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  • Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

    Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

    Here’s a lesson I’d classify as beginner/intermediate level, but the truth is, it is something I think can benefit all of us. The goal of this lesson is to become comfortable with the entire fretboard, through learning the notes on every fret. Using a simple Rolling Stones-style rock groove backing track, this lesson focuses in... »

  • Music Theory – Chords in Minor Keys App Released for Android

    Music Theory – Chords in Minor Keys App Released for Android

    Stuart Bahn has just released the second in his Music Theory Toolkit Series of apps for Android devices, entitled Music Theory – Chords in Minor Keys. The app trains you to learn all the minor, major, and diminished chords found in all 12 minor keys. Your theory is tested as the app displays a minor... »

  • App Review: Musicopoulos Music Theory and Practice

    App Review: Musicopoulos Music Theory and Practice

    There aren’t many music theory apps I’ve enjoyed using for very long. But Musicopoulos changed that for me on a recent flight home, taking various tests and running their Music Theory and Practice through its paces. This app is fun to use and covers a wide enough variety of content. The thing I enjoyed most... »

  • Chord Construction: A Guide for Bassists

    Chord Construction: A Guide for Bassists

    Q: I’ve been playing bass for about four years, and I’ve had difficulty with understanding chord construction on the bass. I know my scales and their modes inside and out, and I know a lot about the fretboard. My technique is good too, but I figured when I was starting out that I really didn’t... »

  • Pablo Elorza: “Continuum” Lesson and Analysis

    Pablo Elorza: “Continuum” Lesson and Analysis

    Pablo Elorza has published the second video in his “Deep Into Electric Bass Classics” series of bass lessons with an in-depth look at the popular Jaco Pastorius tune “Continuum.” After playing through the tune, Elorza explains the methods and techniques Pastorius used to create his melodies. The lesson is a great one for any music... »

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  • MusicalEar: A Look at the Music Theory and Ear Training App for Desktop Computers

    MusicalEar: A Look at the Music Theory and Ear Training App for Desktop Computers

    I’m doing something a little different this time by reviewing an app I came across for your desktop computer. While not an iOS app, I thought that I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you all in on this. MusicalEar is an ear training and theory app, going way beyond any on the market. The... »

  • Enclosure Tone Exercises for Bassists

    Enclosure Tone Exercises for Bassists

    One way to give more interest to your improvisations is to add enclosure tones to otherwise simple note choices. Enclosure tones are two tones which “enclose” (i.e. one higher, one lower) another note. Generally, but not always, the note which gets “enclosed” is a chord tone. For example, if we begin with the root of... »

  • Learning Theory: Recommendations for Resources and Steps to Making it Happen

    Learning Theory: Recommendations for Resources and Steps to Making it Happen

    Q: What would you recommend as great resources for learning theory? I’m not someone who lacks in imagination or creative drive or even feel. I’m more of a groove player, and I’ve never stopped to get any formal grounding with modes, harmonizations, relationships of scales and arpeggios and putting that together for a given tonality.... »

  • Bass Line Construction: Legato Minor Pentatonic Scale Bass Run

    Bass Line Construction: Legato Minor Pentatonic Scale Bass Run

    Last time, we kicked off a bass line construction series of lessons with a study in improvising on some funk in the key of C. This time around, we’re focusing on some new phrasing ideas for the trusty old minor pentatonic scale. In this case, we’re using the A minor pentatonic scale: A, C, D,... »

  • Bass Line Construction: Rhythm and Repeating Patterns

    Bass Line Construction: Rhythm and Repeating Patterns

    Let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals in bass line construction. In this lesson, we’ll improvise on some funk in the key of C. A quick note and correction: when I say “seventh” in the video, I mean flatted seventh. You’ll see the annotation when that comes up in the video. Here’s a... »