When soloing whether as part of a jazz ensemble or otherwise, it's likely that underneath your solo there will be chords changing. What really helps to take an average solo and really make it sound like it fits within the song and among the changes is making sure your solo lands on certain notes at certain times. Those notes can be thought of as target notes. Target notes are … [Read more...] about Theory in 300: Target Notes
Every so often after playing a show, jamming with someone or in casual conversation it will come out that I’m left-handed. First there will be a raised eyebrow and a follow up: “You’re left- handed?” Then it will hit that I also play music and that I’m a bass player and the next question will be like “but you play bass right-handed, right?” Yes, yes I do. I’m a … [Read more...] about Thoughts on Being Left-Handed and Playing Right-Handed Bass
You can't be a bass player without having heard of For Bass Players Only and its founder, Jon Liebman. For bassists, few sites offer insights, knowledge and stories as complete, thorough or insightful as ForBassPlayersOnly.com, a site dedicated entirely to all things bass (electric and upright) and the bass culture. FBPO is consistently updated with the very latest happenings … [Read more...] about I’m Jon Liebman, Founder of For Bass Players Only and This is How I Play
In part 1 of this two part column, we looked at exploring bass lines that were difficult to hear, difficult to make out and how you the bass player should interpret playing and approaching those lines. We also explored how much artistic creativity and freedom you have when making a 'new' bass line and what to keep in mind when you do so. In this second part, let's look at some … [Read more...] about Artistic Freedom With Bass Lines Pt. 2: Where You Don’t Have Creative Freedom (or As Much, Rather)
How do you play the bass line to 'Scarlet Begonias' by the Grateful Dead? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrIRE8Hzl7c It's an innocent enough question but one with many answers. All of which can be right. Songs like 'Scarlet Begonias' or many songs like the Grateful Dead, Phish, Umphrey's McGee and even many jazz acts can have many different ways to play through that song. … [Read more...] about Artistic Freedom With Bass Lines Pt. 1: How Freedom Much Do You Have?
A while back, I came across this fantastic video on Digg. The video stars Kevin Gisi, a programmer and developer with more than 20 years of computer programming experience and technical knowledge under his belt. The video tackles the question: how do I get started coding? It's a question that people looking to get more involved with coding, computers, app development, web … [Read more...] about Column: Why Do YOU Want to Learn Bass?
I finally learned to accept and understand the eighth note. It only took 10 years, but I finally get it. "What are you talking about, Mike?" I'm taking about playing simpler, more tasteful bass lines. Bass lines that are less flair and more function. Bass lines that have a special nuance about them rather than a need to impress with hundreds of notes a second. One Day While … [Read more...] about Column: What Makes a Good Bass Line?
When today's hip hop and RnB artists need a bass player, the first name that comes up is Michigan-native Robert 'Bubby' Lewis. Born and raised in Flint, Michigan , Lewis first learned to play drums at his father's church before switching over to bass. It was in that same setting that Lewis learned how to perform on stage before eventually switching over to bass guitar full … [Read more...] about I’m Robert “Bubby” Lewis and This Is How I Play
What are the musical intervals? In this Theory in 300 we're going to break down this important musical concept in under 300 words. Intervals are a fundamental part of musical structures, and as a result a fundamental part of any musician’s understanding of music. An interval is the distance in pitch between two tones. An interval can be quickly found my counting up the scale … [Read more...] about Theory in 300: Musical Intervals
The half whole diminished scale is one of the most commonly used scales in jazz soloing. Its main function is to add alterations to dominant 7 chords. This creates a great deal of tension which usually resolves when the dominant moves to the tonic chord. I have included a PDF which explains the alterations added to a dominant 7 chord, 2 lines which use the diminished … [Read more...] about Jazz Bass Soloing Pt. 3: Soloing Over The Half/Whole Diminished Scale