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Lower Position Harmonics
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Lower Position Harmonics

Last time we found some of the most common harmonics as they are played at the end of the fingerboard. Since the placement of harmonics on the string “mirror” themselves from the mid point (i.e. you find the same notes toward the nut as you do toward the bridge) we can find the harmonics from last installment not only at...

Expanded Harmonics: More on Locations and Patterns
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Expanded Harmonics: More on Locations and Patterns

Last time we talked about how to find out where harmonics occur on a string by dividing the string into equal parts. Below you will find a more straightforward representation of the specific harmonics that can be found at the end of the fingerboard on each string. We will be placing the thumb on the second octave harmonic for each...

Harmonics: A Starter Guide for Bassists
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Harmonics: A Starter Guide for Bassists

Whatever the genre, we bassists seem to love harmonics. From Jaco to Dittersdorf, bass music is full of them. When we are introduced to playing harmonics however, the prospect can be a bit tricky. At first, we may be unsure where the harmonics are on the string, or what note will sound when we attempt them. While I can’t possibly...

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...

Versatility: A Guide for Bassists
Ask Damian Erskine

Versatility: A Guide for Bassists

Q: Like a lot of the guys out there on the scene, you make a living playing a wide variety of styles. I have a hard enough time trying to play well in any one style of music. How do you get so comfortable in so many different kinds of musical settings? A: I think that a part of it...

Best of 2012: Top 10 Bass How To’s, Columns and Lessons
Best of 2012

Best of 2012: Top 10 Bass How To’s, Columns and Lessons

Just in time for your new year’s resolutions, here are the top 10 most popular bass lessons, how to’s and columns from 2012. From practicing and technique to advice on life as a musician, these features should help you make big musical strides in 2013. 1. Finger-Style Funk Bass Lesson: Build Dexterity and Accuracy in Your Playing In this lesson...

No Bass Amp? A Guide to Hearing Yourself Practice
Ask Damian Erskine

No Bass Amp? A Guide to Hearing Yourself Practice

Q: My amp and most of my gear got confiscated when I got to college because they said it was a fire hazard. What do you recommend for some amp-less ways for me to get my sound amplified? I really have no idea. A: My first question is: what kind of amp did you have that was such a fire...

Playing a Gig with No Prep Time: A Guide for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing a Gig with No Prep Time: A Guide for Bass Players

Q: I will soon be filling in on a gig with no rehearsals or charts. I’m a little freaked out. They said we’d get a few minutes during sound check to run through a tune or two, but how can I expect to play well when I can’t really prepare? A: I feel your pain, friend! In the scenario you...

Funk Bass Fills
Sheet Music & Instruction

Funk Bass Fills

Berklee bass professor Anthony Vitti has released his latest method book, this time focusing on funk bass. Funk Bass Fills offers up bass fills spanning funk, soul, R&B and hip-hop styles, playing fills in different positions and keys, funk rhythms and rhythmic patterns and more. The 72-page book comes with a companion play-along CD, including the recorded bass lines –...

A Guide to Making the Switch Fretless Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

A Guide to Making the Switch Fretless Bass

Q: I’ve just removed the frets from my first bass, and this is my first experience with a fretless bass. What advice do you have to start out? A: There are two areas of focus for making the switch. At a glance, these might seem to contradict each other, but one applies to practicing and one applies to performance. Fretless...