the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • Talking Style: Rhumba Blues

    Talking Style: Rhumba Blues

    I was back home in New Orleans recently hanging out with my mom and attending my @* year high school reunion. Where did that time go??? Yeah, that’s a tale for another time! While I was there I sat in with the Marc Stone band down on Frenchman at a club called 30/90. My buddy... »

  • Talking Technique: Modes on a String

    Talking Technique: Modes on a String

    Typically when we play scales, we play across the strings, but there’s a lot of value in playing all the way up a single string. It helps us to think in positions and to mentally know how many steps you are skipping as you walk up the string. Today we’ll be working on our theory... »

  • Bass Transcription: Dee Murray’s Bass Line on Elton John’s “Amoreena”

    Bass Transcription: Dee Murray’s Bass Line on Elton John’s “Amoreena”

    “Amoreena” was Dee Murray’s first recording collaboration with Elton John, and from analyzing the transcription of his playing on this tune, it’s not hard to see why John and Murray had such a prolific career working together. Many different bassline approaches are employed to great affect in this song. The form of the bassline as... »

  • Talking Technique: Right Hand Thumbs Up!

    Talking Technique: Right Hand Thumbs Up!

    When you’re playing fingerstyle, where do you put your right thumb? You can anchor it on the pickup, but that can limit your tonal range. You could anchor on the lower strings, but then where do you put it when you need to play those strings? That’s precisely the question we got from a reader,... »

  • Advanced Bass: Modern Rhythmic Concepts

    Advanced Bass: Modern Rhythmic Concepts

    Rhythmic phrasing is an often overlooked subject in bass guitar education, much of it left to chance and feel. However, the bass guitarist should become “rhythmic aware” as being an integral part of the rhythm section of a band. In this lesson I explain how to use rhythm as motific building blocks to develop your... »

  • Talking Style: Flavoring the 3:2 Clave

    Talking Style: Flavoring the 3:2 Clave

    In this episode we’ll continue to explore the Afro-Carribean influence on the musics that we know as Rock and Roll and R&B. I’m going to show you just a few ways that I use note length and some other “flavor packets” to spice up the 3:2 Clave and give it my own style and personality. ... »

  • Talking Technique: Feeling Rusty?

    Talking Technique: Feeling Rusty?

    So you haven’t gotten to touch your bass in a while. It happens! We all have those times where we don’t get time with our bass for extended periods. When we get the bass in our hands again, our gut instinct is to get all our fast chops back, but that’s not such a great... »

  • Bass Lick Series: Cool Bluesy Bass Line with Fills in G

    Bass Lick Series: Cool Bluesy Bass Line with Fills in G

    Here’s a new lick lesson for you, using a good fingering exercise with a Major Pentatonic scale. This is also great for practicing slides and hammer-ons. The fills are mostly Pentatonic, with added flat 3rd (B♭) and flat 7th (F). The backing track is a one chord (G7) vamp, but you can transpose it and... »

  • Talking Technique: Tapping into Tapping

    Talking Technique: Tapping into Tapping

    Today we’re talking tapping! I get a lot of questions about tapping because of Oon, my duo with bassoonist Paul Hanson. I get to play chords, melodies, and grooves – sometimes at the same time. Tapping is a helpful technique to expand the possibilities of the bass, but it must be used with taste! Function... »

  • Bass Transcription: Bob West’s Bass Line on Odetta’s “Hit or Miss”

    Bass Transcription: Bob West’s Bass Line on Odetta’s “Hit or Miss”

    Something I notice when listening to inexperienced bassists is that they often tend to line up all of their technical ideas, one after another, when creating a bass line. It’s similar to a chef using all their spices to make just one dish. Most of us will learn with experience that less is not only... »