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  • Lesson: Half-Time 16th Note Shuffle Bass Groove

    Lesson: Half-Time 16th Note Shuffle Bass Groove

    Here’s a new lick to add to your bag of tricks: a half-time 16th-note shuffle groove with a hip-hop vibe. The pattern is based on the G minor pentatonic scale. (Note: If you need some background on the pentatonic scale, here’s a good lesson to help you get started.) Follow along with the video and... »

  • Lesson: How To Play Funky Bass with Tap, Slap and Pluck

    Lesson: How To Play Funky Bass with Tap, Slap and Pluck

    Time to get funky! In this lesson, we’ll play a groove in A minor using a left hand tap technique – one of Abe Laboriel’s many slap bass techniques, which was later popularized by Victor Wooten. This technique requires strength in the left hand, or low action. Download this transcription (standard notation and TAB), and... »

  • Bass Lesson: The Fast “Fade” Trick (All in the Fingers)

    Bass Lesson: The Fast “Fade” Trick (All in the Fingers)

    Here’s a quick lesson about a little trick for manually fading a note without using a volume control. It really is all in the fingers, and I bet it’ll come in handy. »

  • Funky Slap Bass Lesson

    Funky Slap Bass Lesson

    Today we’re going to dive in to some more intermediate level slap bass techniques. This lesson builds upon topics we’ve covered in the past, including beginning slap bass patterns and techniques, the double thumb technique and shakes. Follow along with the video and the transcription – standard notation and tab included. For the gear heads,... »

  • Lesson: Getting Funky with Trills on Bass

    Lesson: Getting Funky with Trills on Bass

    In our last lesson, we focused on using vibrato to your bass lines for better phrasing. This time around, we’re going to spend time working on trills on the electric bass. As you’ll hear in the video, playing a line without trills is not bad. But when you add those trills, the line has so... »

  • Lesson: Using Vibrato to Your Bass Lines for Better Phrasing

    Lesson: Using Vibrato to Your Bass Lines for Better Phrasing

    Today we’re going to dive in to the topic of using vibrato in your playing in this beginner/intermediate-level bass lesson. Vibrato is key to expression and better phrasing, making it a vital tool of the trade. In the first example in the video below, we’ll play a rock groove in C. Our line is a... »

  • Lesson: Funky Slap Bass with Open Strings

    Lesson: Funky Slap Bass with Open Strings

    Here’s a simple slap pattern based on open strings and octaves. As I demonstrate in the video, I’m playing a pattern, first in A, and then switching to E (same line). Before switching back to the A, there’s an octave line to bring us back. The line uses hammer-ons and pull-offs. Around the 3 minute... »

  • Walking Bass Lesson: 12 Bar Blues

    Walking Bass Lesson: 12 Bar Blues

    When you’re presented with a 12-bar blues, you have different options for how to create a walking bass line. In this lesson, we’ll cover those options. The song example I’m using is “Gotta Mind to Travel” by Coco Montoya, if you want to check that out. »

  • Reviving Old Bass Strings: A New Approach

    Reviving Old Bass Strings: A New Approach

    I let one of my friends borrow my 1978 pre-Ernie Ball Music Man bass, and he really gunked up the strings. You’ll hear in the video below that the strings are pretty dead. There are all kinds of tricks out there being shared for reviving old strings: boiling, alcohol, whatever. This doesn’t require any of... »

  • Lesson: How to Groove on Bass

    Lesson: How to Groove on Bass

    One of the important aspects of playing bass is your ability to groove. In this new lesson, I’ll offer up some beginner-level concepts to help you start down the path. We’ll explore keeping time and using percussive an ghost notes to make the lines come to life… the recipe for getting people out of their... »