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  • Pablo Elorza: “Continuum” Lesson and Analysis

    Pablo Elorza: “Continuum” Lesson and Analysis

    Pablo Elorza has published the second video in his “Deep Into Electric Bass Classics” series of bass lessons with an in-depth look at the popular Jaco Pastorius tune “Continuum.” After playing through the tune, Elorza explains the methods and techniques Pastorius used to create his melodies. The lesson is a great one for any music... »

  • Transcription: Colin Hodgkinson’s Catcote Rag

    Transcription: Colin Hodgkinson’s Catcote Rag

    This month’s transcription ties in nicely with the recent feature on underrated bassist Colin Hodgkinson. Colin is a superb bass player, and very unique. During the late sixties and early seventies, he played some truly astonishing bass parts with his trio Back Door, and was even said to have been a big influence on Stanley... »

  • Transcription: Stu Hamm’s “Going to California”

    Transcription: Stu Hamm’s “Going to California”

    This month’s transcription is Stu Hamm’s live performance of the Led Zeppelin classic “Going to California”, which can be heard (and seen) here: You’ll need to detune your E-string to D in order to play this piece. This performance of the song opens with a chord consisting of an open low D-string and A and... »

  • Lesson: Metronome Exercise with a Slap Bass Groove in G

    Lesson: Metronome Exercise with a Slap Bass Groove in G

    This time around, I have two lessons in one for you to try out. The first part touches on the concept of practicing with a metronome. In this example, the metronome is counting on beats two and four. To make this fun, the other part focuses around a sort of offbeat, Larry Graham-style rhythm. We... »

  • Transcription: Cliff Burton’s “Orion”

    Transcription: Cliff Burton’s “Orion”

    “Orion”, the classic Metallica track that features bassist Cliff Burton in a lead role, was an obvious choice for this month’s transcription. To this day – nearly thirty years after it was recorded – it’s a track that is studied and dissected by metal-loving bass players all over the world. The recent release of the... »

  • Bass Line Construction: Legato Minor Pentatonic Scale Bass Run

    Bass Line Construction: Legato Minor Pentatonic Scale Bass Run

    Last time, we kicked off a bass line construction series of lessons with a study in improvising on some funk in the key of C. This time around, we’re focusing on some new phrasing ideas for the trusty old minor pentatonic scale. In this case, we’re using the A minor pentatonic scale: A, C, D,... »

  • Transcription: Evan Marien’s Arrangement of Jaco Pastorius’ “Havona”

    Transcription: Evan Marien’s Arrangement of Jaco Pastorius’ “Havona”

    Evan Marien‘s fantastic take on the Jaco Pastorius-penned classic “Havona” was high on my list of pieces to transcribe for this monthly feature. Evan’s breathtaking melodic soloing on the chord changes simultaneously calls to mind the spirit of the original, while showcasing his own unique melodic voice. Skip to the transcription and video “Havona” has... »

  • Bass Line Construction: Rhythm and Repeating Patterns

    Bass Line Construction: Rhythm and Repeating Patterns

    Let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals in bass line construction. In this lesson, we’ll improvise on some funk in the key of C. A quick note and correction: when I say “seventh” in the video, I mean flatted seventh. You’ll see the annotation when that comes up in the video. Here’s a... »

  • Transcription: “No Woman, No Cry” Solo Bass Arrangement

    Transcription: “No Woman, No Cry” Solo Bass Arrangement

    This great version of the Bob Marley classic “No Woman, No Cry” was arranged by popular YouTube bassist Viaceslav Svedov, a talented young musician known for his hard-hitting covers of popular bass-driven songs. This arrangement is performed with the slap technique, and there a few notational elements that you should be aware of: The track... »

  • Improvising and Groove: Substituting Pentatonic Scales on a Minor 7 Progression

    Improvising and Groove: Substituting Pentatonic Scales on a Minor 7 Progression

    My most recent lessons have focused on the use of the pentatonic scales as it relates to improvising and learning the fretboard (see my lessons on improvising over a minor key progression and breaking down the pentatonic scale for more background). Today we’ll continue this topic with the exploration of improvising over a D minor... »