Skip to main content

Bass Lesson Archives - Page 19

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Pulse and Escaping from Meter

As bassists we have unique musical responsibilities in an ensemble whether it’s a symphony, jazz jam or rock group. We’re the foundation – the pulse. There is a pitfall that we must be careful to avoid and it’s ingrained in us through a lot of standard music education: we are bound by meter and notation. If you had to could...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Stance on the Upright Bass

In this week’s lesson, Jon takes us through some key fundamentals in upright bass playing. Balance Balance is the key. It takes many pounds of pressure to hold a string against the fingerboard with enough firmness to get a good fundamental tone; this force needs to have a counterweight applied against it. The objective is to get maximum weight into...

Bass Lessons

Thinking in Minor: Alterations

In the previous lesson I talked about using melodic minor arpeggios to change the sound of an underlying chord structure. This lesson will take that concept a step further and focus on identifying functioning and static dominant seventh chords and how to apply the melodic minor scale in various ways to control multiple degrees of tension. This will also lend...

Lesson: Thinking in Minor
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Thinking in Minor

The minor keys offer a diverse sonic palette for you to use in improvisation. The darker quality of the tonal sequence gives you a cool sound and the minor keys are very versatile over different chord changes. This lesson will focus on some basic applications of minor keys in different scenarios so you can start to use these keys effectively....

Lesson: Practicing Chord Changes
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Practicing Chord Changes

There are many ways to get better at the changes on a particular tune, but this approach works really well. First, play just quarter notes, and play all the arpeggios to get a “mental map” of all the chord tones in the progression (try to do it with a metronome): Then, still in quarter notes, start inverting the chords to...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Practicing and the Mind

Today’s lesson is a preview from Jon Burr’s forthcoming “Physical and Mental Programming for the Improvising Bassist”… In order to gain an understanding of how to practice effectively and efficiently, it is useful to have some understanding of the structure of the brain, mind and nervous system. It is possible to “practice” and not get better-or, even, to get worse,...

Bass Lessons

Untold Secret to Melodic Bass lesson: Harmonic Dynamics

This lesson is derived from Jon Burr’s The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass. Be sure to check out the complete method book in downloadable PDF, Kindle Book and the all-new paperback formats. This is the final chapter of “The Untold Secret.” We’ll be continuing the column by posting excerpts from “Another Look at Melodic Construction” beginning next week. As chord...

Bass Lessons

Untold Secret to Melodic Bass lesson: Rhythmic Overlays – Accents over the substrate

This lesson is derived from Jon Burr’s The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass. Be sure to check out the complete method book in downloadable PDF, Kindle Book and the all-new paperback formats. One way of developing rhythm is through the use of accent overlays on the substrate. Overlays can come from the rhythm of the song’s lyric, or some other...

Bass Lessons

Untold Secret to Melodic Bass lesson: Using Dynamics in Bass Lines

This lesson is derived from Jon Burr’s The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass. Be sure to check out the complete method book in downloadable PDF, Kindle Book and the all-new paperback formats. Internal Dynamics is an area that seems to be largely ignored in the teaching of Jazz, while at the same time is one of the most essential components...

Bass Lessons

Untold Secret to Melodic Bass lesson: More on Lead-Ins

This lesson is derived from Jon Burr’s The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass. Be sure to check out the complete method book in downloadable PDF, Kindle Book and the all-new paperback formats. I’d bet that you, the reader, have written something, and then later on felt like you found something else that really should have been in there. Well, this...