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  • Bass Transcription: Gheorghe Postoronca’s “Crazy Train”

    Bass Transcription: Gheorghe Postoronca’s “Crazy Train”

    “Crazy Train” by bassist Gheorghe Postoronca was right at the top of my list of pieces to transcribe this month. In fact, regular readers of my column might have noticed an absence of transcriptions recently, and this is purely because this piece took so long to get written down! It’s a solo bass piece that... »

  • Advanced Bass: Stitt & Trane Blues

    Advanced Bass: Stitt & Trane Blues

    The Blues is one of the major building blocks for jazz and improvised music, making it a logical starting point for applying your improvisational concepts. The problem exists when people learn some concepts and then attempt to jam along with no specific goals in mind. This is a big mistake! In this lesson, we’ll cover... »

  • Talking Technique: Pedal to the Metal

    Talking Technique: Pedal to the Metal

    Today’s lesson is all about building cool grooves using the pentatonic scale with pedal tones, a technique often found in heavy metal. We’ll use a G minor pentatonic scale in the first area of the bass (more on that in the video). To create the pedal effect, we’ll be playing the root of the scale... »

  • Bass Transcription: Scotty Edwards’s Bass Line on Hall & Oates’s “Rich Girl”

    Bass Transcription: Scotty Edwards’s Bass Line on Hall & Oates’s “Rich Girl”

    Often as bassists we become so concerned with notes, rhythm, and locking in with our drummer that we forget the other important aspects of groove that can impact the listener equally as much. Articulation contributes greatly to groove and expression and can be employed to create contrast, add texture, and propel a song forward. I... »

  • Talking Technique: Killer Dead Note Grooves

    Talking Technique: Killer Dead Note Grooves

    Dead notes are percussive effects that can really liven up a groove. There are a variety of ways to create them, including left-hand muting, right-hand percussion, and left-hand percussion. For this lesson we examine how dead notes (and silence) affect the groove. As is often the case, a good way to begin practicing them is... »

  • Talking Style: The Tresillo Rhythm

    Talking Style: The Tresillo Rhythm

    The tresillo is derived from the fundamental Latin music groove called “habenera”. It can also be thought of as a variation on the Afro-Cuban son clave. Ragtime pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton famously called the tresillo that “Spanish tinge” that is a necessary ingredient for New Orleans jazz. The prominence of the tresillo in... »

  • Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout

    Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout

    Similar to our last lesson, we’re working on exercises designed to shed your scales and build your technique at the same time. This time we’re focusing on tetrachords, which are four-note groups found within scales. You can also turn these exercises into speed training exercises by adding a few beats every time you play, but... »

  • Advanced Bass: Anatomy of a Groove

    Advanced Bass: Anatomy of a Groove

    What exactly is a groove? Aside from attempting to teach feel, which is predicated on stylistic interpretation and flight time on the bandstand, a groove is a repetitive idea – often organized into two, four or eight bar phrases that is based on the harmonic rhythmic and melodic content of a song. Often when coming... »

  • Bass Transcription: Mattia La Maida’s Solo Bass Arrangement on David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”

    Bass Transcription: Mattia La Maida’s Solo Bass Arrangement on David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”

    When David Bowie passed away, I wanted to pay tribute with a solo bass arrangement of one of his songs. I personally consider Bowie one of the greatest artists in the world. He was in fact a great musician, actor and painter. Among other things, the eclectic nature of his music was characterized by the... »

  • Talking Technique: Pedalling

    Talking Technique: Pedalling

    There are only so many hours in the day, so it’s always great to figure out ways to make the best use of your practice time. One way to get the biggest use of your practice is to combine different topics to bolster your understanding: music theory with song learning, rhythmic accuracy with slapping, phrasing... »