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It’s The Little Things

Last week, I was in the studio recording some tracks for the always-awesome Laila Biali. We’ve been recording out at Teaneck Sound Recording, a terrific studio owned by world-class drummer Andrea Valentini. Andrea is an old friend of mine, we started playing together in Jim Rotondi’s band when I first moved to New York in 2003. Over the last ten years, Andrea has built a top-rate recording facility in the basement of his home in New Jersey, and part of what makes it so poplar is his attention to detail. Check out the headphone set up and the custom pencil and coffee holder he built:


This got me to thinking about how a “focus on the little things” can go a long way in our development on the bass. A lot of the lessons over at ChrisTarryLessons deal with seemingly simple concepts but assume that you, the student, will take the idea behind the lesson and expand on it. Every lesson is a blank slate that allows you to move forward in whatever way you choose, to find the little things within each concept that will connect with you and push your playing to the next level.

An old teacher of mine said to me once, “Find a great bass line on a record, learn it, and then figure out what the guy who recorded it had for breakfast that morning.” This is the level of focus we need in order to improve, especially for those of us who have been playing a long time. As we get more bass experience under our belts, it becomes harder to see the leaps in improvement. So remember, success is in the little things; it is the positioning of a finger, the length of a note, or in the case of Teaneck Sound, the building of a perfect little shelf, because you just don’t know when something so small and seemingly insignificant might come in handy.

Now back to the practice room, and have fun!

About the Author

Chris TarryChris Tarry is a four-time Juno Award winning musician and a writer. His debut collection of short fiction, “How To Carry Bigfoot Home,” is out now from Red Hen Press (March 2015). He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with his wife Michelle, daughter Chloe, and son Lucas. Connect with Chris on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.View all posts by Chris Tarry

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