the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu
  • 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... »

  • Lesson: Funky and Relaxed Fingerstyle Bass Groove with Double Stops

    Lesson: Funky and Relaxed Fingerstyle Bass Groove with Double Stops

    Continuing our bass groove lesson series, here’s a cool (and relaxed) groove and exercise for you. In this groove, we’re employing double stops with one of the most common shapes: Major 10th, root note, and a Major 3rd (an octave above). Follow along with the video and this lesson transcription (PDF download). For the gear... »

  • Bass Transcription: Fernando Lamadrid’s “Mollete Express”

    Bass Transcription: Fernando Lamadrid’s “Mollete Express”

    Just as I was wondering which piece to select for this month’s transcription, along comes this killer track from super-talented bassist Fernando Lamadrid and drummer Rick Arencibia. This one has it all: harmonic-laden odd-time grooves, funky slap lines, chordal work and several jaw-dropping solos. Perfect! Download the transcription (PDF) and follow along: “Mollete Express” opens... »

  • Groovy Fingerstyle Bass Lick Lesson

    Groovy Fingerstyle Bass Lick Lesson

    Here’s a neat little fingerstyle groove lick lesson, complete with double stops and that open string trick we’ve been playing around with over a couple of the recent lessons. I can’t seem to stop using this technique when playing licks. Maybe it is becoming my signature thing! Follow along with the video and the transcription... »

  • Lesson: Soul/Funk Fingerstyle Bass Groove

    Lesson: Soul/Funk Fingerstyle Bass Groove

    In this lesson, we’ll explore some fingerstyle soul/funk with a nice groove in A. As with the previous lesson, I’m making use of open strings to achieve some fast note doubling (this time, A and D). Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF). For the gear heads: I’m playing a Sandberg California TT... »

  • Lesson: Funky Groove with Pentatonic Run

    Lesson: Funky Groove with Pentatonic Run

    Keeping up with this recent series of quick bass lick lessons, here’s a short groove in Em. I’m playing this with an open D string to achieve a note doubling effect. Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF). For the gear heads: I’m playing a 1964 Fender Jazz bass with Dunlop nickel strings,... »