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  • Rhythm Series: Keeping Time

    Rhythm Series: Keeping Time

    Keeping a steady pulse is a fundamental skill for any musician, and it is especially important to any one who is part of the rhythm section. Even in styles of music that encourage flexible rhythmic expression (i.e. rubato, etc.), the ability to maintain an accurate pulse is essential for a musician. No matter what style... »

  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: EFX Questions for Upright Bass

    Recently I got a series of questions from a upright bass player in Norway regarding amplification of the double bass and the use of electronic effects (EFX). Since I get these sorts of questions often, I thought I would print some of my thoughts here as part of the lowdown. If you have your own... »

  • Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick

    Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick

    Every so often there is a passage, phrase or “lick” that we just can’t seem to execute as well as we would like, no matter how many times we practice it under tempo. This should be a sign that we need to change our approach. Slow practice an excellent and valuable tool, but it is... »

  • Upright Slap Bass (Rockabilly/Psychobilly): Instrument Setup and Equipment

    This is the final installment of Dr. D’s 3-part Slap Bass series. Check out part 1 and part 2. In addition to having its own specialized musical and technical considerations, Playing Upright Slap has its own particular instrumental setup issues. Here are some basic things slap players need to think about when customizing their bass... »

  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Upright Slap Bass: Starter tips and etudes

    This is part 2 of the Upright Slap Bass series by Dr. D. Check out Part 1 and Part 3. Here are a few etudes to help you improve your slapping. We will use a two octave G blues scale (6 note version) as our starting point. You can use any scale, arpeggio or lick... »

  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Upright Slap Bass (Rockabilly/Psychobilly etc.) – Intro: part 1 of 3

    In my opinion, one of the more interesting things you can do on the Upright these days is Slap it! Beyond it’s hipitude, it is a legitimate technique, just like arco (bow) and pizzicato (plucked), and it can make you more employable if you master it. So let’s take a look at the technique. What... »

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  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Three Requirements of Attainment: The Student

    Note: This is part 3 of 3 of Dr. D’s current series. See part 1 and part 2. The Student The most important ingredient needed to acquire a skill is not a good Method or a good Teacher, but rather a good Student. Even with the highest quality Method and Teacher, a poor quality Student... »

  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Three Requirements of Attainment (Part 2 of 3: Teacher)

    The Teacher The second requirement for the attainment of any skill is a teacher. A good teacher can enhance learning efficiency, streamline progress and illuminate method. You can certainly learn without a teacher and there is a vast amount of information available to us: DVDs, video demonstrations, books, columns, articles, etc. While these can be... »

  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Three Requirements of Attainment (Part 1 of 3: Method)

    Presumably we are all searching for mastery on our instrument, and yet some people spend years playing and studying the Upright Bass and achieve very little, whereas others spend a quarter of the time and achieve a great deal. In keeping with my “getting started” theme of late, and to ensure that we fall into... »

  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Making the Switch from Electric to Upright (part 3 of 3)

    The Left Hand Contrary to what many of us expect when we hop on over from Electric, effective and reliable left hand technique can be one of our more formidable challenges as a switcher. We will be learning a new way to use our left hand on an instrument that seems so similar to one... »