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Bass Lessons - Page 30

Lesson: Slap Bass 101
Slap Bass 101

Lesson: Slap Bass 101

By popular demand, I’ve been working on a new lesson series for beginning slap bass. This week, we’ll break down the basics. Part 1: Slap Bass Introduction This lesson covers basic thumb slapping, ghosted notes, muting, hammer-ons and plucking/popping: Next: we’ll build on these concepts with Part 2 – Building on the Basics.

Bass Lessons

Introduction to Bebop Scale Forms

In this lesson we’ll explore the basic forms of Bebop scales so you can start getting the patterns down and experiment with them in your music. There are times when you solo that you may want to do a scale run over a chord. Have you ever noticed that a straight descending scale run as eighth notes over a chord...

Lesson: Building an Improvised Composition for Solo Bass with a Looping Device
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Building an Improvised Composition for Solo Bass with a Looping Device

One exciting way of use a looping device with your bass is to enhance a composition. A recorded phrase can become a backbone over which to improvise. For example, a phrase can take the form of a tapped rhythm (e.g. using muted strings), a short rhythmic phrase lasting only one or two bars or a longer phrase dependent on your...

Lesson: Minor Tetrachord Patterns
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Minor Tetrachord Patterns

In the last tetrachord lesson we went over the concept of tetrachords and how they change the way we think about scale patterns. In that lesson the focus was the major modes and a question was posted asking about the melodic minor and harmonic minor modes. Therefore this week’s article will go over tetrachords in the melodic minor and how...

Live looping: Thinking Outside the Box
Bass Lessons

Live looping: Thinking Outside the Box

I was in a music retail outlet recently where I purchased a Boss RC-20XL Loop Station. A great piece of kit, a glowing review of which I will post separately. What occurred to me, as the eager shop assistant demo’d the device, was that live looping may have become a little typecast in the minds of many musicians; i.e. a...

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Lesson: Scale Patterns from Tetrachord Combinations
Bass Lessons

Lesson: Scale Patterns from Tetrachord Combinations

We normally think of scales in terms of eight-note patterns and treat them as a unit. There are the standard modal forms for both major and minor, the bop variations, blues variations, but all of these still cling to the paradigm of an octave based scale unit (even if the total number of notes in the scale changes). As bassists...

Bass Lessons

Becoming a Great Band

What does it take be become a “great” band? Believe it or not the collective skill of a group is not determined solely by the skills of its individual members. There is a level of ensemble technique that really elevates a band to be beyond average and gets the group noticed. As with all things there is no short-cut and...

Bass Lessons

Creative Looping Within Your Means

If you can plug it in or mic it up, you can loop it. That is the conclusion I’m fast coming to when experimenting with live looping technology. Although another very important rule of thumb is, “Keep it simple, stupid” :) I wanted to put a few short thoughts together on having a creative mindset when using the looper, using...

Bass Lessons

Crafting your Core Sound

As an upright player you have to make many moving parts work together in order to get the tone you want. Both hands play different roles in crafting your tone, but the real voice of our instrument comes from the bow. If you are new to the upright and haven’t taken the time to really find and fine tune your...

Bass Lessons

Optimized Techniques for Marathon Gigs

How many times have you played a continuous four hour gig? Have you ever had to go from the studio to a gig? Or play two gigs in one day? If you have, you understand the important of having an optimized playing technique. If you have not, and are going to try, you need to prepare yourself to be as...

Looping Lesson: Programming the Behringer FCB1010 with Mobius
Bass Lessons

Looping Lesson: Programming the Behringer FCB1010 with Mobius

This is a lesson based around use of the popular Behringer FCB1010 MIDI foot controller surface for hand-free control of the freely available and very capable, Mobius looping software from Jeffrey Larson at Circular Labs. The Gear The Behringer FCB1010 Foot Controller has 100 memory positions to store MIDI controller data for up to 5 separate MIDI devices, and provides...

Bass Lessons

Math and Music – Equations and Ratios

Previously in the “math and music” lesson we derived equations for expressing intervals as functions of relative frequencies. This week we’re going to define conventions for interval sizes and then derive three variables where we can determine the composition of any frequency ratio. Guess what – all intervals can be described as different combinations of the octave, perfect fifth and...