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Soloing Archives

Bass & Creativity

Bass & Creativity: Building a Story

The best way to engage listeners is to craft a story with your music. In this “Bass & Creativity” lesson, Olivier Babaz takes a look at ideas and methods to build a story through your improvised solos and compositions.

The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Give The Drummer Some

Ryan is back with a new “Lightbulb Moment” column, this time focusing around the solo. And not just the bass solo, but what we can also do to support the drummer (and other soloists) too.

Vertical Soloing

Vertical Soloing: C Minor 11 Arpeggio Exercise

In this lesson, Lorin Cohen shares an arpeggio exercise that develops our “Vertical” approach to the fingerboard and the ability to ascend swiftly up the neck.

Ask Damian Erskine

Sounding Organic In The Moment

This week a reader asks Damian for advice on how to “organize material and approach a solo without sounding scholastic or predictable.” Check out what Damian has to say on the subject.

Vertical Soloing

Vertical Soloing: Using Minor Pentatonic on Five Chord Types

In this lesson, Lorin Cohen illustrates how to use one minor pentatonic scale over five chord types. In this case, using the B minor pentatonic scale to play over a progression. This illustrates what Lorin calls a “vertical” approach to soloing, where we create lines that move swiftly up and across the fingerboard.

Notes From The Bandstand

Notes from the Bandstand: The Bass Solo

Bassists abound in NYC. It’s not uncommon to get on the subway to see two other fellow bassists fighting for a spot with their low-end leviathans. And, you can be sure; these bass commuters can do it all – they can groove and solo. My first two columns have been about the former – the primary background responsibilities of the...

Ask Damian Erskine

Is It So Bad To Play The Root When I Solo?

Q: I’ve been working on my soloing and I had a question. It keeps getting repeated to me by other players, teachers, and books that I shouldn’t play the root when I solo. What do you think? Is it really such a bad thing? A: I have a few thoughts on the subject. Some are in line with what you’ve...

Creative Bass Lines

Bass Bebop for Beginners: Part 2

Here is the second Parker line as promised – you can put it together with the C-7 F7 line from Part 1 and you get a cool turnaround lick: D-7 to G7 leading to C-7 to F7! So that gives you a nice two bar iii vi ii v line in B?. (And be sure to check out Part 1...

Creative Bass Lines

Bass Bebop for Beginners: Part 1

Today we’re starting with the first part of a new series on bebop bass, a topic a lot of my students are getting into lately. Our goal is to incorporate some great bebop vocabulary on the bass guitar. There is a ton of stuff out there to help you get started. Look for books on Charlie Parker solos, for example....

Ask Damian Erskine

Serious Play and the Bass Solo

A good friend of mine came to a gig I had recently in Seattle. Jeremy Sherman lives in San Francisco and our relationship began as one of student and teacher (he would fly to Portland on occasion to take a few lessons from me and hang out for a weekend) and we soon became friends both within and outside of...

Advanced Bass

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 level. Follow along with this...

Creative Bass Lines

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 tune. It’s not always enough...