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  • Percussive Techniques for Bass

    Percussive Techniques for Bass

    For the next few weeks, we’ll be going over some more lesson oriented topics. I’m kicking off the series with a look at percussive techniques on the bass, specifically using your plucking hand. There are some easy techniques to approach as well as some more difficult ones. Work on these slowly with a metronome starting... »

  • Establishing Your Rates as a Working Bass Player

    Establishing Your Rates as a Working Bass Player

    Q: I have been networking, going to jams, and have actually started to make some headway in my local scene. I’ve just gotten a call about doing a regional week-long tour. The money seems a little low, though, and I’m worried about setting a bad precedent. I’d like to do the tour but don’t want... »

  • Subdivision Exercises

    Subdivision Exercises

    For this week’s column, a reader asked about practicing rhythms. Instead of writing out a response, I decided to make this video to show you how I practice subdivision exercises. »

  • How Do You Deal With Performance Anxiety

    How Do You Deal With Performance Anxiety

    Q: Do you ever get scared? How do you deal with performance anxiety? A: I’ve written a fair amount about various types of musical situations I’ve found myself in, related anxiety, and how I’ve navigated it but this may be the first time I’ve written purely on fear. I’ve mentioned in the past that I... »

  • Notes From The Bandstand: Timekeeping

    Notes From The Bandstand: Timekeeping

    In 2005 I traveled to Zurich for my first gig with an iconic jazz pianist (out of respect for his privacy, he’ll remain nameless). We haven’t rehearsed. We haven’t spoken about what we’re going to play. I’m told we’ll go over everything at the sound check but said pianist never shows up. We have a... »

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  • The Lightbulb Moment: The Joy Of Inspiration

    The Lightbulb Moment: The Joy Of Inspiration

    When it comes to performing, practicing, or even making up your mind to pursue music, there’s no substitute for pure, heart-opening, eye-widening, blood-boiling inspiration. Depending on where you are in your musical journey, the moments of inspiration will take on different forms; they may be few and far between or you may be experiencing a... »

  • Do You Always Hear What You Play Before You Play It?

    Do You Always Hear What You Play Before You Play It?

    Q: Do you always hear what you play before you play it? I know a lot of players sing what they play, do some of them actually hear the melodies first? Or are they singing along in real time and following themselves? A: Interesting question. Everyone will have varying levels of relative/perfect pitch, as well... »

  • How Do I Start Practicing Jazz?

    How Do I Start Practicing Jazz?

    Q: I’ve heard some jazz (usually newer stuff) that I like and I’m thinking that I should work on it. You and others also mention that it’s a good thing to practice in general, too. But it’s so confusing and most things I find online (and your columns) are usually too advanced for me. How... »

  • How Do I Become a Good Session Musician?

    How Do I Become a Good Session Musician?

    Q: Do You have any advice for those bassists aspiring to become session musicians? Not so much how to get exposure but how to handle yourself, gear, getting lines on the first take, being solid, etc… A: I’ve always found the studio to be very satisfying. I’m one of those players who wouldn’t mind being... »

  • Bass Players To Know: John McVie

    Bass Players To Know: John McVie

    Some records are undeniably awesome. They’ve stood the test of time thanks to stellar songwriting, clever musicianship, and excellent sound quality. They remind you of exactly how fantastic a particular band or artist is. If you haven’t listened to a record like that in a while, I highly recommend spending some quality time with Rumours... »