Bassline Breakdown: Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone”

By ksmguitars / August 14, 2020

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

A Wow Factor: bass and lo-fi recording

By ksmguitars / July 9, 2020

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

By ksmguitars / July 9, 2020

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.

Music and Race: a Few Brief Thoughts

By ksmguitars / June 10, 2020

(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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Bassline Breakdown: Fugazi’s “Five Corporations”

Bassline Breakdown: Fugazi’s “Five Corporations”

By ksmguitars / June 3, 2020

In the world of punk rock, there are a handful of bassists who stand tall above all the others. As much of a fan as I am of punk music, I can’t pretend the genre is exactly full to the gills with virtuoso bassists, which makes it all the more exciting when a Matt Freeman…

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Laying Down Roots

By ksmguitars / March 25, 2020

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

To Slap or Not to Slap?

By ksmguitars / March 5, 2020

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.

Bassline Breakdown: Marmalade’s “Reflections Of My Life”

By ksmguitars / February 5, 2020

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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Close up a man's hand playing the bass guitar.

The Low End of Ambient

By ksmguitars / February 3, 2020

For most of my life as a music listener, I’ve been somewhat resistant to genres of music that a) largely eschew vocals and b) don’t rely on tight, memorable melodies or pop-centric structures. Whether it’s classical, techno, or jazz, I’ve always had a hard time connecting with forms of music that aren’t interested in giving…

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How Do We Create Meaning with a Bass Line

By ksmguitars / January 15, 2020

I love lyrics, both reading and writing them, but as a bassist, I tend to compartmentalize thes kills I cultivate as a bassist and think of them as being separate from and unrelated to the skillsI cultivate as a writer. I think a lot of musicians operate in much the same way, especially when they’re…

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