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Bass Lesson Archives - Page 15

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...

Efficient 20 Minute Practice
Bass Lessons

Efficient 20 Minute Practice

How often do you hear people claim that it’s not how much your practice but how efficiently you practice? There are always claims that practicing 15-30 minutes every day versus a 3 hour session every Saturday will have a more positive impact on your playing ability – but how do you make the most of those 15-30 minutes? In this...

Math and Music: Intervals
Bass Lessons

Math and Music: Intervals

Every musician should have an idea of the foundational concepts that allow us to create music. This lesson series will explore the basis for tonal structure in Western music. I’ll warn you right now, this lesson is not for the faint of heart, or math-phobic. The purpose of this is to add to the conceptual foundation from which we view...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Upright Slap Bass (Rockabilly/Psychobilly etc.) – Intro: part 1 of 3

In my opinion, one of the more interesting things you can do on the Upright these days is Slap it! Beyond it’s hipitude, it is a legitimate technique, just like arco (bow) and pizzicato (plucked), and it can make you more employable if you master it. So let’s take a look at the technique. What is Upright Slap Bass? (in...

Bass Lessons

Double Stops on the Upright Bass

The upright bass is frequently classified as a “single-line” instrument. In other words, the bass produces a single line of tones and does not play polyphonically. This is certainly the rule in many cases, but there are times where adding additional chord tones to your playing, especially in solos, can add a new dimension of depth to your sound. Given...