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Bass Lesson Archives - Page 14

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Practice Techniques: Utilizing Metronome to Improve Facility

Practicing very, very slowly One of the main advantages to playing a passage vastly under performance tempo is that you give yourself ample time to think. It is easier to plan, calculate and control your playing at slower tempi. Exactly how slowly you should practice depends on the difficulty of the passage. In general, the more difficult the passage, the...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Following Up On Patterns

Q: I’ve almost gotten through all three videos, really good stuff in them. I really like the concept of knowing patterns/visualizations to have handy when your soloing, like your ascending 4ths, alternating major/minor, and alternating 6th/7th fingerings. I think I got away from having a set of licks/patterns when improvising, which I can see now is a big mistake! Seems...

The Star M Method

How To Start A Fire

As bass players, we brethren of the low end are aware of something that normal listeners, and even other musicians, take for granted. We know that a song starts and stops with us. We know that a great drummer can make or break a band in general, but once that slot is filled with a solid player he can’t really...

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Reductive Practice

Q: I have a question regarding funk slap bass techniques. Are there any certain key techniques to doing this? I listen to a lot of bass-heavy funk lines in music and want to play them, but the speed at which they are able to do that stuff is incredible. I have often wondered if I am too heavy with my...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Series: Improving Rhythmic Accuracy by Subdividing

Rhythmic Accuracy Last time we talked about one of the major physical components rhythm: feeling the beat internally. However, for the performer there are two components to rhythm, physical and mental. Accurate execution of musical rhythm requires the cultivation of both aspects. One important mental element needed to precisely perform rhythms is active subdivision. Subdividing Most of us understand that...

Bottoms Up

A Look at Oscar Pettiford’s “Tricotism”

I’d like to give a big thanks to everyone for their encouraging words on my first column; John Goldsby shared that he and John Patitucci have recorded “Bohemia After Dark”, and I’d encourage folks to take a listen to their respective versions of the tune. Now, back to the show. In our second installment on Oscar Pettiford, we are going...

Decoding Graphic Equalizers: Get Past “Scooping” Your Tone
Columns

Decoding Graphic Equalizers: Get Past “Scooping” Your Tone

I get a lot of calls and e-mails from fellow bassists and guitarists alike pertaining to all sorts of equipment problems. One of the most recessing issues I deal with is walking someone through the steps of setting-up their graphic equalizers (you know, the thing with all the sliding tabs that you arrange to look like a smiley-face). Most guitarists...

Approaches to Soloing
Ask Damian Erskine

Approaches to Soloing

Q: I have a question. How do you go about soloing for various styles? Quite often I get the nod to do a solo for 4/8/16 bars. I’ve tried approaching by working out what key I’m in and then by trying different modes… but it just seems that my phrasing is limited and that it never seems to have a...

Rhythm Series: Keeping Time
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Series: Keeping Time

Keeping a steady pulse is a fundamental skill for any musician, and it is especially important to any one who is part of the rhythm section. Even in styles of music that encourage flexible rhythmic expression (i.e. rubato, etc.), the ability to maintain an accurate pulse is essential for a musician. No matter what style of music we play, or...

Bass Lessons

Introduction to Bebop Scale Forms

In this lesson we’ll explore the basic forms of Bebop scales so you can start getting the patterns down and experiment with them in your music. There are times when you solo that you may want to do a scale run over a chord. Have you ever noticed that a straight descending scale run as eighth notes over a chord...