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Bringing More to Your Music – The Live Show by Carl Dawkins

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Being aware that your movements on stage can add an extra area to consider (especially if it is a particularly demanding gig), as this is essential to come across in the best light. Anyone can listen to your music and enjoy it at home, but you need to give them something to get out of the house for.

The main thing to remember is to not jeopardize your playing because you’re thinking about moving while on stage, but at the same time you don’t want to be one of these players that are glued to their instrument and never look up. I’ve met players that focus purely on the image (and they have the mirrors in their respective studios to watch themselves) but forget about practicing the songs/specific fills/licks – which means yes they look good, but the playing could be a lot tighter. We have already talked about the other end of the spectrum where people spend so much time on their playing and nothing on the live show – which sounds great, and looks boring, and with the music scene in London just picking up, you want to give the people something to look at and something to remember you by. This gives you another connection besides your music that people can latch onto. It’s all about finding the balance between the two.

For example, this might not be to everyone’s musical taste, but whenever this band is in the UK, I HAVE to see them just for the live show. It adds a whole new meaning to the songs when you see them played live… Anyone into Metal/hardcore/alternative –take notes.

Granted, it is on the extreme side of the scale. Here is another example… I am biased however; everyone should love something about this next band, Pink Floyd. This is a band who have become so renowned for their live shows, that if you ever want to think about doing a Pink Floyd cover band, you best make sure you can back it up with an impressive live show; anything from images on a projector screen, to an incredible light show. To make a point, I have taken this video from The Australian Pink Floyd, an amazing tribute to Pink Floyd:

Focus on the sax player, he absolutely owns the stage, a great performance while executing the parts he needs to play too. His charisma comes across and his presence glows without upstaging anyone else– it all fits together… he found the balance.  Observe how the choreography allows for him to have his solo slot, having this in place gives him less to worry about while performing, allowing him to just enjoy what he is doing.

Now, what the two bands above have in common, is they both create an atmosphere from the word go. They both use their music to inspire their live show (or sometimes even the live show to inspire the music). It’s important to think of these things when putting your live show together, you just need to make sure you’re not doing anything live that is out of your comfort zone or that you have not practiced.  Don’t get me wrong, we all take risks, and if they come off then fair play, but also, we all have interesting stories about when things go the other way!

If in doubt, just always remember the 5 P’s … Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. In the next article we will be looking at how artists draw inspiration and use skills from other areas and incorporate them into their live show.

Carl Dawkins

Follow me on twitter @carldawkinsbass

www.carldawkins.co.uk

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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