Cant find a bass teacher? Or plain ol' just having trouble finding that experienced player that will help guide you through the world of bass guitar and music? Believe it or not, you're not alone. One of the biggest questions around the internet for up-and-coming bass players is where do I find a teacher? or where do I find a good bass guitar teacher? While 'good' might … [Read more...] about Bass Guitar Teachers: How to Find a Good Teacher and Learning Bass Guitar In-Person
Most of us reading Smart Bass have some kind of a day job. Whether it's a formal 9-5 job or a series of part time jobs that consume 90% of the day, work and life's obligations consume a large portion of our minds and our free time. While the mindset at work should be to, well, work and do what you're paid to do, one question that has persisted in the minds of musicians eager … [Read more...] about 3 Ways to Practice Bass at Work (Without Getting Fired)
I can't think of any three terms that are so used but so difficult to articulate and pin down quite like "playing in the pocket", "playing behind the beat" and "playing ahead of the beat". To a beginner, these terms likely bring about some feelings of head scratching and head-scratching impulses. To an intermediate and seasoned musical veteran, by contrast, are just … [Read more...] about Push, Drag and Center: What is Playing in The Pocket, Anyway?
Do you feel like you're bass playing has flat lined? Have you been playing and playing and playing but don't feel like you're getting any better? Well, good news! You can change that - and in a weekend's time, no less! Whether you're learning bass, learning to program software or learning to whittle, we all want to improve our skill in a craft and continue to learn. Whether … [Read more...] about 7 Actionable Ways to Improve Your Bass Playing This Weekend
Every so often, when you hear a very fast, very percussive slap line, you'll be likely to hear a very quick succession of muted notes get snuck into their line. Often times, it flies by so quickly that it can get missed. But when it is heard, it's really one of those techniques that tickles the ear and gets you to sit up and wonder how to get that quick popping sound (listen … [Read more...] about Slap Bass Chronicles 2: Double Pop Circles
I can guarantee that everyone when they began playing bass, started playing because of AT LEAST two of these players: Jaco Stanley Clarke Flea Geddy Lee Chris Squire James Jamerson Victor Wooten Les Claypool Jack Bruce Bootsy Collins Geezer Butler Marcus Miller Larry Graham John Entwistle Paul McCartney Cliff Burton Steve Harris Mark … [Read more...] about Why Non-Bassists Can Make You A Better Bassist
I'll come right out and say that when I hear a cool riff, I'm going to outright use it and then put my own spin on it. The thing is that I am also pretty indiscriminate as to where that riff might come from. Posted below is a video of Return to Forever's performance of "Sorceress" from 1976 that I'm going to come back to throughout this post. The first time I heard that live … [Read more...] about How to Build Bass Lines Off Of Other Bassist’s Work
Many years ago when I was starting out on bass, one of the areas that I routinely shied away from was jazz studies and jazz improvisation. The topic to me seemed so massive and so daunting and so musically rigorous that I did as much as I could to back away from it. Eventually, after getting a pretty good handle on as many other aspects of bass as I could get my hands on, I … [Read more...] about Learn How to Make Your Walking Basslines Smooth and Flowing
Let me begin with a short story. Many years ago when my dad started playing bass, he raved about the calluses marks on his finger tips he had developed. These were deep, hardened divots in his finger tips that he wore proudly like a badge of honor to show his commitment to the instrument. The amount of finger pressure he was applying to his instrument was … [Read more...] about Are Your Own Fingers Slowing Your Bass Playing Down?