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  • Slap Bass 101: Part 3 – Left Hand Slap & Hammer-Ons

    Slap Bass 101: Part 3 – Left Hand Slap & Hammer-Ons

    This week, we continue building on the foundation established in Part 1 (the basics) and Part 2 (building on the basics), and add left hand slap concepts and hammer-ons. Next: Right hand pluck and pop »

  • Slap Bass 101: Part 2 – Building on the Basics

    Slap Bass 101: Part 2 – Building on the Basics

    Last time, we covered the basics in my introduction to slap bass lesson. This week, we’re going to build on the concepts of the introduction, covering basic thumb slapping, ghosted notes, muting and offbeat bass lines. Next: Part 3 – left hand slap and hammer-ons. »

  • Lesson: Slap Bass 101

    Lesson: Slap Bass 101

    By popular demand, I’ve been working on a new lesson series for beginning slap bass. This week, we’ll break down the basics. Part 1: Slap Bass Introduction This lesson covers basic thumb slapping, ghosted notes, muting, hammer-ons and plucking/popping: Next: we’ll build on these concepts with Part 2 – Building on the Basics. »

  • Introduction to Bebop Scale Forms

    In this lesson we’ll explore the basic forms of Bebop scales so you can start getting the patterns down and experiment with them in your music. There are times when you solo that you may want to do a scale run over a chord. Have you ever noticed that a straight descending scale run as... »

  • Lesson: Building an Improvised Composition for Solo Bass with a Looping Device

    Lesson: Building an Improvised Composition for Solo Bass with a Looping Device

    One exciting way of use a looping device with your bass is to enhance a composition. A recorded phrase can become a backbone over which to improvise. For example, a phrase can take the form of a tapped rhythm (e.g. using muted strings), a short rhythmic phrase lasting only one or two bars or a... »

  • Lesson: Minor Tetrachord Patterns

    Lesson: Minor Tetrachord Patterns

    In the last tetrachord lesson we went over the concept of tetrachords and how they change the way we think about scale patterns. In that lesson the focus was the major modes and a question was posted asking about the melodic minor and harmonic minor modes. Therefore this week’s article will go over tetrachords in... »

  • Live looping: Thinking Outside the Box

    Live looping: Thinking Outside the Box

    I was in a music retail outlet recently where I purchased a Boss RC-20XL Loop Station. A great piece of kit, a glowing review of which I will post separately. What occurred to me, as the eager shop assistant demo’d the device, was that live looping may have become a little typecast in the minds... »

  • Lesson: Scale Patterns from Tetrachord Combinations

    Lesson: Scale Patterns from Tetrachord Combinations

    We normally think of scales in terms of eight-note patterns and treat them as a unit. There are the standard modal forms for both major and minor, the bop variations, blues variations, but all of these still cling to the paradigm of an octave based scale unit (even if the total number of notes in... »

  • Becoming a Great Band

    What does it take be become a “great” band? Believe it or not the collective skill of a group is not determined solely by the skills of its individual members. There is a level of ensemble technique that really elevates a band to be beyond average and gets the group noticed. As with all things... »

  • Creative Looping Within Your Means

    If you can plug it in or mic it up, you can loop it. That is the conclusion I’m fast coming to when experimenting with live looping technology. Although another very important rule of thumb is, “Keep it simple, stupid” :) I wanted to put a few short thoughts together on having a creative mindset... »