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  • Is Rhythmic Tapping Okay in a Band Setting?

    Is Rhythmic Tapping Okay in a Band Setting?

    Q: When I play the bass (let’s say on a 4/4 beat), I often tap the strings on the exact beat that the snare drum makes (on the 2 and 4), and I can’t seem to stop doing that. I was wondering: Let’s say I’m playing in a band, having fun, and I start tapping…... »

  • 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... »

  • 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... »

  • Talking Technique: The Pinky Workout

    Talking Technique: The Pinky Workout

    Is the pinky your weak link? If it is, you are not alone. The pinky and ring finger share a tendon. Either of those fingers prefers moving in tandem, rather than on their own, so it is a good idea to isolate them. As for the pinky, it is also the weakest of the bunch.... »

  • Talking Technique: Bach for Two (In Three)

    Talking Technique: Bach for Two (In Three)

    In episode 43, we looked at an easy piano piece that was arranged for two basses. This is a great exercise because it works on your reading and your technique. Bach’s bass lines are typically challenging and push us as bassists to hone our chops. This time we’re checking out the Minuet in B♭ (though... »

  • Talking Technique: Got Dexterity?

    Talking Technique: Got Dexterity?

    Let’s go to the gym. The bass-finger gym that is! This work out practices one-finger-per-fret with elaborate string crossings. I have plenty of tips for you to succeed if one-finger-per-fret is hard for you. As always, this only works if you stay relaxed, move as little as possible and keep your fingers close to the... »

  • Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

    Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

    Inspired by a Sting bass line, I’m bringing you a groove creation workout today. We’ll cover how to create your own bass line using a simple formula that will have you coming up with ideas for workable grooves every time. We also shine a light on the correct use of pentatonic scales and top it... »

  • Talking Technique: Intro To Triplets In Walking Bass Lines

    Talking Technique: Intro To Triplets In Walking Bass Lines

    In the last lesson, we covered adding “burps” into walking bass lines and how to practice them systematically. This time we’re spicing up your walking with triplets. We’ll go over several variations to get these triplets under your fingers and ready to go on all beats of the bar. To keep a focused practice session,... »

  • Talking Technique: “Burps” in Walking

    Talking Technique: “Burps” in Walking

    After the Talking Technique Episode on “Killer Dead Notes,” I got a question from Lionel who wanted to know about “the best technique and timing to get those really nice burps in walking baselines.” I love the way he phrased that question – he asked specifically for not only the technique itself but also the... »

  • Talking Technique: The Thunder Episode

    Talking Technique: The Thunder Episode

    Today we’re bringing the thunder! We’ll be borrowing from AC/DC guitarist Angus Young by playing the opening riffs from “Thunderstruck.” Not only does this enable you to massively impress the guitar players in your life, but the riff is a lot of fun to play, and a great technical challenge. How do we even tackle... »