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  • Dyslexia and Music

    Dyslexia and Music

    Q: I’m 28 and I have played bass since I was 18. I’ve always been a hard-working student but always had trouble in reading music, no matter how I hard I tried. Now I’m a bass student at the Palermo Conservatory in Sicily, and despite my very good grades in all other subjects, I keep... »

  • Should I Be Afraid of Breaking the Rules of Harmony When Composing?

    Should I Be Afraid of Breaking the Rules of Harmony When Composing?

    Q: I have been playing bass for others for years but when it comes to writing my own music I constantly question myself about the rules. I understand if it sounds good play it but, “what key could this be and, can I play a dominant 7 here, and will it still be in a... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Lloyd Trotman

    Bass Players To Know: Lloyd Trotman

    As a soul music enthusiast, one of the greatest assets to my record collection has been the Atlantic Rhythm And Blues 1947-1974 compilation. It documents the early years of popular American music, the rise of the R&B genre, and the classic recordings that continue to show up in film, television, and radio. The musical selections... »

  • Practicing Slower Tempos

    Practicing Slower Tempos

    Q: I don’t know about you, but when I was a younger and less experienced player, I used to dread playing the faster, up-tempo passages or songs. But that all seemed to resolve itself with practice, and now as an older – hopefully wiser – player, I have come to realize what I have should... »

  • How To Play Relaxed While Getting a Good Sound

    How To Play Relaxed While Getting a Good Sound

    Q: When I listen to people playing bass, I always notice two things: 1) They play relaxed with their right hand and don’t use a lot of force and 2) while they do this, they STILL get a good volume and tone. When I play bass, I use quite a bit of force with my... »

  • How Can I Play In Any Setting?

    How Can I Play In Any Setting?

    Q: I’ve been checking out this site for a while. Love it all. However, I have a problem: I don’t know where to start. Let me tell you a little about me. I’ve played bass for quite some time and even taken lessons by some famous players. I’m the student that everyone dreams of. I... »

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  • Is It So Bad To Play The Root When I Solo?

    Is It So Bad To Play The Root When I Solo?

    Q: I’ve been working on my soloing and I had a question. It keeps getting repeated to me by other players, teachers, and books that I shouldn’t play the root when I solo. What do you think? Is it really such a bad thing? A: I have a few thoughts on the subject. Some are... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Creative Space

    The Lightbulb Moment: Creative Space

    Every now and then, you may get lucky enough to do a gig or to jam with players in a truly creative and inspired way. You get to play in the greatest sense of the word, and better yet, you get to be your best musical self. You feel a sense of camaraderie with your... »

  • Should I Bother With Modes?

    Should I Bother With Modes?

    Q: First of all thank you very much for your past reply to my question! Lately while working on improvisation and in particular on linear melody through changes, I started asking myself why I should bother with modes. For instance, if there’s a Fmin7 moving to an Amin7 chord and I want to think about... »

  • Should I Study Music Written For Other Instruments?

    Should I Study Music Written For Other Instruments?

    Q: I was recently talking to a guitar player friend about feeling bored with practicing, and he recommended that I try to incorporate studies from different instruments into my routine. You’ve talked about using drum rudiment books to practice rhythm, and that totally makes sense, but what could I gain from studying a book on... »