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  • Talking Technique: 11 Strategies for Learning an Alien Scale

    Talking Technique: 11 Strategies for Learning an Alien Scale

    Do you know what the Byzantine Scale is? How about Double Harmonic Major? Gypsy Major? Well, after this episode of Talking Technique, you will. But this episode is about so much more than just a scale – in it, we’ll cover 11 strategies to get a new scale under your fingers. The goal here is... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: Getting Inside Cannonball Adderley’s C7 Lick

    Bass Transcription Analysis: Getting Inside Cannonball Adderley’s C7 Lick

    In our last series of lessons, we had a look at a chorus of a Bob Mintzer blues over four episodes. Well, today we are putting just two bars of music under the microscope. This line is from a Cannonball Adderley solo on a tune called “Limehouse Blues.” Now the line itself isn’t super tricky,... »

  • Talking Technique: Alberti Bass

    Talking Technique: Alberti Bass

    Do you know what an “Alberti Bass” is? If you play electric bass (rather than cembalo in the 1700’s), you are excused if you don’t. That does not mean that we cannot use this keyboard figure to inspire some heavy duty technique shedding: string crossing, right-hand shedding, and coordination. In this lesson, we’ll go over... »

  • Bass Transcription: Horace Panter’s Bass Line on “Ghost Town” by The Specials

    Bass Transcription: Horace Panter’s Bass Line on “Ghost Town” by The Specials

    The Specials were perhaps the defining band of the late 70s British Ska movement, and they had a run of hit singles and albums between 1979 and 1984. Their band leader and principal songwriter Jerry Dammers was also the founder of Two-Tone Records, an independent label that helped to push the genre into the mainstream.... »

  • Talking Technique: Thinking Inside the Box – Upper Structure Pentatonics

    Talking Technique: Thinking Inside the Box – Upper Structure Pentatonics

    Today’s episode is all about thinking inside the box. Pentatonic box shapes only on the G and D string are easy to finger and make for quite the pizzazz when you lay them over a variety of chords. Check out the PDF to guide you along the easy shape and what colors you introduce using... »

  • Bass Transcription: John Giblin’s Bass Line on “Babooshka” by Kate Bush

    Bass Transcription: John Giblin’s Bass Line on “Babooshka” by Kate Bush

    Kate Bush came from a very musical family, and at eleven she taught herself to play the piano. Soon after this she began to write songs and at sixteen she recorded a demo of fifty compositions and sent them to prospective record companies, but this did not lead to any offers. However, a family friend... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 4

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 4

    Our fourth installment on Bob Mintzer’s “I Start With The Blues” solo is a discussion of the crucial chord on bar 8 of a typical jazz blues. Almost always this is a vi chord – so in an F Blues like this one, it’s a D7 ( D dominant 7). In Letter A Bar 8... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 3

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 3

    Don’t be afraid to make some notes on your transcription! By that I mean to write in where there’s a cool diminished lick, a nice ii-V line, etc. If there’s a cool lick – outline that, and identify stuff you want to come back to. It’s so valuable to learn licks through the cycle of... »

  • Bass Transcription: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free

    Bass Transcription: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free

    Free was formed in 1968 in London, and they followed in the footsteps of bands such as Cream and Fleetwood Mac, who grew out of the British Blues Explosion of the mid-sixties. By moving away from some of the restrictions of the genre, Free (alongside Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple), helped to define... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 2

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 2

    For our second installment focusing on Bob Mintzer’s solo from “I Start With The Blues,” we’ll be focusing mainly on transposing a line through different keys and why we do that. This is really important and something I touched upon in part one, too. It goes without saying that jazz standards and indeed tunes from... »