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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Sep 14, 2018

Bass player Jason Heath has built a vibrant career as a performer, educator, entrepreneur, and host of one of the most important classical music podcasts.  Through this experience, he has accumulated a vast knowledge on how to practice and grow a career into something that is authentic and rewarding.

In this episode, Jason discusses:

  • How Contrabass Conversations goes beyond the bass community is a show which brings value to all instrumentalists
  • His book, Winning the Audition: Turbocharge Your Orchestral Audition: Advice from Leaders in the Field
  • His story building a truly unique portfolio career, from growing up in North Dakota, to going to school in Chicago, joining several orchestras, teaching full-time in high-school, starting a blog, creating the podcast, and creating a vibrant career in San Francisco, CA
  • Not being afraid to ask yourself the hard questions about where you want to be in your career and listen to the answers
  • Practicing mindfully –

o   how there are no shortcuts

o   how audition winners come to develop the skills to win by finding the answers for themselves, believing in the themselves, and playing authentically

o   the importance of falling in love with practicing

  • The Modacity App – a tool to practice more mindfully
  • The relevance of music in today’s world
  • An ideal practice session for him
  • Problem solving: Macro. Micro. Macro – “Think big, and go to the smallest possible chunk.”
  • How he uses ForScore
  • His strategy to stay enthusiastic about performances


Jason’s Doublebass blog:

Contrabass Conversations:

Jason’s Double Bass Community Online Music Library:



Contrabass Conversations on Instagram:

Jason’s book: Winning the Audition: Turbocharge Your Orchestral Audition: Advice from Leaders in the Field

Leon Bosch on Contrabass Conversations, episode 213:

Modacity app:

Dr. Don Greene, sport psychologist :

forScore app:



Jason Heath is the host of Contrabass Conversations, a podcast devoted to exploring music and ideas associated with the double bass.

His blog and podcast are highly regarded in the music world and have been featured as top offerings in the world of arts and culture for the past decade. He is the author of Winning the Audition and Road Warrior Without an Expense Account and his work has been featured in International Musician, TimeOut Chicago, Adaptistration, ArtsHacker, The Scroll, Bass World, Double Bassist, and Bass Musician Magazine.

Jason serves on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Bassists and is the Double Bass Product Manager for Eastman Strings. He also serves on the advisory boards of Musician’s Toolkit and Be Part of the Music, and he is internationally active as a clinician and consultant.  Jason is past president of the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association and past orchestra representative for District VII of the Illinois Music Educators Association.

A highly decorated veteran teacher, Jason is a past faculty member at DePaul University, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Trinity International University.  He currently works with the San Francisco Symphony’s Music and Mentors program and teaches internationally at various bass events, clinics, and master classes.

Jason’s former students hold positions in the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, and Philharmonie Sudwestfalen. As a high school orchestra director, Jason’s orchestras had many notable performances, including the Midwest Clinic in Chicago and tours in Peru, Spain, and Cuba.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Jason performs with the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis Tennessee and ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was a member of the Elgin Symphony for 16 seasons and has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, and numerous other professional ensembles.



Huge thank you to my producer, Bella Kelly!

Also, most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.




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Visit for information about past and future podcasts, and for more resources on mindful practice.

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