Bieber vs. Esperanza: Smackdown on the Orange Line

If you've been watching the Grammys lately, you know they are now now dominated by dance routines, light shows, acrobatic stunts and other stagecraft.  Occasionally, some music slips in. For many, Esperanza Spalding's best new artist Grammy last Sunday was a rare win for music, musicians, and musicianship.  But not everyone was pleased, as Justin [...]

By | February 23rd, 2011|Gig Bag|

How to Buy a Bass Guitar

(No. 5 in a Series) For this installment, we enlisted help from professional bass player and teacher Tim Hays, director of the music business and applied music programs at Elmhurst College. There are three basic types of bass guitars: electric, acoustic, and upright bass - also called the string bass or double bass.  This article [...]

By | December 24th, 2010|Bass|

How to Buy a Musical Instrument

Buying a musical instrument for the first time can be a daunting task. Each instrument is surrounded by its own vocabulary and mythology, and unbiased information is hard to find. This series will provide straight-forward advice for anyone looking to buy their first (or first "real") keyboard, bass, guitar, or drum set. Where should I [...]

By | November 7th, 2010|Bass, Drums, Guitar, Piano|

Free Friday: Esperanza Spalding Edition

What makes music "beautiful"? While we wrestle with the metaphysical aspects of this question, in practical terms, one answer is "Esperanza Spalding".  The bassist, vocalist, and composer recently released her second album: Chamber Music Society, a follow up to her well-received 2008 debut, Esperanza. Where Esperanza melded jazz, funk, and latin rhythms with [...]

By | October 1st, 2010|Bass, free friday, Songs|

Funky Bass Trick: How to Slap the Electric Bass

Our first Bass post comes to us from guest author Tim Hays.  Tim is director of the music business and applied music programs at Elmhurst College, and has served as president of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA), the world's leading organization devoted to music business education. The slap/pluck electric bass style has [...]

By | March 15th, 2010|Bass|