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Russ Sargeant

Russ Sargeant

Guest Contributor

Russ works as a graphic designer with a local marketing company and based in Dudley, UK. His true love and main creative outlet is music. Russ plays electric bass, double bass, guitar and percussion, writing and recording in his home studio. A passion for Jazz and diverse music traditions from around the world has always inpired Russ to create his own music. He is passionate about communication through music and believes it can paint a picture in the same way an artist uses a brush.

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All in the Fingers?
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All in the Fingers?

I started playing bass when I was 14. My dad bought me a used ‘no-name’ bass from the local thrift shop; a Fender Precision copy made from plywood with a big, shiny, and very noisy, single-coil pickup. Once I was experienced enough to know good tone from bad, it became apparent that this bass sounded pretty awful. Yet I successfully...

Columns

Seeing Through Hearing

I’m an ear player… By that I mean I’m good at hearing something and responding intuitively to it on my bass, without necessarily knowing exactly what I’m doing. This has been both advantageous AND a disability to me. Below I’ve listed some of the pros and cons of being this kind of a player. See if you identify with any...

Solo Bass and the Art of Metaphor
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Solo Bass and the Art of Metaphor

METAPHOR: something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol. Music is art. It is a most powerful medium capable of describing in detail the world around us, emotions, abstract concepts and shades of meaning. Bass is beauty. It is deep and foundational and at the same time melodic and rich, capable of the deepest melancholy...

The Cross-Genre Bassist
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The Cross-Genre Bassist

How do your musical tastes influence your playing? Do you have a wide or narrow frame of reference when it comes to what you allow to impact and inspire you? I think having as diverse as possible a range of styles and influences at your disposal is of prime importance to your growth and sustainability as a bass player. Influential...

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Because It’s There…

I took my 6-string to have the nut adjusted recently and I was talking to the guitar tech about adjusting the action to make the bass more playable around the middle to high register. He looked at me and said, “Be honest, how often to you play up there?” “All the time” I said, “I’m a solo player, I play...

Gear Review: Boss RC-20XL Loop Station
Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Boss RC-20XL Loop Station

Until recently, due to limited budget, I’ve been using the free software looping solution, Mobius. A couple of weeks ago I came across the Boss RC-20XL Phrase Recorder in my local music store. It is the relatively inexpensive (approx. $250) two-pedal ‘middle sibling’ of the Loop Station family; the smaller unit being the one-pedal RC-2 and the much larger unit...

Lesson: Building an Improvised Composition for Solo Bass with a Looping Device
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Building an Improvised Composition for Solo Bass with a Looping Device

One exciting way of use a looping device with your bass is to enhance a composition. A recorded phrase can become a backbone over which to improvise. For example, a phrase can take the form of a tapped rhythm (e.g. using muted strings), a short rhythmic phrase lasting only one or two bars or a longer phrase dependent on your...

Live looping: Thinking Outside the Box
Bass Lessons

Live looping: Thinking Outside the Box

I was in a music retail outlet recently where I purchased a Boss RC-20XL Loop Station. A great piece of kit, a glowing review of which I will post separately. What occurred to me, as the eager shop assistant demo’d the device, was that live looping may have become a little typecast in the minds of many musicians; i.e. a...

Bass Lessons

Creative Looping Within Your Means

If you can plug it in or mic it up, you can loop it. That is the conclusion I’m fast coming to when experimenting with live looping technology. Although another very important rule of thumb is, “Keep it simple, stupid” :) I wanted to put a few short thoughts together on having a creative mindset when using the looper, using...

Looping Lesson: Programming the Behringer FCB1010 with Mobius
Bass Lessons

Looping Lesson: Programming the Behringer FCB1010 with Mobius

This is a lesson based around use of the popular Behringer FCB1010 MIDI foot controller surface for hand-free control of the freely available and very capable, Mobius looping software from Jeffrey Larson at Circular Labs. The Gear The Behringer FCB1010 Foot Controller has 100 memory positions to store MIDI controller data for up to 5 separate MIDI devices, and provides...