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  • Breaking Down Harmonic Substitutions: Part 3 – Practice Material

    Breaking Down Harmonic Substitutions: Part 3 – Practice Material

    As a follow up to this series on harmonic substitutions, I thought that I would include a few choice pages from my book, The Improvisor’s Path, related directly to what we’ve been discussing. First, here are the pages that relate to my breakdown of some available scaler substitutions. Next is the Wayne Shorter tune, “Nefertiti”... »

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  • Breaking Down Harmonic Substitutions: Part 2

    Breaking Down Harmonic Substitutions: Part 2

    In part 1 of this series, we were experimenting with using substitutions that allowed us to play familiar major and minor scale shapes over various basic chord types. Now, let’s move on to melodic and harmonic minor mode choices. First, let’s make sure that we’re all familiar with these two scales: Harmonic minor = Aeolian... »

  • Breaking Down Harmonic Substitutions: Part 1

    Breaking Down Harmonic Substitutions: Part 1

    Q: What are substitutions and how can I make use of them? A: The first answer is easy: a substitution is using one chord in the place of another. For example: We might assume that a C Major chord symbol (CMaj7 or C?7) would imply a C major scale: C D E F G A... »

  • Book Review: Damian Erskine’s “The Improvisor’s Path”

    Book Review: Damian Erskine’s “The Improvisor’s Path”

    There comes a time for every bassist where they feel they’re in a rut or have hit a plateau in their playing and creativity. It happens to the best of us. Bassist and No Treble contributor Damian Erskine’s new book The Improvisor’s Path is a surefire way to get yourself back into high gear. While... »

  • Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

    Learning the Bass Fretboard by Rocking Out

    Here’s a lesson I’d classify as beginner/intermediate level, but the truth is, it is something I think can benefit all of us. The goal of this lesson is to become comfortable with the entire fretboard, through learning the notes on every fret. Using a simple Rolling Stones-style rock groove backing track, this lesson focuses in... »

  • Music Theory – Chords in Minor Keys App Released for Android

    Music Theory – Chords in Minor Keys App Released for Android

    Stuart Bahn has just released the second in his Music Theory Toolkit Series of apps for Android devices, entitled Music Theory – Chords in Minor Keys. The app trains you to learn all the minor, major, and diminished chords found in all 12 minor keys. Your theory is tested as the app displays a minor... »

  • App Review: Musicopoulos Music Theory and Practice

    App Review: Musicopoulos Music Theory and Practice

    There aren’t many music theory apps I’ve enjoyed using for very long. But Musicopoulos changed that for me on a recent flight home, taking various tests and running their Music Theory and Practice through its paces. This app is fun to use and covers a wide enough variety of content. The thing I enjoyed most... »

  • Chord Construction: A Guide for Bassists

    Chord Construction: A Guide for Bassists

    Q: I’ve been playing bass for about four years, and I’ve had difficulty with understanding chord construction on the bass. I know my scales and their modes inside and out, and I know a lot about the fretboard. My technique is good too, but I figured when I was starting out that I really didn’t... »

  • Pablo Elorza: “Continuum” Lesson and Analysis

    Pablo Elorza: “Continuum” Lesson and Analysis

    Pablo Elorza has published the second video in his “Deep Into Electric Bass Classics” series of bass lessons with an in-depth look at the popular Jaco Pastorius tune “Continuum.” After playing through the tune, Elorza explains the methods and techniques Pastorius used to create his melodies. The lesson is a great one for any music... »

  • MusicalEar: A Look at the Music Theory and Ear Training App for Desktop Computers

    MusicalEar: A Look at the Music Theory and Ear Training App for Desktop Computers

    I’m doing something a little different this time by reviewing an app I came across for your desktop computer. While not an iOS app, I thought that I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you all in on this. MusicalEar is an ear training and theory app, going way beyond any on the market. The... »