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When I wrote my book, Music Theory for the Bass Player, me and my editors went back and forth (and forth and back!) about using the description of “kinked fingers” in the Technique Chapter! My editors wanted me to use the word “crooked” instead. It’s a subtle distinction between the two, but the word crooked just didn’t
Working on Walking Bass? Creating an interesting walking bass line over changes is one part art, one part science (music theory) and a whole lot of feel . Well, how can we turn this somewhat cryptic recipe into a useful recommendation for walking chord changes to give your own lines an instant lift? Walking bass
Got a fret buzz that is just not going away? A fret buzz can really be putting a damper on the joy of playing. Here is help: First – check your set up! Maybe your truss rod is not adjusted correctly, or you have a fret sticking out that is causing the buzz. Take your
If you have ever opened up a music theory book, you will see the “functions” of chords within a scale. They are famously named: The “Functions”: Tonic, Subdominant, Dominant Tonic (that’s the chord built on the first scale degree) Subdominant (that’s the chord built on the fourth scale degree) and Dominant (that’s the chord built
Remember the shortcuts to Modes from last week? Here is a great ear training exercise to hearing the modes. It is so amazingly easy, it is wild. Remember there are three major modes, three minor modes and one mode that is in a class of its own. The three major ones: ionian lydian (with the
Remember to enter to win the beautiful Kala UBass! That lovely Passenger Kala UBass will be drawn very soon! Repeat submissions encouraged! Lucky winner, get ready! Terms and Conditions here! Repeat entries encouraged. It sounds awesome, check it:
Are you Mystified by the Modes? I have a theory (not a music theory in this case, ha) which is that some are eyeing the modes with suspicion because they have such complicated sounding names. As always, I aim to simplify things and point out the deliciousness of the musical topic at hand. Modes, dear
This particular Talking Technique Episode got a lot of views, thumbs up and shares. You can find three gems in it: phrasing straight versus “swung” – even if you just play quarter notes creating a rhythmic variation that enhances any walking bass line how to practice any variation systematically (a bit bland sounding) so that
First of all, thank you for being here, reading, learning, grooving along. Whether you are subscribed to our newsletter, read the blog, are part of our course or have the book and watch the free videos that come with it – a big colorful heartfelt thanks! Undoubtedly you have heard that a set of new
The thing with the word “diminished” is, it is used in so many different contexts it can really throw one for a loop: scale? triad? four note chord? or just an interval?? To make matters worse there is no unified system of how to name chords, so when someone says Cdim, that’s a triad! But
I am super excited – I have a new endorsement with Kala UBasses! Ubasses are so much fun, I can’t put mine down!! Want to Win Yours? To celebrate, Kala and me are giving away a Kala UBass to one lucky winner chosen at random. Here is how to enter – and to maximize
After taking a look at the first inversion of a triad (sampled with Deep Blue Something’s Breakfast at Tiffany), let’s check out the second inversion. If you missed the basics, here they are: What’s the second inversion of a triad? Play it on your bass to hear it G/D? Say “G over D”: A G-major triad
Last week’s blog post talked about interval inversions. But not only can intervals be inverted – chords also can! How? The same way – just take the lowest note and move it up the octave. The example below shows a G major triad, consisting of the root (G), the major third (B) and the fifth
Collaborating! One of the most rewarding activities as a musician – is collaborating! Creating, together, something from nothing, sharing a vision, doing the work, the practicing, the promoting, the charts, the setlists, the invite lists… I am proud and happy to introduce to you my new project with trumpeter and GRAMMY® recognized Producer Nick Phillips. Trumpet
Inversions often cause some confusion, so here is a breakdown. Several music theory items can be inverted. Let’s start here with… Interval Inversions Intervals can ascend or descend. If you play a fifth ascending and then play that backwards – that is NOT an inversion, though many think that. Inversions are important to grasp for
Thunderstruck Technique! Sure, learning songs is very important; at the same time, I am a big proponent of technique drills on the bass. But why not combine both worlds for a nice double whammy? That’s what this episode of Talking Technique is about. Get ready to be thunderstruck talking-technique style, because AC/DC inspired a pretty
The hardest thing to do when practicing can often be – to STOP. Stop, and then evaluate. Somehow we tend to have it in our minds that practicing only counts when we hear something coming out of our instruments and our fingers are moving. But nothing could be further from the truth. Mindless repetition, the
What is a Transposing Instrument? Transposing means porting a piece of music into a different key or range. Some instruments are “transposing instruments” which means that the note written on the score is, in fact, not the pitch that is sounding. There are two main reasons why there are “transposing instruments” 1 • Ease of
Bach me up! Need Bach up? Alright, enough with the puns, let’s get to some serious shedding. Bassists have loved playing Bach’s music on the electric for eons – be it the famous cello suite number 1 , pieces from the Welltempered Clavier or others – JS’s bass lines rock! There is something about the function of the
Why should I practice Technique? Isn’t it a waste of time and much better to practice songs instead? Whenever I heard that argument I used to throw my hands up and say – I don’t even know where to begin! It seems that saying – Nike style – “just do it” is a faster way to
Before you think this is some sort of hype – hear me out. There is good science behind this… The Tiny Habits® method developed by Stanford Persuasion Lab’s BJ Fogg is a powerful method for developing habits. BJ Fogg, PhD, teaches us that if something is hard to do, the motivation needs to be high to do it.
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In this blog post I will put a bit of attention on the importance of good overall bass technique when playing and tell you about an awesome experience I had a few months ago that plays right into healthy bass technique. Effective Bass Technique – My Take in a Nut Shell I believe effective right