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  • Improving your Technique: Habits and Awareness for Bass Players

    Improving your Technique: Habits and Awareness for Bass Players

    Most bassists are looking to improve some aspect of their technique. Certainly if there is something in our technique that is creating a problem, physical or musical, then we need to make a change. Sometimes this is a major change, other times this is simply a refinement. Oftentimes, it is the acquisition of technique that... »

  • Controlling Rhythm and Expressing it Musically

    Controlling Rhythm and Expressing it Musically

    Q: This week’s column was written in part from a response to a FaceBook question I had about controlling rhythm and expressing it musically. I was also asked about my approach with my right hand, and where it came from with regard to rhythm and how I use it in my lines. I took that... »

  • Bass Harmonics: Middle of the String Harmonics

    Bass Harmonics: Middle of the String Harmonics

    We’ve found where the most common harmonics are at the end of the fingerboard, and also toward the nut. Today, let’s find the most common harmonics in the middle part of the string. In the examples below, the lower staff tells us where to put place our fingers and find the harmonic. The upper staff... »

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  • Playing Bass: To Right a Left or Leave It Right

    Playing Bass: To Right a Left or Leave It Right

    Q: I have been playing right-handed ever since I started playing bass, even though I am a left-handed person. Recently though, I have noticed (by messing around) that when I switch the bass around, I can pull off previously difficult techniques a lot better with my left hand, right off the bat. I am considering... »

  • Lower Position Harmonics

    Lower Position Harmonics

    Last time we found some of the most common harmonics as they are played at the end of the fingerboard. Since the placement of harmonics on the string “mirror” themselves from the mid point (i.e. you find the same notes toward the nut as you do toward the bridge) we can find the harmonics from... »

  • Expanded Harmonics: More on Locations and Patterns

    Expanded Harmonics: More on Locations and Patterns

    Last time we talked about how to find out where harmonics occur on a string by dividing the string into equal parts. Below you will find a more straightforward representation of the specific harmonics that can be found at the end of the fingerboard on each string. We will be placing the thumb on the... »

  • Bass Fretboard Workbook: Essential Music Principles and Concepts for Fretboard Mastery

    Bass Fretboard Workbook: Essential Music Principles and Concepts for Fretboard Mastery

    Hal Leonard announced a few new bass-focused books at this year’s NAMM Show, including a new one by author Chad Johnson. For many bassists, complete fretboard knowledge is lacking. Bass Fretboard Workbook – Essential Music Principles and Concepts for Fretboard Mastery was written to overcome these unknown spots with Johnson’s method for becoming comfortable with... »

  • Harmonics: A Starter Guide for Bassists

    Harmonics: A Starter Guide for Bassists

    Whatever the genre, we bassists seem to love harmonics. From Jaco to Dittersdorf, bass music is full of them. When we are introduced to playing harmonics however, the prospect can be a bit tricky. At first, we may be unsure where the harmonics are on the string, or what note will sound when we attempt... »

  • Left Hand Flexibility for Bassists

    Left Hand Flexibility for Bassists

    When playing the bass, flexibility is far more important than strength. In fact, if body mechanics and gravity are used intelligently it takes surprisingly little strength to play our instrument. Flexibility, however, is paramount to many of the things we must do well. In the left hand (or fingering hand for the lefties!) it is... »

  • How to Improve Your Phrasing

    How to Improve Your Phrasing

    Q: I’m looking to make my phrasing more dynamic. What would you suggest? A: For this week’s column, I decided to make a little video to answer this question, and demonstrate what I do to work on my phrasing. Check it out: »