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Donovan Stokes Archives - Page 3

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Practice Techniques: Add a Note

When approaching a challenging passage, one very useful technique is that of “adding a note.” Adding one note at a time is an excellent tool for improving passages technically. Many people enjoy this technique because it can usually be done at performance tempo, without slowing the passage down. When using the bow: Be sure to use the same amount of...

Events

Bass Coalition Announces Summer Workshop and Solo Competition

The Bass Coalition has announced their first annual Summer Workshop to be hosted at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia on June 24th through the 26th. Included in the workshop events is the live round of the Bass Coalition Solo Competition, in which the first place winner receives a prize of $1000, thanks to sponsor Shank Strings. The three day summer...

Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick

Every so often there is a passage, phrase or “lick” that we just can’t seem to execute as well as we would like, no matter how many times we practice it under tempo. This should be a sign that we need to change our approach. Slow practice an excellent and valuable tool, but it is just one of many ways...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Upright Slap Bass (Rockabilly/Psychobilly): Instrument Setup and Equipment

This is the final installment of Dr. D’s 3-part Slap Bass series. Check out part 1 and part 2. In addition to having its own specialized musical and technical considerations, Playing Upright Slap has its own particular instrumental setup issues. Here are some basic things slap players need to think about when customizing their bass for their specific situation. String...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Upright Slap Bass: Starter tips and etudes

This is part 2 of the Upright Slap Bass series by Dr. D. Check out Part 1 and Part 3. Here are a few etudes to help you improve your slapping. We will use a two octave G blues scale (6 note version) as our starting point. You can use any scale, arpeggio or lick you want, but this is...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Upright Slap Bass (Rockabilly/Psychobilly etc.) – Intro: part 1 of 3

In my opinion, one of the more interesting things you can do on the Upright these days is Slap it! Beyond it’s hipitude, it is a legitimate technique, just like arco (bow) and pizzicato (plucked), and it can make you more employable if you master it. So let’s take a look at the technique. What is Upright Slap Bass? (in...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Three Requirements of Attainment: The Student

Note: This is part 3 of 3 of Dr. D’s current series. See part 1 and part 2. The Student The most important ingredient needed to acquire a skill is not a good Method or a good Teacher, but rather a good Student. Even with the highest quality Method and Teacher, a poor quality Student will not achieve the objectives...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Three Requirements of Attainment (Part 2 of 3: Teacher)

The Teacher The second requirement for the attainment of any skill is a teacher. A good teacher can enhance learning efficiency, streamline progress and illuminate method. You can certainly learn without a teacher and there is a vast amount of information available to us: DVDs, video demonstrations, books, columns, articles, etc. While these can be valuable resources, without one-to-one instruction...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Three Requirements of Attainment (Part 1 of 3: Method)

Presumably we are all searching for mastery on our instrument, and yet some people spend years playing and studying the Upright Bass and achieve very little, whereas others spend a quarter of the time and achieve a great deal. In keeping with my “getting started” theme of late, and to ensure that we fall into the latter group, it would...

Columns, The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Making the Switch from Electric to Upright (part 3 of 3)

The Left Hand Contrary to what many of us expect when we hop on over from Electric, effective and reliable left hand technique can be one of our more formidable challenges as a switcher. We will be learning a new way to use our left hand on an instrument that seems so similar to one we already know, but is...

Reviews

A review Donovan Stokes’s “Gadaha”

Many things come to mind with the upright bass. I guarantee that Donovan Stokes will prove to you that this instrument is more than what you think it is. Gadaha is an acoustic solo bass album – and it’s awesome. That’s right young travelers, there is an acoustic no-overdub upright bass album that that will drop your jaw both for...

Bass, Bass, Bass, Bass, Bass and Bass
Bass Videos

Bass, Bass, Bass, Bass, Bass and Bass

Our very own Donovan Stokes posted this video, featuring his bass studio at Shenandoah University. The group, performing “Bass, Bass, Bass, Bass, Bass and Bass” by Christian Gentet from L’orchestre de Contrebasses (France), includes Dr. Stokes, Allegra Hale, Eric Price, Kevin Johnson, Robin Rhodes and Maya Jones. The performance gets the big No Treble stamp of approval.