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Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Pull Off Pentatonics

Pentatonics using hammer-ons and pull-offs sounds great, but maybe you have noticed that if you stay within the same pentatonic pattern, you can only hammer on certain notes. In an effort to go beyond that, we are stringing two pentatonic patterns together so that we can pull off pull offs from every single note. I’ll show you two major pentatonic...

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Advanced Bass: Displacing Walking Bass Lines
Advanced Bass

Advanced Bass: Displacing Walking Bass Lines

Rhythmic Displacement is a concept based on being able to hear and perform rhythmic patterns starting on different subdivisions of the beat. The new superimposed rhythm creates an interesting illusion with the lines you are playing, which in turn creates tension. This lesson is aimed at giving you usable ideas for improvising walking bass lines using the concept of Rhythmic...

Talking Style: I’ve Got To Use My Imagination
Talking Style

Talking Style: I’ve Got To Use My Imagination

One of the things that I love about doing this column is that I sometimes find unlikely pairings – like this one. I didn’t know that Bon Jovi’s Hugh McDonald played bass on this extremely funky joint, “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination” as performed by Gladys Knight and the Pips. The song was written and originally performed by Barry...

Creative Bass Lines: Funking with the Dorian Mode and the Blues Scale
Creative Bass Lines

Creative Bass Lines: Funking with the Dorian Mode and the Blues Scale

Welcome back to the third installment of Creative Bass Lines. Before we start, I’d like to take a moment to say a fond farewell to the amazing Victor Bailey who sadly left us way too soon a few days ago. Victor was an enormous influence on me, and his highly melodic yet super funky playing made an indelible impression on...

Talking Technique: The Power of Slow
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: The Power of Slow

A little while ago, I finished the creation of a 20-week course which includes an extensive technique practice section. Students had requested videos similar to what you see in fitness videos – a way to just follow along with the video. And this became one consistent part of each week’s program: I recorded “Practice With Me” videos featuring a variety...

Bass Transcription: Dominique di Piazza’s Bass Solo on John McLaughlin’s “Belo Horizonte”
Transcriptions

Bass Transcription: Dominique di Piazza’s Bass Solo on John McLaughlin’s “Belo Horizonte”

This month, the transcription is dedicated to French bass virtuoso Dominique di Piazza. I think Dominique deserves more recognition in the bass world. Ask any bassist today – Hadrien Feraud, Matthew Garrison, Adam Nitti, and many more – and they will swear that di Piazza has had a profound influence on their bass playing. His solo piece “Marie,” has opened...

Talking Technique: Octaves on Overdrive
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Octaves on Overdrive

Today we’re going to go over a few tips on how to spice up a groove using octaves. Of course, we’ll focus on good fingering practices to make the notes sound smooth and connected. You can use this technique when practicing rudiments and scales, but check out this PDF to work up an example using one- and two-chord grooves.

Talking Style: Bruno Mars vs. Collage
Talking Style

Talking Style: Bruno Mars vs. Collage

Like everyone else who was hip to late 70’s/80’s music I was instantly transported back to the golden age of 80’s electro funk the moment that I heard Mark Ronson / Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”. However, even though the aural aesthetic certainly reminded me of some of the best times of my life and certainly some of the best music,...

Bass Transcription: Danny McCulloch’s Bass Line on The Animals’ “Monterey”
Transcriptions

Bass Transcription: Danny McCulloch’s Bass Line on The Animals’ “Monterey”

Continuing the theme of British bassists from 1968, this time I’m looking at Danny McCulloch’s bass line on “Monterey” by The Animals. This band formed in the gritty northern English city of Newcastle in 1960, and were one of the edgier sounding bands associated with the “British Invasion” of the U.S. pop charts by the middle of the decade. Their...

Talking Technique: Changing Technique Habits – What it Takes
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Changing Technique Habits – What it Takes

There is a step by step process that can help you change ingrained habits. It is a fast and effective technique to practice just about anything so effectively that it can become addictive. But it is also a great catalyst for changing ingrained habits. That is good news, because if you have ever tried to change a habit – be...