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Technique Archives - Page 6

Talking Technique: Tapping into Tapping
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Tapping into Tapping

Today we’re talking tapping! I get a lot of questions about tapping because of Oon, my duo with bassoonist Paul Hanson. I get to play chords, melodies, and grooves – sometimes at the same time. Tapping is a helpful technique to expand the possibilities of the bass, but it must be used with taste! Function comes first. This lesson will...

Introduction to “Shell Voicings” on Bass
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Introduction to “Shell Voicings” on Bass

Playing chords on the upright doesn’t only add to our tonal palette, it also strengthens our knowledge of a tune and our instrument. Some voicings, however, are more pleasant than others. Three and four note chords can easily become “muddy” and unclear, especially in the mid to lower register. As a result, many bass players choose to play Shell Voicings,...

Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout

Similar to our last lesson, we’re working on exercises designed to shed your scales and build your technique at the same time. This time we’re focusing on tetrachords, which are four-note groups found within scales. You can also turn these exercises into speed training exercises by adding a few beats every time you play, but be sure not to go...

Talking Technique: Pedalling
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Pedalling

There are only so many hours in the day, so it’s always great to figure out ways to make the best use of your practice time. One way to get the biggest use of your practice is to combine different topics to bolster your understanding: music theory with song learning, rhythmic accuracy with slapping, phrasing with fretboard knowledge, and so...

Keeping Your Left Hand Relaxed: 11 Tips for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Keeping Your Left Hand Relaxed: 11 Tips for Bass Players

Q: I met you several years ago at NAMM when I worked for Alfred Music and I filmed you when you played at our booth. Anyway, I have since switched careers from Video Editor to Massage Therapist and I still play bass – jazz on electric and classical on upright. Because of my involvement in the San Diego music scene,...

Talking Technique: Introduction to Pull-Offs and Hammer-Ons
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Introduction to Pull-Offs and Hammer-Ons

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are extremely handy techniques that add variety to your groove and tone. They each utilize the left hand to perform the next note to allow for some slick fretwork. For this lesson, we have some technical and musical exercises that will strengthen your left hand and get you used to each technique. Don’t miss the tip of...

Talking Technique: One Finger Per Fret In The Lower Register
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: One Finger Per Fret In The Lower Register

The lower frets on the bass are arguably the ones we use the most, but they’re also the largest frets. That makes it difficult for us to apply our “one finger per fret” rule in the lower register. So how can we overcome this physical obstacle? We’ll go over some exercises to get your fingers in shape for the low...

Finding the Right Tone Setting For Slap Bass
Ask Damian Erskine

Finding the Right Tone Setting For Slap Bass

Q: I have seen a lot of Slap Pop tutorials, but none of them cover which pick up on the bass to use or tonal settings on the bass or amp. I am still working on proper striking technique, but I am wondering if part of getting the proper sound might be that I am not using the right pick...

Talking Technique: Harmonic Minor Speed Shedding
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Harmonic Minor Speed Shedding

As with many scales, the harmonic minor scale gives us a great tonal playground to work with, but it also gives us a great platform to work on our technical playing. This lesson will work on some J.S. Bach-inspired harmonic minor bass lines to focus on our coordination and speed training. There’s nothing like a fun technical exercise! If you...

Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: String Jumping Exercises

Bass grooves often have lines that move across strings on the same fret. To keep a smooth and legato feel, we need to focus on the technique of jumping from string to string. Here we’ll dig in on a few exercises with plenty of variations to get all your fingers in shape. Today’s tip is on getting an even attack...

Talking Technique: Fast Fingers
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Fast Fingers

Today we’re talking technique with the right hand and getting those fast fingers. I’ll be going over the two finger alternating plucking style, which will get you through most playing situations. Oftentimes, players get wrapped up in coupling their right hand and left hand processes when playing patterns. I recommend making alternating your fingers an automated process so you don’t...

Dealing With Songs That Go Beyond Your Last Fret
Ask Damian Erskine

Dealing With Songs That Go Beyond Your Last Fret

Q: I have a student entering his final year of secondary education. He has just purchased a 5-string Fender Jazz Bass. He is focusing on two handed tapping for his music subject. My worry… much of the music we have accessed (“Overjoyed”, “Rock and Roll” Bass Solo, etc.) requires between 21 and 24 frets according to the tab. The 21st...