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Bass Lesson Archives - Page 15

Walking Bass (and Getting Away from Tab)
Ask Damian Erskine

Walking Bass (and Getting Away from Tab)

Q: I’d like to learn to create walking bass lines. I don’t read music so tabs would be preferred. A: Learning to walk is immensely helpful in so many ways. It helps you see the inter-connectivity between chords, helps develop a good time-feel and helps you explore how the arc of a line can affect the feel of the music....

Lesson: Building an Improvised Composition for Solo Bass with a Looping Device
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Building an Improvised Composition for Solo Bass with a Looping Device

One exciting way of use a looping device with your bass is to enhance a composition. A recorded phrase can become a backbone over which to improvise. For example, a phrase can take the form of a tapped rhythm (e.g. using muted strings), a short rhythmic phrase lasting only one or two bars or a longer phrase dependent on your...

Lesson: Minor Tetrachord Patterns
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Minor Tetrachord Patterns

In the last tetrachord lesson we went over the concept of tetrachords and how they change the way we think about scale patterns. In that lesson the focus was the major modes and a question was posted asking about the melodic minor and harmonic minor modes. Therefore this week’s article will go over tetrachords in the melodic minor and how...

Live looping: Thinking Outside the Box
Bass Lessons

Live looping: Thinking Outside the Box

I was in a music retail outlet recently where I purchased a Boss RC-20XL Loop Station. A great piece of kit, a glowing review of which I will post separately. What occurred to me, as the eager shop assistant demo’d the device, was that live looping may have become a little typecast in the minds of many musicians; i.e. a...

Lesson: Scale Patterns from Tetrachord Combinations
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Scale Patterns from Tetrachord Combinations

We normally think of scales in terms of eight-note patterns and treat them as a unit. There are the standard modal forms for both major and minor, the bop variations, blues variations, but all of these still cling to the paradigm of an octave based scale unit (even if the total number of notes in the scale changes). As bassists...

Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Rhythm Practice: Using Rhythms to Improve a Passage, Phrase or Lick

Every so often there is a passage, phrase or “lick” that we just can’t seem to execute as well as we would like, no matter how many times we practice it under tempo. This should be a sign that we need to change our approach. Slow practice an excellent and valuable tool, but it is just one of many ways...

Bass Lessons

Crafting your Core Sound

As an upright player you have to make many moving parts work together in order to get the tone you want. Both hands play different roles in crafting your tone, but the real voice of our instrument comes from the bow. If you are new to the upright and haven’t taken the time to really find and fine tune your...

Bass Lessons

Optimized Techniques for Marathon Gigs

How many times have you played a continuous four hour gig? Have you ever had to go from the studio to a gig? Or play two gigs in one day? If you have, you understand the important of having an optimized playing technique. If you have not, and are going to try, you need to prepare yourself to be as...

Bass Lessons

Math and Music – Equations and Ratios

Previously in the “math and music” lesson we derived equations for expressing intervals as functions of relative frequencies. This week we’re going to define conventions for interval sizes and then derive three variables where we can determine the composition of any frequency ratio. Guess what – all intervals can be described as different combinations of the octave, perfect fifth and...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Upright Slap Bass: Starter tips and etudes

This is part 2 of the Upright Slap Bass series by Dr. D. Check out Part 1 and Part 3. Here are a few etudes to help you improve your slapping. We will use a two octave G blues scale (6 note version) as our starting point. You can use any scale, arpeggio or lick you want, but this is...