Blog/Lessons

How To Play A Chromatic Scale On The Bass Guitar 

 

To start a chromatic scale is a musical scale containing twelve pitches all a semitone or half step apart.  Thus in theory there is only one chromatic scale.  The starting note(and ending note) are the only “variable”. 

I have divided my approaches to the chromatic scale based on where on the instrument we are starting. The “upper” G&D strings or the “lower” A&E strings.  Each of these have two finger patterns that I find to be the most effective and intuitive.  All while trying to keep the left hand…

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Buying Your First Double Bass 

When people first contact me about starting double bass lesson the immediate question is where should I get an instrument?  Should I buy or rent?  For the person just starting out I always recommend renting a bass before you spend $2000 or more on an instrument.  Some places even offer a rent to own option where the money used on the rental can be applied to an upgraded instrument.

So lets say you have rented an instrument you love playing the double bass and you want to find an instrument that is your own.…

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Holding and Owning A Groove the art of Bass Zen Mastery 

In this bass lesson I want to focus on something that is one of the fundamental roles of the bass player, holding and owning a groove or part.  What I mean by this is the ability to hold tight to the groove/bass line you have created no matter what sort of cacophony might be going on around you.  We often as bass players feel as though we need to do something more to our bass parts as the song progresses.  It needs a more notes or to vary the rhythm but more times then not the music is best served by…

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Box Shape For Bass Guitar Lesson 

In this bass guitar lesson we are going to take a look at the “Box Shape”.  This is a left hand position that is very useful in when developing a bass line’s that have a “groove” or “hook” feel to them.  Prime examples of this shape are the verse to The Temptations Get Ready, The Beatles Taxman and the blues classic Messin’ With The Kid.

I approach the box shape two ways one major and one minor we shall first look at the Major.  Both the major and minor box shapes can be started on the A or E String.  For…

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Tips for Practicing With A Metronome 

In this music lesson we are gonna to look at a musicians favorite and most hated friend the Metronome.  There will more than likely be points when you will want to throw said metronome against the wall but remember rhythmic timing is the black and white, right or wrong of music.

There are some music educators who are against the use of metronome and argue that we all have innate since of timing but unfortunately this is not true. When I was in college my African drumming instructor from Ghana Dr. Daniel…

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Scales on One String For the Double Bass Lesson 

In this double bass lesson we are going to look at playing our major and harmonic minor scales on one string of the double bass. As bassist’s we spend a lot of time practicing our scales with a multitude of fingerings across multiple strings.Skipping over the basic step of simply playing the G major scale up and down the G string. This is beneficial in several ways. It helps us physically see the distance of the intervals that make up the scale.  These etudes are also a great work out for our shifting and…

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Getting The Most out of your Music Lessons and Practice Time 

As both a teacher and student I have had both successful and disappointing lessons.  In this article we will look at ways to improve both your practice habits and time management.  By applying some if not all of these ideas you will not only achieve great strides in your own playing but will invigorate both your teacher and your self’s musical adventure.

Adequate Practice Time

First and foremost if you do not practice you will not improve.  Your greatest musical hero’s spent countless hours holed up in…

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Three Parts of a Beat and Today’s Tempo 

Two of the most important musical lessons I ever learned came from my college orchestra professor Marshall Haddock.  He is a fiery conductor whom all of his former students have fantastic stories to share.  This musical lesson can be applied to whatever instrument you play be it bass, mandolin or sackbut. 

Professor Haddock was the first to really point out to me that you can play on the beat three different ways and each has a musical and emotional affect on the music and listener.

Three Parts of A Beat
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What Should My Left Hand Look Like When Playing The Double Bass 

One of the biggest hurdles a new Double Bass Student must address in lessons, is the proper hand shape of the left hand.  Having the proper hand shape is important for ease of playing but equally importantly intonation.  In this article we discuss steps  to and techniques to help you achieve an accurate left hand.

 

Hand Shape and Thumb Location

Let’s start with our basic hand shape and thumb positioning.  I instruct my students to make the letter C with their Left Hand  and then slide the C onto the neck…

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How To Hold The Double Bass 

The first lesson one must learn when playing the Double Bass is how to hold and stand with the instrument.  You will see people holding the bass in all sorts of crazy and wild ways. While we are all different shaped beings there are some stead fast rules that  will make holding the bass a comfort and not an odyssey.

I approach holding the Upright Bass the same way you would climb up a ladder. There will always be three points of contact that are keeping the instrument upright and in position. 

The purpose…

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