Advanced Bass: Anatomy of a Groove

What exactly is a groove?

Aside from attempting to teach feel, which is predicated on stylistic interpretation and flight time on the bandstand, a groove is a repetitive idea – often organized into two, four or eight bar phrases that is based on the harmonic rhythmic and melodic content of a song.

Often when coming up with an idea, bass players become slaves to always locking in with the kick drum and have trouble developing their ideas any further.

In this lesson we are going to take a look at some concepts that will help you to develop your ideas in relation to what the drummer is laying down and essentially unlock different possibilities that will allow the music to breathe and flow.

Follow along with the video and this notation (PDF).

You can also practice along to this backing track:

London based bass player Joe Hubbard’s professional background is represented by a collective body of experience that spans over more than three decades as an internationally acclaimed bass guitarist, teacher/clinician and contemporary jazz fusion recording artist. For more, visit

Get daily bass updates.

Get the latest news, videos, lessons, and more in your inbox every morning.

Share your thoughts

  1. Mark S B.

    Joe I’ve only been playing bass for 2 years , the way you talk I get lost but it comes together in the end , thanks.

    • Hi Mark- Thanks for you comment. It has to be said that this is for more advanced players, but glad to hear that you were able to understand what was being delivered musically.
      Best- Joe

      • Mark S B.

        Joe on the melodic ostinato w/counterpoint something is throwing me off.
        Last year this time I wouldn’t have attempted this cause my left hand wasn’t developed. I don’t dare lose patients , I found it best to move on come back later then boom there it is , never to be forgotten.
        When all has been lost or taken away , my bass is my best friend.

  2. This is the best explanation of groove i have ever seen. This video is a game changer !! Thank you Joe !!

  3. Basya

    Really love the lesson! Great ideas how to develop your own ideas. It force to play more creatively! And great thoughts about music! Great as always!!!:)))