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Bass Lessons - Page 28

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Pulse and Escaping from Meter

As bassists we have unique musical responsibilities in an ensemble whether it’s a symphony, jazz jam or rock group. We’re the foundation – the pulse. There is a pitfall that we must be careful to avoid and it’s ingrained in us through a lot of standard music education: we are bound by meter and notation. If you had to could...

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Bass Lessons

Lesson: Stance on the Upright Bass

In this week’s lesson, Jon takes us through some key fundamentals in upright bass playing. Balance Balance is the key. It takes many pounds of pressure to hold a string against the fingerboard with enough firmness to get a good fundamental tone; this force needs to have a counterweight applied against it. The objective is to get maximum weight into...

Bass Lessons

Thinking in Minor: Alterations

In the previous lesson I talked about using melodic minor arpeggios to change the sound of an underlying chord structure. This lesson will take that concept a step further and focus on identifying functioning and static dominant seventh chords and how to apply the melodic minor scale in various ways to control multiple degrees of tension. This will also lend...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: By the Numbers

There are 2 elements that are helpful to gain fluency in all keys, making transposition much easier. The first is, learn fingerings avoiding open strings as much as possible, so that interval and visual mapping is consistent. The other is to learn to think by the numbers; think of each pitch not as its letter name, but as its numerical...

Lesson: Thinking in Minor
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Thinking in Minor

The minor keys offer a diverse sonic palette for you to use in improvisation. The darker quality of the tonal sequence gives you a cool sound and the minor keys are very versatile over different chord changes. This lesson will focus on some basic applications of minor keys in different scenarios so you can start to use these keys effectively....

How to Learn Tunes Quickly
Bass Lessons

How to Learn Tunes Quickly

One of my Facebook friends raised the subject of remembering tunes, which led me to another thought: how do we learn tunes quickly? A seasoned bass player might not even know the tune you’re hearing him play. I used to go watch Bob Cranshaw play obscure tunes all night with Jimmy Rowles – nobody, I mean NOBODY knew all these...

Bass Lessons

Radio Airplay: A Beginner’s Guide

Who doesn’t want to be on the radio? If you’ve gotten a solid response from live shows and have a strong local or niche following, radio airplay may be the next big milestone toward meeting your music business goals. These are a few things to consider when you’re trying to get into a radio rotation, but the biggest factors are...

Lesson: Practicing Chord Changes
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Practicing Chord Changes

There are many ways to get better at the changes on a particular tune, but this approach works really well. First, play just quarter notes, and play all the arpeggios to get a “mental map” of all the chord tones in the progression (try to do it with a metronome): Then, still in quarter notes, start inverting the chords to...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Practicing and the Mind

Today’s lesson is a preview from Jon Burr’s forthcoming “Physical and Mental Programming for the Improvising Bassist”… In order to gain an understanding of how to practice effectively and efficiently, it is useful to have some understanding of the structure of the brain, mind and nervous system. It is possible to “practice” and not get better-or, even, to get worse,...

Bass Lessons

Lesson: Melodic Construction

Another Look at Melodic Construction in Improvisation What do we play? Where does it come from? How do we make our own melody? The melody of the song or tune The rhythmic structure An alternative positive melodic statement derived from the harmonic or rhythmic environment, or a melody from another song that fits the “changes” The development, embellishment, and ornamentation...