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Tape is Rolling….

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It was bound to happen, an article without the accompanying video. Yes, I’m guilty. But, I think I have a really good excuse: the October release of my new CD.

Anyone who’s gone through the process of making his or her own CD knows what I’m talking about. It is a potentially long, but awakening process. Right now, for example, I’m knee-deep in producing, tracking, writing, booking musicians, editing, mixing, and mastering. That’s a lot of “ing” words!

But this beautiful process is the heart of what we musicians do. It makes us better artists.

One example of how recording can make you better as an artist is the arrangement of a song. Say you recorded a song you’ve been working out live on the bandstand for some time, and it just doesn’t “pop” on the recording like it does when you play it live. In the digital environment, you can switch around sections of the tune and play with the arrangement, maybe making the song more “palatable” for a CD – changing the soundscape, if you like.

Another example is soloing over changes. You might think your approach to soloing over your new song was killin’ when played live, only to find out on the recording that it sounded like you were chasin’ roots. Being in the controlled environment of the studio allows you to compose your solo more thoughtfully and better connect with your song.

The old adage, “Tape don’t lie,” really applies here. On more than one occasion, I’ve tracked a tune that I had high hopes for, only to realize I needed to go “back to the drawing board” for more production. But, even so, sticking with the tune almost always pays off for me, and I’ll hear the song come to life before my ears.

The recording process is a way we get those notes into the air. Obviously, the digital age has greatly increased anybody’s potential to record – which is both good and bad. Good in that you’re not racking up thousands of dollars at a studio – Bad in that we’re not all engineers, and maybe it would be better to record in a studio where professionals do their thing.

Granted, there’s no one way to record a “record” – yes, I still use that word – and if you asked 10 different bass players how to go about it, you’d probably get 10 different opinions. But that’s what I love about it!

As I mentioned, producing your own record makes you wear a lot of hats: the writing hat, the editing hat, the mixing and mastering hats, the $pending hat, and the managing hat – there are those “ing” words again – but what I’m trying to get at here is that for every hat your wear, your spirit will grow exponentially throughout the recording process.

I think this article will definitely inspire a couple of follow-up articles from yours truly, as it is a vast subject and we’ve only scratched the surface. So, if I may conclude with a shameless plug:

New Doug Johns CD to be Released in October!

In my opinion, it’s exactly twice as funky as the first one, and it grooves like a freight train on nitro. Check in on the website and myspace for the exact release date. Keep recording your own material, and don’t forget…. Get out there and jam with somebody.

Doug

Bass Videos

Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

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Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

I am sure many of you are very familiar with Mark Egan as we have been following him and his music for many years now. The last time we chatted was in 2020.

Mark teamed up with drummer Shawn Pelton and guitarist Shane Theriot to produce a new album, “Cross Currents” released on March 8th, 2024. I have been listening to this album in its entirety and it is simply superb (See my review).

Now, I am excited to hear about this project from Mark himself and share this conversation with our bass community in Bass Musician Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Mark Egan

Visit Online:

markegan.com
markegan.bandcamp.com
Apple Music
Amazon Music

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Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

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Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB…

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB – Hearing protection has always been front and center on my mind because I love music so much, I cannot imagine my life if I were unable to hear.

You might remember back in 2021, we had a good look at the Minuendo Lossless Earplugs featuring adjustable protection. This system has a lot of very good features but there was always the question of how much sound attenuation to choose.

Now, the great folks at Minuendo have come up with a new version of their earplugs that has a set 17dB noise reduction. You still get a lot of the great features of the adjustables but you just don’t have to think about the specific sound level. In addition, this new version of earplugs comes at a very attractive price point.

For more information, visit online at Minuendo.com

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Bass Books

Review: The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass by Brian F Wright 

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Review: The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass by Brian F Wright 

I was intrigued when The Bastard Instrument showed up on my desk… let’s dig in!

When we dive into the history of our beloved instrument, the bass, we find roots that go back as far as the 15th century. This instrument was a member of the violin family and was for the longest time, an acoustic instrument. As the years passed and music changed, there was a need for the instrument to evolve and the electric bass was born.

Comparatively, the electric bass is a relatively new instrument with its earliest appearances dating back to the 1930s and it is exciting to be an electric bass player while this history unfolds around us. Fortunately for us and future generations to come, Professor Brian F. Wright has taken on the herculean task of documenting the trajectory of the electric bass with this excellent book.

The Bastard Instrument presents an extraordinary amount of fine details about the instrument itself, the development of the amplification to handle its output, the pioneers that dared play it, the rapidly evolving music that flourished because of its presence and so much more. 

When I first started reading this book, I noticed that it felt a tad academic, like a textbook (it might be one someday) or a doctoral thesis, but to present all this information accurately, this approach is more than appropriate. Another detail that might be a bit of a spoiler is that the book only gets us up to the late ’60s. I was left wanting more as we know that so much has happened in the bass world since that time frame; I hope there is another volume in the works to get us up to the present!

All in all, “The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass” is a must-read for all of us who play electric bass and understand its essential place in music.

I found that there was a lot that I already knew but also quite a bit that I was unaware of. I believe that to know and understand where you are, you must know the history of exactly how you got here.

Highly recommended.

The Bastard Instrument is available at Amazon.com (beginning July 2024)

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @meridian_guitars @adamovicbasses @anacondabasses @mgbassguitars @xylembassguitar @officialspector @edwinpaanakker @alesvychodilbasses @boyarskycg @dmarkguitars

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Bass Videos

Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

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Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

Bassist Adam Sullivan…

Hailing from Minnesota since 2012, By the Thousands has produced some serious Technical Metal/Deathcore music. Following their recent EP “The Decent”s release, I have the great opportunity to chat with bassist Adam Sullivan.

Join me as we hear about Adam’s musical Journey, his Influences, how he gets his sound, and the band’s plans for the future

Photo, Laura Baker

Follow On Social

IG &FB @bythethousands
YTB @BytheThousands

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