’s beginning to play or even some that has been playing for a long time, this can be a dilemma. How do you practice them? How do you implement them in your playing? A: Great question. Of course, everyone should know their: 1. Major... »

  • Developing Stamina

    Developing Stamina

    I have trouble with stamina, especially when playing difficult music. How do you develop stamina? – John H. Developing stamina can be a real challenge on an instrument as large and as physically demanding as the upright bass. If developing stamina is a goal you need to achieve, I would suggest focusing on the following... »

  • Selecting a Direct Box

    Selecting a Direct Box

    Q: I’m looking to upgrade my setup a little… shrink down my 4×10 cab to a equal power 2×10 and maybe buy a DI box for a live PA setting and a studio recording setting. In looking through the number of DI boxes, it’s hard to see what exactly makes a pedal a “Direct Box”... »

  • Custom Shop: Darkglass Electronics

    Custom Shop: Darkglass Electronics

    We first heard about Darkglass Electronics by way of the company’s flagship distortion pedal, the Microtubes B3K [check out our review here], and soon met proprietor Douglas Castro. Castro, who hails from Chile but is now based out of Finland, builds all of the pedals by hand. A bass player himself, Castro couldn’t get the... »

  • The Reading Hurdle and How to Jump It

    The Reading Hurdle and How to Jump It

    Q: I’m working on being a more fluent sight-reader. I can read notes and their values but it takes me a while to transfer that to the instrument. Any advice on how to most effectively improve? A: Good for you for devoting time to this worthwhile endeavor! Learning to read music is much like learning... »

  • Chops vs. Groove

    Chops vs. Groove

    A while back, someone asked me to discuss the concept of “Chops vs. Groove.” The reader didn’t elaborate very much, but the impression I got was they felt having, or perhaps displaying, “chops” and the ability to groove were somehow mutually exclusive. Although someone can groove pretty hard with only a moderate level of technique,... »

  • Teaching Kids

    Teaching Kids

    Q: How would you approach teaching children? Trying to keep it interesting while teaching technique, reading and material seems an impossible combination to me. Kids just don’t have the patience that adults do. Any advice? A: My advice? Teach adults! Seriously, this has perplexed me as well and I’ve had to become honest with myself... »

  • Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 3: Warm Up & Exercise Tips

    Health & Fitness for The Working Bassist – Part 3: Warm Up & Exercise Tips

    Bass Playing as a Sport Approaching the bass in the same manner athletes approach their chosen field of endeavor will pay dividends in stamina, injury reduction, and improved playing. Just as an athlete trains for an event in which they have to perform at their best, bassists practice, rehearse, and gig for hours at a... »