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  • Efficient 20 Minute Practice

    Efficient 20 Minute Practice

    How often do you hear people claim that it’s not how much your practice but how efficiently you practice? There are always claims that practicing 15-30 minutes every day versus a 3 hour session every Saturday will have a more positive impact on your playing ability – but how do you make the most of... »

  • Math and Music: Intervals

    Math and Music: Intervals

    Every musician should have an idea of the foundational concepts that allow us to create music. This lesson series will explore the basis for tonal structure in Western music. I’ll warn you right now, this lesson is not for the faint of heart, or math-phobic. The purpose of this is to add to the conceptual... »

  • Double Stops on the Upright Bass

    The upright bass is frequently classified as a “single-line” instrument. In other words, the bass produces a single line of tones and does not play polyphonically. This is certainly the rule in many cases, but there are times where adding additional chord tones to your playing, especially in solos, can add a new dimension of... »

  • How to Write a Band Bio

    If you are a working musician – or aspire to be a working musician – you need to be able to sell yourself and your music. At some point you may have to present your work to a record label or publishing company and you will be competing against many other artists for a label... »

  • Using Triadic Harmony in Solos

    The foundation for harmonic structure is the triad. They are the basic chords of Western harmony, and using them in a solo provides a sense of structure and strongly outlines the underlying chords. Do not be fooled into thinking this is some boring drill where you arpeggiate the triads from chords in a lead sheet... »

  • Lesson: Basic Line Construction Types

    Lesson: Basic Line Construction Types

    After doing last week’s column, I’ve been thinking more about approaches to creating lines connecting ii and V chords. I’d like to revisit the subject and delve into some basic line construction types. Each particular technique constitutes parts that become interchangeable and apply to a wide range of bass line situations. Throughout these exercises we’ll... »

  • How To Harmonize Melodies

    At some point in your musical career you are bound to be given a melody line… and nothing else. Maybe it’s one you have created, it might just be an idea someone else is working, or perhaps it’s the melody to a standard you have to learn on the bandstand. Regardless of the circumstances the... »

  • A Lesson on Live Looping for Bass

    A Lesson on Live Looping for Bass

    Guest contributor Russ Sargeant shares this live looping lesson with us, on bass using Mobius software and the Behringer FCB1010. Introduction Solo musicians have a new powerful weapon in their arsenal, or rather access to technological advancements on an established idea. Live Looping has been around since the days of the tape delay machine. One... »

  • On walking: Connecting ii-V’s

    Continuing this video lesson series on walking, Jon explores various ways to connect ii-V progressions; arpeggios, chromatic & diatonic approaches from above and below the targets, and changing tones (notes arrayed on either side of the target). Jon is accepting students via Skype video. Email jon@jonburr.com for more information. Be sure to check out Jon’s... »

  • Walking: On and through chord changes

    Here Jon demonstrates walking using chord tones, lead ins, various combinations of these, and “changing tones” – notes above and below the target, zeroing in on it. Be sure to check out Jon’s book, The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass, available as a pdf download or as a Amazon Kindle book. And now in paperback... »