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Theory Archives - Page 4

Intergalactic Bass: Scales Arpeggios Fingerings Theory & Much More
Sheet Music & Instruction

Intergalactic Bass: Scales Arpeggios Fingerings Theory & Much More

Hal Leonard has added Carlo Mombelli’s Intergalactic Bass method as their latest book in their Bass Instruction series. The comprehensive, 240-page book is based on the premise that in order to play music, one must have a solid handle on scales and arpeggios. A bassist, composer and educator, Mombelli said he searched for a book on scales and arpeggios to...

Building Bass Lines: Navigating More Changes
Ask Damian Erskine

Building Bass Lines: Navigating More Changes

Q: I have recently begun playing with a pop artist who writes what I would call “chord heavy” songs. These are not your typical I-IV-V tunes, and they definitely aren’t “riffy”; they are tunes with intricate verse and chorus progressions and extended bridges. I have been going off the lead sheets for now, but my question is how can I...

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

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 app contains over 200 compositions,...

Enclosure Tone Exercises for Bassists
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Enclosure Tone Exercises for Bassists

One way to give more interest to your improvisations is to add enclosure tones to otherwise simple note choices. Enclosure tones are two tones which “enclose” (i.e. one higher, one lower) another note. Generally, but not always, the note which gets “enclosed” is a chord tone. For example, if we begin with the root of a C7 chord: …and precede...

Learning Theory: Recommendations for Resources and Steps to Making it Happen
Ask Damian Erskine

Learning Theory: Recommendations for Resources and Steps to Making it Happen

Q: What would you recommend as great resources for learning theory? I’m not someone who lacks in imagination or creative drive or even feel. I’m more of a groove player, and I’ve never stopped to get any formal grounding with modes, harmonizations, relationships of scales and arpeggios and putting that together for a given tonality. I’d appreciate any recommendations for...

On Modes and Getting Away from the Root
Ask Damian Erskine

On Modes and Getting Away from the Root

Q: I have question about how to practice and apply modes that is killin’ me. We are constantly being being bombarded with the concept of getting away from root in our playing and practice. For instance, scale finger pattern 4 starting on the 3rd fret of the E string is like G A B C D E F G A...

Jazz Box: A Look at the Chord and Scale Reference App for iOS
Apps

Jazz Box: A Look at the Chord and Scale Reference App for iOS

Jazz Box, in my humble opinion, has just helped to fulfill a need for a thorough, high quality harmonic study app. While not perfect and not 100% inclusive of every harmonic consideration, it goes way beyond any of the other apps I have seen in explaining scale considerations in the jazz idiom, spelling out various chords and explaining what certain...

Bass Line Construction: Legato Minor Pentatonic Scale Bass Run
Bass Lessons

Bass Line Construction: Legato Minor Pentatonic Scale Bass Run

Last time, we kicked off a bass line construction series of lessons with a study in improvising on some funk in the key of C. This time around, we’re focusing on some new phrasing ideas for the trusty old minor pentatonic scale. In this case, we’re using the A minor pentatonic scale: A, C, D, E, G The exercise covers...

iHarmony: A Look at the Music Theory App for iOS
Apps

iHarmony: A Look at the Music Theory App for iOS

iHarmony is an app described by its creator as “a fully complete collection of scales, chords & harmonizations…” The harmonization part of the description describes what is actually a list of chord qualities for every note in a given mode (i.e.: Maj7, -7, -7, Maj7, Dom7, -7 & -7(b5) for the Major modes), which is quite handy. While I wouldn’t...

Creating Bass Lines: Getting Your Mind Right
Ask Damian Erskine

Creating Bass Lines: Getting Your Mind Right

Q: I’m struggling with the thought process behind coming up with bass lines. What advice would you give for ways to approach and think about constructing lines? A: This is another question that is ripe for comments, as everyone probably has something unique to them going through their minds when developing a bass line. To start, a lot of what...