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  • Bass Transcription: John Giblin’s Bass Line on “Babooshka” by Kate Bush

    Bass Transcription: John Giblin’s Bass Line on “Babooshka” by Kate Bush

    Kate Bush came from a very musical family, and at eleven she taught herself to play the piano. Soon after this she began to write songs and at sixteen she recorded a demo of fifty compositions and sent them to prospective record companies, but this did not lead to any offers. However, a family friend... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 4

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 4

    Our fourth installment on Bob Mintzer’s “I Start With The Blues” solo is a discussion of the crucial chord on bar 8 of a typical jazz blues. Almost always this is a vi chord – so in an F Blues like this one, it’s a D7 ( D dominant 7). In Letter A Bar 8... »

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  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 3

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 3

    Don’t be afraid to make some notes on your transcription! By that I mean to write in where there’s a cool diminished lick, a nice ii-V line, etc. If there’s a cool lick – outline that, and identify stuff you want to come back to. It’s so valuable to learn licks through the cycle of... »

  • Bass Transcription: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free

    Bass Transcription: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free

    Free was formed in 1968 in London, and they followed in the footsteps of bands such as Cream and Fleetwood Mac, who grew out of the British Blues Explosion of the mid-sixties. By moving away from some of the restrictions of the genre, Free (alongside Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple), helped to define... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 2

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 2

    For our second installment focusing on Bob Mintzer’s solo from “I Start With The Blues,” we’ll be focusing mainly on transposing a line through different keys and why we do that. This is really important and something I touched upon in part one, too. It goes without saying that jazz standards and indeed tunes from... »

  • New Year’s Resolutions for Bass: 5 Ingredients to Get You Results

    New Year’s Resolutions for Bass: 5 Ingredients to Get You Results

    I ran a survey a few weeks back asking bass players what they struggled with the most. With an overwhelming majority, the response had to do with practicing. Specifically, how to: Practice effectively so as to see improvement. Not be distracted. Know what to work on next or where to even start. Some people formulated... »

  • Bass Transcription: The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

    Bass Transcription: The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

    Note: It is not certain who the bassist was on The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” but it’s likely to be Wilton Felder, who played on many of their early recordings after they moved to Los Angeles in 1969. There’s relatively little information about the studio musicians who worked for Motown in... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 1

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 1

    I’m kicking off a new series here for Creative Bass Lines. In this episode, we’ll take a look at a really great solo over a jazz 12 bar blues – performed and transcribed by sax great Bob Mintzer! We’re really fortunate to have this music for our lessons. Bob very kindly agreed to let me... »

  • Bass Transcription: Ronnie Lane’s Bass Line on “Itchycoo Park” by The Small Faces

    Bass Transcription: Ronnie Lane’s Bass Line on “Itchycoo Park” by The Small Faces

    Ronnie Lane was born in Plaistow in East London on April 1st 1946. As a teenager, his father had encouraged him to play the guitar as “he’d always have a friend”. At first, he played skiffle, a type of rough country blues popular in the UK in the early 1960s, but he was also influenced... »

  • Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’

    Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’

    The whole tone scale is a really interesting scale. Unlike our major and pentatonic scales, it’s built out of all whole steps making it sound a little bit eerie and bright. Because the scale is symmetrical, it does not sound like it has a beginning or an end. Another neat fact is that there are... »