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  • 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... »

  • Talking Technique: Harmonic Minor Speed Shedding

    Talking Technique: Harmonic Minor Speed Shedding

    As with many scales, the harmonic minor scale gives us a great tonal playground to work with, but it also gives us a great platform to work on our technical playing. This lesson will work on some J.S. Bach-inspired harmonic minor bass lines to focus on our coordination and speed training. There’s nothing like a... »

  • Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises

    Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises

    Bass grooves often have lines that move across strings on the same fret. To keep a smooth and legato feel, we need to focus on the technique of jumping from string to string. Here we’ll dig in on a few exercises with plenty of variations to get all your fingers in shape. Today’s tip is... »

  • Talking Technique: Fast Fingers

    Talking Technique: Fast Fingers

    Today we’re talking technique with the right hand and getting those fast fingers. I’ll be going over the two finger alternating plucking style, which will get you through most playing situations. Oftentimes, players get wrapped up in coupling their right hand and left hand processes when playing patterns. I recommend making alternating your fingers an... »

  • Dealing With Songs That Go Beyond Your Last Fret

    Dealing With Songs That Go Beyond Your Last Fret

    Q: I have a student entering his final year of secondary education. He has just purchased a 5-string Fender Jazz Bass. He is focusing on two handed tapping for his music subject. My worry… much of the music we have accessed (“Overjoyed”, “Rock and Roll” Bass Solo, etc.) requires between 21 and 24 frets according... »

  • Talking Technique: Permutation Variation

    Talking Technique: Permutation Variation

    In the last lesson, we introduced the Permutation Exercise. This time we’ll talk about some more pattern variations to increase your dexterity. The permutation exercise can be played to drill down on lots of different fingerings that come in handy. We’ll be practicing the concept across strings and by implementing it with the whole tone... »

  • Talking Technique: The Permutation Exercise

    Talking Technique: The Permutation Exercise

    To start things off in this new series, we’re going to be working on our left hand dexterity with the “Permutation Exercise”. Each finger is assigned a number: 1 for index 2 for middle 3 for ring and 4 for our pinky By practicing each variation or permutation of the numbers 1, 2, 3, and... »

  • Introduction to Chromatic Scales

    Introduction to Chromatic Scales

    For many bassists, the chromatic scale is an underused resource in their practice toolkit. Properly approached, practicing chromatic scales can vastly improve our shifting, intonation and mental map of the fingerboard. Below are a few beginner exercises using the chromatic scale that I find to be useful for those just becoming familiar with the chromatic... »

  • Bass Lesson: Interval Shapes

    Bass Lesson: Interval Shapes

    In this lesson, we will cover a basic concept for interval shapes to develop your technique, while attuning your ears to hear the root motion of common harmonic progressions in jazz. Follow along with the notation (PDF) and this video: »

  • Singing While Playing? A Discussion for Bass Players

    Singing While Playing? A Discussion for Bass Players

    Q: I’ve been reading your columns with great interest for the last year or so, but here’s a question I haven’t seen addressed yet: How do different bass players approach the problem of playing and singing at the same time? I’ve been playing for going on forty years now – both professionally and as a... »