the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • Selecting a Direct Box

    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”... »

  • The Reading Hurdle and How to Jump It

    The Reading Hurdle and How to Jump It

    Q: I’m working on being a more fluent sight-reader. I can read notes and their values but it takes me a while to transfer that to the instrument. Any advice on how to most effectively improve? A: Good for you for devoting time to this worthwhile endeavor! Learning to read music is much like learning... »

  • Chops vs. Groove

    Chops vs. Groove

    A while back, someone asked me to discuss the concept of “Chops vs. Groove.” The reader didn’t elaborate very much, but the impression I got was they felt having, or perhaps displaying, “chops” and the ability to groove were somehow mutually exclusive. Although someone can groove pretty hard with only a moderate level of technique,... »

  • Get the latest bass news!

    Subscribe to the No Treble Update

  • Tips for Memorizing Music

    Tips for Memorizing Music

    I have trouble memorizing. Do you have any suggestions? —–Gina D. In general, if we have played a piece enough times, we often find we have memorized it without trying. However, some pieces (and styles of music) are more difficult to memorize than others and may require special attention. Also, on occasion, we may also... »

  • Approaches to Music Arranging

    Approaches to Music Arranging

    Q: How do you go about making your song arrangements? Do you have a plan from the beginning for the different instruments, or do you let the other musicians fill in the gaps based on their experience/ideas? I imagine that the distance between what you intend to create vs. what you actually create is much... »

  • Making the Shift: from 4- to 6-String Bass

    Making the Shift: from 4- to 6-String Bass

    Q: Do you have any advice for those looking to make the leap from a 4 string to a 6 string bass? A: I made the leap directly from a 4 to a 6 string bass, and had the advantage of making the switch while I was attending music school, at Berklee. This is an... »

  • Essential Accessories for Your First Upright

    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... »

  • Choosing an Amp

    Choosing an Amp

    Q: I have a question regarding power amps and cabinets. There are so many choices out there, and even more when you consider every amp available online (but probably won’t see in a store). How do you go about choosing an amp without just throwing a dart at the board and taking a huge financial... »

  • Past the Point of Unknowing

    Past the Point of Unknowing

    Q: I tend to hit a wall while practicing over a tune, where I don’t know what else to play. I know you’ve explained some chordal exercises and other ways to expand one’s vocabulary, but do you have any other thoughts about what to play when you just don’t know what to play? A: Actually,... »

  • Rockin’ Your Stage Sound: A Musician’s Guide to Professional Live Audio

    Rockin’ Your Stage Sound: A Musician’s Guide to Professional Live Audio

    Hal Leonard’s latest book in their Music Pro Guides series is Rockin’ Your Stage Sound: A Musician’s Guide to Professional Live Audio, a step-by-step guide to improving your stage sound. The book, penned by professional live-sound engineer Rob Gainey, features over 170 stage tips, including 100 tops from players in nationally recognized acts. Topics including... »