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  • Bass Lesson: The Tritone Substitution Matrix

    Bass Lesson: The Tritone Substitution Matrix

    When learning to play your bass, an overkill of theory can often paralyze your results while performing. Many musicians have learned the theory of Tritone Substitution, but when trying to apply this information, they often end up short-changed. In this bass lesson, we’ll cover a simple but direct concept for the immediate application for Tritone... »

  • Talking Technique: The Permutation Exercise

    Talking Technique: The Permutation Exercise

    To start things off in this new series, we’re going to be working on our left hand dexterity with the “Permutation Exercise”. Each finger is assigned a number: 1 for index 2 for middle 3 for ring and 4 for our pinky By practicing each variation or permutation of the numbers 1, 2, 3, and... »

  • Bass Transcription: Bobby Vega’s “Gosh”

    Bass Transcription: Bobby Vega’s “Gosh”

    This month’s transcription is a piece I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time: Bobby Vega’s “Gosh”. This piece was originally featured on Bass The World’s YouTube channel last year. Grab the transcription, read the notes below and follow along: Although a master of all techniques, Bobby Vega is probably best known for... »

  • Bass Lesson: Crackin’ the Slonimsky Code

    Bass Lesson: Crackin’ the Slonimsky Code

    Using concepts derived from classical music, Joe delves into demystifying diminished patterns commonly used by jazz musicians, such as John Coltrane, Pat Martino, Jaco Pastorius and countless others. Follow along with this lesson’s notation (PDF) and video. »

  • Bass Lesson: Interval Shapes

    Bass Lesson: Interval Shapes

    In this lesson, we will cover a basic concept for interval shapes to develop your technique, while attuning your ears to hear the root motion of common harmonic progressions in jazz. Follow along with the notation (PDF) and this video: »

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  • Bass Transcription: Joe Dart’s Bass Line on Vulfpeck’s “Beastly”

    Bass Transcription: Joe Dart’s Bass Line on Vulfpeck’s “Beastly”

    This month’s transcription is “Beastly”, the opening track from Vulfpeck’s first EP Mit Peck. I’ve loved this piece since I first heard it and it’s been on my “transcribe list” for a while now. Fortunately, the isolated bass track cropped a while back, making the task of transcribing it a little easier. “Beastly” is a... »

  • Bass Lick Series: A7♯9 Chord Bass Groove with Legato Fill

    Bass Lick Series: A7♯9 Chord Bass Groove with Legato Fill

    The A7♯9 chord (referred to by some as the “Jimi Hendrix” chord) is a useful chord to know since you can play both the minor and Major pentatonic over it. Here’s a groove using mostly a minor pentatonic fill in the end, with lots slides, hammerons and pullofs so we get a fluid motion. For... »

  • Bass Lick Series: Funky Bass Breakdown in E

    Bass Lick Series: Funky Bass Breakdown in E

    Here’s another lick to add to your bag of tricks. Once again, I’m using open strings as described in past lessons. This one is a groovy bass line you can play over a E7, E9 or E13 chord using the Em dorian scale with the Major 3rd added (G#). Omit the G# and use it... »

  • Bass Transcription: Miki Santamaria’s “Thinking Out Loud” Solo Bass Arrangement

    Bass Transcription: Miki Santamaria’s “Thinking Out Loud” Solo Bass Arrangement

    This month’s transcription was suggested to me by No Treble founder Corey Brown, serving to remind me of Miki Santamaria’s fantastic solo arrangements of pop songs for bass guitar. This song, originally by Ed Sheeran, translates nicely onto the bass due to the relatively open key of D major. For the first 8 bars, Miki... »

  • Fast Fretboard Position Shifting on Bass

    Fast Fretboard Position Shifting on Bass

    Here’s a lesson I’d consider more beginner/intermediate-level, but it is a great refresher for all of us. Many times, we have to play a line which requires some quick shifting along the fretboard. Here’s a simple exercise for fast position shifts. Follow along with the video. »