Category Archives: Intermediate

How Far Do The “Basics” Go?

I took a somewhat unusual path to bass. I started as a guitarist at a very early age – 51/2! I spent a few years with a cello in elementary school. In high school, the jazz band director asked me … Continue reading

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Practice Tips

Practicing isn’t really a “whatever works for you” type of skill. It is a vital skill that we all need to use more efficiently. I’ve been revisiting the jazz standard Donna Lee (originally attributed to Charlie Parker but seems to … Continue reading

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Slonimsky – First Look

I’ve been digging through the Slonimsky book for a couple of weeks now. It uses several terms that are a bit unusual, so  I recommend anyone trying it to keep a good music dictionary or music theory dictionary at hand. And before we … Continue reading

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Diminished Scales and More: Nicolas Slonimsky

The diminished scale has always fascinated me. I understand the 8 notes, half-step, whole step or whole step, half step variations. Lots of musicians from many different genres have used it such as John Coltrane, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa. But after seeing a post by … Continue reading

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Transcription: A Necessary Process

I received a couple of questions on the sight reading post that bear some further comments. Most of them are answered by transcribing music. Transcription is an important tool for all musicians in all genres. In some genre, all that is … Continue reading

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Sight Reading – Some helpful tips

Sight reading requires 2 major skills and few sub-points to work: You have to know the written language of music – notation, dynamics, rhythm, etc., very well to sight read effectively. 2.  You must know where every single note possible on your … Continue reading

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Lesson Inquiry     

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Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding – Footprints

Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding – Wow! Set back and relax and soak it in!  

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Why Summer is a Great Time for Lessons

There are quite a few reasons for taking lessons in the summer, none the least of which is the fact that the weather is better. Having taught students with a wide variety of ages for a few decades now, it … Continue reading

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The Importance of Warming Up

I went for a number years with little or no warm-up before practicing or playing a gig. It never seemed really necessary. Playing a lot of gigs for over a decade was a big help in keeping me thinking that … Continue reading

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