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  • Learning to Transpose: A Lesson for Playing Bass Lines in Every Key

    Learning to Transpose: A Lesson for Playing Bass Lines in Every Key

    I’ve found many bass players have difficulty with transposing bass lines, so here’s a lesson that should help. Transposing on bass isn’t terribly difficult, since we can rely on shapes and patterns up and down the neck, to play a line in several keys. In the video below I demonstrate how to navigate the neck,... »

  • Lesson: Bass Groove with Harmonics and Double Stop Chords

    Lesson: Bass Groove with Harmonics and Double Stop Chords

    Here’s a cool new bass groove for you to try out and add to your bag of tricks. This is an A Dominant 7 lick, complete with harmonics and double stop chords. Follow along with the video below and this transcription. For the gear heads: the bass this time around is my 1977 Music Man... »

  • Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic

    Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic

    Here’s a new lesson in our ongoing series of bass lick lessons. This time, we’ll play around with a minor pentatonic, in the key of A. In the video below, I play the lick at full speed, followed by a demo at a reduced speed. Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF). If... »

  • Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

    Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

    Here’s a lesson I’d classify as beginner/intermediate level, but the truth is, it is something I think can benefit all of us. The goal of this lesson is to become comfortable with the entire fretboard, through learning the notes on every fret. Using a simple Rolling Stones-style rock groove backing track, this lesson focuses in... »

  • 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... »