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  • Talking Technique: Talking Triads

    Talking Technique: Talking Triads

    Triads are three note chords that serve as the building blocks of functional harmony. As bass players, it’s important for us to recognize triads by ear and to know how to play them starting on each string in all keys and in all registers of the bass. We’ll focus on the major triad in this... »

  • Advanced Bass: Increasing Technical Development

    Advanced Bass: Increasing Technical Development

    Playing with good time, develop sensitive dynamics, produce a solid tone and have the confidence to express interesting musical ideas on your bass is essential. It only makes common sense that developing a deeper bass guitar specific technical understanding and prowess is the essential path as an improvising bass player. In this lesson, we will... »

  • Solving Finger Pain To Continue Practicing

    Solving Finger Pain To Continue Practicing

    Q: As a bass player, having practiced all day until one’s fingernails are aching, what is the solution for a quick pain relief so I can continue to practice the next day, without skipping a day? A: While I can’t imagine what kind of practice makes your fingernails hurt (double thumb workouts?), I do have... »

  • Talking Technique: Beautiful Practice

    Talking Technique: Beautiful Practice

    This lesson is called “Beautiful Practice” for a reason. Our exercise this week creates a lush harmony and texture all while working out our theory and technique at the same time. The theory portion of this week’s lesson is that we’ll be playing diatonic triads in open voicings. If that sounds foreign to you, don’t... »

  • 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... »