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  • Tips for Starting to Teach Bass

    Tips for Starting to Teach Bass

    Q: I was asked at a gig recently if I ever gave lessons. The answer was actually “no,” but I could use the bread and also thought it might be an interesting way to explore music, my playing, etc. So I said, “Definitely! Want to get together?” Without asking something as silly as “how do... »

  • What’s One Piece Of Advice To Become a Better Musician?

    What’s One Piece Of Advice To Become a Better Musician?

    Q: What’s the one piece of advice you got that helped you to become a better musician? A: With this week’s column, I’m hoping to get a discussion going down below. I want to know what the best advice you ever got might have been. I’m specifically thinking of those teachable moments on a gig,... »

  • Am I Too Old To Start a Career as a Session Bassist?

    Am I Too Old To Start a Career as a Session Bassist?

    Q: I’m 58 and a semi-pro bassist (I have a day job but have gigged for the past 30+ years and consider myself a very good player). I wanted to ask your thoughts on me trying to focus on becoming a session musician. I’m semi-retired and have a lot more time on my hands but... »

  • Choosing a Direction: Focusing on Your Approach to Bass and Music

    Choosing a Direction: Focusing on Your Approach to Bass and Music

    Q: I am an intermediate bass player and I am a fan of several different bass players. I love the way Janek Gwizdala composes, plays chords and creates music using a looper. I can’t get enough of Gary Willis and his amazing groove as well as his fretless tone. I also love listening to guys... »

  • Connecting to Music or a Brand: Spotify vs Apple

    Connecting to Music or a Brand: Spotify vs Apple

    For this week’s column, I asked a good friend and frequent band-mate – Seattle-based drummer Tarik Abouzied – to give his unique perspective into Spotify (and the streaming model, in general). Tarik had written a column in my stead here at No Treble once before regarding bass playing from the drummers perspective and everybody loved... »

  • Exercise For Unlocking The Fretboard

    Exercise For Unlocking The Fretboard

    In this video, we’ll work through a great pattern that I learned from the great trombonist Dave Glen. It’s a fantastic way to make the transition between scales and arpeggios and also helps you to relate them more naturally to different chord types. I found this very useful when I first heard Dave talking about... »

  • Licks and Fills from Right Hand Drive

    Licks and Fills from Right Hand Drive

    In this video from the road, I decided to respond to an email requesting some contextual examples of how I might use a few of the “licks and fills” from my book, Right Hand Drive. After a handful of technical difficulties and the majority of my day off spent filming in a hotel room, I... »

  • Using an Active/Passive Toggle on Your Bass

    Using an Active/Passive Toggle on Your Bass

    Q: I’ve got a toggle on my bass for passive and active. I hardly use it. Could you explain the benefits and drawbacks of each? Do you ever toggle during a gig? Thanks! A: I’ve more recently become more enamored with the sound of my basses in passive mode. For me, it partially reflects a... »

  • The Plucking Pinky: A Lesson for Bass Players

    The Plucking Pinky: A Lesson for Bass Players

    In this video, we’ll take a quick look at the usefulness of one of the lesser used fingers… the plucking hand’s pinky! »

  • Walking Bass Line Construction

    Walking Bass Line Construction

    In this video, I’ll talk you through the basics of developing a walking bass line in addition to demonstrating a few approaches. There’s also a nice exercise at the end that’ll really challenge most of you as you explore new ways to navigate chord changes. Enjoy! Follow along with this chord chart I used in... »