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  • Talking Technique: Harmonic Minor Speed Shedding

    Talking Technique: Harmonic Minor Speed Shedding

    As with many scales, the harmonic minor scale gives us a great tonal playground to work with, but it also gives us a great platform to work on our technical playing. This lesson will work on some J.S. Bach-inspired harmonic minor bass lines to focus on our coordination and speed training. There’s nothing like a... »

  • Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises

    Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises

    Bass grooves often have lines that move across strings on the same fret. To keep a smooth and legato feel, we need to focus on the technique of jumping from string to string. Here we’ll dig in on a few exercises with plenty of variations to get all your fingers in shape. Today’s tip is... »

  • Bass Lesson: Chord Superimposition

    Bass Lesson: Chord Superimposition

    In this lesson we’ll cover an effective concept of superimposing melodic lines over multiple chord types. We’ll then develop this idea through the introduction of a technique called “framing,” which will enable you to hear the chord you are playing over with more harmonic clarity. This concept will enable you to expand your ideas and... »

  • Talking Technique: Fast Fingers

    Talking Technique: Fast Fingers

    Today we’re talking technique with the right hand and getting those fast fingers. I’ll be going over the two finger alternating plucking style, which will get you through most playing situations. Oftentimes, players get wrapped up in coupling their right hand and left hand processes when playing patterns. I recommend making alternating your fingers an... »

  • Talking Technique: Jumps Without Looking at the Fretboard

    Talking Technique: Jumps Without Looking at the Fretboard

    Now that your fingers are getting in shape from the first two lessons, but how do you tackle making large interval leaps on the fly? Accurate shifting is an equally important skill to mastering technique. Upright bass players work meticulously on shifting to be as accurate as possible. We’ll borrow a few pointers from them... »

  • Bass Lesson: Diminished II V Substitution

    Bass Lesson: Diminished II V Substitution

    A cool harmonic concept that bebop players have used for years is substituting dominant 7th chords – built in minor 3rds – over the V7 chord of the key. In this lesson, we’ll cover this concept to learn the possibilities of Diminished II V chord substitution over the II V I progression. Follow along with... »

  • Bass Lesson: The Tritone Substitution Matrix

    Bass Lesson: The Tritone Substitution Matrix

    When learning to play your bass, an overkill of theory can often paralyze your results while performing. Many musicians have learned the theory of Tritone Substitution, but when trying to apply this information, they often end up short-changed. In this bass lesson, we’ll cover a simple but direct concept for the immediate application for Tritone... »

  • Bass Lesson: Crackin’ the Slonimsky Code

    Bass Lesson: Crackin’ the Slonimsky Code

    Using concepts derived from classical music, Joe delves into demystifying diminished patterns commonly used by jazz musicians, such as John Coltrane, Pat Martino, Jaco Pastorius and countless others. Follow along with this lesson’s notation (PDF) and video. »

  • Bass Lesson: Interval Shapes

    Bass Lesson: Interval Shapes

    In this lesson, we will cover a basic concept for interval shapes to develop your technique, while attuning your ears to hear the root motion of common harmonic progressions in jazz. Follow along with the notation (PDF) and this video: »

  • Bass Lick Series: A7♯9 Chord Bass Groove with Legato Fill

    Bass Lick Series: A7♯9 Chord Bass Groove with Legato Fill

    The A7♯9 chord (referred to by some as the “Jimi Hendrix” chord) is a useful chord to know since you can play both the minor and Major pentatonic over it. Here’s a groove using mostly a minor pentatonic fill in the end, with lots slides, hammerons and pullofs so we get a fluid motion. For... »