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  • Talking Style: The Tresillo Rhythm

    Talking Style: The Tresillo Rhythm

    The tresillo is derived from the fundamental Latin music groove called “habenera”. It can also be thought of as a variation on the Afro-Cuban son clave. Ragtime pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton famously called the tresillo that “Spanish tinge” that is a necessary ingredient for New Orleans jazz. The prominence of the tresillo in... »

  • Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout

    Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout

    Similar to our last lesson, we’re working on exercises designed to shed your scales and build your technique at the same time. This time we’re focusing on tetrachords, which are four-note groups found within scales. You can also turn these exercises into speed training exercises by adding a few beats every time you play, but... »

  • Advanced Bass: Anatomy of a Groove

    Advanced Bass: Anatomy of a Groove

    What exactly is a groove? Aside from attempting to teach feel, which is predicated on stylistic interpretation and flight time on the bandstand, a groove is a repetitive idea – often organized into two, four or eight bar phrases that is based on the harmonic rhythmic and melodic content of a song. Often when coming... »

  • Bass Transcription: Mattia La Maida’s Solo Bass Arrangement on David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”

    Bass Transcription: Mattia La Maida’s Solo Bass Arrangement on David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”

    When David Bowie passed away, I wanted to pay tribute with a solo bass arrangement of one of his songs. I personally consider Bowie one of the greatest artists in the world. He was in fact a great musician, actor and painter. Among other things, the eclectic nature of his music was characterized by the... »

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  • Talking Technique: Pedalling

    Talking Technique: Pedalling

    There are only so many hours in the day, so it’s always great to figure out ways to make the best use of your practice time. One way to get the biggest use of your practice is to combine different topics to bolster your understanding: music theory with song learning, rhythmic accuracy with slapping, phrasing... »

  • Talking Technique: Introduction to Pull-Offs and Hammer-Ons

    Talking Technique: Introduction to Pull-Offs and Hammer-Ons

    Hammer-ons and pull-offs are extremely handy techniques that add variety to your groove and tone. They each utilize the left hand to perform the next note to allow for some slick fretwork. For this lesson, we have some technical and musical exercises that will strengthen your left hand and get you used to each technique.... »

  • Advanced Bass: Playing over Minor II V Patterns

    Advanced Bass: Playing over Minor II V Patterns

    In this Advanced Bass lesson, we’re diving into the realm of playing over minor II V patterns. I’m including a solo etude along with two skill developing drills as we work step by step through a common chord progression. This lesson includes an easy to follow chart (PDF) detailing the specifics of this lesson providing... »

  • Talking Technique: One Finger Per Fret In The Lower Register

    Talking Technique: One Finger Per Fret In The Lower Register

    The lower frets on the bass are arguably the ones we use the most, but they’re also the largest frets. That makes it difficult for us to apply our “one finger per fret” rule in the lower register. So how can we overcome this physical obstacle? We’ll go over some exercises to get your fingers... »

  • Talking Technique: Harmonic Minor Speed Shedding

    Talking Technique: Harmonic Minor Speed Shedding

    As with many scales, the harmonic minor scale gives us a great tonal playground to work with, but it also gives us a great platform to work on our technical playing. This lesson will work on some J.S. Bach-inspired harmonic minor bass lines to focus on our coordination and speed training. There’s nothing like a... »

  • Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises

    Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises

    Bass grooves often have lines that move across strings on the same fret. To keep a smooth and legato feel, we need to focus on the technique of jumping from string to string. Here we’ll dig in on a few exercises with plenty of variations to get all your fingers in shape. Today’s tip is... »