The Super Summer Workshop Post
Like many musicians, I often teach at workshops during the summer. I always learn as much from the students as I hope they learn from me. It’s a teachers’ cliché, but I learn from other musicians of all levels—students, beginners, hobbyists, semi-pros; and also from the huge breadth of talent, expertise and dedication embodied by […]
Fingerings for Artificial Harmonics on “Three Short Stories”
I got this email recently from Jack, a bass teacher who was looking for new material for his jazz student: Hi John, I just picked up the print copy of Three Short Stories. I have a graduate student who is pretty proficient with the bow, and I thought it would be a great piece for […]
Questions, Answers, and more stuff you might not need to know.
I receive quite a few questions from bass players, fans, and “others” from around the globe. Here is a sampling of a some recent inquiries. Am I too old to learn the bass? How Do I Hold My Bow? Gig Inquiry Fail What The Sus? 1. From Vincent the bass player Question: Hi John, Just wanted to […]
But Is It Music?
Chord/Scale Theory Practicing scales is great for your musicianship, but it’s not music! I recently got an email from Hector in Florida asking for my thoughts on chord/scale theory and whether it’s okay to play notes outside the generally accepted chord/scale sounds. Hector boiled several far-reaching questions down to this one, simple question: “Is it […]
Whaddya’ Know? Learning Jazz and Standard Repertoire
I recently got a dub from a cassette recording of a gig I played in 1979. I was young, in over my head, and playing with Buddy DeFranco and Jimmy Raney, a couple of true jazz masters, plus the swinging Louisville drummer Darryl Cotten. DeFranco and Raney were featured for a week at Stanley J’s, […]
Why Did I Write a Jazz Bowing Book?
I recently received an email from a masters student who is doing research on jazz bowing techniques. He asked a few interesting questions about my book Jazz Bowing Techniques for the Improvising Bassist, which I thought I would present here. From Art in England: I am currently writing my Master Thesis in Musicology on the […]