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Music or Gear… What Do You Want to Become, a Bass Player or a Bass Proprietor? It’s Time for YOU to Weigh in! by Meet Igor Saavedra



Meet Igor Saavedra –

First of all I wish you a superb 2011, full of music and happiness!

That being said… I think this article doesn’t need to be really long…. it’s about focusing on the problem and putting it on the table for discussion.

I would like to tell the English speaking bassists that read my columns, that I’ve had my Spanish language website up and going for more than ten years. In fact this website is maybe the first Spanish language website made by a Latin American professional bassist and has been really popular through the years.

I’m not sharing this short story to brag about my site… the reason why I mentioned this is because in those ten years I’ve had a successful section named “Ask Igor”, which has been the equivalent in Spanish language to the “Ask Willis” section on Gary Willis’s site.

On 2007 I answered my one thousandth question… but suddenly something happened and I lost every interest in continuing to answer questions for helping musicians…. And there was a strong reason for that.

Since 2005, approximately, I noticed a suspicious tendency on the questions that were being submitted to my website. How is that? Well…. What I noticed was that just one out of every ten questions being made was about “Music”, and the rest were just about “Gear”. So in general terms the questions were something like:

  • “What’s your opinion about this Bass?”
  • “Between this Bass and this other Bass, which one is better?”
  • “If I change those pickups on this bass would that make it sound better?”
  • “How should I have to connect my pedal board?”
  • “Please recommend some strings for slapping?”
  • “I have this Bass head and this Bass Cabinet… are those compatible? If not what you suggest me to change?”
  • “How do I have to equalize my amp for tapping?” ….Etc.

There’s nothing wrong with the questions, and I think they are completely legitimate, and I always answered every question until I realized, as I said before, that 9 out of 10 questions were just about “Gear”. This made me think a lot, because the questions were coming from all Latin America and Spain, which has been my main audience, and the same happened in every country. The first thing I did was to write a notice on top of the “Ask Igor” Section, saying that questions about gear won’t be answered anymore.

Incredibly, the amount of questions dropped down about 80%…. and even more incredibly, within this remaining 20% that was still being submitted, 9 out of 10 questions were still being made about gear! So nobody was reading the notice on top of the page or they just didn’t care at all. What I did on 2007 was to stop answering answers altogether…

That was the most successful Bass Q&A Section in Latin America, but it lost all sense for me, so the counter stopped on question N° 1.032, and who knows if I will continue with that section in the future…. let’s see…

After that experience, I’ve been thinking a lot about the reasons that made the future musicians focus on something which is not the really important thing… and I concluded (Just my opinion here), that this is due to the type of society we are living in… a society based on “consuming” and in “having” instead on “being” or “knowing”… a society where every individual usually prefers to “show what he has”, instead of “showing what he knows”, and if he wants to “show what he knows”, probably he will be doing that just as a means to be able to make good money and later have even more to “show what he has”… and not as an ending in itself.

So what to do?

One possibility is that all the people who focus their attention on gear instead of music already know so much about music that they really don’t need to be asking anything to anybody who supposedly knows more than them about the topic when it comes to choosing what kind of doubt they want to solve, so it’s a better choice to use that opportunity to know more about gear… but I guess that’s not the case 99% of the time… don’t you?

I think problems like this didn’t occur 500, 300, 200, 100 or 70 years ago in the same proportion as now, and that was because in those years “things” were not so common and available and because of that not so important, so musicians in those times mainly focused on what was obvious…. and that was “Music”.

I believe individually, we are not strong or important enough to make a difference just by itself in making the young and upcoming “Musicians” change this undesirable and disproportioned habit, but I’m sure that if more and more people put this discussion on the table and proposes ideas and points of view to stress the fact about which are the real important things for a musician to focus on, that will make a big difference in the future.

I’ve been doing my part about this specific topic since 2007, and now I’m doing it again with this humble article… who wants to collaborate with me on this subject? Please leave your comments below and let’s start a dialogue…

See you in the next month’s article…

Igor Saavedra.

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Bass CDs

New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO



New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at

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Gear News

New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Dual Compressor/Effects Loop



New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Duel Compressor/Effects Loop

Step Into X2C With Phil Jones Bass Dual Compressor/Effects Loop…

Phil Jones Bass latest pedal innovation is the X2C Dual Compressor with Dual Effects Loop for performance and recording. The X2C incorporates advanced compressor circuit technology and provides comprehensive tone control with a dual crossover feature which divides the signal into frequency bands ranging from 100Hz to 500Hz, ensuring exceptional clarity and dynamics in tone refinement. 

With insert jacks on each band, the X2C unlocks limitless creativity, enabling players to use various FX pedals for custom tone sculpting. Additionally, it functions as an electronic crossover, ideal for driving high-performance, 2-way bass rigs.

PJB’s Dual-Band compression design is more flexible than standard single-band compressors and provides a more natural and transparent sound. It also provides greater control over shaping and managing dynamics where standard compressors affect the entire frequency spectrum of an audio signal.  

PJB’s dual compressor enables the player to shape specific frequency ranges of an audio signal which allows for compressing the low frequencies while preserving the high frequencies, or vice-versa. Treating the low-end with a dedicated band also allows for heavy compression without affecting the midrange frequencies, which carry the attack of the sound. 

Effects can be plugged into the insert jacks on the X2C and controlled separately. As an example, the lows can be adjusted separately for an overdrive pedal while the highs can be controlled for a chorus. 

Dividing the audio spectrum into fundamental frequencies and harmonics is also effective in the enrichment of slapping techniques. The low frequencies can be compressed without changing the dynamics of the “slap”. By controlling the low frequencies and focusing the attack on the slap the amplifier will sound louder while avoiding overloading of the amp or speakers. The low band can be compressed without the harmonics being affected. In addition, the send jacks can go to different amplifiers/speakers for a bi-amplification set up.

Compact and potent, the X2C embodies studio-grade excellence, setting a new standard for dynamic processing in an uncompromising, portable pedal. The street price is $359.99.

Visit online at

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Bass CDs

New Album: CATTANEO, Tim Lefebvre, Andrea Lombardini, Hypersphere



New Album: CATTANEO, Tim Lefebvre, Andrea Lombardini, Hypersphere

The members of Buñuel, David Bowie’s band and a prominent electronic artist are united and have releases their first collaborative release via Freecom Hub.

Hypersphere is an EP created by CATTANEOTim Lefebvre and Andrea Lombardini. Following their conceptual milestone, a dream team of bass players and multi-instrumentalists created fragments of music, coexisting and complementing each other individually and altogether. Having been playing with CATTANEO since 2016, Andrea Lombardini describes the process of their work as “strong musical connection”. Starting with the fully improvised set featuring drum-machine and pedal effects. “Some of Paolo’s keyboards are homemade and he has very unique sounds” – explains Andrea. Getting Tim Lefebvre to produce the EP, the duo simultaneously started another vehicle of their collaboration.

Moving their work organically, three extraordinary musicians managed to reach an almost-perfect balance between sounds of guitar and bass with electronic instruments. Morphing together, numerous guitar riffs, loops of synthesizers. Dominating electronic sounds get united with a rock take, depicting dark moods and ethereal landscapes. All these elements work in tandem to create something new each time.

Order Hypersprehere here.

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Bass Events

Milt Hinton Institute for Bass Summer Camp in New Jersey



Milt Hinton Institute for Bass sSummer Camp in New Jersey

Milt Hinton Institute for Bass Summer Camp in New Jersey…

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will host the Milt Hinton Institute for Studio Bass, an exceptional summer music education program for teens, in residence at Montclair State University, in July 2024. Unique among music camps, the Hinton Institute is designed to support intermediate and advanced bass players ages 14 through 18, for a week of expert classes, performances, ensemble work, studio sessions, lectures, workshops and more. The camp will run from July 14 through July 20, 2024Registration is open December 16, 2023, through  June 7, 2024for more information on applying to the Milt Hinton Institute, please visit Student musicians will be required to submit a video of themselves playing two performance pieces during the application process. Need-based tuition scholarships are available.

Peter Dominguez, acclaimed bassist and Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies at University of Wisconsin–Madison, will serve as the Institute’s Artistic Director.  An extraordinary faculty of professionals from the music world — including Rufus Reid, Ben Williams, Luis Perdomo, Jeremy Smith, Sam Suggs, Martin Wind, Marcus McLaurine, Bill Moring, Mimi Jones, Emma Dayhuff, Diana Gannett, and Bill Crow — will  focus camp instruction on bass performance techniques and ensemble playing in a range of musical genres including classical, Latin and jazz. 

The camp is named for Milt Hinton (1910-2000) a prolific jazz bassist, studio musician and photographer whose career intersected with many of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. The Institute has been held biennially since 2014. It joined forces with the Arts Center this season in part to draw a larger faculty of professional bass players from among the many musicians living and working in the New York City area. Notable guest artists from the region are expected to visit with campers as well.    

“We’re very pleased to have this program be part of the larger vision of NJPAC and its extensive Arts Education offerings. The work being done by the Arts Center has a significant social impact” said David G. Berger, a lifelong friend of Hinton’s, whose Berger Family Foundation helped support the camp.  “That would have been extremely attractive to Milt. He wanted everybody to be involved with music — old and young, men and women, all colors, all creeds. Long before it was popular, that’s the way he lived his life — he welcomed everyone.”

“I grew up in the jazz festival business, and there was no one whose artistry matched his heart  better than Milt Hinton,” said John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC. “He was a brilliant bassist and he also was a brilliant human being. He was the heartbeat of any band he played in and he exuded a kindness that to me exemplified the spirit of jazz.”

Known as “the dean of jazz bassists,” Hinton played with jazz greats from the early 1930s on, performing with Jabbo Smith, Eddie South, Cab Calloway, Ethel Waters, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Erroll Garner, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and many others. Hinton also recorded with pop superstars including Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler and Willie Nelson. Hinton also toured extensively, and in 1993, he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Fellowship. He was also well known for his photography, through which he documented seven decades of jazz history. Hinton was renowned for his willingness to mentor young players; a scholarship program in his name was established by his friends and admirers on his 70th birthday. After Hinton’s passing, the Institute was conceived as a way to continue his work in supporting younger bass players. “Two of Milt’s favorite words — ‘cohesiveness’ and ‘sharing’ — are at the core of this week-long Institute that brings together emerging bassists who often are the singular players in their own community and school ensembles,” said Artistic Director Dominguez, (whose own career was advanced when he became one of the first winners of a Hinton Scholarship Competition  in 1981).  “To be a bass player is often to focus not on being a soloist, but on musical collaboration — making other musicians in an ensemble sound better. Bass players are the soul of ensemble playing, and to develop these young souls through arts education programming at NJPAC is both an honor for us and an important responsibility,” said David Rodriguez, NJPAC’s Executive Producer and Executive Vice President — and himself a well-known professional bass player.

The camp will be housed on the campus of Montclair State University in Montclair, where students will live, study and have the opportunity to take part in multiple performances. “Bringing the prestigious Milt Hinton Institute for Studio Bass to the campus of Montclair State University marks an exciting chapter for the College of the Arts, reinforcing our commitment to providing exceptional opportunities for young musicians,” said Daniel Gurskis, Dean of the College of the Arts. “With NJPAC as our partner, we look forward to creating an environment where passion meets skill, fostering a new generation of accomplished and versatile bassists. We are confident that the Institute will become a beacon, attracting talent from diverse backgrounds who are the future of bass music.”

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram



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

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