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  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 1

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 1

    I’m kicking off a new series here for Creative Bass Lines. In this episode, we’ll take a look at a really great solo over a jazz 12 bar blues – performed and transcribed by sax great Bob Mintzer! We’re really fortunate to have this music for our lessons. Bob very kindly agreed to let me... »

  • Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Ready to apply all this hard work in a song? In part three of this mini-series on Talking Technique we are putting all this hard work to good use in a blues. If you haven’t been following along, be sure to check out the past two Talking Technique episodes! So far we’ve been working on... »

  • Advanced Bass: Giant Steps Plays the Blues

    Advanced Bass: Giant Steps Plays the Blues

    “Giant Steps” is well known as a challenging workout for all aspiring jazz musicians to learn. In this lesson, we’ll cover how to superimpose “Coltrane Changes” over the first 4-bars of the Blues with a fingerboard friendly symmetrical pattern that will open doors – both harmonically and stylistically into the world of John Coltrane. Download... »

  • 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: Stitt & Trane Blues

    Advanced Bass: Stitt & Trane Blues

    The Blues is one of the major building blocks for jazz and improvised music, making it a logical starting point for applying your improvisational concepts. The problem exists when people learn some concepts and then attempt to jam along with no specific goals in mind. This is a big mistake! In this lesson, we’ll cover... »

  • Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic

    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 below, I play the lick at full speed, followed by a demo at a reduced speed. Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF). If... »

  • Walking Bass Lesson: 12 Bar Blues

    Walking Bass Lesson: 12 Bar Blues

    When you’re presented with a 12-bar blues, you have different options for how to create a walking bass line. In this lesson, we’ll cover those options. The song example I’m using is “Gotta Mind to Travel” by Coco Montoya, if you want to check that out. »

  • Slow Blues: The Art of Making Each Note Count

    Slow Blues: The Art of Making Each Note Count

    The slow blues: a song that can last anywhere between 3 minutes and 30 minutes… depending on the guitar solos! For bass players, we’re challenged to keep our (and the audiences’) interest in the music and fuel the fire that makes the 30-minute rendition of “Red House” seem like something worth listening to. The style... »

  • Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues

    Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues

    In case you missed it, check out part 1 of this series. Since blues is an ideal genre for jamming and improvising, your knowledge of certain terms and feels can dramatically boost your value as a player. Whether you’re doing a blues gig, going to blues jam at a local club, or getting together with... »

  • How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)

    How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)

    Ok, I admit it; I’m not the person that you think of when you envision a “blues bass player.” I’m exactly five feet and one quarter of an inch tall, I’m a 24-year-old girl from a suburban neighborhood in Philadelphia, and, as many people point out, the bass is bigger than I am. I don’t... »