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Best of 2012: Top 10 Bass How To’s, Columns and Lessons

Just in time for your new year’s resolutions, here are the top 10 most popular bass lessons, how to’s and columns from 2012. From practicing and technique to advice on life as a musician, these features should help you make big musical strides in 2013.

Finger-Style Funk Bass Lesson: Build Dexterity and Accuracy in Your Playing

1. Finger-Style Funk Bass Lesson: Build Dexterity and Accuracy in Your Playing

In this lesson we’re going to focus on a style known as finger-style funk (or “finger funk”), with the goal of developing both dexterity and accuracy in your playing. Finger-style funk is typically centered around the 16th note, and many of the notes are muted…

Harmonizing the Major Scale: Using a Number System on Bass

2. Harmonizing the Major Scale: Using a Number System on Bass

Here’s a lesson focusing on the foundation of music – the major scale. Read over this lesson and then be sure to check out the video for a demonstration…

Breaking Down the Pentatonic Scale: The Five Positions on Bass

3. Breaking Down the Pentatonic Scale: The Five Positions on Bass

In this lesson, we’re going to break down the minor pentatonic scale, its positions on the fretboard, and its uses. As the name suggests, the pentatonic scale is a five note scale…

Transcription: “No Woman, No Cry” Solo Bass Arrangement

4. Transcription: “No Woman, No Cry” Solo Bass Arrangement

This great version of the Bob Marley classic “No Woman, No Cry” was arranged by popular YouTube bassist Viaceslav Svedov, a talented young musician known for his hard-hitting covers of popular bass-driven songs. This arrangement is performed with the slap technique…

Bass Lesson: Getting to Know the Fretboard

5. Bass Lesson: Getting to Know the Fretboard

This is a lesson mostly for beginners, but it should serve as a great refresher for the rest of us. Unfamiliarity with the fretboard has a lot of downsides. It’ll slow your playing, because your mind has to figure out where your fingers should go, rather than just instinctively knowing where you need to be…

Arpeggio Work for Bass Players: A Daily Practice Routine

6. Arpeggio Work for Bass Players: A Daily Practice Routine

I have mentioned previously that our daily scale practice should include arpeggio work. There are numerous ways to approach this, and most scale books devote some time to various approaches to arpeggios. I find the patterns below to be good solid foundational patterns for any bassist’s daily routine…

Bass Lesson: Expand Your Fretboard with Major Triads

7. Bass Lesson: Expand Your Fretboard with Major Triads

In this new lesson, we’ll break down the concepts of utilizing triads in expanding your fretboard knowledge and control. We’ll explore triad inversions, different fingerings and using triads as target notes to achieve this goal. The video starts with a demonstration of a solo over a G Major chord…

Essential Items for the Gigging Bassist: A Gig Survival Checklist

8. Essential Items for the Gigging Bassist: A Gig Survival Checklist

No matter how prepared someone usually is, most gigging bassists will find themselves at a gig, searching through their bag of “stuff” and saying: “hey, where’d my _____ go?” It happens to everyone at least once. If this has happened to you, Ryan’s “Gig Bag Essentials Checklist” should help you eliminate it…

Playing Chords: A Guide for Bassists

9. Playing Chords: A Guide for Bassists

Damian tackles this reader question in this Ask Damian column: ” I recently bought a 6-string bass and started working on playing chords. How should I voice more complex chords (e.g. Gm13) using few (3 to 4) notes, while maintaining the quality of the chord?”

No Bass Amp? A Guide to Hearing Yourself Practice

10. No Bass Amp? A Guide to Hearing Yourself Practice

Another reader question, answered by Damian: “My amp and most of my gear got confiscated when I got to college because they said it was a fire hazard. What do you recommend for some amp-less ways for me to get my sound amplified? I really have no idea.”