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Groove Archives

Talking Technique

Talking Technique: The Magic Behind “Steal My Kisses”

You probably already know “Steal My Kisses” by Ben Harper, and the excellent bass line by Juan Nelson. In today’s “Talking Technique” lesson, Ari breaks this down with a focus on “Tenths” over I vi IV V pattern.

Ask Damian Erskine

Finding the Groove Vs. Letting the Groove Find You

Q: When making music, i.e. improvising, making a song, creating a groove, etc., I find myself sometimes approaching it from what I hear while fiddling around, and at other times approaching it more cerebral, as in “let’s create a groove that has a flat nine in it.” I like to call these the bottom up (let the sounds guide me)...

Talking Technique

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 all off by learning Sting’s...

Ask Damian Erskine

Developing a Solid Groove

Q: So right now I’m trying to hack out my sense of groove and time, really trying to come down on that. I’ve noticed I can’t stay on a groove too long and start to play a lot of lines or rhythmic fills, not really being able to lay down a solid foundation and can’t stay tight? How do I...

Creative Bass Lines

Creative Bass Lines: Beat Displacement

Here we have the second installment of the Creative Bass Lines, and this month, it’s “Bass Gruv”. For this we’re looking at a Headhunters-esque bass groove I wrote. This would fit the harmony of an E dominant 7th chord, or for a crunchier sound, try setting up a vamp with an E7?9, too. I wanted to introduce some of you...

Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Groove Creation Workout

Want a formula to create grooves over a chord progression? We’ve got you covered in this lesson with an exercise that bolsters our technique while building grooves with triads. We’ll tackle a I-vi-IV-V chord progression using a formula that has two main ingredients: triad notes and rhythm. The triad notes are already laid out for us, but we can pick...

Advanced Bass

Advanced Bass: Groove Follow Ups

This challenging lesson outlines a musical tactic called “follow ups” to add to your groove tool box. We’ll go over some cool ways to create call and response follow up patterns using all of the components of music – helping you to play great lines over chords that will render tasteful musical ideas! Be sure to download the transcription for...

Talking Style

Talking Style: Oh Freedom

I’ve been wanting to do some Gospel episodes but wasn’t sure where I wanted to start until now. The first song that we’ll look art is the post-Civil War spiritual, “Oh Freedom”. In particular, I’m going to show you some ideas on how to “hear the changes” , an extended Gospel-style turnaround and how you might approach this song if...

Talking Style

Talking Style: Rhumba Blues

I was back home in New Orleans recently hanging out with my mom and attending my @* year high school reunion. Where did that time go??? Yeah, that’s a tale for another time! While I was there I sat in with the Marc Stone band down on Frenchman at a club called 30/90. My buddy Thomas was the bass player...

Talking Style

Talking Style: Flavoring the 3:2 Clave

In this episode, we’ll continue to explore the Afro-Caribbean influence on the music that we know as Rock and Roll and R&B. I’m going to show you just a few ways that I use note length and some other “flavor packets” to spice up the 3:2 Clave and give it my own style and personality.  I’ve included some transcriptions of...

Ask Damian Erskine

How To Come Up With New Groove Ideas

Q: Do you have any tips for how to come up with new groove ideas? A: I spent quite a few years doing what I call “fishing”. What I mean by that is, aimlessly using different notes and rhythms hoping to stumble upon something interesting (This is especially true with my soloing back in the day, but that’s another column)....

Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Pedal to the Metal

Today’s lesson is all about building cool grooves using the pentatonic scale with pedal tones, a technique often found in heavy metal. We’ll use a G minor pentatonic scale in the first area of the bass (more on that in the video). To create the pedal effect, we’ll be playing the root of the scale in between each note. The...