Just some bass grooves…

 
 

Having fun with just some bass grooves. Enjoy!

Bass grooves anyone?
Just me playing some bass grooves on a variety of Marleaux basses including a Soprano Bass…. Gerald Marleaux first made these tiny basses as a gimmick (he would put clocks into the body shape). Then one day he made a bass out of it. It is an amazing instrument that requires a lot of custom made mini parts.
The first groove I call the Trashcan Groove for the percussion sounds in the background tracks.
The second groove is a thumb muting funky thing.
Then a shuffled 7/8 thing.
Soprano goes Latin.
 
 

 

Bass Grooves
Votan XS by Marleaux

All the basses I used are built by Gerald Marleaux.
http://www.marleaux-bass.de/

Tapping the Sixstring

Tapping a Marleaux Six

Tapping in Frankfurt, Musikmesse 2015
Gregor Fries of Bass the World invited me to grab a Marleaux bass and do a little impromptu video at Frankfurter Musikmesse. I had just walked straight off the plane directly on the floor. I love basstheworld.com. Thank you Gregor!
Musikmesse is  a loud and bustling place. Gregor always gets creative with his mobile video set up. Direct in, headphones, go. Very cool and very easy. This Marleaux bass has silver inlays. It is a custom Consat.
 

 
And this happened in 2014…

 

Marleaux
Votan

Bass by Marleaux.
 
 
I use Marleaux Basses and Dean Markley Strings. Fretwraps by Gruvgear, pedals, amps, cabs by TC Electronics. (Official endorser of all these fine companies).
Thanks to Wolftrackaudio.com for audio post production.

Cycle Chord Progression – #5 of 5

Frequently used Cycle Chord Progression

Some songs feature the entire diatonic cycle, but many feature just parts of it. In this video I explore a very common chord progression contained in the diatonic cycle. This cycle chord progression is abundant in pop. We know to jump descending fifths (or ascending fourths, respectively), sure, but thirds? Did you ever notice that?
Give the background track a good whirl and see if you can come up with grooves, solos and a combination of the two (groove solos!)
Enjoy, and please let me know what results you are getting!
 
[Tweet “Bassists: Free funky track to shed the cycle of fifths!“]
 

VIDEO 5 Cycle AC
Background track to jam to:

This video is part of a five-segment promotional mini-series I created in June 2015 for the online-education powerhouse TrueFire.
Get my Truefire Course Pentatonic Playground for Bass here.
For systematic and comprehensive bass learning check out my course  
Thanks for watching!

If you missed it…

1 – The Cycle of Fifths for the Bass Player (1 of 5)

2 – The Cycle for Fretboard Fitness (2 of 5)

3 – The Cycle in Tunes (3 of 5)

4 – Let’s go Jazzy with the Cycle (4 of 5)

5 – Know This Chord Progression? (5 of 5)

 
 

Marleaux
Votan

Cycle Chord Progression Video 5 of 5   Votan Marleaux XS
 
If you’d like to study with me, click here.
I use Marleaux Basses and Dean Markley Strings. Fretwraps by Gruvgear, pedals, amps, cabs by TC Electronics. (Official endorser of all these fine companies).
Thanks to Wolftrackaudio.com for audio post production.
 


 

Let’s go Jazzy with the Cycle! – #4 of 5

Autumn Leaves – Let’s go Jazzy with the Cycle

This is Video 4 of my mini series about the Cycle of Fifths for the Bass Player. Great for practicing walking bass, soloing, having fun. Here we are going jazzy with the cycle. Check out this Jazz standard and have a go jamming to the back ground track. This tune is the entire diatonic cycle in minor.
Let me know how it is going for you. Comment below!
 
[Tweet “Good shedding with Diatonic Cycle in minor!“]

 
VIDEO 4 Cycle AC
Track in the key of Amin

 
Track in the key of Amin, slower

 
Track in the key of G min

Email me a video link of you jamming to these tracks – I’d love to hear what you are doing with this material.
This video is part of a five-segment promotional mini-series I created in June 2015 for the online-education powerhouse TrueFire. Get my Truefire Course Pentatonic Playground for Bass here
For systematic and comprehensive bass learning including a comprehensive look at the cycle check out my course  
Thanks for watching!
 

If you missed it…

1 – The Cycle of Fifths for the Bass Player (1 of 5)

2 – The Cycle for Fretboard Fitness (2 of 5)

3 – The Cycle in Tunes (3 of 5)

Stay tuned for part 5!

 
 
My course…


 
 
 

Marleaux
Votan XS by Marleaux

The Cycle in Tunes – #3 of 5

cycle

The Cycle in Tunes

My favorite reason for knowing the cycle is that it shows up in music everywhere, so if you recognize it (and its variations) you have a distinct leg up learning and understanding tunes. The Circle of Fifths (ascending fifths or descending fourths) – bits of it or the whole of it within a key – these sounds and progressions are everywhere! By the way, what’s the classical theorists prefer the word Circle, the Jazzers call it Cycle. Miss Carol Kaye told me in person.
In this video I present what’s called the Diatonic Cycle. And once you can spot it you are spotting just about half of all chord movements or so in a lot of popular styles of music such as pop, jazz, rock. Or maybe three quarters! Here is a disco sample to warm up with…
[Tweet “Understand the diatonic cycle, spot common chord progressions! Addictive jam track!“]

 
VIDEO 3 Cycle AC

 
This video is part of a five-segment promotional mini-series I created in June 2015 for the online-education powerhouse TrueFire. Get my Truefire Course Pentatonic Playground for Bass here
For systematic and comprehensive bass learning check out my course  
Thanks for watching!
This was “The Cycle in Music” – # 3 of the 5-part series

If you missed it so far…

1 – The Cycle of Fifths for the Bass Player (1 of 5)

2 – The Cycle for Fretboard Fitness (2 of 5)

Stay tuned for Part 4!

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


I use Marleaux Basses and Dean Markley Strings. Fretwraps by Gruvgear, pedals, amps, cabs by TC Electronics. (Official endorser of all these fine companies).
Thanks to Wolftrackaudio.com for audio post production.

Marleaux
Votan XS by Marleaux

The Cycle for Fretboard Fitness – #2 of 5

The Cycle for Fretboard Fitness

In this segment I am exploring why the Cycle of Fifths is such a fantastic practice tool for fretboard fitness – mainly because it gets us through all  keys in the most elegant of ways (and it shows up like that in many songs!). Check it out, there are more ways than one to do this to really challenge your fretboard fitness. Talking of fretboard fitness, great chops builder, too. Enjoy. Let me know what results you are getting.
One comment on YouTube said:

  “A truly ingenious practice idea! Much appreciated! Great lesson!” Thank you for your comment, Richard Palmer!
  And another comment suggested to also add the minor triad right after. Great idea to add that if you know your relative minor keys!
 
 
 


 
VIDEO 2 Cycle
Background track to jam with:

Email me a video link of you jamming to these tracks – I’d love to hear you put this material to good use!
This video is part of a five-segment promotional mini-series I created in June 2015 for the online-education powerhouse TrueFire. Get my Truefire Course Pentatonic Playground for Bass here
For systematic and comprehensive bass learning check out my course  
Thank you for watching

If you missed it…

1 – The Cycle of Fifths for the Bass Player (1 of 5)

Stay tuned for part 3 of this series!


Marleaux
Votan XS by Marleaux

Played on a Votan XS by Gerald Marleaux, strings by Dean Markley
 
 
I use Marleaux Basses and Dean Markley Strings. Fretwraps by Gruvgear, pedals, amps, cabs by TC Electronics. (Official endorser of all these fine companies).
Thanks to Wolftrackaudio.com for audio post production.

 

The Cycle of Fifths for the Bassplayer – #1 of 5

The Cycle of Fifths for the Bass player – the Underappreciated Tool – #1 in a series of 5

You may know the Cycle of Fifths as a tool for determining key signatures, which is great. But, especially for us bass players, it holds so much more in store… the falling fifth (or ascending fourth if you will) is such a common root movement!
This is what I am talking about in this short video series: how understanding the Cycle can help you be a better bass player, practice more effectively, learn and analyze tunes, and much more. #1 introduces what the cycle sounds like and I show you a great exercise for finding notes all across the fretboard with ease.
Let me know if you have any questions. Please leave a comment how it is working for you.
[Tweet “Bassists: The Underappreciated Music Theory Tool.“]
Votan Marleaux XS by Gerald Marleaux. Strings by Dean Markley
 

 
Here is the backing track to jam with. Go round and round…
 

The PDF is HERE
Email me a video link of you jamming to these tracks – I’d love to hear what you are doing with this material.
This video is part of a five-segment promotional mini-series I created in June 2015 for the online-education powerhouse TrueFire. Get my Truefire Course Pentatonic Playground for Bass here
For systematic and comprehensive bass learning check out my course  
Thanks for watching!

Stay tuned for Part 2!


 
 

An All Female Jazz Camp – What Gives?

An All Female Jazz Camp – What Gives?

I wrote this article for Bass Musician Magazine in May 2015, in the wake of a great all female Jazz camp I have been teaching at since its inception, created and run by Jean Fineberg and Eileen Seeling, the Woman’s Jazz and Blues Camp at the California Jazz Conservatory. Interviewing some of the women attendees and faculty was a real eye opener…

AN ALL FEMALE JAZZ CAMP – WHAT GIVES?

It is 11.00AM on Monday, March 25th 2015, and the usual saxophone, trumpet and guitar cases are piled up in the hallways of Berkeley California’s Jazzschool. As on every Monday, you hear the muffled sounds of bands rehearsing, instructions shouted, occasional laughter. What is not business as usual, however, is that on this particular Monday the participants and instructors are all female. Were they all male with maybe an occasional female singer or pianist, it wouldn’t be worth extra mention. But for this week, The Jazzschool is exclusively dedicated to the underrepresented gender in Jazz. For five days, women instrumentalists and singers will hone their skills in ensembles and classes under the guidance of an all-female faculty. There will be a big concert at the end of camp.
Read the article here.

5-Bassists-credit-J-Higgins

Q: Does Your Book Require I Read Music?

To read music or not to read music? Definitely to read music. However, in my view learning music theory first is better and it can be problematic to attempt to learn both at the same time.
I recently got this question about my new book Music Theory for the Bass Player:

What if I don’t read music?

It’s a very common concern actually. And my answer is part of why I wrote the book. In my experience there are many bass players (and all kinds of musicians in many styles and fields) that feel they are barred from learning even the basics of music theory because they can’t read music (standard notation). So I wrote the book to be entirely accessible to you if you do not read. (And in the videos there is no score involved anyways, so book or not, fear naught! And you do not need the book to follow along with the videos.) The book contains countless fretboard diagrams as well as some TAB in addition to where standard notation is used. I came to the conclusion this is best because:
I have seen music theory books that start with a brief explanation of the elements of how to read music, and then proceed to pages and pages of explaining scales, chords, harmony and so on using standard notation as the main graphical device. I can imagine how hard and frustrating this can become to somebody new to how to read music. Often electric bassists do not have a reading background that supports that, or maybe come more from their ears and feeling the notes on the bass, rather than their eyes glued to a written page of music.
 

Read Music
Lucky thinks nothing of reading music. She is all ears…

So, are you saying no need to learn to read music?

Learning to read is of course a vital skill (You absolutely DO DO DO want to learn to read – score, charts, number system… gets you more gigs, makes you a more well rounded player and a gazillion of other reasons – we’ll explore that in later posts) – but I think it is a skill best learned AFTER you have a good understanding of basic music theory. Attempting to learn how to read music at the same time as learning about note lengths, intervals, scales, triads and chords is overwhelming for many, it means biting off more than one can sometimes chew. No wonder some get frustrated and overwhelmed! Reading – in such cases – becomes a distraction, an unnecessary stumbling block.

Maybe you are not used to read music or are not comfortable with a score in front of you. Don’t fret 😉 Many bass players benefit much more from hearing sounds or figuring out the shapes illustrated on the fretboard diagrams. Maybe you understand concepts better by hearing them and executing them, getting them under your fingers. A lot of bassists come from that tradition rather than a more classically oriented one. I wanted to make sure that if any of this describes you, you can work through the book successfully and have a good time while you’re at it!

And, another thought: if you know music theory, it becomes much easier to read music. An interval, a scale a triad… you will instantly recognize it on the page and start to read music in ‘chunks’.

I can read music just fine, will I get something out of this?

My goal is for you to understand how concepts are realized on the bass in shapes and patterns that you can get under your fingers and into your ears and then expand on creatively, rather than give you pages and pages of scales to read down in all 12 keys. I am more interested in giving you the tools to figure out how the concepts work so you can transpose them yourself.
If you are an advanced player you may find yourself plugging some holes and looking at a few things in different ways. Let me know how it is going for you as you follow along the videos.
Video Bits are starting soon!
That’s it for the Q&A section today. Please send me your questions and experiences as you work with the book or videos.

Praise for Music Theory for the Bass Player

I’m so thrilled that I got this book to where it is right now. It’s my first self published book, took me almost three years to put together. and it was and still is a great journey. I keep learning about the publishing business, what it takes to put a coherent book together and give it a satisfying design. It’s exhausting and exhilarating. I love it. I am already getting some very positive reactions to the book. Here is one from a dear friend, great musician and overall great guy, Kai Eckhart:
He took the time to read my book and then sent me this:

“If you are serious about exploring the bass guitar while making the best use of your precious time, this book will be an essential asset to your creative journey. Ariane has accomplished nothing less than a flawless road map from the microcosm of basic building blocks to the macrocosm of advanced comprehension. The book’s holistic methodology skillfully combines the unavoidable facts of music with an elegant psychological approach to the art of learning itself. Music Theory for the Bassist will take you right to the edge of your nest from where you can jump into the unknown with a powerful set of wings to fly by.”

Kai Eckhardt, Bassist, Composer, Bandleader

Buy The Book
Make sure to check out Kai’s clinics in the Bay Area as well as his Atomic Bass Series on TrueFire and other online educational activities. His band is unbelievably great! His website is Kaizone.com

Bass Bits – Free Bass Video Lessons

 

Welcome to the Bass Bits!

Free bass video lessons on Music Theory for the Bass Player to follow along with

Arisbass blog
Bass Bits for the Brave

Do you feel like you have a few holes in your theory knowledge, or are starting from scratch in that department? Play bass, but not really sure how to create cool grooves over a chord progression?
I’d like to invite you into the world of bass bits – short, succinct bass video lessons for you to follow along with! Useful demos of concepts, practice ideas, mnemonics, music theory explanations and technique tips for you, the bass player, to improve your grooving, tone and pocket.

It’s about how Music Theory is put together on the bass, and it’s about the immense benefits of a structured and systematic practicing approach, which you will get if you join in. Did I mention that the Bass Bits Bass Video Lessons are free?

My name is Ariane Cap and I am an in-demand live and session bass player and a passionate educator. I recently wrote a book called Music Theory for the Bass Player. I teach workshops and clinics, have my own Music School called Step Up Music, teach at the California Jazz Conservatory and am an educator for the online powerhouse TrueFire. I play with a lot of fantastic Bay Area Bands (Generation Esmeralda for example) and beyond (Muriel Anderson for example) and play sessions for my favorite producers (Keith Olsen of Journey/Fleetwood Mac) and others. My own project is an eclectic duo with electric bassoonist Paul Hanson called OoN, where I tap the four, five or six string and have all sorts of fun.
 

Don’t Make This Common Mistake when Learning Music Theory!

As a bassist you need to understand chords and their movements, inversions, scales, modes etc. from the standpoint of the bass line in the band and in the song.
You don’t necessarily need to know what mediants are, how to create a four part chorale or certain particulars of voice leading (all staples of many general theory books), but it sure is helpful if you understand how to harmonize a song, what diatonic and modal means, to speak the lingo, and that as a bassist we have the power to turn chords on their heads in wicked and beautiful ways.
I actually think learning music theory away from the instrument is a lost opportunity. It is crucial to bring this material to life on the fretboard! It helps you understand music better, it helps you understand the bass better!
Students come into lessons knowing just enough theory to be confused. Maybe they have heard about the Circle of Fifths, for example, but don’t understand how it could benefit their bass playing. Or they have heard of intervals, yet are not able to execute them on the bass in all positions. This is the gap I wanted to fill with my book: to apply theoretical concepts and make them applicable on the bass neck, to give a music theory ‘all-you-need-to-know’ to the bassist, and to inspire creative use of these sounds and concepts right away. So, don’t make this common mistake and learn music theory away from the context and instrument where you need it.
[Tweet “Check out ArisBassBlog.com Bass Bits for the Brave – Bass Video lessons and bass educational content!”]
 

Here is what my student Dan said about my methods and my book:“I’ve read a lot of books about how to play the bass, and I’ve read lots of books about music theory, but this was the first book I’ve read that covers music theory from the perspective of a bass player. Ariane teaches you to be a musician first, and a bass player second, which is how it should be. The book is appropriate for all levels, even the absolute beginner with no prior musical experience. Experienced bassists will learn new ways to understand how music works, and how the bass fits in with the rest of the band.”

Dan Callaway, Bassist

What’s the Plan?

In Bass Bits, I go through my book and demonstrate concepts in succinct and bass-centered ways. You’ll get ideas for practicing, applications of theory essentials for grooves and soloing. I am big on mnemonics and I have a keen interest in the psychology of learning and how to improve habits. Some bits are about practicing, some contain a bit tongue-in-cheek questions designed to make you think. I have a long section on technique habits in the book, so we will be talking about economic and relaxed playing quite a bit, too.

Who’s it for? What about levels?

I am covering a lot of ground, starting with how notes are put together and how the bass is organized (you may never have thought about it that way). Then I move on to intervals as music’s basic building blocks and we expand from there to scales, chords, the cycle, pentatonics etc.
Hopefully you will find many exercises useful and challenging, and will come away with new ideas and new ways to look at the bass to add to your own repertoire.

Do I need to buy the Book to Follow Along?

Absolutely no need to buy my book to follow along with the bass video lessons. But you do need your bass 🙂
If you’d like more information or purchase it, click here;

Ask me a Question

If you have questions about anything bass, music theory, playing gis, how to make a living gigging… contact me! Tell your friends to watch, too.

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