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Blues Bass Archives - Page 2

More Blues Feels! Rumbas, Funky Blues, and Rock-n-Roll
Blues Bass

More Blues Feels! Rumbas, Funky Blues, and Rock-n-Roll

Here are three more feels to have at your fingertips whenever you’re stepping into a blues gig or jamming situation. As I’ve mentioned in previous “feels” columns, bandleaders enjoy putting their own spin on certain tunes and will often deviate from the recorded version of the song by changing the feel. It’s also nice to break up the monotony of...

Blues Bass: Jump Blues, Two-Beat and “The Bump”
Blues Bass

Blues Bass: Jump Blues, Two-Beat and “The Bump”

So far, we’ve examined different kinds of blues progressions, tips for playing on the bandstand, and two common blues feels: the shuffle and the slow blues. In this column, as well as the following one, I’d like to dig deeper and discuss other standard blues feels that you’ll be likely to play. I’ll try to reference certain songs so that...

Slow Blues: The Art of Making Each Note Count
Blues Bass

Slow Blues: The Art of Making Each Note Count

The slow blues: a song that can last anywhere between 3 minutes and 30 minutes… depending on the guitar solos! For bass players, we’re challenged to keep our (and the audiences’) interest in the music and fuel the fire that makes the 30-minute rendition of “Red House” seem like something worth listening to. The style is particularly interactive, and if...

The Blues Shuffle: It’s All About the Feel
Blues Bass

The Blues Shuffle: It’s All About the Feel

Aside from knowing the 12 bar blues progression, familiarization with different bass patterns and feels becomes crucial. Since many songs have the same progression, the pattern and/or feel is the main characteristic that differentiates one blues from another. This column will focus specifically on the feel, how to differentiate one kind of shuffle from another by changing your articulation or...

Major and Minor Blues: What Are These Chords?
Blues Bass

Major and Minor Blues: What Are These Chords?

When it comes to playing bass, it’s easy to stick to specific patterns, rely on our ability to provide the musical foundation with the root and the fifth, and leave the chord knowledge up to the guitar players. Although there are musical situations where playing the root and the fifth is appropriate, it is essential for bass players to understand...

Understanding Blues Forms and Common Substitutions
Blues Bass

Understanding Blues Forms and Common Substitutions

In this lesson, we’re going to examine a couple of different blues forms, specifically the 12 bar, 8 bar, and 16 bar blues. Additionally, we’ll go over a few different approaches to playing through the form and knowing when it would be appropriate to substitute chords or when to adhere to the traditional changes. Here is a diagram outlining the...

Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues
Blues Bass

Essential Terms and Concepts for Playing Blues

In case you missed it, check out part 1 of this series. Since blues is an ideal genre for jamming and improvising, your knowledge of certain terms and feels can dramatically boost your value as a player. Whether you’re doing a blues gig, going to blues jam at a local club, or getting together with other musician friends to play...

How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)
Blues Bass

How To Be a Great Blues Bass Player (Part 1)

Ok, I admit it; I’m not the person that you think of when you envision a “blues bass player.” I’m exactly five feet and one quarter of an inch tall, I’m a 24-year-old girl from a suburban neighborhood in Philadelphia, and, as many people point out, the bass is bigger than I am. I don’t know whether it was the...

Blues Rock: Bass Play-Along Volume 18
Sheet Music & Instruction

Blues Rock: Bass Play-Along Volume 18

Hal Leonard has released Volume 18 of their Bass Play-Along series. Blues Rock is a 72 page, 8 song book featuring tab and CD tracks for each classic blues tune. The melody and lyrics for each tune are also included. The CD includes audio with and without bass, so you can hear the bassline first, and play along with the...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Master the Fretboard – Part 3

If you’ve been keeping up with this lesson series and having focused practice you should be getting pretty comfortable with the fretboard layout. Remember that the drills in Part 1 and Part 2 should be practiced regularly to get the full benefit. In this lesson we’ll work on something really fun: the blues! As a note to those who are...