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  • Talking Technique: Why Practice Technique?

    Talking Technique: Why Practice Technique?

    As musicians, wouldn’t it make sense to focus exclusively on musical applications and learn by practicing mainly songs? Why isolate technique drills and put so much focus on the mechanics, seemingly devoid of any musical context? Why waste an opportunity to build ears and creative skills at the same time and instead reduce practice to... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Lydian Triad Pairs

    Creative Bass Lines: Lydian Triad Pairs

    Today, we dive into something new – superimposing Major triad pairs derived from Lydian Mode Harmony over a Major 7th chord. The examples on the video are over an F Major 7th chord, and I am using a neat little looper for this. It’s a great practice tool. In the video (and transcription) I take... »

  • Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Ready to apply all this hard work in a song? In part three of this mini-series on Talking Technique we are putting all this hard work to good use in a blues. If you haven’t been following along, be sure to check out the past two Talking Technique episodes! So far we’ve been working on... »

  • Talking Technique: Speed Permutations

    Talking Technique: Speed Permutations

    Up for part 2 of our challenge? In part 1 we explored pivot permutations and using the mirror image of permutations. As if that wasn’t tough enough, we are going for speed in this episode! You know I love the power of slow and recommend practicing slowly with your attention rotating (my PORA technique), but... »

  • Bass Transcription: Ben Shepherd’s Bass Line on Soundgarden’s “Pretty Noose”

    Bass Transcription: Ben Shepherd’s Bass Line on Soundgarden’s “Pretty Noose”

    The unfortunate passing of Chris Cornell is a devastating loss for music. It is especially poignant for those of us that grew up listening to grunge music in the ’90s and 2000s. “Pretty Noose”, the first track from Soundgarden’s Down On The Upside, is a personal favorite of mine. On this track, Ben Shepherd performs... »

  • Talking Technique: Pivot Perms & Mirror Image

    Talking Technique: Pivot Perms & Mirror Image

    This episode is part one of a three-part challenge. Those time tested permutation exercises (you are doing them, right?) are getting two fresh twists in this episode: descending by their mirror image for an additional right-hand alternating challenge, and what I call the wicked “Pivot Permutations” – a great fun way to spice up that... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 3: Minor Arpeggios

    Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 3: Minor Arpeggios

    Continuing our series on increasing fingerboard knowledge, here’s the accompanying Minor Arpeggio Exercises to play all across the fingerboard. This is the same principle as the Major types. I’ve given you a number of variations to try, and you’ll see this gives you more options when playing over a minor chord type. As usual, practice... »

  • Talking Technique: Close Your Eyes and “See” in New Ways

    Talking Technique: Close Your Eyes and “See” in New Ways

    Let’s start with a simple exercise. I say, go ahead, get your bass and just do it – that way you get the full benefit from this article. To start, let’s play a simple shift, such as C to D on the A string with the first finger on both notes (this is not the... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 2: Arpeggios, Major 7ths & Beyond!

    Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 2: Arpeggios, Major 7ths & Beyond!

    We have not one, but two lessons for you this month! In this lesson, I’ll talk you through major 7th, then 9th, ♯11th and 13th arpeggios, which follows part one (“Triad Visualization”). I am a firm believer in learning these concepts in multiple ways/fingerings – it all goes to increase our overall knowledge of the... »

  • Advanced Bass: Giant Steps Plays the Blues

    Advanced Bass: Giant Steps Plays the Blues

    “Giant Steps” is well known as a challenging workout for all aspiring jazz musicians to learn. In this lesson, we’ll cover how to superimpose “Coltrane Changes” over the first 4-bars of the Blues with a fingerboard friendly symmetrical pattern that will open doors – both harmonically and stylistically into the world of John Coltrane. Download... »