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  • Building Your Audience

    Building Your Audience

    Q: I’ve been struggling with a question, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. I’ve been playing in a band for the past two years, mainly in bars and functions. Finally, we are getting some contracts to play in clubs, which is great! However, instead of the annoying sound of loud voices and... »

  • How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    How to Get Called Back for the Gig (Or Not)

    So I just came home from a recording session and the conversation I had before I split had me thinking for the entire drive home. We were speaking about a few other bassists that the band had tried to use, and the various issues they encountered. The songwriter chimed in at that point with a... »

  • Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Working Through the Hiccups in a Band

    Q: My band and I have started playing out in bars and clubs, and one thing keeps me on edge: No matter how much we prepare and rehearse, there are always hiccups. How do the pros know how to deal with things going wrong (like someone going to the wrong section of the tune, the... »

  • A Drummer’s Perspective on Bass Playing

    A Drummer’s Perspective on Bass Playing

    For this week’s column, I asked a good friend of mine – Seattle-based drummer Tarik Abouzied – to talk about what he looks for in a bassist, from a drummer’s perspective. I thought he may have some insights as he’s also a pretty phenomenal bassist, in addition to being a complete badass on the drums.... »

  • What Do I Need To Record Bass At Home?

    What Do I Need To Record Bass At Home?

    Q: What kind of gear might I need to start recording bass lines from home? I’m thinking of the ability to record for albums remotely but also to get better sound for social media videos and things along those lines. Preferably something that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars! I’m curious what you use, too. A:... »

  • Making Music Your Career

    Making Music Your Career

    Q: I have a job which a) takes up a lot of my time and b) doesn’t pay very well. I’ve been thinking about something you’ve mentioned before about when you quit your job and made your music career your job. Do you have any advice on how to manifest that? A: I will preface... »

  • Playing Outside the Harmony

    Playing Outside the Harmony

    I often get the question about how to play “outside” the changes. There’s no easy answer to this, but I do have several tips to keep in mind. This week I made a video to dig into how to create tension and release by playing outside of the harmony. »

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  • How To Structure Limited Practice Time

    How To Structure Limited Practice Time

    Q: I work a “real job” – as in four 10-hour days a week. I get up at 3:15 am Tuesday through Friday, commute to work, put in my 10 hour day, plus a half-hour for lunch, and by the time I get home from my afternoon commute, it can be as late as 6... »

  • Exploring Pedal Tone Rhythms

    Exploring Pedal Tone Rhythms

    Q: What kind of rhythms should I play during pedal tones? A: I get asked this more often than one might think. The quick answer is to use whatever rhythm you think compliments what’s happening around you. Of course, I’ll suggest a heavy dose of listening to hear how different players have approached pedal tones... »

  • Staying Creative While Practicing

    Staying Creative While Practicing

    Q: So I reach a point now and again where I feel like I’m not practicing musically or in a creative way. Instead, I seem to be practicing things that are useful (technique, location of notes on the fretboard, arpeggios, inversions, and scales) but the way I’m going about it feels rote and not much... »