MULTITASKING

Our current culture seems to insist that we can be more productive – and, it implies, happier –  if only we buy the right machines and use them to stay connected to the rest of the world instantaneously. Those who do not are labeled as hopelessly out of touch and out of date.  The marketing geniuses who for years have… Read more →

HARRY PICKENS AND MUSICAL JOY

My relationship with Harry is an interesting one, as he started out as a musical idol and guru, morphed into a musical confidant and part-time spiritual advisor, and in later years has ended up as peer and friend (although I use the term “peer” generously for my part in this instance). Regardless of which “stage” is under discussion, Harry has… Read more →

IS MUSIC THEORY ESSENTIAL IF YOU WANT TO BE A GOOD PLAYER?

This is a question I’ve been pondering my entire life. I even went to the trouble to get two degrees in the subject in an effort to answer this question, and I still go back and forth on the answer. There are times when it seems that I just couldn’t get along without theory, and times in which it only… Read more →

INFORMAL BIO FROM CRADLE TO BASS, OR “INSTRUMENTAL ROULETTE”

What’s this? An informal bio in the first person? Isn’t that sacrilege? I hope not. There’s nothing really wrong with formal third person bios in principle, but in practice they reduce a person’s professional life to a self-serving blurb for the purpose of establishing professional credibility in a paragraph or less. Again, that’s fine, and useful in its own way,… Read more →

WHY I PLAY MUSIC

Why do I play music? The simple answer is that for me, the act of playing music provides me with an environment in which I no longer have to wonder “why am I here?” , or “what is the meaning of life on this planet?”. When I’m playing (or perhaps this should be amended to say, when I’m playing in… Read more →