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How playing simple can be most effective

When was the last time you broke your playing down, no matter what instrument you play, to the absolute basics? When you can offer support, inspiration, and interest with the very basics it opens up a world of things to you. Not only does it make it easier NOT to add anything to the basics …
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Small details can equal big changes

Last week I was fortunate enough to sit down with almost the entire staff of Aguilar in New York City and talk gear! Pickups to be specific. And although I can’t tell you much about the design, the components, or how they differ technically from what I had in the bass before (because I simply …
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Stop thinking, and continue doing

So as I mentioned in a blog last week, I was about to go to Rhode Island and take a lesson with my old professor from Berklee Hal Crook. I can’t say I get nervous for anything anymore, but this concept of officially being a student again definitely made me more aware of my playing, …
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Lessons. They tend to help the learning process

It seems like a fairly obvious concept right? Lessons. They tend to help the learning process. But I don’t think we’re aware of just how much they can help, especially later in life or once one has been doing something for a number of years. I was having this discussion with a friend the other …
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Variation in your practice routine

One of the many things I’ve been discussing with my tennis fanatic friends recently is variation in your practice routine. Now, we have been discussing it as it pertains to physical conditioning, but I feel it’s no different from how we practice music. We’ve talked about various methods that we’ve all tried like P90X, Insanity, …
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Zakrzewski Fretless bass demo

I’ve been meaning to post a video with this new bass for ages (since I got it six months ago!), but it’s a bit of a mission to get much downtime from the road, and then to put in the time to get my intonation on a fretless instrument together! So here’s the zakrzewski fretless …
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Erdnase Live in Los Angeles

Been meaning to edit some of this video and audio together to share with you since we played this show! So here’s the first installment featuring Lizzy Loeb, Bob Reynolds, Ruslan Sirota, and Louie Palmer. This is the track Erdnase from the new album, and the show was on April 2nd 2013. Enjoy! Janek

No talking, just doing

It’s very rare that I find myself in a musical situation where there is no talking, just doing. And the catalyst for this post is a recording session where it actually had to be pointed out to me after the fact that this is what we had just experienced for three days in the studio. …
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Being able to be you no matter what the situation

Having the ability of being able to be you no matter what the situation, and not instinctively wanting to change the way you play or interact with people to make up for a perceived issue with your surroundings, is something I’ve been conscious of and struggled with for many years. I would marvel at my …
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What’s the most critical aspect of your practice routine?

What’s the most critical aspect of your practice routine? some might answer exercises for right hand technique, others their sight reading regime… For me, it’s physical exercise. It’s opening up the mind, releasing tension, and being not just physically, but more mentally balanced when I come to make music. Something as simple as a walk …
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