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  • Bass Bebop for Beginners: Part 2

    Bass Bebop for Beginners: Part 2

    Here is the second Parker line as promised – you can put it together with the C-7 F7 line from Part 1 and you get a cool turnaround lick: D-7 to G7 leading to C-7 to F7! So that gives you a nice two bar iii vi ii v line in B♭. (And be sure... »

  • Bass Bebop for Beginners: Part 1

    Bass Bebop for Beginners: Part 1

    Today we’re starting with the first part of a new series on bebop bass, a topic a lot of my students are getting into lately. Our goal is to incorporate some great bebop vocabulary on the bass guitar. There is a ton of stuff out there to help you get started. Look for books on... »

  • Applying Licks from Transcriptions

    Applying Licks from Transcriptions

    Q: I consider myself as a good reader. I can sight read music both in bass and treble clef, and I like to challenge myself with complex etude like those on the Patitucci book or classical pieces. But every time I come across jazz studies, (bebop in particular), I struggle to understand what’s in the... »

  • How To Apply Your Transcriptions

    How To Apply Your Transcriptions

    Q: Can you give an example of how I might explore using the things I’ve transcribed in some way? I’ve been transcribing a lot this year (as a music student), but I’m not sure how to apply it or get anything from it. A: I spent years transcribing tunes, solos, melodies and bass lines before... »

  • Could I Work as a Transcriptionist?

    Could I Work as a Transcriptionist?

    Q: I have a question and was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. Lately I’ve been thinking about a career change. Quick background: I graduated from Missouri State University two and a half years ago with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. I’m not happy at my current job, and a part... »

  • Working with Printed Transcriptions

    Working with Printed Transcriptions

    Studying transcriptions of masterful performances can provide a wealth of learning material for a musician. Musically speaking, we will gain the most by completing our own transcriptions, entirely by ear, of course. However, there is still a great deal to be gained by working from published transcriptions by other musicians, provided we approach them in... »

  • App Makes Transcribing Easier

    App Makes Transcribing Easier

    If you’re in the market for an app to help you transcribe the songs you want to learn, Transcribe+ aims to help. The app, designed for iPhone and iPad, allows you to import a song from your music library, change the speed and key, create loops, see the music’s waveform and even take notes. A... »

  • How To Learn Difficult Bass Parts

    How To Learn Difficult Bass Parts

    Q: I would like to know what is the best way to approach and learn difficult bass parts, for example if I decide to try to figure out the bass solo to Stanley Clarke’s “School days”. A: The best way I’ve found to tackle difficult lines is a three-fold process. 1. Get it in your... »

  • Making Transcribing Easier

    Making Transcribing Easier

    Q: I have no real problem (anymore) performing publicly with groups/bands, with taking a solo, or with people overhearing me practice (though of course I try to be considerate). But I have an anxiety around transcribing that feels almost like stage fright, and I can’t quite get myself to incorporate it into my daily practice... »

  • The Lightbulb Moment: It Takes One To Know One

    The Lightbulb Moment: It Takes One To Know One

    How do I play that bass line? Why do I have to use my pinky? Can’t we skip all the theory stuff? These are just some of the questions raised by a student in a recent lesson. Some of these are easy to answer… like the usefulness of the pinky finger (two heads are better... »