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  • Talking Style: Why I Don’t Really Like Playing the Song “Kiss”

    Talking Style: Why I Don’t Really Like Playing the Song “Kiss”

    It’s no secret at this point that Prince is, has been and always will be my favorite “B.A.S.E.” player – him and just about anyone who had the salt to hold the chair in his band. Yes, I’ve got my preferences out of that bunch as well, but we’ll rap about that later! In this... »

  • Talking Technique: Beautiful Practice in Minor

    Talking Technique: Beautiful Practice in Minor

    Last July, I published a Talking Technique lesson called “Beautiful Practice“. It recently made a reader’s favorite list for 2016 here on No Treble thanks to your likes, shares, and comments. Thank you for that! The lesson brought together music theory, comprehensive fretboard knowledge, and lots of technique aspects. I thought we’d bring the lesson... »

  • Bass Transcription: Dee Murray’s Bass Line on Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas”

    Bass Transcription: Dee Murray’s Bass Line on Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas”

    Dee Murray is a giant of the bass guitar many people do not rate as being among the best of all time, but I certainly do. His playing on the holiday single “Step Into Christmas” by Elton John is nothing short of impressive as he finds many inventive ways to make very simple chord changes... »

  • Bass Transcription: Walter Becker’s Bass Line on Steely Dan’s “Gaucho”

    Bass Transcription: Walter Becker’s Bass Line on Steely Dan’s “Gaucho”

    This month I chose the self-titled track from Steely Dan’s 1981 record, as a focus of study. I had never heard this group before, though my friends told me all the time there are a lot of good studio musicians on the band’s records. I never was interested in their music until recently when I... »

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  • Talking Technique: The One-Finger-Per-Fret Controversy

    Talking Technique: The One-Finger-Per-Fret Controversy

    Some people are afraid for their fingers, while others swear by it: the one-finger-per-fret position. Is there is a reason to fret “one-finger-per-fret”? Not if done right. Is it worth getting it down? Yes! [Read to the end for “Practice-with-me” videos.] I definitely recommend having a solid grip (so to speak) on the one-finger-per-fret method.... »

  • Talking Style: Quartet Time/Feel

    Talking Style: Quartet Time/Feel

    Sometimes a simple shift in accent or change in the length of a note can really mark a particular style or genre. In this episode, I’m taking a very recognizable Dominant 7 line and shifting accents and note length to demonstrate how the exact same harmonic material sounds different in Blues, R&B and Quartet music.... »

  • Bass Transcription: Mick Taylor’s Bass Line on The Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice”

    Bass Transcription: Mick Taylor’s Bass Line on The Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice”

    Every bassist has been in situations where they have had to hold down a one-chord or repeating bass line ostinato for long periods of time or an entire song. It can be challenging to approach these mind-numbing repetitive songs and keep it interesting while not overplaying. Many Rolling Stones’ songs feature verse sections, such as... »

  • Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics

    Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics

    Pentatonics using hammer-ons and pull-offs sounds great, but maybe you have noticed that if you stay within the same pentatonic pattern, you can only hammer on certain notes. In an effort to go beyond that, we are stringing two pentatonic patterns together so that we can pull off pull offs from every single note. I’ll... »

  • Advanced Bass: Displacing Walking Bass Lines

    Advanced Bass: Displacing Walking Bass Lines

    Rhythmic Displacement is a concept based on being able to hear and perform rhythmic patterns starting on different subdivisions of the beat. The new superimposed rhythm creates an interesting illusion with the lines you are playing, which in turn creates tension. This lesson is aimed at giving you usable ideas for improvising walking bass lines... »

  • 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... »