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  • Talking Technique: Sweet Emotion

    Talking Technique: Sweet Emotion

    There’s nothing like starting a song with a cool bass riff. “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith shines a light on the bass for sure! At the very top, we set the tone. To play this riff correctly and in time right out of the box is what it’s all about. How to approach learning something like... »

  • Bass Lick Series: Cool Bluesy Bass Line with Fills in G

    Bass Lick Series: Cool Bluesy Bass Line with Fills in G

    Here’s a new lick lesson for you, using a good fingering exercise with a Major Pentatonic scale. This is also great for practicing slides and hammer-ons. The fills are mostly Pentatonic, with added flat 3rd (B♭) and flat 7th (F). The backing track is a one chord (G7) vamp, but you can transpose it and... »

  • 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... »

  • Bass Lick Series: Funky Bass Breakdown in E

    Bass Lick Series: Funky Bass Breakdown in E

    Here’s another lick to add to your bag of tricks. Once again, I’m using open strings as described in past lessons. This one is a groovy bass line you can play over a E7, E9 or E13 chord using the Em dorian scale with the Major 3rd added (G#). Omit the G# and use it... »

  • Bass Lick Series: Funky Fingerstyle Bass Groove in Dm

    Bass Lick Series: Funky Fingerstyle Bass Groove in Dm

    Time to add another lick lesson to the series. This time around, our focus is on this funky fingerstyle bass groove, which is in the key of Dm or D7, using mostly the D minor Dorian scale with chromatic connecting notes. This lick also relies heavily on open strings, for fast note doubling (D on... »

  • Bass Lick Series: Gospel-Style Bass Groove

    Bass Lick Series: Gospel-Style Bass Groove

    Last time, we got down and dirty with a overdrive-charged rock bass groove. This time around, we’re going to get a bit more funky with a modern Gospel-style lick, complete with all the slurs and slides. This groove is based on B minor Aolian, which is a great key and mode for this setting, especially... »

  • Bass Lick Series: Rock Bass with Overdrive

    Bass Lick Series: Rock Bass with Overdrive

    If you’re looking to rock it out on bass, using an overdrive pedal can really help achieve that edge you need. In this lick lesson, I’m pretty much playing the same bass line repeatedly, but with different note lengths in the different sections: short note duration for verses, and long not duration for the chorus.... »

  • Bass Lick Series: Funky Fingerstyle Bass Groove

    Bass Lick Series: Funky Fingerstyle Bass Groove

    Changing things up a bit this time around with a funky 5-string bass groove (which can also be played on a 4-string). The fill is based on the Em Dorian scale (E F♯ G A B C♯ D) and uses the open strings for a doubling effect. The doubling effect is something we’ve tried before... »

  • Covering All the Keys Using a Cool Minor Bass Lick (And Having Fun)

    Covering All the Keys Using a Cool Minor Bass Lick (And Having Fun)

    We’re taking a bit of a detour from our regular bass lick series lessons to work on moving around the fretboard and playing a line through all the keys. In this lesson, we’re going to start with a lick in A minor, and work through the cycle of fifths. Each key lasts four bars each.... »

  • Bass Lick Series: Getting Funky with an Envelope Filter

    Bass Lick Series: Getting Funky with an Envelope Filter

    Using an envelope filter effect can make a funky bass line sound even funkier. This lick is in Em with a fill based on an Em pentatonic scale motif. It uses pretty much only the top two strings on the bass. Follow along with the video and this transcription. For the gear heads, I’m playing... »