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  • Talking Technique: Octaves on Overdrive

    Talking Technique: Octaves on Overdrive

    Today we’re going to go over a few tips on how to spice up a groove using octaves. Of course, we’ll focus on good fingering practices to make the notes sound smooth and connected. You can use this technique when practicing rudiments and scales, but check out this PDF to work up an example using... »

  • Talking Style: Bruno Mars vs. Collage

    Talking Style: Bruno Mars vs. Collage

    Like everyone else who was hip to late 70’s/80’s music I was instantly transported back to the golden age of 80’s electro funk the moment that I heard Mark Ronson / Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”. However, even though the aural aesthetic certainly reminded me of some of the best times of my life and certainly... »

  • Bass Transcription: Danny McCulloch’s Bass Line on The Animals’ “Monterey”

    Bass Transcription: Danny McCulloch’s Bass Line on The Animals’ “Monterey”

    Continuing the theme of British bassists from 1968, this time I’m looking at Danny McCulloch’s bass line on “Monterey” by The Animals. This band formed in the gritty northern English city of Newcastle in 1960, and were one of the edgier sounding bands associated with the “British Invasion” of the U.S. pop charts by the... »

  • Talking Technique: Changing Technique Habits – What it Takes

    Talking Technique: Changing Technique Habits – What it Takes

    There is a step by step process that can help you change ingrained habits. It is a fast and effective technique to practice just about anything so effectively that it can become addictive. But it is also a great catalyst for changing ingrained habits. That is good news, because if you have ever tried to... »

  • Talking Style: New Jack Swing Part 2 – Poison

    Talking Style: New Jack Swing Part 2 – Poison

    Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” is one song from the New Jack Swing era of R&B that has certainly stood the test of time. People who weren’t even living when the song was brand new hit dance and sing to it like it came out yesterday. Two really cool things about this bass groove are that... »

  • Bass Transcription: Jimmy Johnson’s Bass Line on Allan Holdsworth’s “Spokes”

    Bass Transcription: Jimmy Johnson’s Bass Line on Allan Holdsworth’s “Spokes”

    Today I’ll pay tribute to one of my bass heroes: Jimmy Johnson. His versatility always amazes me. He plays smooth jazz with his band Flim & the BB’s, he holds down the groove with James Taylor, and he always keeps the group together under complex harmonies with Allan Holdsworth. Johnson has a unique voice on... »

  • Advanced Bass: How to Use Melodic Quotes in Your Solos

    Advanced Bass: How to Use Melodic Quotes in Your Solos

    The use of melodic quotation is prolific within the genre of jazz and its related modern styles. In this lesson, we’ll cover how to use melodic quotes in your solos and breakdown some of the commonalities used by many great jazz masters. Applying this to two choruses of a B♭ blues progression, we’ll take a... »

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  • Talking Technique: Drills for Fills – Applied

    Talking Technique: Drills for Fills – Applied

    In episode 22, we introduced a way of practicing scales that uses intervals rather than going up and down the scales themselves. We went over thirds, which gives you great materials for runs, fills, and solos. Someone asked in the comments if I could give some examples of how to use the material in a... »

  • Talking Style: New Jack Swing

    Talking Style: New Jack Swing

    “New Jack Swing” is an era of R&B that mixed jazz, pop and electronic dance music sensibilities with hip-hop production techniques. The “sound”, pioneered by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (former keyboardist and bassist for the Time) and Teddy Riley consists largely of synthesized bass lines, swung hip-hop beats created by the TR-808 drum machine... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Beat Displacement

    Creative Bass Lines: Beat Displacement

    Here we have the second installment of the Creative Bass Lines, and this month, it’s “Bass Gruv”. For this we’re looking at a Headhunters-esque bass groove I wrote. This would fit the harmony of an E dominant 7th chord, or for a crunchier sound, try setting up a vamp with an E7♯9, too. I wanted... »