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  • Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

    Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

    Here’s a lesson I’d classify as beginner/intermediate level, but the truth is, it is something I think can benefit all of us. The goal of this lesson is to become comfortable with the entire fretboard, through learning the notes on every fret. Using a simple Rolling Stones-style rock groove backing track, this lesson focuses in... »

  • Learning Modes and Scales: A Study Guide for Bassists

    Learning Modes and Scales: A Study Guide for Bassists

    Q: I hope that you’ll be able to explain this problem. I learned so far that major and minor scales have certain patterns (i.e. minor steps: W,H,W,W,H,W,W). Now, I’ve moved to modes and, for example, the Lydian mode. Does it have the same pattern for minor scale? I found some other patterns on the web,... »

  • Memorizing Chords and Scales

    Memorizing Chords and Scales

    Q: I’m lucky enough to attend a college with a robust and demanding music department, and like a lot music in academia, this means I’m playing a fair amount of jazz. I’ve been a fan of the genre for a long time, but I am new to playing it and seem to have run into... »

  • Music Theory – Chords in Minor Keys App Released for Android

    Music Theory – Chords in Minor Keys App Released for Android

    Stuart Bahn has just released the second in his Music Theory Toolkit Series of apps for Android devices, entitled Music Theory – Chords in Minor Keys. The app trains you to learn all the minor, major, and diminished chords found in all 12 minor keys. Your theory is tested as the app displays a minor... »

  • Breaking Down Music: Start with the Songs You Love

    Breaking Down Music: Start with the Songs You Love

    When it comes to music, we all have our favorite bands, our favorite songs, favorite singers, bass players and maybe even some guitar solos. Some of us develop a preference for certain genres; they shape our music library, our concert expenditures and our playing repertoire. It’s easy to know that we like something, mainly because... »

  • App Review: Musicopoulos Music Theory and Practice

    App Review: Musicopoulos Music Theory and Practice

    There aren’t many music theory apps I’ve enjoyed using for very long. But Musicopoulos changed that for me on a recent flight home, taking various tests and running their Music Theory and Practice through its paces. This app is fun to use and covers a wide enough variety of content. The thing I enjoyed most... »

  • Chord Construction: A Guide for Bassists

    Chord Construction: A Guide for Bassists

    Q: I’ve been playing bass for about four years, and I’ve had difficulty with understanding chord construction on the bass. I know my scales and their modes inside and out, and I know a lot about the fretboard. My technique is good too, but I figured when I was starting out that I really didn’t... »

  • Jazz ScaleHelper: A Look at the Scale Analysis and Study App for iOS and Android

    Jazz ScaleHelper: A Look at the Scale Analysis and Study App for iOS and Android

    Jazz ScaleHelper is, at it’s essence, a discerning ear. The app listens to you play your scales and arpeggios and gives you feedback on what you just played, as well as a grade. It judges your note stability, intonation, time and shows you how many notes per minute you played. The app’s analysis screen presents... »

  • Improvising: Scale Substitutions for Bass

    Improvising: Scale Substitutions for Bass

    In this new lesson, we’ll cover some tips on soloing over changes. In the video below, you’ll see that I’m playing chords through a looper, to create the pattern to play against. We start with a D Major scale, over an E minor chord, which is the Dorian mode. The scale: D E F# G... »

  • Intergalactic Bass: Scales Arpeggios Fingerings Theory & Much More

    Intergalactic Bass: Scales Arpeggios Fingerings Theory & Much More

    Hal Leonard has added Carlo Mombelli’s Intergalactic Bass method as their latest book in their Bass Instruction series. The comprehensive, 240-page book is based on the premise that in order to play music, one must have a solid handle on scales and arpeggios. A bassist, composer and educator, Mombelli said he searched for a book... »