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  • Playing Etiquette While Subbing

    Playing Etiquette While Subbing

    Q: While I am stoked that I have been asked, I am a wee bit apprehensive. I have been asked to be a substitute bassist for a classic rock cover and original band by the band leader. My current gig is as a bassist in a trio which plays punk and alternative originals. The slight... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Jim Hughart

    Bass Players To Know: Jim Hughart

    A seasoned sideman with a soulful and sophisticated approach, Jim Hughart has not only backed up some of the greatest jazz artists, but has stood out as a first call session musician on the Los Angeles recording scene. Frequently accompanying Joe Pass and Tom Waits, his premier upright playing can be heard on records of... »

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  • Incorporating What We Practice

    Incorporating What We Practice

    Q: In your opinion, how does what we work on when practicing make it’s way into our playing? I’ve been thinking about the best ways to incorporate what I shed into my “vocabulary.” A: There are as many ways to incorporate what we practice into our actual musical vocabulary as there are ways to absorb... »

  • What To Practice When You Don’t Have Gigs

    What To Practice When You Don’t Have Gigs

    Q: My question to you is this: what do you do when you’re not playing with a group and have no gigs on the horizon, particularly what to practice? Without a set of songs or even a style to give the context of what the bass should be playing, I find myself grasping for inspiration... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Time Games

    The Lightbulb Moment: Time Games

    Game #1: The Record Release Show Round 1—Rehearsal Time There’s something invigorating about working with a new artist, especially when they’re releasing a record and learning how to adapt their songs to a live show. The drummer counts of the first tune and by the end of the chorus, the vocalist stops the band. “Hey... »

  • Dealing with Feeling Overwhelmed

    Dealing with Feeling Overwhelmed

    Q: How do you deal with feeling overwhelmed with everything you want to/feel you should be working on? A: I’ve written a column in the past relating to how to maximize your work flow and time management. I thought that I’d take a bit of a different approach this time, although I would encourage you... »

  • Recording Audio and Video

    Recording Audio and Video

    Q: I want to record audio/video simultaneously that I can easily post to social media. I’d want the range to go from solo bass pieces or pedal reviews recorded at home to live coffeehouse/house party “warts and all” mono live duo/trio recordings. I’d want to use two cameras for close-ups on the solo pieces/demos and... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Neil Stubenhaus

    Bass Players To Know: Neil Stubenhaus

    There are a handful of legendary West Coast session cats that most of us are familiar with… Carol Kaye, Joe Osborn, Leland Sklar, Abraham Laboriel Sr., Nathan East, and Chuck Rainey, just to name a few. Dig a little deeper and you may come across the work of Neil Stubenhaus and the hundreds of records... »

  • What Should I Play At Soundcheck?

    What Should I Play At Soundcheck?

    Q: What should I play at soundcheck? I always feel like I should be impressive or something when the sound tech says “okay, let’s hear the bass,” But maybe just pulsing on the open E string is enough? What’s your soundcheck agenda? A: This is the perfect opportunity for me to: a) make a suggestion... »

  • Finding the Groove Vs. Letting the Groove Find You

    Finding the Groove Vs. Letting the Groove Find You

    Q: When making music, i.e. improvising, making a song, creating a groove, etc., I find myself sometimes approaching it from what I hear while fiddling around, and at other times approaching it more cerebral, as in “let’s create a groove that has a flat nine in it.” I like to call these the bottom up... »