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LEARNING BASS:
Recent News and Updates
Traditional NXTs IN STOCK
Get yours now!
This is an amazing value -- for our upright bass-playing friends who want an EUB that can "sub" for the big bass, we've done all the upgrades for you -- and even put a custom "traditional" finish on the bass.

You get all the modern ergonomics and portability of the NS Design Electric Uprights, but with the Traditional string set for a more authentic doublebass sound (and bowability). We've also had NS Design upgrade the tuners to the CR-spec Schallers. And the cool traditional brown finish, over the veneer, looks classy and traditional -- and we even include a set of f-hole decals you can optionally install on the bass.

The four-string is the NEW NXTa "active" model, with the built-in flash-rechargeable buffer circuit. We have a limited number of 5-strings left in the original passive design, and those are the last of the traditional 5-strings.

You can't get this exclusive model anywhere else, folks.

Read more!
McNutt Bass Cradles IN STOCK
The McNutt Bass Cradle is a super Low-Profile Bass Stand that holds your bass securely, at an angle, for easy access. Stable, and surprisingly lightweight, it's portable enough for gigging (it comes with a shoulder bag) and works nice at home, too! Great in a show pit for quick switches between electric and upright, too! Now IN STOCK for immediate shipment.

Recently Added Products
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
The wizard who brought you those great sounding amps (with a similar name) is back! This small combo has the flexibility, hi-fi transparent sound, and great design -- in a portable package -- that you would expect from Jeff Genzler...
• 15.5”W x 15”D x 16”H, 25 Lbs • 175w (350 w/added cab) and 1x10 speaker with array
Grace Design BiX - One Channel Mini Preamp
Grace Design BiX - One Channel Mini Preamp
This item is made in USA!And Baby Makes Three! The newest model from Grace is the diminutive BiX - scaled down to the bare essentials, for maximum affordability and portability. Making world-class preamplification available to even the most frugal bassists...
Headway EDB-2 Dual Channel Blending Preamp with Mic Input
Headway EDB-2 Dual Channel Blending Preamp with Mic Input
This versatile 2-channel preamp can handle two pickups, or a pickup and a mic, with ease, with extensive EQ, notch filter, DI, phantom power, switchable impedance, and much more.

Intonation is the ever-present demon that every bass player fights, no matter what their skill level, and I can say that it is the number one thing that I work on every day. That being said, I assure you that my intonation is not close to what I wish that it was, and probably never will be! There are a few warm-up exercises that I do each time I pick up my bass, and I'd like to share my absolute favorite with you. (I showed this one to Mark the other day -- I'm sure his wife and baby love hearing it! )

I'm not sure where I first learned this exercise; I believe it may have been at some master class in college. I'm sure some of you are familiar with it: the infamous -- and disgustingly named -- "Vomit Exercise." To do it right, a few things: this needs to be played Arco (using a bow) and you'll also need a metronome and a tone generator (many metronomes have this built in). This exercise focuses on accurate position shifts, and, if done correctly, may sound rather unpleasantly like a cat barfing up a hairball.

Set the metronome (your best friend) on a slow tempo -- 60bpm or less -- and get that tone generator blasting an A. Now that the room should be so loud that you can't think, it's time to give this a try. Starting with your first finger on the A on your G string, begin bowing half notes. I like to sit on this for a minute or so the first time through, so that my right arm can get into the groove of the tempo. Once you feel comfortable, we're going to play an A major scale up the G string, always alternating back to the A between each note of the scale. In time with the metronome, play the exercise using quarter notes (Click the diagram at the right for notation). Hold on! Here's the catch: the entire exercise will be played with your first finger ONLY. The first few shifts will be something like this: A-B-A-C#-A-D-A and so on. Once you reach the octave, it's time to do the same in reverse.

Take the exercise slowly, listening to (and tuning) the intervals against the droning A... this exercise is all about intonation and position shifts. Remember to keep your bow "in the string" and in constant motion with half notes; try to make the shifts as cleanly and quickly as possible, allowing no space in-between notes. For your first time, I would suggest playing the exercise only up to the D or E and continuing on after you have become comfortable with those first few intervals. Once you've "mastered" this (I'm at about 3 years and counting, so good luck with that!) try it on every string, and even with each finger.

Now what are you waiting for? Go practice!

Chris






The Fine Print:

The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.

What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.

I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.
Mark