Ari’s Bass Guitar Blog

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Why Intervals? Music Theory for the Bass Player
Why Intervals? Do I really need to learn them?
Ari | 14, November

Why do you place so much emphasis on learning the intervals, Ari? Hi Ari, I have your book and you spend quite a bit of time on intervals. I have been playing songs for years and have a pretty good ear. Why do you think I need to learn them? What role do intervals have

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21 guns
21 Guns by Green Day – What key?
Ari | 07, November

Excellent question – 21 Guns by Green Day – is it in D minor or F major? And how to tell? After all, both scales share the same notes: F G A Bb C D E F. F major. D E F G A Bb C D. D minor. Same notes, just started on a

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mordent mordents
Pesky Mordents for Finger Strength (Talking Tech)
Ari | 31, October

I love borrowing from classical music for the electric bass – especially in the technique department! Classical music looks at hundreds of years of teaching and working out getting the fingers strong and coordinated; this presents lots of data to draw from: how to best do and how to best teach technical proficiency! In this

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fourths don't call it cycle of fourths Ariane Cap
Please Don’t Call it the “Cycle of Fourths”
Ari | 24, October

My last post on fifths  (when not to play the perfect fifths) and the one before on the forgotten fifth are hopefully still fresh in your memory because there is one additional really important thing to know about the fifths. And I consider it super important, because it sits at the root of Western harmony since the

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perfect fifth perfect fifths
When you should not play the perfect fifth…
Ari | 17, October

The Perfect Fifth is always safe to use, right? Yes. Except when it isn’t! Related, in case you missed it: The Fifth – Why it is the bassist’s best buddy The Forgotten Fifth We often refer to “perfect fifths” as just “fifths” – that is sort of an okay thing to do, since there are

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The Forgotten Fifth (Have it Under Your Fingers?)
Ari | 10, October

Fingering a Fifth You probably know it as a “1 by 2”: one string up, two frets over, like this (the numbers are fingering options for fifths): According to my Wall Chart’s interval formula, this is a “1 by 2” – one string up, two frets over.   The Forgotten Fifth But what about this

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fifth ariane cap
The Fifth – Why it is Your Best Buddy…
Ari | 03, October

Root – Five – Root – Five… it is a kind of signature bass line – and it works! In country, bluegrass, folk music, as well as in bossa (where it’s root – five – five – root root – five – five); also, a great way to start playing walking bass, for example, is

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Pi mnemonics
Remember How You Remembered Pi? (On Bass Mnemonics)
Ari | 26, September

“May I have a large container of coffee?”  This handy mnemonic never made it to my German speaking  classroom back in high school, but it would have come in handy to remember those elusive digits that make up the mysterious Pi! Mnemonics are one of my favorite ways to learn and teach because they work

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sus chords
Sus2, Sus4, Sus7 or just plain Sus? I’m in Suspense!
Ari | 19, September

Ah, sus chords! Sus means suspended – what we are suspending here is the third of the chord, so a sus2 or sus4 chord is essentially a chord with “something else” instead of the third, which leads to it being less stable and not defined as major or minor. This “something else” can be the

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