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How To Archives - Page 5

Playing Pain Free
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing Pain Free

Q: As someone who wants to practice for hours each day, what advice would you give to prevent injury? Do you have any warm up routines or other advice? A: You know, I’ve been lucky. I’ve never consciously warmed up when practicing, and I’ve never had any pain issues. However, I’ve noticed more recently that it takes my hands and...

Playing by Ear (and Self-Evaluation)
Ask Damian Erskine

Playing by Ear (and Self-Evaluation)

Q: I have been playing bass for about 12 years now, and over the last 5 years, I have been practicing more and more. I’m definitely seeing progress in the areas of practive, but sometimes I feel there are holes in my playing. For example, I get very nervous when I´m in a situation where I need to play by...

How To: Fretless Bass Conversion
Bass Lessons

How To: Fretless Bass Conversion

Our Facebook friend Ryan Pusiak posted a question on our Facebook page, asking about the best way to go about converting a fretted bass into a fretless one. So we decided it was a great opportunity to feature the series from Jason Holder, one of the guys at The Musician’s Den in Evansville, Indiana. Jason really breaks down the process...

The Studio Builder’s Handbook
News

The Studio Builder’s Handbook

Alfred Music has released The Studio Builder’s Handbook, the latest entry in their Pro Audio Series. The handbook focuses on building and improving recording studios, for any budget. The book covers a variety of topics, from isolation booth acoustics to building a studio from start to finish, offering details on planning, engineering, construction and gear selection. The book also dives...

Reducing Feedback on Amplified Upright Bass
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Reducing Feedback on Amplified Upright Bass

Steve Bunker sent in this request: “Can you talk about the best way to amplify the upright to avoid feedback and the best way to record the bass. I play mostly rockabilly.” Hi Steve! I’ll get to the recording part of the question another week. For today, let’s talk feedback. Feedback is a real problem for anyone amplifying the double...

Chord Tone Exercise
Ask Damian Erskine

Chord Tone Exercise

Q: Can you give an example of how one might get more comfortable with available chord tones? A: An exercise that I’ve been enjoying lately addresses this exact issue! I’ve previously stressed the importance of developing the ability to arpeggiate chords in every inversion while working through any tune in the Real Book. To refresh (briefly), you would practice playing...

How To: Adjusting Bass Pickups
Columns

How To: Adjusting Bass Pickups

In response to the my last column on bass pickups (Bass Pickups: A Guide to Formulating Your Sound) we received a request from a reader to cover the topic of setting up pickup height. Because everyone plays differently and every bass is different – even when comparing two similar models from the same company – there is no black and...

Ready, Set… What To Play?
Ask Damian Erskine

Ready, Set… What To Play?

Q: When I’m in jam situations and someone asks me to “kick it off” or start something, I just freeze and draw a blank. How do you know what to play? A: This is something we’ve all dealt with at some point. The problem is all in our minds. Our analytical and critical minds see the myriad of possibilities and...

Technique Series: Pizzicato (Plucking) Exercises
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Technique Series: Pizzicato (Plucking) Exercises

The simple, straightforward exercises below are the best I have seen to develop and maintain right hand pizzicato (plucking) on the upright bass. They isolate the technique to focus one just one thing: your right hand technique. There is certainly room in a practice routine to work on right hand/left hand coordination, or tricky patterns, but these have proven to...

Ask Damian Erskine: Music as a Language
Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Music as a Language

Q: I often hear people speak of music as a language but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to relate to that idea and make it useful. Any thoughts? A: You’re not alone. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’ve been in the same boat you’re in. I have chosen to think of...