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Articles by Ryan Madora - Page 14


Pace Yourself: Thoughts on the Process of Practicing and Learning
I Wish I Knew That

Pace Yourself: Thoughts on the Process of Practicing and Learning

Whether you’re embarking on a long distance run, sitting down to a delicious plate of food, or facing a mountain of material to learn, keep one thing in mind: pace yourself. Establishing a good pace for learning material or practicing a new technique is extremely important, especially when you’re looking at a deadline. It’s easy to let time slip away...

Organizational Skills for Bassists: A Checklist for Getting There
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Organizational Skills for Bassists: A Checklist for Getting There

I’ve just spent the past hour tearing apart my room, searching through notebooks and drawers, on top of shelves and beneath the bed, and I still can’t find what I’m looking for. Frantically, I called a friend to create a distraction (secretly hoping that what I’m looking for will magically appear right in front of me), and his response was,...

Capturing Your Ideas: Transform Your Musical Inspiration into Reality
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Capturing Your Ideas: Transform Your Musical Inspiration into Reality

If you’re a fan of the Rolling Stones, you’re probably familiar with the story of Keith Richards coming up with the lick to “Satisfaction.” If not, here’s the story: the classic guitar riff came to him in the middle of the night, and luckily, he had a cassette player by his bed and was quickly able to record the idea....

I Ain’t Superstitious: Personal Quirks and Why They Work
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I Ain’t Superstitious: Personal Quirks and Why They Work

It’s 6pm… time to get the gear in the car, enter the club’s address into the GPS, and get on the road. It takes exactly five minutes and three trips to pack: one trip for each cabinet (the two fit side by side in the trunk), and one trip for the amp head, bag o’ stuff, and bass (all of...

Refresh Yourself: Some Thoughts on Musical Growth
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Refresh Yourself: Some Thoughts on Musical Growth

As we grow and develop as bassists, we tend to go through different stages of learning. Sometimes we feel inspired and creative, other times we feel as if we’ve plateaued or burnt out. During the good times, it’s easy to find new concepts to work on, specific ideas to write about, or ways to make headway during practice sessions. During...

Earplugs… A Love-Hate Relationship (Part 2: Where, When, and Why)
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Earplugs… A Love-Hate Relationship (Part 2: Where, When, and Why)

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski In Part 1 of this series, we looked at two different types of earplugs, the over-the-counter ones as well as the custom molded ones, and some of the benefits of each. Now, let’s think about when to use them and how to get comfortable playing with them in. Before we jump in, let me say that...

Earplugs… A Love-Hate Relationship (Part 1: Options)
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Earplugs… A Love-Hate Relationship (Part 1: Options)

Ever rush out of the house in the morning and forget something that you always have with you? Your watch, perhaps? Or maybe your reading glasses? As soon as you realize that you’ll have to go all day without this beloved item, you start to feel uncomfortable, annoyed, and metaphorically naked. It is a truly awful feeling that I’ve experienced...

Bass Strings: To Change Or Not To Change
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Bass Strings: To Change Or Not To Change

For years, bass players have debated the concept of changing strings and most people have asked the same questions: Doesn’t it change the sound of the instrument? Does the funk disappear? How can someone get good tone playing strings that are a year old? Don’t you know that (insert famous bass player) never changed his strings? Don’t you know that...

Gigging? Make a Reserve Tune List
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Gigging? Make a Reserve Tune List

It’s 11:58, and you just finished a killer set. So much so that the crowd is clapping, fist pumping, raising their drinks in the air and collectively begging for one more song. The band members look around at one another and think, “yeah, this is awesome! But what are we gonna do???” You played through the set list and it...

Flu Season Fumbles and Avoiding Lost Gigs
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Flu Season Fumbles and Avoiding Lost Gigs

As we get over the start of a new year and the holidays seem like a distant memory, we enter a new season with the worst surprise of them all… the flu. With the weather, the “warriors” who insist on coming into the office, travel, and the nights off to hang out with friends at the bar, we’re unusually exposed...

On Performing: Somebody, Somewhere, Is Going To Notice
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On Performing: Somebody, Somewhere, Is Going To Notice

Just when you think no one is watching… someone comes along and compliments you on your technique. Technique? Really? Of all things… This past weekend, I played a rock ’n roll gig at a smoke-filled, small-town bar with Coors and Miller lights ablaze. A few older gentlemen approached me during a break and asked: “what did you play before bass?”...

Read Up! Part 2: How to Find and Work Through Books for Bass
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Read Up! Part 2: How to Find and Work Through Books for Bass

Ah ha! You’ve reached the oh-so-exciting section of the music store where the possibilities seem endless and you get giddy just thinking about picking something up and taking it home… No, not the bass wall… the bookshelves! You feast your eyes on the “Teach Yourself Harmonica” manuals, the transcription books of Green Day guitar solos, and, everyone’s favorite, the 100...