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Contrabass Conversations double bass life

Updated about 1 month ago

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Music Interviews
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Contrabass Conversations features interviews and performances from top leaders in the world of the double bass. Podcast host Jason Heath dives deep into what makes these world-class artists tick. With 2 million downloads and counting, Contrabass Conversations is the most popular podcast for double bassists. Join the community and experience life on the low end of the spectrum!

Read more

Contrabass Conversations features interviews and performances from top leaders in the world of the double bass. Podcast host Jason Heath dives deep into what makes these world-class artists tick. With 2 million downloads and counting, Contrabass Conversations is the most popular podcast for double bassists. Join the community and experience life on the low end of the spectrum!

iTunes Ratings

71 Ratings
Average Ratings
67
1
3
0
0

Terrific Podcast!

By BassManToo - Aug 21 2016
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Great podcast that is both educational and entertaining.

Always enjoyable

By sfcajay - Nov 18 2015
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I love this podcast. Every episode is fascinating and inspiring.

iTunes Ratings

71 Ratings
Average Ratings
67
1
3
0
0

Terrific Podcast!

By BassManToo - Aug 21 2016
Read more
Great podcast that is both educational and entertaining.

Always enjoyable

By sfcajay - Nov 18 2015
Read more
I love this podcast. Every episode is fascinating and inspiring.
Cover image of Contrabass Conversations double bass life

Contrabass Conversations double bass life

Latest release on Jul 09, 2020

Read more

Contrabass Conversations features interviews and performances from top leaders in the world of the double bass. Podcast host Jason Heath dives deep into what makes these world-class artists tick. With 2 million downloads and counting, Contrabass Conversations is the most popular podcast for double bassists. Join the community and experience life on the low end of the spectrum!

Rank #1: 386: Larry Grenadier on sound, technique, and fluidity

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Being able to sit down with outstanding artists and thinkers like Larry Grenadier is one of the true pleasures of doing this podcast.

Larry is a longtime member of the Brad Mehldau Trio and Pat Metheny's group, and has recorded with Paul Motian, Charles Lloyd, Enrico Rava, Danilo Perez, Chris Potter, Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and many others.

I had the chance to check out Larry's mesmerizing headlining concert at the 2017 International Society of Bassists Convention, and I'm so thankful that we were able to catch up for this podcast!  Check out Larry on Facebook as well as his own trio Fly, and look for his solo bass album in the near future.

Here's the flow for this episode:
  • Part 1 - Bay Area Years
  • Part 2 - Technique
  • Part 3 - Gear and Advice

Check out more jazz artists on the podcast at contrabassconversations.com/jazz.

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

The Upton Bass String Instrument Company. Upton’s Bostonian was conceived at the 2009 International Society of Double Bassists convention at State College, Pennsylvania, while world-renowned jazz bassist and Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas, Lynn Seaton and Upton Bass String Instrument Co. President and Founder, Gary Upton Birkhamshaw were playing and discussing the various instruments Upton Bass had created for the convention. They started with a blank sheet of paper, and together began jotting down Lynn’s preferences and suggestion with each model. The result was a rough outline of what would become the UB Bostonian Concert Double Bass.

A440 Violin Shop - An institution in the Roscoe Village neighborhood for over 20 years, A440's commitment to fairness and value means that we have many satisfied customers from the local, national, and international string playing communities. Our clients include major symphony orchestras, professional orchestra and chamber music players, aspiring students, amateur adult players, all kinds of fiddlers, jazz and commercial musicians, university music departments, and public schools.

Bass Violin Shop -  Offers the Southeast's largest inventory of laminate, hybrid and carved double basses. Whether you are in search of the best entry-level laminate, or a fine pedigree instrument, there is always a unique selection ready for you to try. Trade-ins and consignments welcome! Check out what people are saying about the Bass Violin Shop on Facebook.

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Aug 21 2017

1hr 3mins

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Rank #2: 456: Left Hand Technique with Lauren Pierce

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Lauren Pierce has been a guest on the podcast many times in the past.  She’s a great friend and is constantly looking for new ways to help bass players learn ket concepts.

Lauren has just come out with a Left Hand Technique course through Discover Double Bass.  Talk about a big concept to tackle!  Lauren has done a magnificent job laying out a logical sequence of major concepts for the left hand.

We talk about being efficient in the left hand, curved fingers, starting at the heel block, avoiding tension, the “Death Grip,” and much more in this fun and energetic conversation!

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

Robertson & Sons Violins

For more than four decades, Robertson & Sons has specialized in providing the highest quality stringed instruments and bows to collectors, professional musicians, music educators, and students of all ages. Their modern facility is equipped with three instrument showrooms as well as a beautiful Recital Hall available to our clients to in their search for the perfect instrument and/or bow.

D'Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets..

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

A440 Violin Shop

An institution in the Roscoe Village neighborhood for over 20 years, A440's commitment to fairness and value means that we have many satisfied customers from the local, national, and international string playing communities. Our clients include major symphony orchestras, professional orchestra and chamber music players, aspiring students, amateur adult players, all kinds of fiddlers, jazz and commercial musicians, university music departments, and public schools.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Feb 12 2018

47mins

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Rank #3: 336: Practicing Technique - Advice from the Masters

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Today’s episode is a deep dive into the concept of abstract technique—what we work on each and every day on the instrument, both to stay in shape technically and keep moving forward in terms of skill.

Resources covered: Past compilation episodes: Past Guests Quoted: Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Kaplan strings, which have versatility and control throughout the dynamic spectrum, rich tonal color palette, superb bow response, and beautiful balance.

Enter our latest string giveaway for Kaplan strings at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

This episode is also brought to you by Rosin Saver, a revolutionary storage device that keeps bass rosin feeling as fresh as the day it was made.

Rosin Saver is used by members of the New York Philharmonic, the MET orchestra, the Los Angles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, and many others.

Use the promo code 'HEATH' at checkout for 10% off any and all orders from rosinsaver.com.

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Apr 24 2017

42mins

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Rank #4: 450: Teymur Phell on Killer Walking Bass

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We’re chatting today with Killer Walking Bass co-author and Mike Stern band member Teymur Phell!

About Teymur Phell:

​" Unbelievable bass player, both electric and upright… Great feel, amazing soloist, love playing with him! "

- Mike Stern

" A virtuoso, incredible musician! "

- Arturo Sandoval

Teymur is a virtuoso bassist, proficient in classical, upright jazz and electric bass styles. He graduated with honors from the Jerusalem Academy of Music, where he studied with bass professor Dr. Michael Klinghoffer.

In 2010, Teymur moved to New York City and quickly became a sought-after bassist. He’s performed with Mike Stern, Arturo Sandoval, Vic Juris, Oz Noy, Lafayette Harris, and others.

Mike Stern says Teymur is an “unbelievable bassist and incredible musician. He’s mastered the art of walking with an amazing feel. Teymur really walks his ass off!”

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

Robertson & Sons Violins

For more than four decades, Robertson & Sons has specialized in providing the highest quality stringed instruments and bows to collectors, professional musicians, music educators, and students of all ages. Their modern facility is equipped with three instrument showrooms as well as a beautiful Recital Hall available to our clients to in their search for the perfect instrument and/or bow.

D'Addario Strings

Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

A440 Violin Shop

An institution in the Roscoe Village neighborhood for over 20 years, A440's commitment to fairness and value means that we have many satisfied customers from the local, national, and international string playing communities. Our clients include major symphony orchestras, professional orchestra and chamber music players, aspiring students, amateur adult players, all kinds of fiddlers, jazz and commercial musicians, university music departments, and public schools.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Jan 23 2018

32mins

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Rank #5: 279: Round Two with David Allen Moore

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When I got the podcast going again in 2015, I knew that I wanted to do "round two" interviews with past guests. Los Angeles Philharmonic bassist and USC Thornton School of Music professor David Allen Moore was at the top of my list.

I had David on the show back in 2009, which has been one of the most popular interviews from the first-generation podcast episodes (nearly 14,000 downloads at the moment).

A lot has changed for David since we last spoke:
  • He took a sabbatical and, after analyzing Edgar Meyer's technique, developed the concept of fractal fingerings.
  • He wrote a book on Fractal Fingerings.
  • He became an ultra-marathon runner.

Several of my former students have studied with David over the years.  When I asked them who had the biggest impact on them as a musician and as a person, David was the first person they mentioned.

I headed down to Los Angeles and we met up at his USC studio. Here's a shot of us along with bassists Fernando de la Fuente and Dan Carson (another former student of mine!).

We dig into all kinds of topics, including:

  • building an internal map
  • how bass pedagogy is still catching up to reality
  • analyzing Edgar Meyer's bass playing
  • the concept of framing
  • Rabbath's approach and the German bow
  • how practicing is a creative process
  • how running changed David's approach to various aspects of life
  • fractal fingering
  • peak performance
  • raising your floor as well as your ceiling
  • reveling in your successes

...and much more!

Links to check out:

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to your inbox!

Learn how you can support the show at contrabassconversations.com/support

Thanks to our sponsor!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Enter the D’Addario strings giveaway for Contrabass Conversations listeners at contrabassconversations.com/strings!

Nov 28 2016

1hr 4mins

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Rank #6: 682: Lizzie Burns on chamber music and community engagement

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It was a pleasure chatting with Lizzie Burns about the fascinating career that she has carved out for herself in the music world. 

Lizzie spent six years studying in Boston while maintaining an active freelance career. She was a founding member of Phoenix and the Pianosofia Chamber Players; a fellow of Symphony Nova; and has been heard many times in Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and at the American Repertory Theater. Lizzie has appeared at Yellow Barn, both as a summer participant and as an artist-in-residence, and has served as principal bass of both the chamber and symphony orchestras at the National Orchestral Institute.

We talk about her path toward music school, how Don Palma inspired her to head down the path that she’s now on, advice for people looking to explore a career in chamber music, and much more.

We chatted on February 25h for the podcast, and much has changed in the world in the intervening weeks, but I hope that you enjoy taking your mind off of these concerning times with this engaging and thoughtful conversation with Lizzie!

I’d also like to thank the sponsors who have supported us over the months and years. If you’d like to help the bass community recover as quickly as possible, consider visiting their site and making a purchase:

Mar 31 2020

51mins

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Rank #7: 396: Orin O'Brien on Leonard Bernstein, Fred Zimmerman, and life in the New York Philharmonic

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It is an honor and a pleasure to welcome Orin O'Brien to the show!  I've been hoping to have Orin as a guest for years, and I want to give a big shout-out to Chris Mathers for connecting the two of us!

We chat about numerous shared acquaintances, including Greg Sarchet, Miloslov Gajdos, David Grossman, Ira Gold, Ed Barker, Hal Robinson, Max Dimoff, Michael Hovnanian, Douglas Mapp, and Ron Wasserman.

More About Orin

New York Philharmonic bassist Orin O’Brien was born in Hollywood to parents in the film industry, George O’Brien and Marguerite Churchill, and received her early musical training in Los Angeles, where she studied with Milton Kestenbaum and Herman Reinshagen. She then studied in New York with Frederick Zimmermann and graduated from The Juilliard School, and is an alumna of the Music Academy of the West, now a partner in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy.

She has been a member of the New York Philharmonic since 1966, where she has played with the world’s leading conductors. She has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Marlboro, and in first performances of the Gunther Schuller Quartet for Four Double Basses.

She co-chaired the double bass department of The Juilliard School for ten years, and currently serves on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College of Music. Her most recent chamber music performances were the quintets of Schubert and Dvorak with the Guarneri String Quartet.

We dig into a wealth of topics, including:
  • how Orin came to study with Fred Zimmerman
  • how to play specific excerpts
  • the switch from gut strings to steel strings and the premiere of the Gunther Schuller Quartet (these two events are interlocking)
  • how Orin felt about being the first woman in the NY Phil (the answer will surprise you!)
  • how to really be a good principal player
  • what trips people up in auditions
  • New York in the 50s
  • Herman Reinshagen and the bass lineage of the 20th century the great premieres throughout her career
  • how special Riccardo Muti is as a conductor, and what makes him special - one of the living greats
  • what was special about the musicianship of Carlos Kleiber
  • how a great conductor can use imagery to inspire the orchestra
Links to Check Out: Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

The Upton Bass String Instrument Company.  Upton's Mittenwald model is a sister to their popular Brescian model.  The contrabasses from the Mittenwald school are characterized by a high-shouldered gamba pattern with outside linings on deep ribs, resulting in a fine orchestral double bass. Our version incorporates all the ergonomic improvements and geometries found in other Upton models, with great flexibility in sizing afforded by the stout German pattern. The gamba pattern, especially when combined with a flat back, allows us to build this instrument in the 5/8ths sizing of the Kloz copy, all the way up to a large 7/8ths pattern built to lift a string section or push a big band.

Bass Violin Shop -  Offers the Southeast's largest inventory of laminate, hybrid and carved double basses. Whether you are in search of the best entry-level laminate, or a fine pedigree instrument, there is always a unique selection ready for you to try. Trade-ins and consignments welcome!

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Sep 18 2017

1hr 54mins

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Rank #8: 467: Chuck Israels on Bill Evans and a life in music

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I had the opportunity to spend some time with Chuck Israels during my recent trip to Portland, Oregon.  In fact, we even took a trip together to visit Seth Kimmel’s shop in Eugene!

Both Chuck and Seth are past podcast guests, and I thought that a rebroadcast of my conversation with Chuck was in order.  Chuck and I dig into a wide range of topics, including:

  • meeting Charlie Mingus
  • playing with Bill Evans
  • Bill’s use of rhythm
  • the importance of having concrete and specific role models
  • Balinese wood carving
  • not creating your own artistic world without the traditions that preceded you
  • the perils of the “parallel case”
  • commonalities among how great artists approach their craft

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

D'Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Mar 22 2018

55mins

Play

Rank #9: 495: Victor Wooten

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Today’s special episode is Mike Forfia's conversation with Victor Wooten.  An edited version of this conversation appeared in the June 2018 edition of Bass World magazine from the International Society of Bassists.  Enjoy, and be sure to join the ISB if you're not a member already!

Jun 20 2018

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #10: 463: The Mental Game

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This year’s Winter Olympics inspired podcast listener Steven Bingham to write in the following topic request:

“If I could suggest a future podcast topic, it would be "performance psychology" with a bassist or other musician who also is a subject matter expert, for example, a university teacher or researcher. Watching the Winter Olympics reminds me of what human beings are capable of achieving when their mind is made up and their body coached up to do it.”

I put this question out on Facebook and got some great responses, so I decided to take these responses and roll them together with some performance psychology-related conversations from these past guests:

These topics were also covered in my Winning the Audition book and podcast series.

Let me know if you have any other tops-specific episodes like this that you’d like to hear!

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

D'Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Kaplan strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and are great for all kind os styles of music.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Mar 08 2018

38mins

Play

Rank #11: 597: Stephanie Patterson on adult learners

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Stephanie Patterson specializes in teaching adult learners.  After playing professionally for a period of time, she developed an overuse injury and had to leave her symphonic career.

Her teaching career began by accident about 10 years ago when her former hairdresser wanted to learn to play bass to do rockabilly.  Around the same time, she began corresponding with New York Philharmonic bassist and Manhattan School of Music bass faculty member Orin O’Brien

Through her own experiences and advice from Orin, Stephanie has developed a teaching philosophy specifically tailored for adult learners.

We dig into the details surrounding this journey in this episode.  If this resonates with you and you’d like to learn more, you can reach out to Stephanie via email.

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

D'Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

The Bass Violin Shop

The Bass Violin Shop offers the Southeast’s largest inventory of laminate, hybrid and carved double basses. Whether you are in search of the best entry-level laminate, or a fine pedigree instrument, there is always a unique selection ready for you to try. Trade-ins and consignments welcome!

Texas Hill Country Bass Collective

Join them July 22 thru July 25 for our 6th annual Austin Bass Workshop at the amazing Westlake High School.  Come join friends from the Texas Hill Country Bass Collective for four days of music, bass, and fun and work with 2019 featured guest artist (and past Contrabass Conversations guest) Dennis Whittaker!

Kolstein Music

The Samuel Kolstein Violin Shop was founded by Samuel Kolstein in 1943 as a Violin and Bow making establishment in Brooklyn, New York. Now on Long Island, over 60 years later, Kolstein’s has built a proud reputation for quality, craftsmanship and expertise in both the manufacture and repair of a whole range of stringed instruments, and has expanded to a staff of twelve experts in restoration, marketing and production.

Steve Swan String Bass

Steve Swan String Bass features the West Coast’s largest selection of double basses between Los Angeles and Canada.  Located in Burlingame, just south of San Francisco, their large retail showroom holds about 70 basses on display. Their new basses all feature professional setups and come with a cover at no additional cost. Used and consignment instruments receive any needed repairs and upgrades before getting a display position on the sales floor.

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

A440 Violin Shop

An institution in the Roscoe Village neighborhood for over 20 years, A440's commitment to fairness and value means that we have many satisfied customers from the local, national, and international string playing communities. Our clients include major symphony orchestras, professional orchestra and chamber music players, aspiring students, amateur adult players, all kinds of fiddlers, jazz and commercial musicians, university music departments, and public schools.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Jun 10 2019

1hr 24mins

Play

Rank #12: 476: Chris West on thumb position

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Former Guildhall Strings solo double bassist Chris West has built a tremendous resource for learning thumb position, and he’s finally unleashed it upon the world.  Titled Reaching the Heights - Thumb Position on the Double Bass, it’s chock full of useful exercises and pieces that will have you navigating the upper reaches fo the fingerboard in no time.

Chris and I dig into all kinds of cool concepts in this conversation, including the myelination process detailed in Daniel Coyle’s book The Talent Code, the “secret spacing” that makes navigating thumb position much easier, and many other topics.

Chris is a great guy, and this book is a great read.  Be sure to pick up a copy!

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

D'Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

A440 Violin Shop

An institution in the Roscoe Village neighborhood for over 20 years, A440's commitment to fairness and value means that we have many satisfied customers from the local, national, and international string playing communities. Our clients include major symphony orchestras, professional orchestra and chamber music players, aspiring students, amateur adult players, all kinds of fiddlers, jazz and commercial musicians, university music departments, and public schools.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Apr 19 2018

40mins

Play

Rank #13: 410: Charles Chandler on auditions, excerpts, and chamber music

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It has been such a pleasure getting to know Charles Chandler since moving to San Francisco!  In addition to playing in the San Francisco Symphony, Charles teaches at the San Francisco Academy Orchestra and is an active soloist and chamber musician. 

He is actively involved with the Golden Gate Bass Camp and other Bay Area double bass events and is a champion of new and previously undiscovered works for the double bass.

More About Charles:

Bassist Charles Chandler has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony since 1992. Prior to his current position, he was Associate Principal Bass and Soloist with the Phoenix Symphony. He also served as Principal Bass of the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra and the New York 20th Century Chamber Players.

His primary teachers were Shinji Eshima of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and David Walter at the Juilliard School. His numerous honors and awards include the San Francisco Symphony Pepsi Cola Young Musician Award, the Pittenger Scholarship, the Irving Klein Scholarship, and first prize in the A.S.T.A. National String Competition.

Upon receiving his Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard in 1987, Charles Chandler was selected to perform as a member of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. Playing with Marin Symphony, he has enjoyed performing with his wife Van, a violinist.

He also performs at the Music@Menlo Festival and Chamber Music Sundaes series and frequently records at Skywalker Ranch. Mr. Chandler resides in San Francisco with his wife and their daughter Julie. When not playing on his 1750 double bass made by the Venetian luthier, Domenico Busan, he enjoys organic gardening, bicycling, hiking and spending time with his family.

Music Featured on this Episode: Links to Check Out:

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

The Bass Violin Shop, which  offers the Southeast's largest inventory of laminate, hybrid and carved double basses. Whether you are in search of the best entry-level laminate, or a fine pedigree instrument, there is always a unique selection ready for you to try. Trade-ins and consignments welcome!

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Oct 11 2017

1hr 5mins

Play

Rank #14: 432: Eric Revis on gut strings, funk, and influences

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Grammy Award-winning bassist and longtime Branford Marsalis collaborator Eric Revis joins Jason for today's deep-dive into growing up in California, being influenced by Parliament and prog rock, gut string explorations, and much more.

A special shout-out to Eric Roy of Upton Bass for connecting me with Eric Revis for this conversation!

About Eric Revis:

One of the most talented and accomplished musicians of his generation, Grammy Award-winning bassist and composer Eric Revis has, over the past 15 years, become an important voice in jazz. Branford Marsalis states, “Eric’s sound is the sound of doom; big, thick, percussive.” Scores of musicians across various disciplines agree. Revis has performed and recorded with Betty Carter, Peter Brotzmann, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Steve Coleman, Ralph Peterson, Lionel Hampton, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Cyrille, and Tarbaby (the experimental trio he tri-leads with Orrin Evans and Nasheet Waits).

Manning the bass chair with Branford Marsalis’ powerfully flexible quartet since 1997, Revis has also recorded four brilliant albums as a leader. 2004’s Tales of the Stuttering Mime and 2009’s Laughter’s Necklace of Tears have both revealed his startling range as a musician and composer. Informed by his past but not tethered to it, a glimpse into the musical trajectory of this artist is indelibly clear on his latest release Parallax (Clean Feed ) and the soon to be released City of Asylum (Clean Feed).

“Tales of the Stuttering Mime was an amalgam of songs I’d been composing for quite some time,” Revis explains. “Being that there were a lot of different influences at play, it required that I use various band configurations on almost every tune, which was great in that I had a very real connection to all of the musicians involved.” With Laughter’s Necklace of Tears the same conceptual construct was in place in terms of the confluence of musical influences, but the goal was to present it in a more cohesive fashion in terms of having one group navigate the songs for the record as opposed to five or six”.

Conceptually improvisational and thematically broad, Parallax (Clean Feed) is timeless and borderless. The albums’ approach is one of inclusion, extrapolation and exploration. Joined by Jason Moran, Ken Vandermark and Nasheet Waits, it is a true document of Revis’ growth as a composer, bassist and sounding board. As on previous recordings, Revis’ playing is personal and distinctive: his tone deep and woody, his execution, agile, melodic and clear. A musical polyglot, Revis is comfortable in any setting, any direction. His skills as a band leader and composer are equally profound and inspiring.

Links to Check Out:

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

D’Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Nov 27 2017

52mins

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Rank #15: 503: Micah Howard on life in the Pittsburgh Symphony

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Micah Howard has been on my “to interview” list for years.  As a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony and faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, Micah has had a huge influence on countless bass players (including my good friend Christian Dillingham!).  I actually just found a note from 2008 that said “interview Micah Howard” - that’s how long I’ve been hoping to do this!

A few weeks ago, I wrote him an email asking to schedule an interview, only to find that he had emailed me that exact same day to ask if I’d be up for being a clinician at the next Pittsburgh Bass Symposium.  We must have been on the same wavelength that day without realizing it!

Micah and I dig into a ton of topics:

  • Micah’s journey through the music world
  • What he learned through his four Pittsburgh Symphony auditions
  • The experience of serving on the PSO core audition committee
  • Mindset shifts between preliminary rounds and later rounds
  • What non-bassists hear when they listen to bassists
  • Negotiating committees, lockouts, and other things you don’t think about when you’re in music school
  • Advice for Micah’s younger self

This is a great conversation with a person who gives so much to the bass community, and I know you’ll love it!

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

Robertson & Sons Violins

For more than four decades, Robertson & Sons has specialized in providing the highest quality stringed instruments and bows to collectors, professional musicians, music educators, and students of all ages. Their modern facility is equipped with three instrument showrooms as well as a beautiful Recital Hall available to our clients to in their search for the perfect instrument and/or bow.

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

D'Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Jul 12 2018

1hr 6mins

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Rank #16: 296: Adam Booker on strings, Milt Hinton, and jazz mythology

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Ever wonder what it's like to be transplanted from balmy Texas and Louisiana to the coldest city in the continental United States?

Ask Adam Booker. Here's a recent weather report from Duluth in case you're curious.

How did he go from the gigging life in Texas to the US Navy and finally into a life in academia?

We talk about this and much more, including:
  • traditional jazz bass lines and what notes were really being played
  • confessions from a former string neurotic
  • what surprised Adam the most about academia
  • Stefon Harris and his description of scales as a collection of emotions
  • hanging up on Milt Hinton... and then watching Jeopardy with him
  • not just creating great bassists, but creating great people

I had a great time hanging out with Adam at BASS2016 in Prague, and it was a real pleasure to sit down with him and do an interview! Here's a shot of Adam, Geoff Chalmers, and me in Prague.

Links to check out:

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Thanks to our sponsors!

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets.

Hosting for Contrabass Conversations is provided by Bass Capos.  Bass Capos are an excellent choice for any bass player using or looking to implement a double bass extension. Easy to install and adjust, cheaper and more reliable than hand-built latches, also lighter and quicker in operation.

Jan 05 2017

53mins

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Rank #17: 401: Brian Perry on auditioning and motivation

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I had a great time chatting with Dallas Symphony bassist and Southern Methodist University faculty member Brian Perry!  Brian is also on the Board of Directors for the Bradetich Foundation and the International Society of Bassists, and he is the editor for the Bass World column "In The Zone."

This episode is organized into three parts:
  • Part 1 - the difference one teacher can make
  • Part 2 - auditioning
  • Part 3 - staying motivated
More About Brian:

Brian Perry is the newest member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra double bass section. Prior to his appointment in 2013, he was a member of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra for nine seasons. He has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, and often performs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood. An active collaborator, Perry is a frequent guest artist with pianist Buddy Bray for the Cliburn Foundation’s Musical Awakenings educational concert series and has performed locally on the Spectrum Chamber Music, Fine Arts Chamber Players and Cliburn at the Modern series. Additionally, he has appeared as guest artist with the Vermeer String Quartet and pianist Natalie Zhu on the Bay Chamber Concerts series in Rockport, Maine. In recent seasons, he has served as the bassist in Miguel Harth-Bedoya’s Caminos del Inka ensemble and as a member of the Funkytown All-Stars, an all double-bass quartet based in Fort Worth. Always keeping his eyes open for new repertoire for the double bass, Perry performed his transcription of William Bolcom’s Graceful Ghost Rag for the composer himself in an all-Bolcom program at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth in 2010.

Perry earned his music degrees from Boston University and the University of North Texas. His principal teachers include Larry Moore, Jeff Bradetich and Edwin Barker. Perry is currently adjunct lecturer of double bass at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He also serves as a board member for the International Society of Bassists (I.S.B.) and the Bradetich Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting the double bass as a solo instrument. Committed to educating and mentoring young bassists, he has adjudicated and presented master classes for both the 2015 I.S.B. convention and the TCU Bass Fest and, since 2010, has been the double bass instructor at the highly acclaimed Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Mass., one of the nation’s premier summer orchestral training programs for high school students.

Links to Check Out: Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

The Chromatic Endpin

A straight endpin only lets you balance the bass one way.

The Chromatic Endpin opens up many possibilities.You can feel more of the bass's weight, make it feel light as a feather, or anywhere in between.

When the bass is balanced, you stand comfortably on two feet with a neutral spine.

The instrument feels lighter, is easier to hold, and you're more comfortable.

The Upton Bass String Instrument Company.  Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr.  Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

Check out this video of David Murray "auditioning" his Upton Bass!

The Bass Violin Shop, which  offers the Southeast's largest inventory of laminate, hybrid and carved double basses. Whether you are in search of the best entry-level laminate, or a fine pedigree instrument, there is always a unique selection ready for you to try. Trade-ins and consignments welcome!

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Sep 25 2017

1hr 8mins

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Rank #18: 381: developing bow strokes

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This episode is a deep-dive into developing bow strokes on the double bass.  

  • Part 1 - bow stroke overview
  • Part 2 - developing spiccato
  • Part 3 - bow stroke deep-dive

We feature highlights from past podcast guests on this topic:

Recommended resources:

Check out more "best-of" episodes like this at contrabassconversations.com/highlights.

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

The Upton Bass String Instrument Company.  Upton's Bohemian model is not about excess. With its simple lines, Gamba-style cornered and deep booming tone, its form is defined by purpose without ornament. Hand-built, with the same ergonomics and playability found in all of our models, the Bohemian double bass is being offered in four levels of build styles and price points, each carefully designed to meet unique requirements of its owner

A440 Violin Shop - An institution in the Roscoe Village neighborhood for over 20 years, A440's commitment to fairness and value means that we have many satisfied customers from the local, national, and international string playing communities. Our clients include major symphony orchestras, professional orchestra and chamber music players, aspiring students, amateur adult players, all kinds of fiddlers, jazz and commercial musicians, university music departments, and public schools.

Bass Violin Shop -  Offers the Southeast's largest inventory of laminate, hybrid and carved double basses. Whether you are in search of the best entry-level laminate, or a fine pedigree instrument, there is always a unique selection ready for you to try. Trade-ins and consignments welcome!  Check out what people are saying about the Bass Violin Shop on Facebook.

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Aug 07 2017

51mins

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Rank #19: 541: Sean Conly on being a working jazz musician

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I had a great time chatting with bassist, composer, and educator Sean Conly during my recent trip to New York City. Sean studied with Rufus Reid and Todd Coolman at William Paterson University and has worked with Freddie Hubbard, Regina Carter, Nicholas Payton, and many other prominent jazz artists.

Sean also teaches for The Bass Collective in New York, which emphasizes learning by doing and faculty performing alongside students.  We talk about this approach to education and its benefits, life on the road, Sean’s path from Colorado and Kansas to New York City, how he established himself in NYC, and much more!

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

A440 Violin Shop

An institution in the Roscoe Village neighborhood for over 20 years, A440's commitment to fairness and value means that we have many satisfied customers from the local, national, and international string playing communities. Our clients include major symphony orchestras, professional orchestra and chamber music players, aspiring students, amateur adult players, all kinds of fiddlers, jazz and commercial musicians, university music departments, and public schools.

The Bass Violin Shop

The Bass Violin Shop offers the Southeast’s largest inventory of laminate, hybrid and carved double basses. Whether you are in search of the best entry-level laminate, or a fine pedigree instrument, there is always a unique selection ready for you to try. Trade-ins and consignments welcome!

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

D'Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Zyex strings, which are synthetic core strings that produce an extremely warm, rich sound. Get the sound and feel of gut strings with more evenness, projection and stability than real gut.

Steve Swan String Bass

Steve Swan String Bass features the West Coast’s largest selection of double basses between Los Angeles and Canada.  Located in Burlingame, just south of San Francisco, their large retail showroom holds about 70 basses on display. Their new basses all feature professional setups and come with a cover at no additional cost. Used and consignment instruments receive any needed repairs and upgrades before getting a display position on the sales floor.

Kolstein Music

The Samuel Kolstein Violin Shop was founded by Samuel Kolstein in 1943 as a Violin and Bow making establishment in Brooklyn, New York. Now on Long Island, over 60 years later, Kolstein’s has built a proud reputation for quality, craftsmanship and expertise in both the manufacture and repair of a whole range of stringed instruments, and has expanded to a staff of twelve experts in restoration, marketing and production.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Nov 21 2018

48mins

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Rank #20: 459: Music School Auditions - Advice from the pros

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This episode is one of those astoundingly complex projects that I love digging into! 

We’re featuring questions from double bass student Baylee Brown, which are answered by 27 noted double bass faculty members.  This idea was suggested by University of Texas at Arlington bass faculty member Jack Unzicker, who help design and execute this project.

A big shout-out to Baylee, Jack, and all of the faculty who took their valuable time to answer these questions!

Here’s the list of questions and the order in which they are covered:

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages to attending a conservatory vs. a university?
  2. How many schools should I audition for?
  3. What are some common preparation mistakes that you see auditioning students making?
  4. Besides the bass teacher, what other factors should I consider when comparing schools?
  5. Other than Performance, Music Ed, and Jazz, what other options are available for undergrads?
  6. How early should students start preparing for their college auditions?
  7. I am interested in auditioning at six schools; is there any flexibility in audition requirements that could help lessen the amount of combined repertoire for all of the schools?
  8. How can I keep from getting overwhelmed by the audition repertoire requirements from the different schools for which I’m auditioning?
  9. How do I ask for a lesson with the teacher for whom I’m auditioning? Do I pay them/ask about payment?
  10. I play the German bow; how important is it that I study with a German bow teacher?

Learn more about each of the faculty members and their programs through the links below:

Learn more about over 100 other United States college double bass programs in our colleges guide!

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

D'Addario Strings

This episode is brought to you by D’Addario Strings! Check out their Helicore strings, which are are designed, engineered, and crafted at the D’Addario string factory in New York and come in orchestral, hybrid, pizzicato, and solo string sets..

Upton Bass String Instrument Company

Upton's Karr Model Upton Double Bass represents an evolution of our popular first Karr model, refined and enhanced with further input from Gary Karr. Since its introduction, the Karr Model with its combination of comfort and tone has gained a loyal following with jazz and roots players. The slim, long “Karr neck” has even become a favorite of crossover electric players.

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Subscribe to the podcast to get these interviews delivered to you automatically!

Feb 22 2018

1hr 5mins

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713: Annie Bosler and Trevor Jones

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Today’s episode is the 4th and final of The Scholarship Roadmap’s takeover of the Contrabass Conversations podcast feed. The Scholarship Roadmap is an online program for student musicians pursuing careers in music. It was developed by Contrabass Conversations team member, Trevor Jones. Book a discovery call with Trevor to see if it’s right for you.

“A performance degree is a way to give you a language, it gives you skills you can carry into any other profession.” -Annie Bosler

Dr. Bosler co-wrote College Prep For Musicians and How to practice effectively…for just about anything. As a freelance horn player, Annie has toured with John Williams’ Star Wars in Concert and with Josh Groban and performed on Dancing with the StarsThe Ellen Show, and PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, and shared the stage with Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney on CBS’s The Beatles: The Night That Changed America. She performed with Chance the Rapper at The Grammy’s, Sean Combs (P-Diddy) at The American Music Awards, and Wu-Tang Clan at Coachella. 

2m15s - Annie’s Background7m10s - What do you do with a music degree?15m40s - Music Major Application Matrix27m10s - Assessing your performance 31m42s - Tapering + Audition Strategies41m18s - Covid-19 Education Strategies

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Jul 09 2020

48mins

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713: Rob Kassinger and Trevor Jones: The Scholarship Roadmap

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Today’s episode is the 3rd of 4 of The Scholarship Roadmap’s takeover of the Contrabass Conversations podcast feed. The Scholarship Roadmap is an online program for student musicians pursuing careers in music. It was developed by Contrabass Conversations team member, Trevor Jones. Book a discovery call with Trevor to see if it’s right for you.

“What I’m looking for is seriousness, talent, and a work ethic that exceeds that talent.” -Rob Kassinger

Today, I’m chatting with Chicago Symphony Orchestra bassist and Professor of Double Bass at DePaul University School of Music, Rob Kassinger.

Rob and I dig into a bunch of topics that were chosen to provide clarity to the student musician who is looking into musical schools.

•35s - Rob’s background •6m20s - am I right for a music degree?•9m50s - Finding the right teacher•13m57s - What does Rob look for in a student?•21m50s - Am I ready for music school?•26m05s - Audition Day — From Rob’s perspective. •28m25s - Common mistakes in an audition•31m40s - Rob’s audition advice•37m05s - What should I do about Covid-19? Is online education worth it?

Thanks for listening! -Trevor Jones

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Jul 08 2020

42mins

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712: James Day and Trevor Jones: The Scholarship Roadmap

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Today’s episode is the 2nd of 4 of The Scholarship Roadmap’s takeover of the Contrabass Conversations podcast feed. The Scholarship Roadmap is an online program for student musicians pursuing careers in music. It was developed by Contrabass Conversations team member, Trevor Jones. Book a discovery call with Trevor to see if it’s right for you.

“We have to understand the significance of what we’re doing, the place it is has in the world, and the potential impact every one of those choices can make.”  -Dr. James Day

On today’s show, I’m chatting with Dr. James Day. James is Director of the Sunderman Conservatory of Music and Associate Professor of Music at Gettysburg College

I wanted to talk to James to get a sense of what a Conservatory looks for in prospective students and what students can do to make sure they’re prepared for music school. 

We dig into:

33s - James Day’s background5m59  - Why should someone major in music?8m53s - Music in a Liberal Arts setting11m43s - Different types of music majors 16m43s - Scholarship opportunities (even for non-majors)27m18s - Best practices to secure a scholarship 33m13 - COVID 19

Thanks for listening! -Trevor Jones

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Jul 07 2020

35mins

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711: The Scholarship Roadmap with Trevor Jones

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Trevor Jones is launching a new program called The Scholarship Roadmap that addresses the tricky business of choosing a college that fits your musical needs. 

We talk about the challenges, experiences, and tactics that Trevor has developed through his broad range of experiences teaching at the high school and collegiate levels.  Enjoy!

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Jul 06 2020

29mins

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710: Dan Turkos on crowdfunding during a crisis

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It’s rare for me to interview a fellow San Franciscan like Dan Turkos over the web instead of in person, but we’re in strange times for sure right now.  Despite the pandemic, Dan and his wife successfully raised over $12,000 on Kickstarter for her debut album.

We talk about this, their life before moving to San Francisco and what attracted them to the city, their multi-genre duo Beneath a Tree - Baroque to Folk, having the neck of his bass snapped off during a trip to California, and much more.

Enjoy, and be sure to follow along with Beneath a Tree on Instagram and Facebook!

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  • Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Jul 02 2020

1hr 13mins

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Johnny Hamil on Bassists 4 Bassists

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Johnny Hamil has been building bass events for the past decade, and he has organized something really special for this summer: Bassists 4 Bassists.

This online event will take place July 7-11, and will feature Francois Rabbath, Lynn Seaton, Jessica Valls, Hans Sturm, Billy Sheehan, and many other well-known bassists.

You can register here, and check out this preview video to get a taste of what’ll be happening at the event.  Hope to see you there!

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Jul 01 2020

1hr 10mins

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709: Helen Svoboda on her solo album

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Helen Svoboda has just released a solo album titled Vegetable Bass featuring her compelling compositional voice and combination of bass and vocals.

I had the chance to chat with her in 2019, and it was so much fun connecting with her about this new project and other topics.

In addition to the album, we talk about our current respective living situations, her upcoming move back to Australia and how the pandemic temporarily derailed it, how she began using the bow, and much more.

Check out Helen’s new album here, and be sure to follow her on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook!

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Jun 29 2020

46mins

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708: Chris Fitzgerald on jujitsu and bass

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Chris Fitzgerald has been putting out incredible jazz bass content on YouTube for years.  He recently released a comprehensive review of the Noble Tube Preamp, and he is in the early stages of a new project that he is calling “Bass Jitsu.”

We talk about this new project, how his early piano teacher was the original inspiration for this approach tot he bass, what it’s like putting these massive video projects together, the challenges of teaching online in these current times, and much more. 

I also bring up this excellent video from Chris and a bunch of well-known bassists from the Aebersold camps on varying right-hand approaches to jazz bass, and we talk about the importance of getting a “good pull” in the left arm for closing notes securely.

Be sure to follow along with Chris on YouTube, and also check out his recent asynchronous collaboration with Gabe Evans!

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Jun 25 2020

40mins

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Bonus: Sara Neilson, Online Beginner Bass Camp

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Sara Neilson will be running an online beginner bass camp for students age 8-12 from July 6th through July 30th.  She’ll be doing hourly sessions from 10-11 am Central Time.

Sara teaches bass at the Merit School of Music in Chicago, and she has been running a series of warm-up classes each weekday on Facebook.  She also recently wrote an article titled ‘Game Changer’ for the International Society of Bassists’ Bass World magazine.

We talk about all this, how things have been going during the pandemic, staying relaxed on the bass, and much more.  You can also check out her podcast appearance on a career advice panel from the 2019 Chicago Bass Festival.

Enjoy, and be sure to follow Sara on Instagram

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Jun 24 2020

43mins

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707: Susanna Klein on Practizma

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Susanna Klein has been working on a really cool project the past few years: Practizma.  This is a journal that takes you through 16 weeks of guided practice, with goal setting, reflection prompt, action challenges, and journal pages to track your practice.

In addition to this very cool system, we talk about Susanna’s background, what it has been like teaching online these past few months, the evolution of the journal, the concept of deliberate practice, my trusty practice app Modiacty, and much more.

Be sure to check out the Practizma website for more info and to get a free sample, and be sure to follow along with Susanna on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook!

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This podcast is brought to you by the International Online Bass Summit and the sponsors who are proudly involved with this event:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Jun 22 2020

1hr 18mins

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706: Tom Walley on staying active during quarantine

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Tom Walley has certainly been keeping busy during the quarantine, publishing a ton content on his Instagram and YouTube, including his arrangement of the Adagio from Mahler's 9th Symphony with his fellow London Philharmonic Orchestra section members.

Tom and I talk about this recording and his other quarantine projects, canceled tours, moving out of London for the time being, long-distance relationships, traveling with a bass, and even shaving his head!  Enjoy, and be sure to say hi to Tom on Instagram.

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This podcast is brought to you by the International Online Bass Summit and the sponsors who are proudly involved with this event:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Jun 18 2020

56mins

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705: Hans Roelofsen and Rudolf Senn on bass duo adventures

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I’ve been following along with the musical adventures of Hans Roelofsen and Rudolph Senn for years.  They have toured the world as a bass duo, with 15 trips to the United States alone.

Throughout these trips, they have collected some fantastic stories.  We dig into these stories, how they came to play as a duo, challenges of transcription, the implications of choosing a particular key for an arrangement, and much more.  Enjoy!

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This podcast is brought to you by the International Online Bass Summit and the sponsors who are proudly involved with this event:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Jun 15 2020

59mins

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704: Bill Rinehart and Jaime Slutzky on online learning

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Bill Rinehart has been teaching jazz piano online for the past 13 years, and he has been working with Jaime Slutzky recently to redevelop certain aspects of his online offerings.

I’ve been obsessed with finding new ways to frame the private lesson experience for years, and the current pandemic has made music teachers across the globe rethink the one-on-one traditional private lesson experience.

Bill, Jaime, and I talk about a wide range of topics, including online learning platforms like Thinkific, Jaime’s incubator program, the unique challenges and rewards that teaching an artistic pursuit like music in an online setting, and much more.

Enjoy, and be sure to also check out Jaime’s excellent podcast Expand Online!

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This podcast is brought to you by the International Online Bass Summit and the sponsors who are proudly involved with this event:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Jun 11 2020

51mins

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703: Abo Gumroyan on taking chances

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Abo Gumroyan truly is a musical chameleon.  In addition to winning Grammys with the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Abo has played with the San Francisco Symphony, played on countless sessions, worked on Las Vegas shows, and much more.

We dig into Abo’s musical background, his time studying with Scott Pingel, Steve Tramontozzi, David Allen Moore, and many others, what it has been like adjusting to the pandemic, and much more.

Be sure to follow along with Abo on Instagram, and also check out this cool video that he put together for us demonstrating the gear he uses in his home studio!

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This podcast is brought to you by the International Online Bass Summit and the sponsors who are proudly involved with this event:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Jun 08 2020

44mins

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702: Mary Javian on career development

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In addition to being an outstanding bassist, Mary Javian has an inspiring goal in life: to use music to create positive social change in communities.

We dig into her role as Chair of Career Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, what this institution offered in terms of career development when she was a student and how it has evolved over the years, what this work means to her, the importance of authentic community engagement, and much more.

Mary and I have played together in the Iris Orchestra several times over the years, and it was such a pleasure to finally have her on the podcast!

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This podcast is brought to you by the International Online Bass Summit and the sponsors who are proudly involved with this event:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Jun 04 2020

58mins

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701: Carlos Barriento and Opportunity Music Project

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The whole world is adjusting to new ways of interaction, and the world of music advocacy is no exception. Jessica Garand’s Opportunity Music Project has been doing a particularly good job of adapting their El Sistema-style program to these current times, with their Sponsor a Student program and many other initiatives and offerings.

In today’s episode, we chat with Jessica and OMP bass instructor Carlos Barriento about the work that this program does, what it has been like teaching online, the challenges and meaningful moments that online teaching has been bringing them, and much more.  Enjoy!

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This podcast is brought to you by the International Online Bass Summit and the sponsors who are proudly involved with this event:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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Jun 01 2020

1hr 2mins

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700: Drew Gress on jazz, birdwatching, and creativity

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Drew Gress’ biography reads like a who’s who of the jazz world, including collaboration with Tim Berne, Ravi Coltrane, Uri Caine, John Hollenbeck, and countless others.  He has appeared on over 140 recordings, 4 of which have received Grammy nominations.

In this conversation, which was prompted by Richard Ivy, a former student of Drew’s, we discuss many topics, including:

Enjoy!

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This podcast is brought to you by the International Online Bass Summit and the sponsors who are proudly involved with this event:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

May 28 2020

53mins

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699: Marcos Machado on Tao of Bass Volume 2

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Marcos Machado shows no signs of slowing down even during the pandemic!  He recently joined the Discover Double Bass teaching team and released a course in the fall of 2019 titled Integral Technique.

photo credit: Discover Double Bass

This course is based on the extensive research and experimentation Marcos has done in fingerings through his epic work Tao of Bass.  We spoke with Marcos about volume one of this series a few years ago, and he’s gearing up to release volume two later this year.

This interview digs into Marcos’ fingering journey, what’s in store for volume two, and much more.  Enjoy!

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This podcast is brought to you by the International Online Bass Summit and the sponsors who are proudly involved with this event:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

May 25 2020

44mins

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698: Miles Perkin on extended techniques

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Miles Perkin is exploring fascinating musical territory with the double bass.  Originally from Canada and now living in Berlin, he recently released a solo bass album called Subtones that mixes voice, bass, and extended techniques in unexpected and compelling ways.

In this conversation, recorded in March just before the pandemic fully shut down the globe, we talk about his background the Berlin experimental music scene, and much more.  Enjoy, and be sure to follow Miles on Facebook and Instagram!

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

I’d also like to thank the sponsors who have supported us over the months and years. If you’d like to help the bass community recover as quickly as possible, consider visiting their site and making a purchase:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

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May 21 2020

57mins

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697: Susan Cahill on staying inspired under quarantine

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Susan Cahill has been finding all kinds of ways to keep herself inspired musically during the pandemic.  She had finished filming an episode for the PBS Series Now Hear This prior to the lockdown, and she has been immersing herself in several music at-home projects.

We talk about these projects, how practicing other instruments fits into her musicianship, thoughts on small and large group performances going forward, and much more. 

Enjoy, and check out her appearance on the podcast from 2017 here!

Listen to Contrabass Conversations with our free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle!

I’d also like to thank the sponsors who have supported us over the months and years. If you’d like to help the bass community recover as quickly as possible, consider visiting their site and making a purchase:

Contrabass Conversations production team:

May 18 2020

56mins

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iTunes Ratings

71 Ratings
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Terrific Podcast!

By BassManToo - Aug 21 2016
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Great podcast that is both educational and entertaining.

Always enjoyable

By sfcajay - Nov 18 2015
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I love this podcast. Every episode is fascinating and inspiring.