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  • Expand Your Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

    Expand Your Bass Fretboard Knowledge with the Pentatonic Scale

    Here’s a great exercise aimed at expanding your fretboard knowledge. For this lesson, we’re going to use the five positions of the A minor / C Major pentatonic scale. The pentatonic scale contains five notes, of course, and you can play this from different positions. Learning these patterns will significantly increase your fretboard knowledge. Here’s... »

  • Lesson: Two Bar Bass Run in E minor

    Lesson: Two Bar Bass Run in E minor

    Here’s a new bass lick lesson for you. This time around, we’ll work up a fill in E minor, using the B minor pentatonic to start, then adding the E minor Dorian scale with some chromatic notes thrown in. This is handy for those one bar fills you’ll want to incorporate in your playing, including... »

  • Transcription: Periphery’s “Make Total Destroy”

    Transcription: Periphery’s “Make Total Destroy”

    Today I’m going to be talking you through my transcription for my band’s song “Make Total Destroy” from our latest album Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal. (Check out the recent video feature here on No Treble). You’ll need a 5-string bass with 24 frets to be able to play the song in its entirety,... »

  • 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... »