Almost every week I get questions about the one-finger-per-fret system of fingering. Why am I using it and advocating for it in most playing situations? How can it help you? What about upright fingering?
In this article I talk about the advantages, disadvantages and the one big enemy – tension.
I have seen a lot of confusion and misinterpretation come from one-finger-per-fret done incorrectly. Do it correctly where appropriate, make it a healthy habit, and watch its powers unfold under your finger tips when reading, improvising, grooving. Have a small hand? I have tips for you there, too. My hands are tiny, so I speak from experience.
In this half hour+ interview with Raul Amador of Bass Musician Magazine we talk about
my book, Music Theory for the Bass Player
how it is unique and how it came about
how my students inspired me to write it
the significance and content of the wall chart
teaching, playing and loving both of it
I even give you my 2 minute run down of cracking the modes right then and there!
My expression in the still is epic, haha. I get passionate, what can I say 🙂
Wall chart : Available fpr $24.95 with free domestic shipping. International shipping available: postage will be computed for your country at check out. The posters ship in tubes to protect them, hence for some countries rates are quite high. 5 posters ship for the same price as one. Share with a buddy to save on shipping rates!
Staring at the Wall has never been so productive 🙂
Bass Musician Magazine is an awesome online bass magazine that keeps us connected and always has relevant and interesting content. It made me discover lots of great players and resources. I have submitted one of my own articles to them as well. The story behind that is that I teach a yearly Jazz and Blues camp to women at the Berkeley, California Jazz School (AKA California Jazz Conservatory). The stories of the women inspired me and I was looking for a place to share it. BMM embraced the story and published it in their magazine. Read: An All-female Jazz Camp – What gives?
Pull-offs & hammer-ons are some of the coolest sounds on bass. Use them in a pentatonic context, though, and you may run into limitations…
Watch Pull-off Pentatonics to break free!
Sometimes box shapes can be a bit limiting because they offer just two notes per string. What if you want to do hammer-ons or pull-offs for more than two notes? You have to be on the same string in order to pull that off (pardon the pun!).
In this Talking Technique Episode I show you how to break free. Let’s connect them so that you can play pull-off pentatonics at your heart’s content. The idea is to combine the box shapes.
Don’t let fingering limitations direct what you can and cannot play – where there is a will, there is a way! It all has to do with the best fingering, as well as being fit when it comes to hammer-on and pull-off technique! It pays off to check this one out. Then come up with a few cool riffs!
This is a Diva by Marleaux. It has 26 “frets”. Or, rather, it would be more appropriate to say it doesn’t have 26 frets, since it is fret-less. You get the idea. But any brand will work. My first fretless was an Alembic where I removed the frets. That is a nice way to get used to a fretless model as well: remove the frets from a fretted bass you are used to and fill with a color sawdust (I’d have that done professionally!) that gives you barely visible lines.
Dr. Randy Kertz invited me some time ago to contribute to his monthly blog on ISB. He was particularly interested in my PORA method: PORA stands for: Principles of Rotating Attention. I learned the ideas behind it at the University of Music in Vienna and then created my own way of using and teaching it over the years. In particular, students find this handout (click to download) useful, where I created a step-by-step formula for it.
Want the fast track to:
changing engrained bad habits (over-gripping, pulling up shoulders,…)
more ergonomic fingering and technique
more concise timing
better focus everywhere in life?
This works, and fast, too.When I say fast, I mean practicing this way for just up to five minutes in the beginning. Once you have the hang of it it is hard to not be addicted to it. The one thing, though: you have to follow the process step-by-step, details are really important here. You start seeing results in unexpected ways, and gradually, but steadily. Instead of fighting the old, you focus on the new. Positive attitude wins. Check it out, here is the PORA video.
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Wall Wisdom at 17 by 28 inches
An 18 by 27 inch visual reminder of important music theory basics!
Enrich your practice room!
Music theory needs hands-on practicing just like everything else. Just knowing and understanding it “in theory” is not enough. Having shapes under your fingers to use them in a musical situation effectively is where it’s at. To help keep the most important points to remember fresh in your mind, hang this comprehensive and clever wall chart in your practice room: it arranges the most important building blocks of music in a visually appealing and easy-to-grasp chart, with reference to the fretboard.
In this video I show you how playing octaves using chromatic approaches can sound exciting and cool. Fingering and good technique are of course important – after all this is my Talking Technique column on notreble.com – and you will see they can be pretty tricky to pull off cleanly.
These are great exercises for shedding scales, and creating cool riffs and grooves with these finger-twisting intervals is where it’s at creatively. This handy PDF gives you the TAB and notes.
Let me know what you come up with using octaves and chromatic approaches!
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