Welcome to the Bass Bits!
Free bass video lessons on Music Theory for the Bass Player to follow along with
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?
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?
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.