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Talking Technique: Talking Double Stops

Talking Technique: Talking Double Stops

Looking for ways to spice up your grooves? Double stops are a great option. In their most basic form, double stops are when we play two notes together at the same time. They can sound muddy in some registers of the bass, but we’ll go over some tricks to make them sound like gold. This is another all-in-one lesson as...

Talking Technique: Two-Octave Triads

Talking Technique: Two-Octave Triads

How about some cool two octave triad fills for your grooves? Playing triads over two octaves is surprisingly difficult to do on the bass. Today we’ll cover how to not only master playing those triads over two octaves, but also how to build some cool fills from that tonal material. An important tip ensures that delivery is right. Be sure...

Talking Technique: Talking Triads

Talking Technique: Talking Triads

Triads are three note chords that serve as the building blocks of functional harmony. As bass players, it’s important for us to recognize triads by ear and to know how to play them starting on each string in all keys and in all registers of the bass. We’ll focus on the major triad in this lesson to get your ears...

Talking Technique: Beautiful Practice

Talking Technique: Beautiful Practice

This lesson is called “Beautiful Practice” for a reason. Our exercise this week creates a lush harmony and texture all while working out our theory and technique at the same time. The theory portion of this week’s lesson is that we’ll be playing diatonic triads in open voicings. If that sounds foreign to you, don’t worry. We’ll be breaking down...

Talking Technique: Modes on a String

Talking Technique: Modes on a String

Typically when we play scales, we play across the strings, but there’s a lot of value in playing all the way up a single string. It helps us to think in positions and to mentally know how many steps you are skipping as you walk up the string. Today we’ll be working on our theory as well as our technique...

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Talking Technique: Right Hand Thumbs Up!

Talking Technique: Right Hand Thumbs Up!

When you’re playing fingerstyle, where do you put your right thumb? You can anchor it on the pickup, but that can limit your tonal range. You could anchor on the lower strings, but then where do you put it when you need to play those strings? That’s precisely the question we got from a reader, so today we’re examining the...

Talking Technique: Feeling Rusty?

Talking Technique: Feeling Rusty?

So you haven’t gotten to touch your bass in a while. It happens! We all have those times where we don’t get time with our bass for extended periods. When we get the bass in our hands again, our gut instinct is to get all our fast chops back, but that’s not such a great idea. The way to get...

Talking Technique: Tapping into Tapping

Talking Technique: Tapping into Tapping

Today we’re talking tapping! I get a lot of questions about tapping because of Oon, my duo with bassoonist Paul Hanson. I get to play chords, melodies, and grooves – sometimes at the same time. Tapping is a helpful technique to expand the possibilities of the bass, but it must be used with taste! Function comes first. This lesson will...

Talking Technique: Pedal to the Metal

Talking Technique: Pedal to the Metal

Today’s lesson is all about building cool grooves using the pentatonic scale with pedal tones, a technique often found in heavy metal. We’ll use a G minor pentatonic scale in the first area of the bass (more on that in the video). To create the pedal effect, we’ll be playing the root of the scale in between each note. The...

Talking Technique: Killer Dead Note Grooves

Talking Technique: Killer Dead Note Grooves

Dead notes are percussive effects that can really liven up a groove. There are a variety of ways to create them, including left-hand muting, right-hand percussion, and left-hand percussion. For this lesson we examine how dead notes (and silence) affect the groove. As is often the case, a good way to begin practicing them is by utilizing scales. We’ll be...

Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout

Talking Technique: Tetrachord Workout

Similar to our last lesson, we’re working on exercises designed to shed your scales and build your technique at the same time. This time we’re focusing on tetrachords, which are four-note groups found within scales. You can also turn these exercises into speed training exercises by adding a few beats every time you play, but be sure not to go...

Talking Technique: Pedalling

Talking Technique: Pedalling

There are only so many hours in the day, so it’s always great to figure out ways to make the best use of your practice time. One way to get the biggest use of your practice is to combine different topics to bolster your understanding: music theory with song learning, rhythmic accuracy with slapping, phrasing with fretboard knowledge, and so...