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  • Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

    Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

    Inspired by a Sting bass line, I’m bringing you a groove creation workout today. We’ll cover how to create your own bass line using a simple formula that will have you coming up with ideas for workable grooves every time. We also shine a light on the correct use of pentatonic scales and top it... »

  • What Scales Do I Use Over a Minor ii-V Progression?

    What Scales Do I Use Over a Minor ii-V Progression?

    Q: I have a question about minor ii-V’s. In a major ii-V7-I progression, each chord is diatonic to the I chord. The ii chord is Dorian, the V chord is Mixolydian and it resolves to a Major tonic. In a minor ii-V, the 1 would be natural minor, which makes the ii chord Locrian (7th... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Lydian Triad Pairs

    Creative Bass Lines: Lydian Triad Pairs

    Today, we dive into something new – superimposing Major triad pairs derived from Lydian Mode Harmony over a Major 7th chord. The examples on the video are over an F Major 7th chord, and I am using a neat little looper for this. It’s a great practice tool. In the video (and transcription) I take... »

  • Getting Away from Playing the Root on Beat One

    Getting Away from Playing the Root on Beat One

    Q: I play mostly jazz and am a pretty facile walker, but I’ve gotten into the habit of playing lines that almost invariably lead to the root being on the 1 (or the 3 if it’s a 2-chord measure in 4/4, etc.). While I am guessing that some of the folks I play with don’t... »

  • Advanced Bass: How to Play Across the Bar Line

    Advanced Bass: How to Play Across the Bar Line

    In this lesson, we’ll take a deep dive inside the world of playing across the bar line. Equally as relevant for both your solo lines and your groove playing, we will cover how to play across the bar line by using “Time Signature Superimposition” that will take your phrasing to a whole new and exciting... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: The Chameleon Variations

    Creative Bass Lines: The Chameleon Variations

    In this lesson, I’ve taken a pretty classic and fairly easy to play bass part from Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon” and given you a few examples of how to use that as a springboard for creating other bass lines around that core groove. This can be really useful when playing under multiple soloists on the same... »

  • Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics

    Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics

    Pentatonics using hammer-ons and pull-offs sounds great, but maybe you have noticed that if you stay within the same pentatonic pattern, you can only hammer on certain notes. In an effort to go beyond that, we are stringing two pentatonic patterns together so that we can pull off pull offs from every single note. I’ll... »

  • Talking Style: I’ve Got To Use My Imagination

    Talking Style: I’ve Got To Use My Imagination

    One of the things that I love about doing this column is that I sometimes find unlikely pairings – like this one. I didn’t know that Bon Jovi’s Hugh McDonald played bass on this extremely funky joint, “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination” as performed by Gladys Knight and the Pips. The song was written... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Funking with the Dorian Mode and the Blues Scale

    Creative Bass Lines: Funking with the Dorian Mode and the Blues Scale

    Welcome back to the third installment of Creative Bass Lines. Before we start, I’d like to take a moment to say a fond farewell to the amazing Victor Bailey who sadly left us way too soon a few days ago. Victor was an enormous influence on me, and his highly melodic yet super funky playing... »

  • Advanced Bass: How to Use Melodic Quotes in Your Solos

    Advanced Bass: How to Use Melodic Quotes in Your Solos

    The use of melodic quotation is prolific within the genre of jazz and its related modern styles. In this lesson, we’ll cover how to use melodic quotes in your solos and breakdown some of the commonalities used by many great jazz masters. Applying this to two choruses of a B♭ blues progression, we’ll take a... »