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  • Bass Transcription: Colin Moulding’s Bass Line on XTC’s “Senses Working Overtime”

    Bass Transcription: Colin Moulding’s Bass Line on XTC’s “Senses Working Overtime”

    The three founding members of XTC, bassist Colin Moulding, drummer Terry Chambers and guitarist/vocalist Andy Partridge, initially got together in 1972, calling the band ‘The Helium Kidz’. They took some of their early influence from The New York Dolls and attached themselves to the developing ‘glam rock’ scene that was popular in the UK at... »

  • Talking Technique: The Pinky Workout

    Talking Technique: The Pinky Workout

    Is the pinky your weak link? If it is, you are not alone. The pinky and ring finger share a tendon. Either of those fingers prefers moving in tandem, rather than on their own, so it is a good idea to isolate them. As for the pinky, it is also the weakest of the bunch.... »

  • Talking Technique: Bach for Two (In Three)

    Talking Technique: Bach for Two (In Three)

    In episode 43, we looked at an easy piano piece that was arranged for two basses. This is a great exercise because it works on your reading and your technique. Bach’s bass lines are typically challenging and push us as bassists to hone our chops. This time we’re checking out the Minuet in B♭ (though... »

  • Talking Technique: Got Dexterity?

    Talking Technique: Got Dexterity?

    Let’s go to the gym. The bass-finger gym that is! This work out practices one-finger-per-fret with elaborate string crossings. I have plenty of tips for you to succeed if one-finger-per-fret is hard for you. As always, this only works if you stay relaxed, move as little as possible and keep your fingers close to the... »

  • Bass Transcription: Graham Maby’s Bass Line on Joe Jackson’s “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”

    Bass Transcription: Graham Maby’s Bass Line on Joe Jackson’s “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”

    Joe Jackson has had a similar career to that of Elvis Costello, first coming to prominence in the “New Wave” era in the late 1970s, and then diversifying into a broader variety of musical styles as he became more established. The initial success of singles such as “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” (1978)... »

  • Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

    Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

    Inspired by a Sting bass line, I’m bringing you a groove creation workout today. We’ll cover how to create your own bass line using a simple formula that will have you coming up with ideas for workable grooves every time. We also shine a light on the correct use of pentatonic scales and top it... »

  • 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 Transcription: Finn Guttormsen’s Bass Line on Farmers Market’s “Dusty Traditions”

    Bass Transcription: Finn Guttormsen’s Bass Line on Farmers Market’s “Dusty Traditions”

    The other day I was watching Michael Brecker’s version of ¨Nothing Personal” in 9/8 meter. I really liked this version and the group that played it. After some research, I found a Norwegian band called Farmers Market. I then contacted bassist Finn Guttormsen, who during the chat explained to me why they play in irregular... »

  • Talking Technique: Intro To Triplets In Walking Bass Lines

    Talking Technique: Intro To Triplets In Walking Bass Lines

    In the last lesson, we covered adding “burps” into walking bass lines and how to practice them systematically. This time we’re spicing up your walking with triplets. We’ll go over several variations to get these triplets under your fingers and ready to go on all beats of the bar. To keep a focused practice session,... »

  • Bass Transcription: Bruce Thomas’ Bass Line on Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ “Lipstick Vogue”

    Bass Transcription: Bruce Thomas’ Bass Line on Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ “Lipstick Vogue”

    As there was a very positive response to last month’s transcription of “Oliver’s Army,” I thought that the No Treble readers might like another chance to have a look at Bruce Thomas’ work. This track contains a much busier bass line than “Oliver’s Army”, and Bruce tips his hat to some of his influences within... »