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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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6 Bass Amps You Can't Go Wrong With

Photo by Jessica Spengler via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

There are lots of great bass amps out there, but many awful ones, too. Certain bass amps, however, are standards, benchmarks of quality in the field of low-end amplification. Check out this list to learn about six of the most familiar faces in the bass-amp game.

5 Cures for a Common Case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS)

Image by Christian Mesiano via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

It eats up your time and slows down your productivity. It’s been known to stop recording sessions in their tracks, break up bands, and end lifelong friendships. It promises unimaginably glorious results, but as anyone who’s ever had it knows, all you get from it is crushed dreams and credit card debt. That’s right, we’re talking about Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) – the unquenchable desire for more and more music gear. If think you may be suffering from GAS, don’t worry – we’ve all been there, and we can all get through it if we just stick together. Before you panic, try out these five household remedies for GAS, and if they don’t help you, consider seeking professional advice.

Tutorial: How to Build a DIY Stompbox Pedalboard

Photo by Jesse Sterling Harrison; used with permission

Maybe you’re an old-school guitarist, and the only things you need are a guitar and an amplifier. All your tone comes from your fingers, just like your first guitar teacher said. That’s great; you’ve got a simple traveling rig. But for the rest of us, those who have discovered two or three (or six or seven) stompbox pedals that have become integral to our sound, packing is a pain. We’re carrying duffel bags that feel like they’re full of small rocks, or else we’re stuffing the open backs of combo amps with pedals and short cords, hoping they don’t stick to our speaker magnets (and that we won’t touch a hot capacitor and fry our hair while reaching for them).

These pedals need to be kept together, they need to always have power, and they need to be protected from the rigors of the road. We also wouldn’t mind if our setup time were cut in half. Well, here’s a quick hack that solves all those issues in one swoop. As with most DIY projects, you’ll need a drill driver with a couple of drill bits and a screwdriver bit, some sandpaper, and some sort of saw – electric or hand-powered.

Easy Studio Hack: How to Make a DIY Microphone Using an Old Speaker

Photo by Mari Nichols Haining; used with permission

Critical in any studio, most low-frequency microphones cost anywhere from $100 to $500. The ones on the lower end of the price scale don’t deliver fabulous quality; they allow a good deal of bleed from treble instruments while providing bass response only slightly better than a standard vocal mic would. Fortunately, using a few spare parts, you can build one that rivals the expensive models.

This is one of the easiest studio hacks, suitable for beginners with no electronics experience, and the results are truly surprising. Better yet, you’ll save hundreds of dollars while upcycling stuff you weren’t using. The only tools needed are a power drill-driver and something to strip wires (a lineman’s plier or most pocket multitools will do it). Here’s the recipe.

5 Things You Need to Consider When Selling Gear So That You Don't Regret It Later

Photo by Ronald Saunders via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

You saved up for months to buy this beautiful instrument. Or, alternatively, you splurged on a credit card and then lived on beans and rice for months to make the payments. Either way, you put the work in to get pro-quality tools to advance your music. Now, for whatever reason, you’re thinking about moving on – you’re thinking about selling your gear. Whether it’s because you’re trading up, changing priorities, or just feeling like you need cash, there are a few things to watch out for so you don’t walk away with regrets.