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Bass Lesson Archives - Page 17

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Stay Healthy

Q: My question is about how to stay healthy. I find when I practice too much or play a particular song that has a lot of notes, my hands and wrists get sore. I know that singers warm up their voice, I usually run through some scales when I am tuning and setting up just to limber my fingers. I...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Right hand technique, metronome, lead-ins

In this week’s new video lesson, Jon Burr talks about right hand technique for pizzicato upright bass, using a metronome as a meditation (Jon drops the beat), and basic lead-ins from above and below a target. Be sure to check out Jon’s book, The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass, available as a pdf download or as a Amazon Kindle book....

Ask Damian Erskine

Ask Damian Erskine: Reading Rhythms

Q: My question is pretty simple but complex at the same. What is the best or most efficient way to practice reading rhythms? A: Great question! As with many aspects of the learning process, there is no one way (or quick way) but having the proper perspective can make a world of difference. As when you read words in your...

The Lowdown with Dr. D

The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Three Requirements of Attainment (Part 1 of 3: Method)

Presumably we are all searching for mastery on our instrument, and yet some people spend years playing and studying the Upright Bass and achieve very little, whereas others spend a quarter of the time and achieve a great deal. In keeping with my “getting started” theme of late, and to ensure that we fall into the latter group, it would...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Fundamental technical approaches to bass

We’re starting a new video lesson series by Jon Burr today. This week’s lesson focuses on fundamental technical approaches: balance, approaching the whole fingerboard, staying clear of the body of the bass, playing by sound and feel rather than visual cues; energy vectors in the hand. Be sure to check out Jon’s book, The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass, available...

Oppositional Structures in Melodic Construction: Imaginary Chords
Bass Lessons

Oppositional Structures in Melodic Construction: Imaginary Chords

Bass players need to become familiar with the principles of melodic construction for the creation of bass lines as well as solo lines. One such principle is “oppositionality,” which we’ve talked about in previous columns. Oppositionality is the usage of non-harmonic tones to create tension and release against the underlying harmonic environment, contrasting against specific harmonic tones (targets). Some devices...

Transcriptions in 6 Steps
Bass Lessons

Transcriptions in 6 Steps

There comes a time in every player’s life where you have to make the next big step in your practice methods: you must do some transcriptions. Suppress your groans, it is not as bad as you think, and it is an immensely useful practice tool. There’s a reason why every player, teacher and book about serious jazz practice recommends it....

Bass Lessons

Dynamics and accents: Walking

Yes, accents are good. Dynamics are good. Good pitch, dynamics, note choice and use of register are the icing on the musical cake; they separate the artist from the journeyman. Today we’re going to look at accents in walking bass. Accents are the bones of propulsion. How do we use them to best effect? What beats should be accented? We...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Pattern Recognition in Jazz Standards

Believe it or not pattern recognition is extremely important to being a successful jazz player. There are a few common chord progressions that will pop up in many tunes – having an arsenal of lines or phrases for these different pattern sets can save your neck on the bandstand if you don’t know the tune. In this lesson we’ll go...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Accents, Dynamics and Balance

We’ve probably heard the word “dynamic” used to describe the work of musicians from time to time. It’s a compliment. Dynamic equals ‘interesting.’Changes in energy and intensity communicate feeling and add contrast to performance, and can add a sense of momentum and “swing.” Music without dynamics is dull; it sounds mechanical; without the injection of human energy, it might as...