the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’

    Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’

    The whole tone scale is a really interesting scale. Unlike our major and pentatonic scales, it’s built out of all whole steps making it sound a little bit eerie and bright. Because the scale is symmetrical, it does not sound like it has a beginning or an end. Another neat fact is that there are... »

  • 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... »

  • Talking Technique: “Mordents” for Finger Strength

    Talking Technique: “Mordents” for Finger Strength

    Today we have another multi-layered workout for you to build up your finger strength. This lesson will help you practice a scale up and down one string while improving coordination and strengthening your fingers. It’s not a beginner’s workout, but wherever you are on your journey, give it a good try. You’ll need to be... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Substitutions

    The Lightbulb Moment: Substitutions

    For those of you who haven’t noticed, I enjoy learning about food almost as much as I enjoy exploring the bass. Lucky for me, there are plenty of parallels between the world of food and the world of music. Both rely on unique combinations of ingredients in order to make a final product. Both can... »

  • Melodic Minor vs. Diminished Scales Over Dominant Chords

    Melodic Minor vs. Diminished Scales Over Dominant Chords

    Q: You know, jazz theory can be really, really confusing! I know that you can use a melodic minor a half step above a dominant chord as a substitution before resolving to the I-chord to emphasize tension notes (creating an out-sound). But, apparently, you can also use a whole-half diminished scale a half step up... »

  • Relative vs. Parallel Minor Scales

    Relative vs. Parallel Minor Scales

    Q: What is the difference between “relative” and “parallel” when talking about jazz theory? I hear “relative minor” a lot, but I recently heard someone at school talk about “parallel minor.” A: Good question! First, I’ll take a look at this column I wrote in 2014 concerning modes (and the relative minor). The term “relative... »

  • 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... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Major? Minor? Why Bother?

    The Lightbulb Moment: Major? Minor? Why Bother?

    Being a bass player is awesome. Not only do you get to hang in the back and groove, but you get to skate by on all of that “theory” stuff that guitar players have to deal with. You know… like chords and whatnot. We only have to play one note at a time! That’s like…... »

  • Talking Technique: Pedalling

    Talking Technique: Pedalling

    There are only so many hours in the day, so it’s always great to figure out ways to make the best use of your practice time. One way to get the biggest use of your practice is to combine different topics to bolster your understanding: music theory with song learning, rhythmic accuracy with slapping, phrasing... »

  • Where to Use Whole Tone and Other Scales

    Where to Use Whole Tone and Other Scales

    Q: So, do you play whole tone scales over the ♯5, and altered scales over the dominant chords. Major chords – do use use whole tone? Minor scales – do use use dorian? or a jazz minor? A: Much of what goes into deciding what scale to use over any given chord is all about... »