Talking Technique: Killer Dead Note Grooves

Dead notes are percussive effects that can really liven up a groove. There are a variety of ways to create them, including left-hand muting, right-hand percussion, and left-hand percussion.

For this lesson we examine how dead notes (and silence) affect the groove. As is often the case, a good way to begin practicing them is by utilizing scales. We’ll be using C minor pentatonic with different dead note patterns to expand your palette.

This week’s tip: don’t forget to breathe!

Austrian-gone-Californian Ariane Cap is a bassist, educator, blogger and author. In her book Music Theory for the Bass Player and corresponding 20-week online course, she teaches music theory, bass technique, bass line creation and fretboard fitness in a systematic, practical and experiential way. She just released a brand new course on ear training for the bass player: Ear Confidence - 6 Paths to Fearless Ears. Contact her via her blog or website.

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Share your thoughts

  1. Tracy Miller

    Thank you for this – very enlightening – can’t wait to get home and practice!

  2. Blyss

    Killer stuff and loved your segment on SBL this weekend!

  3. Mark S Beretta

    This bass is fine lookin , like you.
    The hardest thing ever for me was muted plucks slap style.
    Don’t know why I had such a death grip on the neck , loosened up & bingo there it was all this time. I have noone to say , Hey loosen up , stop biting down so hard , you’re bass is strung well but your a bundle of nerves , relax.

  4. Graham

    Such a top class teacher! Buy Ariane’s book and online course – you won’t be disappointed.

  5. Joseph Miller

    I need this

  6. Joe M

    2:36 haha, love it! There is something incredibally badass about not looking at your bass and remaining fairly expressionless while rocking out :P love your teaching style Arianne – I discovered you on the SBL live weekend – it’s all about using the simple techniques to add serious groove!