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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 it perfectly, asking for very...

Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’

Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’

The whole tone scale is a really interesting scale. Unlike our major and pentatonic scales, it’s built out of all whole steps making it sound a little bit eerie and bright. Because the scale is symmetrical, it does not sound like it has a beginning or an end. Another neat fact is that there are only two whole tone scales:...

Talking Technique: Switching Drills for 4, 5, and 6 String Basses

Talking Technique: Switching Drills for 4, 5, and 6 String Basses

Switch much? If you find yourself switching between four-, five- and six-string basses a lot, or even just between different bass models, here’s a lesson for getting comfortable with whatever bass, fast. Playing different instruments is like driving a different brand new car. It takes time to get comfortable and settle in. If you find yourself switching around, try these...

Talking Technique: Sweet Emotion

Talking Technique: Sweet Emotion

There’s nothing like starting a song with a cool bass riff. “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith shines a light on the bass for sure! At the very top, we set the tone. To play this riff correctly and in time right out of the box is what it’s all about. How to approach learning something like this? Only playing the riff...

Talking Technique: The Pinky Workout

Talking Technique: The Pinky Workout

Is the pinky your weak link? If it is, you are not alone. The pinky and ring finger share a tendon. Either of those fingers prefers moving in tandem, rather than on their own, so it is a good idea to isolate them. As for the pinky, it is also the weakest of the bunch. These drills will get your...

Talking Technique: Bach for Two (In Three)

Talking Technique: Bach for Two (In Three)

In episode 43, we looked at an easy piano piece that was arranged for two basses. This is a great exercise because it works on your reading and your technique. Bach’s bass lines are typically challenging and push us as bassists to hone our chops. This time we’re checking out the Minuet in B? (though I’ve transposed it to the...

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Talking Technique: Got Dexterity?

Talking Technique: Got Dexterity?

Let’s go to the gym. The bass-finger gym that is! This work out practices one-finger-per-fret with elaborate string crossings. I have plenty of tips for you to succeed if one-finger-per-fret is hard for you. As always, this only works if you stay relaxed, move as little as possible and keep your fingers close to the strings. Keep breathing and give...

Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

Talking Technique: Sting Groove Workshop

Inspired by a Sting bass line, I’m bringing you a groove creation workout today. We’ll cover how to create your own bass line using a simple formula that will have you coming up with ideas for workable grooves every time. We also shine a light on the correct use of pentatonic scales and top it all off by learning Sting’s...

Talking Technique: Intro To Triplets In Walking Bass Lines

Talking Technique: Intro To Triplets In Walking Bass Lines

In the last lesson, we covered adding “burps” into walking bass lines and how to practice them systematically. This time we’re spicing up your walking with triplets. We’ll go over several variations to get these triplets under your fingers and ready to go on all beats of the bar. To keep a focused practice session, we’re going to narrow it...

Talking Technique: “Burps” in Walking

Talking Technique: “Burps” in Walking

After the Talking Technique Episode on “Killer Dead Notes,” I got a question from Lionel who wanted to know about “the best technique and timing to get those really nice burps in walking bass lines.” I love the way he phrased that question – he asked specifically for not only the technique itself but also the timing. In this episode,...