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  • Talking Style: I’ve Got To Use My Imagination

    Talking Style: I’ve Got To Use My Imagination

    One of the things that I love about doing this column is that I sometimes find unlikely pairings – like this one. I didn’t know that Bon Jovi’s Hugh McDonald played bass on this extremely funky joint, “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination” as performed by Gladys Knight and the Pips. The song was written... »

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  • Creative Bass Lines: Funking with the Dorian Mode and the Blues Scale

    Creative Bass Lines: Funking with the Dorian Mode and the Blues Scale

    Welcome back to the third installment of Creative Bass Lines. Before we start, I’d like to take a moment to say a fond farewell to the amazing Victor Bailey who sadly left us way too soon a few days ago. Victor was an enormous influence on me, and his highly melodic yet super funky playing... »

  • Talking Technique: The Power of Slow

    Talking Technique: The Power of Slow

    A little while ago, I finished the creation of a 20-week course which includes an extensive technique practice section. Students had requested videos similar to what you see in fitness videos – a way to just follow along with the video. And this became one consistent part of each week’s program: I recorded “Practice With... »

  • Bass Transcription: Dominique di Piazza’s Bass Solo on John McLaughlin’s “Belo Horizonte”

    Bass Transcription: Dominique di Piazza’s Bass Solo on John McLaughlin’s “Belo Horizonte”

    This month, the transcription is dedicated to French bass virtuoso Dominique di Piazza. I think Dominique deserves more recognition in the bass world. Ask any bassist today – Hadrien Feraud, Matthew Garrison, Adam Nitti, and many more – and they will swear that di Piazza has had a profound influence on their bass playing. His... »

  • Talking Technique: Octaves on Overdrive

    Talking Technique: Octaves on Overdrive

    Today we’re going to go over a few tips on how to spice up a groove using octaves. Of course, we’ll focus on good fingering practices to make the notes sound smooth and connected. You can use this technique when practicing rudiments and scales, but check out this PDF to work up an example using... »

  • Talking Style: Bruno Mars vs. Collage

    Talking Style: Bruno Mars vs. Collage

    Like everyone else who was hip to late 70’s/80’s music I was instantly transported back to the golden age of 80’s electro funk the moment that I heard Mark Ronson / Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”. However, even though the aural aesthetic certainly reminded me of some of the best times of my life and certainly... »

  • Bass Transcription: Danny McCulloch’s Bass Line on The Animals’ “Monterey”

    Bass Transcription: Danny McCulloch’s Bass Line on The Animals’ “Monterey”

    Continuing the theme of British bassists from 1968, this time I’m looking at Danny McCulloch’s bass line on “Monterey” by The Animals. This band formed in the gritty northern English city of Newcastle in 1960, and were one of the edgier sounding bands associated with the “British Invasion” of the U.S. pop charts by the... »

  • Talking Technique: Changing Technique Habits – What it Takes

    Talking Technique: Changing Technique Habits – What it Takes

    There is a step by step process that can help you change ingrained habits. It is a fast and effective technique to practice just about anything so effectively that it can become addictive. But it is also a great catalyst for changing ingrained habits. That is good news, because if you have ever tried to... »

  • Talking Style: New Jack Swing Part 2 – Poison

    Talking Style: New Jack Swing Part 2 – Poison

    Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” is one song from the New Jack Swing era of R&B that has certainly stood the test of time. People who weren’t even living when the song was brand new hit dance and sing to it like it came out yesterday. Two really cool things about this bass groove are that... »

  • Bass Transcription: Jimmy Johnson’s Bass Line on Allan Holdsworth’s “Spokes”

    Bass Transcription: Jimmy Johnson’s Bass Line on Allan Holdsworth’s “Spokes”

    Today I’ll pay tribute to one of my bass heroes: Jimmy Johnson. His versatility always amazes me. He plays smooth jazz with his band Flim & the BB’s, he holds down the groove with James Taylor, and he always keeps the group together under complex harmonies with Allan Holdsworth. Johnson has a unique voice on... »