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Respect the Stage… Respect the Audience by Igor Saavedra



I’ve addressed this issue briefly in couple old articles. But I think it deserves going a little further with the analysis.

If I would have to choose one of the biggest mistakes that we the instrumentalist’s have the tendency to commit while we play, I would go for the topic of “playing for ourselves”.

I’m not a rock or a pop player myself. In fact quite the contrary. I’m not interested in showbiz at all. I’m that typical idealistic nerd musician that loves instrumental music, fusion and jazz, because we like it, and that’s the way the general audience perceive us. By  “general audience” I mean the 90% of the people who turn on the radio and attend to concerts all over the world. We can state that these are not the people we are interested in reaching with our music, so that lives us with just the 10% of the spectrum, or maybe less. So the big question now it would be, are we doing what’s necessary to communicate effectively and be able to at least get the desired attention of this small, specific and “initiated” musical audience?

In my humble opinion the answer is, No!

What I’m saying here comes from a profound self analysis, and from numerous questions I’ve done with musicians and students through the years. In other words my opinion is not just my opinion, it is also what I’ve been hearing from people.

One of the few things I like from the musicians that choose to dedicate their lives to playing commercial music is the huge importance they always assign to the audience and the stage itself. That’s why that audience is usually so unconditional even when many times the musical outcome is quite deficient.

What is music about? Why do we play music? What is our main intention when we go on stage standing in front of an audience instead of having fun at home with our music? There are many questions, and the answers tend to be elusive at best.

In my opinion, the main word here is “Communication”. So we have to choose what we want to communicate, because like it or not, while we are on stage, we’ll be always communicating something even if we communicate that we don’t really care about communicating with the audience, at all. Understand?

We can also communicate that we just care about ourselves and that we love “self-gratification” with our instrument (there’s a better word that starts with an “M”)

We can communicate that we’re good, and expert musicians. We know a lot about music, and we’ve done all our homework in relation to harmony, scales, rhythm, and technique, etc.

We can communicate that we are extremely professional, and we have the best amplifying systems and the best instruments money can buy (or endorse).

We can communicate that we hate the system and that we go against it. We can help ourselves by wearing black leather jackets and pants and singing or screaming with rough voices.

We can communicate that we look well dressed, hot and handsome, and at the same time we are communicating we are available for all the chicks.

Everything I’ve mentioned above is being done right now over thousands of stages and in front of millions of people every day and every night all over the world.

Please note that I mentioned we’re talking about different types of behaviors, some adopted by musicians who play more commercial music like Hip Hop, Rock, or Pop, and other behaviors usually adopted by musicians who play fusion, jazz, and instrumental music in general.

So what’s my point?

First of all, on stage, Be Yourself!! But this common phrase is not as simple as it looks. Let’s say I’m an angry person, and I aspire to “be myself on stage”. Needles to say, this is exactly what I’ll be communicating and “sharing” with the audience. So before we look at the phrase “be yourself” or “express yourself”, which these days is even more “En Vogue” than the other, I think it’s a moral duty to precede that phrase with the following sentence: “Improve yourself as a person, be honest, be a better human being, be generous, be kind, express love through your actions, and after that, PLEASE “Be yourself wherever you are and especially on stage”.

Always remember people pay to see YOU.  If you don’t care about them, if you give them something different than what was said they were going to receive, you’ll be literally swindling them. Please don’t confuse what I’m saying here with the fact that the audience can like or dislike your concert.., that’s a completely different matter related with more subjective aspects. But there are certain aspects that are really objective (if objectivism exists), like don’t turn your back to the audience, speak clear and loud enough so they can hear you, don’t be drunk or stoned on stage so you’re barely able to play properly, at least rehearse a little bit and don’t think that because you are a jazz player you are so good or so cool that you and your group can make mistakes and “It’ll always sound cool”, etc.

When you play music on a stage, you don’t need to think about the music, in fact, don’t think, just FEEL and look inside yourself for the best and the most positive aspects of your feelings and pass them on to the audience naturally and unfiltered through your playing. If you are communicating honest and luminous feelings through your music, that’s exactly what you’ll get back from the audience, AMPLIFIED!!

In a concert situation, the audience is the best amplification system ever created!

The Virtuous Cycle begins (or not), and you’ll be responsible for that!

Respect the Stage…Respect the Audience!!

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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