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  • Talking Style: Oh Freedom

    Talking Style: Oh Freedom

    I’ve been wanting to do some Gospel episodes but wasn’t sure where I wanted to start until now. The first song that we’ll look art is the post-Civil War spiritual, “Oh Freedom”. In particular, I’m going to show you some ideas on how to “hear the changes” , an extended Gospel-style turnaround and how you... »

  • Talking Technique: Talking Triads

    Talking Technique: Talking Triads

    Triads are three note chords that serve as the building blocks of functional harmony. As bass players, it’s important for us to recognize triads by ear and to know how to play them starting on each string in all keys and in all registers of the bass. We’ll focus on the major triad in this... »

  • Advanced Bass: Increasing Technical Development

    Advanced Bass: Increasing Technical Development

    Playing with good time, develop sensitive dynamics, produce a solid tone and have the confidence to express interesting musical ideas on your bass is essential. It only makes common sense that developing a deeper bass guitar specific technical understanding and prowess is the essential path as an improvising bass player. In this lesson, we will... »

  • Talking Technique: Beautiful Practice

    Talking Technique: Beautiful Practice

    This lesson is called “Beautiful Practice” for a reason. Our exercise this week creates a lush harmony and texture all while working out our theory and technique at the same time. The theory portion of this week’s lesson is that we’ll be playing diatonic triads in open voicings. If that sounds foreign to you, don’t... »

  • 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. ... »