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Articles by Ryan Madora - Page 18


Food for Thought: A Guide to Healthy Eating for the Working Bassist
I Wish I Knew That

Food for Thought: A Guide to Healthy Eating for the Working Bassist

We all know that it’s important to eat right, get exercise, have a healthy lifestyle, and stay away from fried foods and candy, but what does that have to do with playing music? The fact is, playing an instrument is both a mental and physical endeavor that requires a certain amount of fuel. It may not be as strenuous as...

Repeat After Me: Metronomes (and Drum Machines) Are Fun
I Wish I Knew That

Repeat After Me: Metronomes (and Drum Machines) Are Fun

First things first, I’m not trying to open a “metronome debate.” I’m also not trying to lecture people about using (or not using) a metronome during their practice sessions. Instead, I’m going to shed some light on why and how metronomes can be useful tools when it comes to practicing and experimenting with your instrument. We’ll examine the differences between...

Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine
I Wish I Knew That

Guiding Your Own Practice: A Checklist for Improving Your Practice Routine

Confession: I played bass for years without ever practicing. I didn’t know what to focus on and certainly didn’t have enough discipline for it… I just wanted to play. I played along with records, I fooled around and discovered certain licks, and I hung out with musical buddies who would give me tips now and then; but I never actually...

Essential Items for the Gigging Bassist: A Gig Survival Checklist
I Wish I Knew That

Essential Items for the Gigging Bassist: A Gig Survival Checklist

No matter how prepared someone usually is, most gigging bassists will find themselves at a gig, searching through their bag of “stuff” and saying: “hey, where’d my _____ go?” It happens to everyone at least once. If this has happened to you, you’ve probably experienced one of three outcomes: You get extremely lucky since you happen to be gigging five...

I Wish I Knew That: The Size of the Crowd Doesn’t Matter
I Wish I Knew That

I Wish I Knew That: The Size of the Crowd Doesn’t Matter

Greetings, bass players! Although I’ve enjoyed writing about the blues for the past few months, a new year calls for a new subject, and I’ve decided to shift gears a bit. Thanks to you guys, No Treble readers, and to the nifty technological advancements that allow us to communicate in new ways, I’ve been impressed by the ongoing dialogue that...

The Most Influential Blues Bassists: Part 2
Blues Bass

The Most Influential Blues Bassists: Part 2

After reading the previous column in this two-part series, I’m hoping you’ve had a chance to check out some music featuring the playing of Willie Dixon and Duck Dunn. Their old school approaches to playing blues compliments the players they accompanied and reflects how novel full-band blues recordings were in the 1950’s and ’60’s. Early on, blues recordings typically only...

The Most Influential Blues Bassists: Part 1
Blues Bass

The Most Influential Blues Bassists: Part 1

One of the common bonds between a lot of us bass players is that we learned how to play by ear. Unlike other instruments, such as the clarinet or piano, we didn’t start out by taking private lessons, nor did we play in the fourth grade orchestra at school. Instead, we heard songs on the radio with cool bass lines...

Blues Endings: Tips for Avoiding the Train Wreck
Blues Bass

Blues Endings: Tips for Avoiding the Train Wreck

Early on in my musical career, a wise man once told me that the mark of a good band is one that starts together and ends together. This doesn’t mean that whatever is played in the middle doesn’t matter, but it alludes to the importance of how well-rehearsed the players are or how well they feel each other out if...

Let’s Talk About the Blues Scale
Blues Bass

Let’s Talk About the Blues Scale

The Blues Scale. Why do so many players talk about this as the quintessential soloing tool? Have you ever wondered why the blues scale doesn’t always sound good while being played over a blues progression? Aren’t you looking for something more “realistic” in terms of an approach for soloing? Although this column is starting to sound like an infomercial proposing...

More Blues Feels! Rumbas, Funky Blues, and Rock-n-Roll
Blues Bass

More Blues Feels! Rumbas, Funky Blues, and Rock-n-Roll

Here are three more feels to have at your fingertips whenever you’re stepping into a blues gig or jamming situation. As I’ve mentioned in previous “feels” columns, bandleaders enjoy putting their own spin on certain tunes and will often deviate from the recorded version of the song by changing the feel. It’s also nice to break up the monotony of...