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Overcoming Stage Fright – Part 1 by Andreas Farmakalidis

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andreasfarmakalidisOvercoming Stage Fright – Part 1 by Andreas Farmakalidis…  It’s easy to spot the manifestations of stage fright and gently work towards practical solutions. I have found that the most important way to counteract perfectionism is using a physical warm up that is calming at core level and then building the idea of just “doing our best”, letting go of the pressure to achieve the “perfect” performance every time.

Our goal as bass players and as performing artists is like a top athlete or dancer: Be completely relaxed and at the same time, be ready for anything. Preparation is key. Our brain must learn and hold all the information regarding the song and the performance as well as be able to react quickly without overwhelming us with unhelpful self-judgment.

For bass players with stage fright, a quick run through different warm up exercises are not enough to contract the underlying panic. We need a more comprehensive approach that includes a thorough warm up, therefore there will be no doubts about our ability to perform the material.

The warm up exercises such as scales, arpeggios etc., not only prepares the bass player for the demands of the show, but can also create a psychological certainty and calm knowing that we are truly ready and duly prepared for the gig. You should always start and end with a deep breath. Taking the time to breathe will help remind us to breath during the show as well as plant the idea in our heads that we can only do the best we can under the circumstances, and if we ever find ourselves losing control during the performance or straining for notes? The best rescue for a song going wrong is always a deep breath. All the useful oxygen will flood our brain like the motor of the car is suddenly flush with gas. If you do not believe me just try it! You’ll be relieved you did.

Some people claim that closing our eyes makes musicians feel safer and less vulnerable. This might be partially true however, keeping your eyes shut will make us isolated from the rest of the band, the crowd and stuck into our own world. That will end up being counterproductive since staying in a closer relationship with the on stage musicians benefits the music and gets us out of our own heads. I always say that we should pretend that we are on a date with the crowd whilst performing and that we are trying to engage them in a relationship – give and take relationship. We can feel the audience in and feel their enjoyment it can help us forget our negative thinking and allow us to be more available to the music. Always stay attentive to your date and try to feel if they are enjoying themselves.

Through practice and repetition could it be that you are just convincing your muscles and your mind that they already know what to do? To sum up, it’s the underlying pressure we are putting on ourselves that must be dealt with ultimately. Make sure that your high expectations and how they are affecting you are acknowledged. Taking all the above mentioned points into consideration, one should always try that commonly known technique of imagining the crowd naked… it might make you laugh and therefore relax you.

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Gear News

New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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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 @loritabassworks @meridian_guitars @alpherinstruments @phdbassguitars @mgbassguitars @mauriziouberbasses @utreraguitars @sugi_guitars @branco_luthier @blasiusguitars

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Gear News

New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

D’Addario’s New Humidipak Absorb Protects Instruments Against Excess Moisture…

Utilizing two-way humidity control technology, D’Addario’s new Humidipak Absorb protects against damage to wooden instruments in environments with too much humidity. 

Humidipak Absorb allows players to safely return an instrument and case to the ideal relative humidity level. Using Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control technology, Absorb automatically soaks up excess moisture at a safe rate, re-establishing the right humidity level and eliminating the guesswork of revitalizing your instrument. 

Like all the Humidipaks before, using Humidipak Absorb is easy—there’s no dripping sponges or manual adjustments. All players need to do is put the humidification packets in the included pouches and place them in the instrument case, close the lid, and relax. The instrument and case will remain at the optimal 45-50% relative humidity level for 2-6 months. 

D’Addario’s other Humidipaks, Restore and Maintain, are still available for those who need to increase and sustain the humidity around their instrument. 

To learn more about Humidipak Absorb, visit ddar.io/absorb-pr 

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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