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Buying Gear Archives - Page 2

Fretless Bass: A Guide for Choosing the Best Strings
Ask Damian Erskine

Fretless Bass: A Guide for Choosing the Best Strings

Q: I’ve been wanted to get a fretless bass recently to expand my horizons, and a question that’s come up in my mind is the type of stings I’d play on fretless. Roundwounds, flatwounds, half wounds… so many to chose from and all with different pros and cons. Right now I play roundwounds. What are the pros and cons for...

Lines on a Fretless Bass: Is it Cheating?
Ask Damian Erskine

Lines on a Fretless Bass: Is it Cheating?

Q: Is it cheating to have lines on the fretboard of a fretless bass? Also, what would be better for a first fretless: picking up a quality used instrument and de-fretting it (assuming I cant find a used fretless) or a brand new entry-level one? The only fretless basses I’ve played so far I liked was a Warwick Corvette and...

Boutique Basses: Are They Worth It?
Ask Damian Erskine

Boutique Basses: Are They Worth It?

Q: I see so many people spending thousands of dollars on handmade basses, but so many of the recordings I listen to are recorded using a standard P or J bass. What is it about these high end basses that is so “worth it” to so many? A: There are so many possible answers to this question! For some, it...

Cable Considerations: A Guide (and Discussion) for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Cable Considerations: A Guide (and Discussion) for Bass Players

Q: Are expensive boutique cables really worth the expense? A: There are two ways we can look at this question. One is tech, the other is a combination of perception and experience. The technical explanation involves more of a scientific look at how cables work: signal purity, conductivity and so on. I’m not a technical guy, so I’ll share with...

Butter Strings: A Guide to Finding the Best Bass Strings for You
Ask Damian Erskine

Butter Strings: A Guide to Finding the Best Bass Strings for You

Q: What’s the best way to smoothen up my playing? I notice that a lot of bass players play like the strings are made of wool. I play a basic 4-string Cort G-series model, but I always get the feeling the strings are way to hard/high to play smoothly, or when I lower them, they make a lousy sound because...

Basses and Skill: Stick to One or Diversify?
Ask Damian Erskine

Basses and Skill: Stick to One or Diversify?

Q: Is there any benefit in mastering two (or more) types of basses? I have a 5-string fretted that is my primary instrument, and that’s the one I take out of the “shed.” After finding a great deal on a fretless 4-string at a pawnshop, my thought was this bass would be perfect for playing jazz, and I started studying...

Bass Strings: Tips for Finding the Right Sound
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Bass Strings: Tips for Finding the Right Sound

This week’s column comes thanks to a question from Maria G. Maria asks: I’m a pretty new player, but I’m not happy with my upright bass strings. I know I need something different, but there are so many different kinds of strings out there I don’t know where to start. They are also expensive (!) so I can’t really experiment...

Choosing the Right Webcam in the Youtube Era
Ask Damian Erskine

Choosing the Right Webcam in the Youtube Era

Q: I am looking at starting a Youtube channel, and I was wondering what you’d suggest for a webcam solution. I’m looking for one that has good audio. Alternatively, what is the best, cheap USB interface to buy? A: As many of you may know, I could stand to focus a little attention to my production values with my own...

Cabinet Size: Is Bigger Better?
Ask Damian Erskine

Cabinet Size: Is Bigger Better?

Q: I have a question regarding the cabinet sizes. I see a lot of players lugging around some real beasts. I tend to use my DI for most medium to larger gigs and sometimes just go through the PA. I can’t see a need for a monster rig and wonder why so many bassist are breaking their backs lugging around...

Selecting a Direct Box
Ask Damian Erskine

Selecting a Direct Box

Q: I’m looking to upgrade my setup a little… shrink down my 4×10 cab to a equal power 2×10 and maybe buy a DI box for a live PA setting and a studio recording setting. In looking through the number of DI boxes, it’s hard to see what exactly makes a pedal a “Direct Box” as I’ve seen many so-called...

Essential Accessories for Your First Upright
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Essential Accessories for Your First Upright

For many people, buying an upright bass is a financial transaction that requires some planning. Nearly everyone wants the highest quality instrument they can afford and, as a result, many spend their last available dollar (or more!) on the instrument itself. This is completely understandable, and laudable. However, if it’s your first upright you should also consider obtaining a few...

Gear, Tone and Reality
Ask Damian Erskine

Gear, Tone and Reality

Q: I know a lot of guys who spend quite a bit of time and money on their gear. In your opinion, how much of a bassist’s sound is contained in the rig that they are using versus the hands and so on? A: I’m glad you asked! I just had this conversation the other night, at different times and...