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  • Talking Technique: Why Practice Technique?

    Talking Technique: Why Practice Technique?

    As musicians, wouldn’t it make sense to focus exclusively on musical applications and learn by practicing mainly songs? Why isolate technique drills and put so much focus on the mechanics, seemingly devoid of any musical context? Why waste an opportunity to build ears and creative skills at the same time and instead reduce practice to... »

  • Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Ready to apply all this hard work in a song? In part three of this mini-series on Talking Technique we are putting all this hard work to good use in a blues. If you haven’t been following along, be sure to check out the past two Talking Technique episodes! So far we’ve been working on... »

  • Talking Technique: Speed Permutations

    Talking Technique: Speed Permutations

    Up for part 2 of our challenge? In part 1 we explored pivot permutations and using the mirror image of permutations. As if that wasn’t tough enough, we are going for speed in this episode! You know I love the power of slow and recommend practicing slowly with your attention rotating (my PORA technique), but... »

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  • Talking Technique: Pivot Perms & Mirror Image

    Talking Technique: Pivot Perms & Mirror Image

    This episode is part one of a three-part challenge. Those time tested permutation exercises (you are doing them, right?) are getting two fresh twists in this episode: descending by their mirror image for an additional right-hand alternating challenge, and what I call the wicked “Pivot Permutations” – a great fun way to spice up that... »

  • Talking Technique: “Mordents” for Finger Strength

    Talking Technique: “Mordents” for Finger Strength

    Today we have another multi-layered workout for you to build up your finger strength. This lesson will help you practice a scale up and down one string while improving coordination and strengthening your fingers. It’s not a beginner’s workout, but wherever you are on your journey, give it a good try. You’ll need to be... »

  • Re-evaluating Your Technique

    Re-evaluating Your Technique

    Q: Do you ever re-evaluate your technique (posture, strap height, string height) or do you feel it’s just set? A: At this point, I feel like I am pretty well set-up and understand my physical relationship with my instrument. This, however, is because I spent much of my life experimenting and studying what others had... »

  • Talking Technique: Efficient Practice Hacks #5: Mnemonics – Part 2

    Talking Technique: Efficient Practice Hacks #5: Mnemonics – Part 2

    More memory tools for bass players! This is part two in my mini series on Bass Mnemonics. Mnemonic – hard to say the word – but endlessly useful! You can take a look at part 1. Here is more… and a time-limited bonus for you at the end! Eartraining: Song beginnings are a great way... »

  • Talking Technique: Efficient Practice Hacks #5: Mnemonics – Part 1

    Talking Technique: Efficient Practice Hacks #5: Mnemonics – Part 1

    Harness the power of these creative time tested memory tools. They will enrich your bass playing and are useful for all walks of life. A mnemonic is any idea or device that aids in remembering something. Maybe you are familiar with “Large Elephants Jump Slowly And Sink Rapidly” – helping US students remember the seven... »

  • Finger Substitutions

    Finger Substitutions

    When we play the same note, usually on the same string, consecutively, but with different fingers, it is called a finger substitution. For example: This technique is most often employed is when we want to avoid shifting within a slur. While we should be able to shift silently within a slur, it is sometimes musically... »

  • Talking Technique: Efficient Practice Hacks

    Talking Technique: Efficient Practice Hacks

    Are you (like me) always on the hunt for the latest and most efficient practice “hacks”? Today I am starting a series here on Talking Technique introducing you to my personal favorites. Some of them are quite unexpected, and I encourage you to try them and see the results for yourself. Some go back to... »