Monday, December 29, 2014

Music Education Monday: All about that bass

For this week's Music Education Monday, we're getting down low with some bass-related videos and links, starting with "Story of the Bass," an brief but entertaining video history of the instrument, courtesy of bassist Michael Thurber and Collective Cadenza, an NYC group that creates "musical video experiments."

Below that, you'll find a video of a master class with Ron Carter, touted as the most-recorded jazz bassist in history and a major figure in the music since he first came to wide attention as a member of Miles Davis' 1960s quintet.

The class was presented in 2011 to students at Loyola University in New Orleans, and while Carter may be speaking specifically about bass playing, a lot of what he says about music and being a musician applies to any instrument.

Of course, musicians don't learn by YouTube videos alone, and though a lot of sites offering online tips or music lessons function essentially as promotions designed to up-sell method books, private lessons, CDs, DVDs and the like, there are some that offer some substance, too.

One is Berklee College of Music's Berklee Shares site, which has a variety of free educational materials for various instruments, including a page devoted to bass lessons and tips that seems to merit more than a cursory look.

Also worth digging into is the "Tips" section of, the personal site of the famed session bassist. While it's not especially well-organized or indexed, there's a wealth of detailed material there in Kaye's responses to questions from students and fans.

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