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  • Bass Players To Know: David Piltch

    Bass Players To Know: David Piltch

    In the past several years, there has been a renaissance in the world of roots music—artists are reviving the classic approach to country and folk, mixing it with traditional rhythm and blues, and integrating the soulful and mysterious vibe of New Orleans. The term “Americana” has spread across radio formats and late night shows, highlighting... »

  • Custom Shop: Fuzzrocious Pedals

    Custom Shop: Fuzzrocious Pedals

    One of the best feelings in the world is being able to share your passion with other people. It’s even more special when you can share that passion with your family, which is part of the magic behind Fuzzrocious Pedals. The New Jersey-based effects company is run by the Ratajski (pronounced “ruh-tie-skee”) family. The husband... »

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  • 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... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Rehearsal — Treat It Like A Gig

    The Lightbulb Moment: Rehearsal — Treat It Like A Gig

    Your phone lights up with a text message about a gig next Saturday night… score! You’re available, the money is decent, and your drummer friend recommended you. It’s an overall win! You accept the gig and receive a follow up text: “Let’s rehearse Tuesday night.” Thankfully, you’re free, but you realize that you only have... »

  • Should I Learn Older Music To Understand Newer Music?

    Should I Learn Older Music To Understand Newer Music?

    Q: I struggled with asking if I HAVE to learn trad jazz or if I SHOULD learn it, so take this question as both. And just as a disclaimer, I’m using “trad jazz” to mean the standards and the jazz being played predominantly from the ’20s to the ’60s and the styles that encompassed. I’ve... »

  • How High Should I Set My Bass Strings?

    How High Should I Set My Bass Strings?

    Q: What’s your take on string height? For over a decade, I’ve subscribed to Anthony Jackson’s view that the neck must be as flat/straight as possible and the strings as low as possible. And while I’ve spent as much time refining a light touch, I sometimes wonder if I’m spending too much time worrying about... »

  • Bass Players To Know: Red Callender

    Bass Players To Know: Red Callender

    Diving into the deep end of the LA session pool, there are plenty of bassists (in addition to those in “The Wrecking Crew”) who have achieved successful and eclectic recording careers. Without a doubt, Red Callender is one of them. With an extensive background in jazz as both an upright bassist and tuba player, he... »

  • Should I Go Active? A Discussion for Bass Players

    Should I Go Active? A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: I’m once again considering using active electronics on my bass, a pre-amp of some kind. It is still a bit of a debate I notice amongst bass players. Some say it’s “colder,” some say it’s difficult to work with, especially on stage. I even had stories from sound engineers who are not too keen... »

  • Preparing for Multiple Gigs

    Preparing for Multiple Gigs

    Q: What advice do you have for making time for all the different gigs that you have to prepare for? I freelance with more than 20 different groups ranging from standards on the upright, to a wedding band (lots of pop soul tunes to learn accurately), to original music and sometimes orchestral reading concerts. It’s... »