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  • Talking Technique: Modes on a String

    Talking Technique: Modes on a String

    Typically when we play scales, we play across the strings, but there’s a lot of value in playing all the way up a single string. It helps us to think in positions and to mentally know how many steps you are skipping as you walk up the string. Today we’ll be working on our theory... »

  • Talking Technique: Right Hand Thumbs Up!

    Talking Technique: Right Hand Thumbs Up!

    When you’re playing fingerstyle, where do you put your right thumb? You can anchor it on the pickup, but that can limit your tonal range. You could anchor on the lower strings, but then where do you put it when you need to play those strings? That’s precisely the question we got from a reader,... »

  • Talking Technique: Tapping into Tapping

    Talking Technique: Tapping into Tapping

    Today we’re talking tapping! I get a lot of questions about tapping because of Oon, my duo with bassoonist Paul Hanson. I get to play chords, melodies, and grooves – sometimes at the same time. Tapping is a helpful technique to expand the possibilities of the bass, but it must be used with taste! Function... »

  • Introduction to “Shell Voicings” on Bass

    Introduction to “Shell Voicings” on Bass

    Playing chords on the upright doesn’t only add to our tonal palette, it also strengthens our knowledge of a tune and our instrument. Some voicings, however, are more pleasant than others. Three and four note chords can easily become “muddy” and unclear, especially in the mid to lower register. As a result, many bass players... »

  • Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout

    Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout

    Similar to our last lesson, we’re working on exercises designed to shed your scales and build your technique at the same time. This time we’re focusing on tetrachords, which are four-note groups found within scales. You can also turn these exercises into speed training exercises by adding a few beats every time you play, but... »

  • 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... »

  • Keeping Your Left Hand Relaxed: 11 Tips for Bass Players

    Keeping Your Left Hand Relaxed: 11 Tips for Bass Players

    Q: I met you several years ago at NAMM when I worked for Alfred Music and I filmed you when you played at our booth. Anyway, I have since switched careers from Video Editor to Massage Therapist and I still play bass – jazz on electric and classical on upright. Because of my involvement in... »

  • Talking Technique: Introduction to Pull-Offs and Hammer-Ons

    Talking Technique: Introduction to Pull-Offs and Hammer-Ons

    Hammer-ons and pull-offs are extremely handy techniques that add variety to your groove and tone. They each utilize the left hand to perform the next note to allow for some slick fretwork. For this lesson, we have some technical and musical exercises that will strengthen your left hand and get you used to each technique.... »

  • Talking Technique: One Finger Per Fret In The Lower Register

    Talking Technique: One Finger Per Fret In The Lower Register

    The lower frets on the bass are arguably the ones we use the most, but they’re also the largest frets. That makes it difficult for us to apply our “one finger per fret” rule in the lower register. So how can we overcome this physical obstacle? We’ll go over some exercises to get your fingers... »

  • Finding the Right Tone Setting For Slap Bass

    Finding the Right Tone Setting For Slap Bass

    Q: I have seen a lot of Slap Pop tutorials, but none of them cover which pick up on the bass to use or tonal settings on the bass or amp. I am still working on proper striking technique, but I am wondering if part of getting the proper sound might be that I am... »