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  • Intonation or Feel? Practicing Scales Purposefully

    Intonation or Feel? Practicing Scales Purposefully

    Q: I was wondering what I need to pay attention to when practicing. It’s easy to learn a scale, or to play chord tones, but what should I really pay attention to hearing more? Should that be a focus on the tones, or the difference in intonation or the “feel” between them? A: The short... »

  • Fretboard Exercise: C Major Triad Reggae Groove

    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, I’ve set it up as a reggae-style groove. As you’ll see in the video below,... »

  • Jayme Lewis: Modulating Sweep Arpeggios and Inversions Lesson

    Jayme Lewis: Modulating Sweep Arpeggios and Inversions Lesson

    Here’s a cool lesson for the adventurous bassist: Jayme Lewis’s lesson on performing sweep arpeggios and inversions. Jayme walks through his effects to make the arpeggios pop before dissecting each part of the etude’s intricacies. He even provides a PDF of the lesson with music notation and TAB, via his website. »

  • Intergalactic Bass: Scales Arpeggios Fingerings Theory & Much More

    Intergalactic Bass: Scales Arpeggios Fingerings Theory & Much More

    Hal Leonard has added Carlo Mombelli’s Intergalactic Bass method as their latest book in their Bass Instruction series. The comprehensive, 240-page book is based on the premise that in order to play music, one must have a solid handle on scales and arpeggios. A bassist, composer and educator, Mombelli said he searched for a book... »

  • John Patitucci Releases Melodic Arpeggios and Triad Combining for Bass, Episode 1

    John Patitucci Releases Melodic Arpeggios and Triad Combining for Bass, Episode 1

    John Patitucci has teamed up with David Gage String Instruments to release Episode 1 of the bassist’s new Kindle book, Melodic Arpeggios and Triad Combining for Bass. The book, which is made of exercises that Patitucci developed over 10 years, is the first of a six part series designed to take the tedium out of... »

  • Playing Through Changes with Arpeggios: Exercises for Bassists

    Playing Through Changes with Arpeggios: Exercises for Bassists

    Many of my past columns have focused on answer readers’ questions related to playing through changes. So for this week’s column, I decided to put together the video below to cover a few approaches to getting comfortable with changes, through the use of arpeggios. (Side note: I’m frequently asked about the software I’m using in... »

  • Diatonic Arpeggios: A Guide to Better Improvisation

    Diatonic Arpeggios: A Guide to Better Improvisation

    One way to quickly become fluent in a key is to familiarize yourself with that key’s diatonic arpeggios, i.e. the arpeggios beginning on each note of the scale. Facility in diatonic arpeggios is also necessary for true improvisational freedom and fluency. I don’t suggest attempting this until you are comfortable with the originating scale. In... »

  • Arpeggio Work for Bass Players: A Daily Practice Routine

    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. The patterns below are presented in C... »

  • Funk Bass Line Lesson – James Brown’s “The Payback”

    Funk Bass Line Lesson – James Brown’s “The Payback”

    Today’s featured video is as instructional as it is cool. Bassist/instructor Anthony Pell breaks down how to construct a funk line, using James Brown’s “The Payback” – a tune from Godfather of Soul’s 1973 album of the same name. Fred Thomas was the bassist on that album, by the way. Pell breaks down three approaches... »

  • Bass Lesson: Getting to Know the Fretboard

    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.... »