Bass Advice from the Top 140 bassists in the world!
We all get so much inspiration from the bassists who inspire us… What they do makes us marvel. And we also often wonder, how do they do what they do? What is their story? How can I learn from it?
A new book by KJ Jensen provides the answers
KJ Jensen interviewed many of the world’s top bassists for his new book, Titans of Bass: The Tactics, Habits, and Routines from over 140 of the World’s Best to learn more about how they do what they do. The intent is to support and inspire the beginning bassist.
I am honored to be included in this book along with many of my bass friends and bass heroes.
Read interviews with Lee Sklar, Billy Sheehan, Ron Carter, John Patitucci, and Jack Casady (to name just a few) as they share their insights on the roles and responsibilities of the bass, helpful habits to develop, good practice routines and songs to start with and so much more!
Chromatic approaches can be extremely effective to add spice to an otherwise “inside” bassline. In this episode, “Chromatic Acrobatics 2” I demonstrate a cool riff that you can use to shed your technique, too. Rapid fire 16th notes, extended fingerings and string crossings will be a challenge at first. But I break it down into small bite size pieces, and slow it down to allow you to get it under your fingers until you’re ready to bring it up to full speed. Add this to your practice routine, it’s absolutely worth it. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Download the PDF for this lesson and follow along with the video.
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has reduced and eliminated opportunities for musicians to get together and play. Gigs and tours have been slimmed down or canceled; jams and rehearsals scaled back and postponed. So what’s a musician to do?
Well Fusion Bags has an answer! They decided to do something about it by getting creative and adapting to circumstances via their new “Music Cannot be Confined” series. The idea is to select a group of musicians from around the world and “turn them loose” to collaborate on an original improvisation. First player lays down an original groove track, then others layer their parts on top until a unique and finished product is created.
Best part about it is that these are improvs in the truest sense of the word. No formal score – just some great players doing what they do best – playing in the moment!
I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in one of these projects. Luis started with some funky percussion and hybrid drums. Then I jumped in with keys and bass. Andy dropped in the smooth slide guitar track and Jordan finished it up with his fun lyrics and airy vocals. It was truly a blast! Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Thank you Nicole of Fusion Bags for coordinating and inviting me, and for helping to keep the music flowing!
Enjoy the bass transcription below, bassists.
None of us had ever met! So I was anxious to receive the first delivery:
I got just the cool percussion tracks from Luis.
Luis Ribeiro, a Brazillian percussionist living in my home country of Austria of all places, runs @worldofpercussionbeats and has a website at https://www.luis-ribeiro.com/
Go dig in there, it’s a really cool site! Luis is starting a new platform in February called Positive Drumming.
Luis delivered tight funky and clave-infused tracks with some cool twists.
Awesome! Everything was wide open at this point. We had all briefly emailed amongst each other about a form, tempo, and number of bars. But that was all in terms of structure! So there was a lot of freedom for bass and keys to shape the tune!
Wolf and I collaborated. This could have gone in many different directions. Since the company is called Fusion Bags Wolf thought adding a bit of a fusion-ey vibe might be just right. After about 24 hours I delivered this:
Video me and Luis
Next: Guitar and Vocals!
Off it was sent to the next band mates! Andy Hidber from Switzerland who builds his own beautiful guitars added a great atmospheric flavor to the second part of the track providing an awesome build. Definitely did not expect that direction! Very cool!
And finally, Jordan Scannella @JorScan topped it off with a really fun vocal line. What an unexpected turn yet again! And I love wild cats!
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