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  • Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Ready to apply all this hard work in a song? In part three of this mini-series on Talking Technique we are putting all this hard work to good use in a blues. If you haven’t been following along, be sure to check out the past two Talking Technique episodes! So far we’ve been working on... »

  • Talking Technique: Speed Permutations

    Talking Technique: Speed Permutations

    Up for part 2 of our challenge? In part 1 we explored pivot permutations and using the mirror image of permutations. As if that wasn’t tough enough, we are going for speed in this episode! You know I love the power of slow and recommend practicing slowly with your attention rotating (my PORA technique), but... »

  • Bass Transcription: Ben Shepherd’s Bass Line on Soundgarden’s “Pretty Noose”

    Bass Transcription: Ben Shepherd’s Bass Line on Soundgarden’s “Pretty Noose”

    The unfortunate passing of Chris Cornell is a devastating loss for music. It is especially poignant for those of us that grew up listening to grunge music in the ’90s and 2000s. “Pretty Noose”, the first track from Soundgarden’s Down On The Upside, is a personal favorite of mine. On this track, Ben Shepherd performs... »

  • Talking Technique: Pivot Perms & Mirror Image

    Talking Technique: Pivot Perms & Mirror Image

    This episode is part one of a three-part challenge. Those time tested permutation exercises (you are doing them, right?) are getting two fresh twists in this episode: descending by their mirror image for an additional right-hand alternating challenge, and what I call the wicked “Pivot Permutations” – a great fun way to spice up that... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 3: Minor Arpeggios

    Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 3: Minor Arpeggios

    Continuing our series on increasing fingerboard knowledge, here’s the accompanying Minor Arpeggio Exercises to play all across the fingerboard. This is the same principle as the Major types. I’ve given you a number of variations to try, and you’ll see this gives you more options when playing over a minor chord type. As usual, practice... »

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  • Talking Technique: Close Your Eyes and “See” in New Ways

    Talking Technique: Close Your Eyes and “See” in New Ways

    Let’s start with a simple exercise. I say, go ahead, get your bass and just do it – that way you get the full benefit from this article. To start, let’s play a simple shift, such as C to D on the A string with the first finger on both notes (this is not the... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 2: Arpeggios, Major 7ths & Beyond!

    Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 2: Arpeggios, Major 7ths & Beyond!

    We have not one, but two lessons for you this month! In this lesson, I’ll talk you through major 7th, then 9th, ♯11th and 13th arpeggios, which follows part one (“Triad Visualization”). I am a firm believer in learning these concepts in multiple ways/fingerings – it all goes to increase our overall knowledge of the... »

  • Advanced Bass: Giant Steps Plays the Blues

    Advanced Bass: Giant Steps Plays the Blues

    “Giant Steps” is well known as a challenging workout for all aspiring jazz musicians to learn. In this lesson, we’ll cover how to superimpose “Coltrane Changes” over the first 4-bars of the Blues with a fingerboard friendly symmetrical pattern that will open doors – both harmonically and stylistically into the world of John Coltrane. Download... »

  • Talking Technique: “Mordents” for Finger Strength

    Talking Technique: “Mordents” for Finger Strength

    Today we have another multi-layered workout for you to build up your finger strength. This lesson will help you practice a scale up and down one string while improving coordination and strengthening your fingers. It’s not a beginner’s workout, but wherever you are on your journey, give it a good try. You’ll need to be... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 1: Triad Visualization

    Creative Bass Lines: Increasing Fingerboard Knowledge – Part 1: Triad Visualization

    This column finds us looking not at bass line creation, but some solid foundation ideas that help to increase knowledge of the fingerboard. We are going to start with some easy stuff and ramp up over the next few installments! The concepts in the video are a good place to start. There’s no transcription, as... »