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  • Bass Transcription: Horace Panter’s Bass Line on “Ghost Town” by The Specials

    Bass Transcription: Horace Panter’s Bass Line on “Ghost Town” by The Specials

    The Specials were perhaps the defining band of the late 70s British Ska movement, and they had a run of hit singles and albums between 1979 and 1984. Their band leader and principal songwriter Jerry Dammers was also the founder of Two-Tone Records, an independent label that helped to push the genre into the mainstream.... »

  • Talking Technique: Thinking Inside the Box – Upper Structure Pentatonics

    Talking Technique: Thinking Inside the Box – Upper Structure Pentatonics

    Today’s episode is all about thinking inside the box. Pentatonic box shapes only on the G and D string are easy to finger and make for quite the pizzazz when you lay them over a variety of chords. Check out the PDF to guide you along the easy shape and what colors you introduce using... »

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  • Bass Transcription: John Giblin’s Bass Line on “Babooshka” by Kate Bush

    Bass Transcription: John Giblin’s Bass Line on “Babooshka” by Kate Bush

    Kate Bush came from a very musical family, and at eleven she taught herself to play the piano. Soon after this she began to write songs and at sixteen she recorded a demo of fifty compositions and sent them to prospective record companies, but this did not lead to any offers. However, a family friend... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 4

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 4

    Our fourth installment on Bob Mintzer’s “I Start With The Blues” solo is a discussion of the crucial chord on bar 8 of a typical jazz blues. Almost always this is a vi chord – so in an F Blues like this one, it’s a D7 ( D dominant 7). In Letter A Bar 8... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 3

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 3

    Don’t be afraid to make some notes on your transcription! By that I mean to write in where there’s a cool diminished lick, a nice ii-V line, etc. If there’s a cool lick – outline that, and identify stuff you want to come back to. It’s so valuable to learn licks through the cycle of... »

  • Bass Transcription: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free

    Bass Transcription: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free

    Free was formed in 1968 in London, and they followed in the footsteps of bands such as Cream and Fleetwood Mac, who grew out of the British Blues Explosion of the mid-sixties. By moving away from some of the restrictions of the genre, Free (alongside Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple), helped to define... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 2

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 2

    For our second installment focusing on Bob Mintzer’s solo from “I Start With The Blues,” we’ll be focusing mainly on transposing a line through different keys and why we do that. This is really important and something I touched upon in part one, too. It goes without saying that jazz standards and indeed tunes from... »

  • New Year’s Resolutions for Bass: 5 Ingredients to Get You Results

    New Year’s Resolutions for Bass: 5 Ingredients to Get You Results

    I ran a survey a few weeks back asking bass players what they struggled with the most. With an overwhelming majority, the response had to do with practicing. Specifically, how to: Practice effectively so as to see improvement. Not be distracted. Know what to work on next or where to even start. Some people formulated... »

  • Bass Transcription: The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

    Bass Transcription: The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

    Note: It is not certain who the bassist was on The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” but it’s likely to be Wilton Felder, who played on many of their early recordings after they moved to Los Angeles in 1969. There’s relatively little information about the studio musicians who worked for Motown in... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 1

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 1

    I’m kicking off a new series here for Creative Bass Lines. In this episode, we’ll take a look at a really great solo over a jazz 12 bar blues – performed and transcribed by sax great Bob Mintzer! We’re really fortunate to have this music for our lessons. Bob very kindly agreed to let me... »