Talking Technique: Pedal to the Metal

Today’s lesson is all about building cool grooves using the pentatonic scale with pedal tones, a technique often found in heavy metal. We’ll use a G minor pentatonic scale in the first area of the bass (more on that in the video). To create the pedal effect, we’ll be playing the root of the scale in between each note.

The exercise puts a lot of jumps into your left and right hands, which makes for some awkward finger movements. If you’re having trouble, try barring with your left hand and keeping your right index finger plucking the pedal tone to simplify the motions. Once you’ve got that down, we’ve got a few variations to try out.

Today’s tip: Relax your face!

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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  1. I enjoy your lessons. Thanks.

  2. nelson

    That was an awesome technique I appreciate it. I will definitely try it tomorrow morning lol because it’s 12:00am eastern time here and I’m going to hit the sack.
    Buenas noches. :0)