The first bass guitar I ever got was a cheap Silvertone with a thumb rest, and for the first few years of my bass-playing career, I was something of a thumb rest evangelist. Resting my thumb on top of the pickups always just felt a bit too awkward and cramped, and for my punk rock-loving,…

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Goth Rock Bass LInes

In terms of genres where the bassists really get a chance to shine, gothic rock is quite possibly second only to funk. While pretty much every genre has its fair share of virtuoso bassists and fantastic, memorable basslines, early gothic rock bands like The Cure, Joy Division, and Siouxsie & the Banshees gave rise to…

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Let’s talk about hooks. Put simply, a hook is any musical idea that’s meant to catch the ear (hence the name). When you hear a really great song for the first time and can’t stop humming that one catchy guitar riff or vocal line from it: that is that song’s hook, the part you remember…

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Old Recording Console

In recent years, the term “lo-fi” has been tossed around a lot in the music world, specifically in reference to “lo-fi hip-hop”, a form of downtempo electronic music that has garnered immense popularity through online live-streams curated by DJs like ChilledCow. Especially amongst younger listeners, the term “lo-fi” has become largely synonymous with this type…

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Roundwounds or Flatwounds

Roundwounds or flatwounds? As a bassist, this is a question I often find lingering in the back of my mind whenever I spend a little too much time poking around a guitar shop. Most bassists are aware that they have a handful of options when it comes to string types, but it’s fair to say…

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Black man playing guitar.

(NOTE: the following article does not necessarily reflect the views of KSM Music, or of any of its employees other than the author) In the past week, it’s been a little difficult to think about music. Frankly, it’s been a little difficult to think about anything. As I write this, on June 4, 2020, protests…

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To say that root notes are a bassist’s bread and butter would be inaccurate. In fact, they’re a bassist’s bread, butter, french fries, milkshake, and a decent chunk of their hamburger to boot. Huge swaths of bass lines across a multitude of genres are made up, if not entirely, than almost entirely out of root…

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Dude slapping a Fender Jazz Bass

Let’s start with a joke: Hey, what do you call the worst guitarist in a band? The bassist. I like that joke, not just because making fun of bassists is eternally hilarious, but because there’s at least a little truth to it. I don’t think it’s fair to say every bassist secretly wants to be…

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Cool drawing of closeup bass player in red.

Recently, I’ve embarked on a mission to listen to every song to appear on Billboard’s year-end hot 100 list since the list’s debut in 1959. It’s an endlessly fascinating project, and as great as it is admiring old classics and cringing at long-forgotten failures, the best part of the whole endeavor has definitely been discovering…

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