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  • Creative Bass Lines: Using the Melodic Minor Scale To Navigate on a Minor ii-V-i Chord Progression

    Creative Bass Lines: Using the Melodic Minor Scale To Navigate on a Minor ii-V-i Chord Progression

    Welcome back to another column, and today we’re diving further into jazz-related harmony with a look at starting to get inside two of the most useful modes from the melodic minor scale. The full line is demonstrated right after the opening title credits, with a little backing groove, and then during the video, I dissect... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: Getting Inside Cannonball Adderley’s C7 Lick

    Bass Transcription Analysis: Getting Inside Cannonball Adderley’s C7 Lick

    In our last series of lessons, we had a look at a chorus of a Bob Mintzer blues over four episodes. Well, today we are putting just two bars of music under the microscope. This line is from a Cannonball Adderley solo on a tune called “Limehouse Blues.” Now the line itself isn’t super tricky,... »

  • Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

    Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

    Inspired by a Sting bass line, I’m bringing you a groove creation workout today. We’ll cover how to create your own bass line using a simple formula that will have you coming up with ideas for workable grooves every time. We also shine a light on the correct use of pentatonic scales and top it... »

  • What Scales Do I Use Over a Minor ii-V Progression?

    What Scales Do I Use Over a Minor ii-V Progression?

    Q: I have a question about minor ii-V’s. In a major ii-V7-I progression, each chord is diatonic to the I chord. The ii chord is Dorian, the V chord is Mixolydian and it resolves to a Major tonic. In a minor ii-V, the 1 would be natural minor, which makes the ii chord Locrian (7th... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Lydian Triad Pairs

    Creative Bass Lines: Lydian Triad Pairs

    Today, we dive into something new – superimposing Major triad pairs derived from Lydian Mode Harmony over a Major 7th chord. The examples on the video are over an F Major 7th chord, and I am using a neat little looper for this. It’s a great practice tool. In the video (and transcription) I take... »

  • Getting Away from Playing the Root on Beat One

    Getting Away from Playing the Root on Beat One

    Q: I play mostly jazz and am a pretty facile walker, but I’ve gotten into the habit of playing lines that almost invariably lead to the root being on the 1 (or the 3 if it’s a 2-chord measure in 4/4, etc.). While I am guessing that some of the folks I play with don’t... »

  • Advanced Bass: How to Play Across the Bar Line

    Advanced Bass: How to Play Across the Bar Line

    In this lesson, we’ll take a deep dive inside the world of playing across the bar line. Equally as relevant for both your solo lines and your groove playing, we will cover how to play across the bar line by using “Time Signature Superimposition” that will take your phrasing to a whole new and exciting... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: The Chameleon Variations

    Creative Bass Lines: The Chameleon Variations

    In this lesson, I’ve taken a pretty classic and fairly easy to play bass part from Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon” and given you a few examples of how to use that as a springboard for creating other bass lines around that core groove. This can be really useful when playing under multiple soloists on the same... »

  • Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics

    Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics

    Pentatonics using hammer-ons and pull-offs sounds great, but maybe you have noticed that if you stay within the same pentatonic pattern, you can only hammer on certain notes. In an effort to go beyond that, we are stringing two pentatonic patterns together so that we can pull off pull offs from every single note. I’ll... »

  • Talking Style: I’ve Got To Use My Imagination

    Talking Style: I’ve Got To Use My Imagination

    One of the things that I love about doing this column is that I sometimes find unlikely pairings – like this one. I didn’t know that Bon Jovi’s Hugh McDonald played bass on this extremely funky joint, “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination” as performed by Gladys Knight and the Pips. The song was written... »