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  • Should I Quit the Bass? A Discussion on Burn Out (and More)

    Should I Quit the Bass? A Discussion on Burn Out (and More)

    Q: I’m a semi-pro bassist of 15 years and have been playing for about 25 now, I’ve been with my current band for nearly six years and are about to release our second album. For the past two years, I’ve not been very happy playing, and it is a real conflict because of how much... »

  • Learning the Fretboard Without Getting Bored

    Learning the Fretboard Without Getting Bored

    Q: I’m wondering how to develop an expanded knowledge of the fingerboard without falling into a rut. I have been working on “Straight, No Chaser” for a couple of months. I know I should bifurcate my practice time to learn tunes I like and add melodic and technical ideas to my “bag of tricks.” However,... »

  • On the Road with Peat Rains from You Bred Raptors?: Part 2

    On the Road with Peat Rains from You Bred Raptors?: Part 2

    Part 2 – Windsor/ Holland / Lafayette / Des Moines / Lawrence / Fayetteville Windsor, ON – Phog Lounge: We’re en route to Windsor, Ontario today and it’s storming out. I feel nestled in my cocoon in the backseat listening to chiptune music on the speakers (driver’s choice for this leg). The rain slapping the... »

  • Going Wireless: What to Look for in a Wireless System

    Going Wireless: What to Look for in a Wireless System

    Q: Every so often, I get a question and have no experience with the subject matter. Rather than ignoring it, I like to get someone else involved who can answer it better than I could. Case in point: I received a question some months ago asking about wireless systems and for suggestions as to what... »

  • On the Road with Peat Rains from You Bred Raptors?: Part 1

    On the Road with Peat Rains from You Bred Raptors?: Part 1

    Part 1 – Boston/Burlington/Montreal/Toronto Introduction: We’re currently trudging along Queen Elizabeth Highway in Ontario, Canada. It’s a long stretch of nothingness road flanked by featureless forests and rest stops with Tim Horton’s menus in French. It will be a long haul from Montreal to Toronto today. It’s Day Four of a twenty city tour throughout... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Compare And Contrast

    The Lightbulb Moment: Compare And Contrast

    It is a lifelong goal of mine to understand the subtleties of music — the sound of records coming from particular eras and locals, the specific timbre of different instruments, and the nuances that reflect the personality of every player. There’s no better way to hone in these subtleties than by comparing and contrasting songs... »

  • Serious Play and the Bass Solo

    Serious Play and the Bass Solo

    A good friend of mine came to a gig I had recently in Seattle. Jeremy Sherman lives in San Francisco and our relationship began as one of student and teacher (he would fly to Portland on occasion to take a few lessons from me and hang out for a weekend) and we soon became friends... »

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  • Ask Damian: More Album Recommendations

    Ask Damian: More Album Recommendations

    Q: I really dug the last column about albums to check out, if you want to get into jazz. I found a ton of great stuff that I actually liked in there! Do you have any more suggestions that extend beyond the jazz genre? A: Thanks! I’m glad that you discovered some new music. That’s... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Joe Osborn

    Bass Players To Know: Joe Osborn

    If you’re familiar with ‘The Wrecking Crew,” the group of session musicians that dominated the LA recording scene in the 1960s and ’70s, you’ve probably heard of Carol Kaye and our latest bassist to feature, Joe Osborn. These players jumped from session to session, providing the sonic backdrop to popular culture and racking up credits... »

  • Album Suggestions for Getting Into Jazz

    Album Suggestions for Getting Into Jazz

    Q: Do you have any suggestions for what albums I might check out if I wanted to get into jazz? I’ve, of course, heard bits and pieces of things before flipping through radio stations, in restaurants, etc., but nothing ever really grabbed me. What should I check out that might ignite the interest? A: Alright,... »