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Jon Burr Archives - Page 2

Bass Lessons

Right-hand technique for upright bass: pizzicato

There is no “one way” to play pizzicato. There are a few principles to bear in mind that are helpful no matter what technique we use. The main idea we need to communicate is that the left hand does most of the work in sound generation. Playing hard with the right hand can be counterproductive, causing injury and choking the...

Bass Lessons

Melodic Construction: Extensions on Dominant Chords, Part 2

This is the second part of the Melodic Construction: Extensions on Dominant Chords series. Click here for Part 1 A fundamental problem with the “chordal scale” approach to improvising is that it tends to produce mechanical-sounding performance; all scale tones tend to be given equal weight as to whether or not they “work.” Frequently we hear players running out patterns...

Bass Lessons

Melodic Construction: Extensions on Dominant Chords, Part 1

We know that there are many flavors of dominant chord. Various upper extensions of the chord—or alterations of the fifth—suggest different harmonic environments, each with its own chordal scale and triad polychords expressing the arrays of extensions. We’ll explore the most commonly used of these chords and extensions in a future column—but first… What do these extensions mean for the...

Weekly Top 10

Rewind: our top features of the week

In case you missed them, here are the top headlines from No Treble, for the week of October 12th. Lessons Jon Burr’s Pivots in Chord Inversions Evan Kepner’s Fingering Strategies for the Upright Bass Columns & Features Ask Damian Erskine: Reading Scenarios Ray’s Raving About… Kenny Werner’s “Effortless Mastery” Our Player Spotlight is on Mantis Evar We’re thrilled to welcome...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Pivots in Chord Inversions

We’ve talked in previous columns about anchors and pivots occurring primarily on roots and fifths. What do we use for pivots in the case of chord inversions? We often see these inversions and other sorts of alternate bass notes in the form of compound chord symbols: C/Bb Bb/A Db/F Ebmin/Gb Go/C etc In these chords, there is a triad over...

Bass Lessons

To click or not to click? Or, what’s in a metronome?

All musicians benefit from practice with a metronome, yet many, if not most, musicians tend to avoid it some or all the time. The metronome can feel like a scolding tyrant reminding us of our incompetence, or maybe we want to get through our work quickly without the discipline of methodical practice, or maybe we believe that the metronome is...

Weekly Top 10

Rewind: Lots of lessons, Lowdown with Dr. D., Ask Damian Erskine, videos, gear and more

In case you missed it, here are the No Treble highlights from the week of September 27th, 2009. We added a new Lessons section! Jon Burr‘s latest lesson focuses on the Stance on the Upright Bass. Donovan Stokes latest Lowdown with Dr. D. column, Making the Switch from Electric to Upright, Part 2, focuses on the right hand. Damian Erskine...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: By the Numbers

There are 2 elements that are helpful to gain fluency in all keys, making transposition much easier. The first is, learn fingerings avoiding open strings as much as possible, so that interval and visual mapping is consistent. The other is to learn to think by the numbers; think of each pitch not as its letter name, but as its numerical...

Weekly Top 10

Rewind: Bass lessons from Jon Burr, Evan Kepner and Learn the Low End, plus Damian Erskine, Ray Riendeau and Steve Uccello

Evan Kepner takes us through his first in a 2-parter lesson, Thinking in Minor. Don’t miss Jon Burr’s incredibly popular lesson on Learning Tunes Quickly. Ray Riendeau is raving about… NPR. Our Player in the Spotlight is Steve Uccello. Damian Erskine covers Target Notes in his latest installment of Ask Damian Erskine. Videos Linley Marthe: Solo at New Morning Marco...

How to Learn Tunes Quickly
Bass Lessons

How to Learn Tunes Quickly

One of my Facebook friends raised the subject of remembering tunes, which led me to another thought: how do we learn tunes quickly? A seasoned bass player might not even know the tune you’re hearing him play. I used to go watch Bob Cranshaw play obscure tunes all night with Jimmy Rowles – nobody, I mean NOBODY knew all these...