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  • 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... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Beat Displacement

    Creative Bass Lines: Beat Displacement

    Here we have the second installment of the Creative Bass Lines, and this month, it’s “Bass Gruv”. For this we’re looking at a Headhunters-esque bass groove I wrote. This would fit the harmony of an E dominant 7th chord, or for a crunchier sound, try setting up a vamp with an E7♯9, too. I wanted... »

  • Thinking Fast When Improvising

    Thinking Fast When Improvising

    Q: I have been practicing with some jazz musicians who are more experienced than I am. For the most part, everything is fine, but I’m having trouble keeping up with the more up tempo numbers – walking and especially soloing. I just feel like my brain and fingers can’t keep up with the music. How... »

  • Advanced Bass: Groove Follow Ups

    Advanced Bass: Groove Follow Ups

    This challenging lesson outlines a musical tactic called “follow ups” to add to your groove tool box. We’ll go over some cool ways to create call and response follow up patterns using all of the components of music – helping you to play great lines over chords that will render tasteful musical ideas! Be sure... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Melodic and Rhythmic Lines

    Creative Bass Lines: Melodic and Rhythmic Lines

    For my first column here at No Treble, I thought it might be fun to demonstrate a few actual bass parts I have come up with for projects I have recorded. One of the things I enjoy in the playing of the bassists that have influenced me is the use of interesting melodic and rhythmic... »

  • Talking Technique: Talking Double Stops

    Talking Technique: Talking Double Stops

    Looking for ways to spice up your grooves? Double stops are a great option. In their most basic form, double stops are when we play two notes together at the same time. They can sound muddy in some registers of the bass, but we’ll go over some tricks to make them sound like gold. This... »