524: George Vance and his influence 

Today we’re covering the great double bass pedagogue George Vance and the influence he has had on bass education.  We’re featuring clips from these past podcast guests on the topic:

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523: David Daly on Titanic Double Bass 

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Principal Bass David Daly has released a true epic debut album with a great title: Titanic Double Bass.  The title track of the album is an Irish air my Great Uncle Eugene played on the deck of he Titanic (thats right—David’s Great Uncle played on the Titanic!) as it left Ireland.  David also filmed an epic video at the crack of dawn on the cliffs overlooking where the Titanic had been.

That alone makes for an incredibly cool story, but the whole album is great as well.  It…

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522: Amy Baltzell on performance anxiety 

Amy Baltzell is a sports psychologist that serves as Clinical Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Sport Psychology Specialization at Boston University.  The author of Living in the Sweet Spot: Preparing for Performance in Sport and Life and The Power of Mindfulness: Mindfulness Meditation Training in Sport, Amy has worked with many musicians over the years to alleviate performance anxiety.

Amy and I dig into performance enhancement, positive psychology, mindfulness, self-care, and much more in this…

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521: Herbert Smith on Brazil and his path there 

Herbert Smith has had a remarkable career spanning a variety of musical genres.  Originally from Chicago, Herbert spent many years in Southern California prior to his move to

São Paulo, Brazil eight years ago.

We dig into similarities and differences between the musical scenes of Brazil and the United States, Brazilian musical traditions, language and how it affects the music of a specific culture, Herbert’s interesting life path, business skills, and much more!

About Herbert:

Herbert D. Smith currently…

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520: Leon Bosch on getting things done 

One of my all-time favorite podcast guests is Leon Bosch, and it was great to get a chance to sit down with him in person at the 2018 European Bass Congress and dig into some deep topics.  Leon is the former principal bass for Academy of St Martin in the Fields and has put out an astounding amount of albums and other projects since retiring from this group a few years ago.

This interview covers a lot of ground and is filled with useful information like:

  • Leon’s “accelerated learning” approach to practicing

519: Carbon Fiber Soundposts 

Anima Nova carbon fiber sound posts have been getting a lot of attention recently in the double bass world.  I had the chance to sit down with Pal Molnar of Anima Nova at the 2018 European Bass Congress to dig into the details bout this new type of sound post and the advantages that it can offer.

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Contrabass Conversations is sponsored by:

Kolstein Music

The Samuel Kolstein Violin Shop was founded by Samuel Kolstein in 1943…

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518: Vibrato with Vassilis Papavassiliou 

Vassilis Papavassiliou has been on my “to interview” list for years, and it was a treat to sit down with him over a coffee at the 2018 European Bass Congress and discuss his current topic of research: vibrato.

Vassilis has presented a session on vibrato at past bass conventions, and I learned a lot chatting with him about the topic.  He also has an outstanding online resource on vibrato which s a must-read for any bass player, with great video examples and detailed description about the mechanics and…

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517: Hagai Bilitzky on Middle Eastern bass 

I’ve been looking forward to having Hagai Bilitzky on the podcast for years, and it was great to be able to sit down with him in person at the 2018 European Bass Congress and dig into his explorations of Middle Eastern music on the bass.

Hagai has a wealth of information regarding Middle Eastern music on his website, and this is must-read material for any bassist interested in exploring this world.  Be sure to check out his articles, videos, blog, CD, and his soon-to-come book!

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516: Jennifer Downing Olsson and her musical journey 

I first met Jennifer Downing Olsson back in the early 2000s.  She was playing in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago at the time, and we also ended up playing in the Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.

It has been great watching her career unfold.  Jennifer moved to Sweden several year ago to play in the Gothenburg Symphony, and she recently took a new position with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.   She also returns to Chicago each summer to play in the Grant Park Symphony.

Jennifer and I…

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515: Practice better with Modacity 

After a recent podcast appearance from Lauren Pierce all about her Practiceology course, I was contacted by Elizabeth Li of Modacity.  Modacity is a practicing app developed by Marc Gelfo, a horn player who used to be in the Hong Kong Philharmonic and who is a regular extra with the San Francisco Symphony.

Modacity has become my constant practice companion.  Honestly, I haven’t been this excited about an app in years.  I had the chance to sit down in person with Marc here in San Francisco, and we dig into…

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