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Top Ten: The Best Bass Videos, Sting Returns to Bass, Practicing and the Mind and More

Last week’s top 10 features on No Treble include two columns on practicing and the mind. Damian Erskine weighs in with Mindfully Mindless Practice, and Dr. D. shares his thoughts on Mental Practice. Plus, Ryan Madora posted her latest Blues Bass column, focusing on major and minor chords.

On the gear front, we took an inside look at M Basses in our latest custom shop, and got a close look at the Bass of the Week, Knuckle Guitar Works Quake Bass.

Plus, all the top bass videos you can handle. Here are the top 10 features on No Treble for the week of September 11-17, 2011.

BassGirl: Amerika

1. BassGirl: Amerika

Annie sent us this new video of BassGirl, who we’ve featured before to rave reviews. Annie says, “[Here’s BassGirl’s cover of Jaco Pastorius’s] “Amerika”. Not sure if you’re posting any special [videos on 9/11], but thought this might be appropriate.” We agree. On this 10th anniversary of 9/11, we’re reminded of the tragedy we faced…

Top 10: The Best Bass Videos (August 2011)

2. Top 10: The Best Bass Videos (August 2011)

From the Story of Bootsy to Larry Graham’s 65th birthday, here are the top 10 bass videos of the month, based on views by No Treble readers. 1. Unsung: The Story of Bootsy Collins Here’s TV One‘s documentary on Bootsy Collins, sharing the highs and lows of the funk legend’s life. There’s so much great…

Custom Shop: M Basses

3. Custom Shop: M Basses

After growing up around woodworking, Jon Maghini turned his fascination of instrument building into a reality when he founded M Basses about a decade ago. Though the Connecticut-based luthier has built completely custom basses in the past, he began streamlining his process by focusing on J-style basses late last year with his Mj model, eventually…

Simon Fitzpatrick: “Family Guy” Theme for Solo Bass

4. Simon Fitzpatrick: “Family Guy” Theme for Solo Bass

We shared Simon Fitzpatrick‘s solo bass performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” from our archives last night, and Simon responded with his latest video, a solo bass performance of the “Family Guy” theme. Have a video to share? Send it to

Mindfully Mindless Practice

5. Mindfully Mindless Practice

Q: I’ve heard some people talk about practicing while watching TV, and I’ve heard others warn against it. What’s your take? A: Actually, I’m a huge fan of certain types of practice while watching movies and television. As I’ve mentioned in earlier columns, certain things are only really mastered through repetition (licks and patterns, internalizing…

Mental Practice

6. Mental Practice

We all have strategies on how to practice when time is short. There are times, however, when even a short practice session is not feasible. In times such as this, mental practice can be a valuable tool. Mental practice is also valuable as a regular part of your sessions. For such practice to be valuable,…

Sting Announces “Back to Bass” Tour

7. Sting Announces “Back to Bass” Tour

In celebration of a 25 year solo career, former Police frontman and bassist Sting has announced the “Back to Bass” tour, where he will will take a “stripped down” 5-piece band across North America. The shows will highlight many songs that haven’t been played in years, ranging from 1985’s The Dream of Blue Turtles to…

Major and Minor Blues: What Are These Chords?

8. Major and Minor Blues: What Are These Chords?

When it comes to playing bass, it’s easy to stick to specific patterns, rely on our ability to provide the musical foundation with the root and the fifth, and leave the chord knowledge up to the guitar players. Although there are musical situations where playing the root and the fifth is appropriate, it is essential…

Bass of the Week: Knuckle Guitar Works Quake Bass

9. Bass of the Week: Knuckle Guitar Works Quake Bass

Bigger is better. At least that’s the concept behind Knuckle Guitar Works’ Quake, a massive 39.5″ scale built-to-order bass. With the growing popularity of drop-tuning, bassists have to tune their strings down, which Knuckle explains harms tone by losing the upper transients. Seeing the need for better string response and tension, luthier Skip Fantry set…

Carol Kaye, Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey Jam at NAMM

10. Carol Kaye, Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey Jam at NAMM

Old school meets new school in this clip from Winter NAMM 2000, where session legend Carol Kaye jams with bass virtuosos Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey on a blues. They may have different backgrounds, but one thing they all share is a groove that just won’t quit.