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Best of 2014: The Top 10 Bass Lessons, Transcriptions and How-To’s

Tomorrow is the start of a new year, which for a lot of people means making new year’s resolutions.

For musicians, that typically means a dedication to working on our technique and our art.

Just in time, here are the top 10 most popular bass lessons, transcriptions and how-to’s we’ve shared over the course of 2014.

Have fun, and happy new year!

Fretboard Exercise: C Major Triad Reggae Groove

1. Fretboard Exercise: C Major Triad Reggae Groove

As bassists, it is important that we know our chords and arpeggios. Coupled with that is the importance of knowing the entire fretboard. In this exercise, we’ll play only three notes – the C Major triad. To make it fun, MarloweDK set it up as a reggae-style groove…

Covering All the Keys Using a Cool Minor Bass Lick (And Having Fun)

2. Covering All the Keys Using a Cool Minor Bass Lick (And Having Fun)

In this lesson, we’re going to start with a lick in A minor, and work through the cycle of fifths…

Bass Transcription: Michael League’s “Continuum”

3. Bass Transcription: Michael League’s “Continuum”

“Continuum” is one of the most well known songs for bass players, and one Thomas Milacher argues is one of the greatest tunes on Jaco Pastorius’s self-titled debut album. When Snarky Puppy bassist Michael League played his own version of it, Thomas had to transcribe it…

Bass Transcription: “Overjoyed” by Victor Wooten

4. Bass Transcription: “Overjoyed” by Victor Wooten

“Overjoyed” by Victor Wooten is a superb arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s classic song, which was originally found on Victor’s debut album A Show of Hands. This piece is a tough one to play well, but you’ll be pleased with yourself once you have it down…

Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic

5. Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic

Here’s a new lesson in our ongoing series of bass lick lessons. This time, we’ll play around with a minor pentatonic, in the key of A. In the video, MarloweDK plays the lick at full speed, followed by a demo at a reduced speed. Follow along with the video and the transcription…

Bass Lick Series: Getting Funky with an Envelope Filter

6. Bass Lick Series: Getting Funky with an Envelope Filter

Using an envelope filter effect can make a funky bass line sound even funkier. This lick is in Em with a fill based on an Em pentatonic scale motif. It uses pretty much only the top two strings on the bass. Follow along with the video and transcription…

Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

7. Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

Here’s a lesson MarloweDK classifies as beginner/intermediate level, but the truth is, it is something he says can benefit all of us. The goal of this lesson is to become comfortable with the entire fretboard, through learning the notes on every fret…

Bass Lick Series: Rock Bass with Overdrive

8. Bass Lick Series: Rock Bass with Overdrive

If you’re looking to rock it out on bass, using an overdrive pedal can really help achieve that edge you need. In this lick lesson, MarloweDK pretty much plays the same bass line repeatedly, but with different note lengths in the different sections…

Bass Lick Series: Funky Fingerstyle Bass Groove

9. Bass Lick Series: Funky Fingerstyle Bass Groove

Changing things up a bit this time around with a funky 5-string bass groove (which can also be played on a 4-string). The fill is based on the Em Dorian scale and uses the open strings for a doubling effect…

Bass Transcription: Marcus Miller’s “Cee-Tee-Eye”

10. Bass Transcription: Marcus Miller’s “Cee-Tee-Eye”

“Cee-Tee-Eye” is from Marcus Miller’s 2012 album Renaissance, recorded to feature the new band Marcus assembled for the Tutu Revisited tour, which was a celebration of the Miles Davis album from the mid-80’s Miller contributed heavily to. Stuart Clayton offers up a transcription of this challenging study piece…