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Best of 2013: The Top 10 Bass Lessons and Transcriptions

Editor’s Note: For the last week of year, we’re sharing the best of No Treble for 2013, based on readership. Be sure to check back each day until January 1st for the most popular features, lessons, videos, bassists and more.

When we started pulling the best of lists for No Treble this year, we were reminded of how much readers love the lessons and transcriptions we share. Of course, it helps a lot to have Thomas “MarloweDK” Risell as a primary contributor of bass lessons and Stuart Clayton as our primary guru for awesome bass transcriptions. Add to that a guest transcription by Adam “Nolly” Getgood on his own bass line on Periphery’s “Make Total Destroy”, and it gets even better.

These 10 lessons and transcriptions were the most viewed and shared on No Treble in 2013. Time to hit the shed!

Transcription: Tal Wilkenfeld’s “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” Solo

1. Transcription: Tal Wilkenfeld’s “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” Solo

Most bassists are well aware of Tal Wilkenfeld’s fantastic solo on the Jeff Beck classic “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers”. There are several live recordings of this track, but the one transcribed here is from the Crossroads Guitar Festival from 2007. Download the transcription (PDF) and follow along…

Transcription: Periphery’s “Make Total Destroy”

2. Transcription: Periphery’s “Make Total Destroy”

In this transcription Adam “Nolly” Getgood breaks down everything from his gear, the tuning, the music and the transcription (in multiple forms) for his bass line to his band’s song “Make Total Destroy”…

Expand Your Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

3. Expand Your Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

Here’s a great exercise aimed at expanding your fretboard knowledge. For this lesson, we’re going to use the five positions of the A minor / C Major pentatonic scale. Learning these patterns will significantly increase your fretboard knowledge…

Reviving Old Bass Strings: A New Approach

4. Reviving Old Bass Strings: A New Approach

I let one of my friends borrow my 1978 pre-Ernie Ball Music Man bass, and he really gunked up the strings. So I want to share with you a simple technique for reviving these strings without all the usual tricks of boiling, alcohol, etc…

Advanced Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

5. Advanced Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

In this lesson we’ll cover more advanced patterns using the pentatonic scale and build on what we’ve started in the previous lesson. Be sure to download the PDF for these exercises (standard notation and TAB included)…

Transcription: Jaco Pastorius’ Solo on “(Used To Be a) Cha Cha”

6. Transcription: Jaco Pastorius’ Solo on “(Used To Be a) Cha Cha”

Among the great tunes on Jaco Pastorius’ self-titled solo debut was “(Used to Be A) Cha-Cha”. His solo is a tricky one, at an upbeat tempo and with Jaco’s trademark melodic and syncopated lines. Guest contributor Jukka Haavisto shares his own transcription for Jaco’s solo on the track…

Lesson: Offbeat Double Thumb Slap Bass

7. Lesson: Offbeat Double Thumb Slap Bass

MarloweDK worked on a new concept in double thumb slap bass, which he basically describes as an “in reverse” technique. This means the “down” thumb is on the offbeat, and the “up” thumb is on the downbeat. This creates a whole new feeling worth exploring. Check it out and follow along with the video and transcription…

Lesson: How to Groove on Bass

8. Lesson: How to Groove on Bass

One of the important aspects of playing bass is your ability to groove. In this new lesson, I’ll offer up some beginner-level concepts to help you start down the path. We’ll explore keeping time and using percussive an ghost notes to make the lines come to life…

Lesson: Disco Bass Groove in Gm

9. Lesson: Disco Bass Groove in Gm

Here’s another quick lesson for you, this time focusing on a disco-style bass groove. As with any excercise, it is important to keep playing it without stopping until you find that groove. Follow along with the video and the transcription…

Lesson: Funky Groove with Pentatonic Run

10. Lesson: Funky Groove with Pentatonic Run

Keeping up with this recent series of quick bass lick lessons, here’s a short groove in Em. I’m playing this with an open D string to achieve a note doubling effect. Follow along with the video and the transcription…