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B A S S P L AY E R .

C O M

LEARN FROM
THE PROS!
RED HOT
CHILI PEPPERS
FLEA
MASTER VIRTUOSO
VICTOR WOOTEN
JAZZ ICONS
RON CARTER
STEVE SWALLOW
SOLO LEGEND
MICHAEL
MANRING

BPS BEST
LESSONS!
RIGHT-HAND
TECHNIQUE
PICK TO POP
READING 101

A NEWBAY MEDIA PUBLICATION

HOW TO PLAY
JAZZ BLUES ROCK
AFRO-CUBAN AND MORE!

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CONTENTS
TECHNIQUE

ST Y L E

BEGINNER

BEGINNER

BEGINNER

Fretting-Hand Muting

22

Whats The Form?

46

Pick Playing

24

The Octave

15 Blues Lines You


Must Know

10

The Metronome Is
Your Friend

25

Homework

50

Countrys Convenient
Chord Cues

26

Chord Tones

12

Right-Hand Slap 101

52

28

13

Picking Joe OsbornStyle

The Major Scale &


Fingerboard Basics

The Foundation Of
Hard Rock/Metal
Bass Tone

INTERMEDIATE

14

How And When To


Use Slides

15

6-String Crossing

15

New Tricks

16

Fist First

INTERMEDIATE

INTERMEDIATE

30

Rhythm N Scales

49

Clave & Cuban Son

32

Riffs

54

33

Rhythm Recon

Practice, Practice,
Practice

34

Learning Tunes Quickly

56

What The Funk?

35

Chord Inversions

ADVANCED

ADVANCED

ADVANCED

18

Plucking-Hand
Exercises

36

The Minor Modes

60

38

Tensions

A Private Lesson With


Ron Carter

19

The Open Hammer


Pluck

40

The Complete
Approach

62

Refining Your Sound

64

20

Vibrato

Channel The Theory:


Flea Lesson

www.bassplayer.com

T H E O RY

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FROM THE EDITOR

Play Bas
Bass!
The Ultimate Guide to Technique, Theory & Styles
For Beginning to Advanced Players

Senior Editor Jonathan Herrera


Associate Editor Brian Fox
Consulting Editor Karl Coryat
Senior Contributing Editor Chris Jisi
Contributing Editor Bryan Beller
Staff Writer Jimmy Leslie
Art Director Paul Haggard
Assistant Art Director Damien Castaneda
Production Manager Amy Santana

PLAY BASS
BY JONATHAN HERRERA

MUSIC IS A PECULIAR UNDERTAKING. ITS A PROFOUND


and potent art form, perhaps unrivaled among humans creative endeavors.
Music can heal, affect change, and is inexorably linked to our emotional
and cultural landscape. But, it is also a craft, in the driest, most procedural
sense of the word. Negotiating this dualitymusic as art and music as craft
is the peculiar responsibility of musicians, and its a dizzying challenge.
Its easy to believe one facet supersedes the other. The artistic trappings
of musicthe notion that its all a matter of free expression, attitude, and
cultural identityare a constant distraction. There are those that ignore
musics academic foundation, rationalizing that any step toward technical
edification is a step away from self-expression. Conversely, there are the
musical gymnasts that confuse finely honed technique, harmonic sophistication, and speed with musics more emotionally resonant gifts.
We at BASS PLAYER hope you fall somewhere in the middle. Great artists
know their craft, and they intuitively integrate its technical aspects into their
work without self-consciousness. One could easily dismiss, for example,
abstract expressionist painting as simplistic or farcical. But its most indelible
practitioners were serious about their work, blending a scholarly attitude for
color and aesthetics with a desire to realize an intrinsically personal vision.
The same should be true of bass playing. Knowing your craft inside out gives
you the biggest vocabulary for musical expression.
To that end, weve assembled our second edition of Play Bass, a special issue that collects some of BPs finest instructional content over the
years. There is a lifetime of information herein, and I hope you make it
a frequent reference in your own journey through music.

Group Publisher Joe Perry


jperry@musicplayer.com, (770) 343-9978
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Andy Gonzalez, Barry Green, Charlie Haden, Stuart Hamm, David Hungate, Anthony
Jackson, Darryl Jones, Dave LaRue, Will Lee, Michael Manring, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, Pino Palladino, John Patitucci, Josh Paul, Dave Pomeroy, Chuck Rainey,
Rufus Reid, Steve Rodby, Billy Sheehan, Lee Sklar, Steve Swallow, Gerald Veasley, Rob
Wasserman, Verdine White, Gary Willis, Doug Wimbish, Victor Wooten

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TECHNIQUE
BEGINNER

FRETTING-HAND MUTING
ITS A PROBLEM: AS BEGINNING BASS PLAYERS,
our minds are swimming with cool new licks, so were
naturally inclined to play lots of notes. Yet as we start
playing in bands, we see that its often what isnt played
that matters. Knowing where to leave space is a life-long
journey, but its easy to learn how physically to make
space by muting a string.
If there were no such thing as muting, bass playing
would sound like a sloppy succession of queasy low
tones, galloping or plodding along with no connection
to rhythm. But choking off a note at the right moment
to control its duration allows a groove to develop. Usually the fretting or plucking/picking hand (or both) does
the muting, but theres a lot more to muting, like
plucking-hand rest strokes, palm muting, ghost-notes,
and more. Well cover those topics in upcoming installments. Well first cover fretting-hand muting, which for
me is the left hand.
Fretting-hand muting involves fretting a note and
releasing the fretted note by lifting the fretting finger
and placing the other fretting fingers on the string being
played. Dont attempt to mute with only one finger by
merely easing it off the fret (Figures 1 and 2). Not only
does this leave your other fingers unprepared for the
next note, it can result in a chimey harmonicnot
exactly the ideal sound for space. Instead, try to simultaneously lift the fretting finger and gently lay the most
comfortable-feeling available finger over the now deadened string (Fig. 3). If the fretting finger is your pinkie,
lift it off the string and mute with the other three fingers behind it (Figures 4 and 5). Try to stick to the onefinger-per-fret rulethat is, let your four fretting fingers
fall over a four-fret span, only playing notes on the fret
that each finger naturally rests over (Fig. 5). This technique prevents fretting-hand entanglements and is the
most efficient way to address the fingerboard.
To get the most out of this technique, youll have to
hone in closely on your fretting-hand habits. For now,
take it slow, keep it low, and have fun exploring space!
www.bassplayer.com

JONATHAN HERRERA

PLAY

BASS!

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

TECHNIQUE
BEGINNER

PICK PLAYING
TO PLAY WITH A PICK, YOULL NEED, WELL, A
pick. Think twice before boosting one off your guitarplaying friend. While some guitar picks make good bass
picks, many are too thin and small to be effective when
faced with our instruments thick, tense strings. For
general pick playing, its good to aim for picks marked
heavy or those with a thickness of at least 1mm. When
you go to purchase picks (note the pluralyoure going
to lose every one eventually, so buy a lot), hold each in
your hand to make sure its texture doesnt feel too
slippery.
Before you get to playing the instrument, its good
to know how to best hold a pick. Do what feels natural,
but Ive discovered that the following technique works
well: Put the pad of your thumb on the top side and the
side of your finger on the underside (Fig. 1). The pick
should nestle into your fingers first joint, anchored by
the upward angle of your forefingers second joint (Fig.
2). Dont choke up too far, as you want your pick to hit
the string, not your finger.
Good pick technique is all about developing a proper
right-hand and right-forearm approach. Natural wrist
and arm motion makes the bass line sound more even.
My approach is to rotate my forearm and hand as one
contiguous unit, allowing the full weight of my arm to
address the string, but allowing me to maintain control
(Fig. 3). With this approach, its important to strike the
string with the broad side of the pick to get maximum
tone (Fig. 4). Using the picks edges has its place (it generally creates a sharper scraping sound), but for most
pick playing youll want to get a good chunk of the picks
flat side on the string.
To practice, try playing simple bass lines and open
strings with a metronome. Begin by playing only single
and adjacent strings, and then move on to lines that
employ string skipping, like notes on only the E and D
strings. Also, practice both alternating between downstrokes and upstrokes and downstrokes alone. For a lot
of heavier music, downstroke-only picking gives the
bass line the weight it needs.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

JONATHAN HERRERA
Fig. 4

www.bassplayer.com

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TECHNIQUE
BEGINNER

THE METRONOME IS YOUR FRIEND


DO YOU OWN A METRONOME? NOT A DRUM
machine, but an old-fashioned, tick-tock metronome?
Drum machines disguise your groove with kick, snare,
hi-hat, and toms that your playing can disappear into
but a metronome leaves you naked, stripped bare, so
you can determine if you can play in time. Then and
only then can you start building up your time chops.
Eventually you could be laying it down with the rest
of the bad boys of bass.
Remember these words: The metronome is your
friend. It is not your enemy. Consider the metronome
a tool that will make you a better player, not something to be feared. It will bring you closer to your goal
of being a musician who easily plays in time. To paraphrase Marcus Miller, a great musician must have
soul and perfect time.
When practicing with a metronome, set it to a
tempo thats easy for you. Dont strain. Ideal starting

tempos are often between 72 and 88 BPM (beats per


minute).
Pick easy material, like a major scale (Ex. 1). Play
eighth-notes, four per scale degree. Try 78 BPM; if thats
too fast to nail each note, slow it down to 72. If its
too slow, relax and try to lock on.
As you master easy material and it begins to sound
relaxed, increase your tempobut only one notch at
a time. If after a few days you nail the new tempo,
increase the tempo again by one notch. If you cannot
groove at the new tempo, it means you arent ready to
graduate to the next one. Stay at the previous tempo
a few more days; then when you move up, you will be
in control. If you are in control, you will play with
confidence and conviction, and you will sound relaxed
yet strong. That translates into attitude, and thats
what playing music is all about.
GLENN LETSCH

Ex. 1

  
44                             



= 78

T
A
B

Ex. 2

4                                    

4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
= 78

3 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 5

www.bassplayer.com

T
A
B

10

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2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3

5 5 5 5 5 5

2 2 2 2 2 2

4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5

PORTRAITS
in TONE
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Best wishes,
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TECHNIQUE
BEGINNER

RIGHT-HAND SLAP 101


THANKS TO LARRY GRAHAM, SLAP ARRIVED IN
the late 60sand just like every other technique for
our young instrument, there isnt a consensus on the
ultimate approach. The basic technique usually
combines a wrist-twisting thumb slap with an index- or
middle-finger pop. But the angle of the thumb to the
string, and the use (or disuse) or pops, vary a lot. Some
folks prefer to slap with their thumb at a downward
angle and their wrist roughly parallel to the neck (Fig.
1). They use their forearms back-and-forth rotation for
the bulk of the slap energy, usually resulting in an aggressive tone and, because of the positioning of the index
finger, a lot of popped notes. This technique is used to
great effect by a lot of bassistsbut in my oh-sohumble opinion, its not ideal. Though beginners seem
to gravitate toward this approach without guidance, its

limitations dont allow the player to take full advantage


of the whole groovy slap world.
I prefer the slap technique of players like Marcus
Miller and Larry Graham, which is based on a thumb
thats parallel to the string (Fig. 2). Though this approach
requires the bass to be higher on a strap, its benefits are
numerous. It results in a fuller, fatter thumb tone, perhaps because theres more flesh hitting the string. It also
seems to make the thumb more dominant, rather than
the see-saw slap-then-pop motion of the other approach.
This means that brash pops are available, but not an
essential product of the physical technique. The
parallel-thumb technique is also more controllable, allowing for advanced techniques like Victor Wooten-style
double thumbing and cool syncopated ghost-notes and
funk patterns. J O N A T H A N H E R R E R A
Fig. 1

www.bassplayer.com

Fig. 2

12

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BASS!

TECHNIQUE
PICKING JOE OSBORN-STYLE
IF YOU PICK UP A PICK WHEN JOE OSBORN IS
around, dont even think about muting with the heel
of your plucking hand. For the J-Bass style Joe used
on hundreds of hits, youll first need to put that big
hunk of chrome back on your axe. The pickup cover
gives you a place to pivot from, says Joe. Originally

BEGINNER

thats what I thought it was for. Check the photos:


Joe rests the heel of his right hand on the cover and
really get the string moving when he hits it. The muting comes from your right hand, says Joe. So youd
better listen.
RICHARD JOHNSTON

www.bassplayer.com

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13

TECHNIQUE

INTERMEDIATE

HOW AND WHEN TO USE SLIDES

www.bassplayer.com

WHEN WERE BEGINNING TO PLAY BASS, ITS EASY


to get caught up in all the gory details, like proper rightand left-hand technique, knowing the notes on the fingerboard, learning scales, and deciphering rhythms. Dont
get me wrong; these details are critical, but learning them
can sometimes be a drag. Lest we lose our passion for
practice, its important to integrate some purely fun stuff
into your routine. To me, sliding is one of the basss biggest
pleasures. There are few more feel-good moments than
sliding all the way down the fingerboard into a huge Estring finale or injecting a slippery slur into a greasy funk
line. When we slide, were flexing our bass muscles
there are few better ways to cut through a band and say,
Hey, Im here!
Good sliding is all about attitude. Its a yin-yang balance of recklessness and precision, but the balance shifts
slightly in either direction depending on the type of
slide. To me, slides fall into two big categories: specialeffect and articulation. Special-effect slides are the big
neck-spanning, woofer-walloping sound explosions that
happen when you fret a note and then slide your fretting hand all the way up, down, or up and down the fingerboard. They usually come between sections of a tune
and are well suited to setting up a big change in dynamics, like going into a louder section. With special-effect
slides, rhythm is key. The slide should begin in a rhythmically logical place and end at precisely the right

14

PLAY

BASS!

moment. What happens in between is up to you; except


for starting and ending points, the slide itself can be
done without much concern for notes. Youll find that
your brain intuitively figures when to begin and end the
slide and how much neck to gobble as you develop the
skill.
Articulation slides tilt the slide balance toward precision, and they come in many different forms. In music,
articulation can be defined as what happens at the beginning and ends of notes. Therefore, sliding into and out
of a note is a form of articulation. In contrast to bombastic special-effect slides, with articulation slides its
usually important to be accurate about starting and ending pitches. Again, knowing how the slide fits into a
rhythm is key. Often, slides are an alternative to separately plucking or hammering on successive notes that
are close together on the fingerboard. Slides can make
your bass line sound more legato, with the notes more
smooth and connected.
For now, practice inserting slides into your favorite
bass lines. The only way to really integrate them into
your playing is to get used to their special impact by
messing around. Remember, slides are powerful, so
when you hit the stage dont overdo it. But trust me,
when you nail it, youll be hooked for life!
JONATHAN HERRERA

TECHNIQUE
6-STRING CROSSING

INTERMEDIATE

THE MUSICAL EXAMPLES SHOWN HERE USE ALL SIX


strings, and they require patienceand dilligence. Please concentrate on
your right-hand alternation and consistency. And play slowly!
STEVE BAILEY

Ex. 1

Ex. 2

Ex. 3

NEW TRICKS

INTERMEDIATE

Fig. 1

www.bassplayer.com

GETTING BETTER AT BASS INVOLVES DIGESTING HUGE AMOUNTS


of new information, but its just as important to unlearn the bad stuff. Most of
us picked up the bass without much initial guidance, and even though subsequent study can illuminate a better path, our individual approach is often
cemented in those early moments of discovery. One extraordinarily common
habit is to rest the forearm on the basss body, like in Fig. 1. I do it almost all
the time if Im playing with a traditional fingerstyle technique. Unfortunately,
this is a perfect recipe for carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition that
occurs when the passageway of bone and ligament at the base of the wrist compresses the median nerve. If that werent scary enough, the forearm muscles
weakened position seems to rob the plucking hand of strength. Try the approach
in Fig. 2, lifting the forearm off the bass. For me, it feels a little awkward, but
I believe its technically a better option. J O N A T H A N H E R R E R A
Fig. 2
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15

TECHNIQUE
INTERMEDIATE

FIST FIRST
OVER THE PAST YEAR OR SO, MY PLUCKing-hand technique has gradually evolved. I
rarely play with a pick and slap only occasionally, so Ive mostly been the typical twofinger guy (Fig. 1), with my plucking fingers

perpendicular to the strings. Several years ago,


I spent a lot of time developing my palm-muted
thumb technique, and I think it was that, plus
a desire to arpeggiate three- and four-note
chords across strings, that formed the basis for

my changed approach.
Essentially, I make a fist with my right hand,
plucking notes on the lower three strings with
my thumb and alternating my index and middle
fingers for the top two (Fig. 2). If a bass line sits
on one string and is fairly up-tempo, Ill alternate
my thumb and index finger, akin to the alternation of the index and middle fingers in conventional right-hand technique (Fig. 3). While I
havent quite nailed this approach, Ive found that
in theory it allows for more speed, evenness, and
agility across strings, and it isnt dependant on a
pickup or lower string for anchorage. For a somewhat different, much more highly evolved version of this approach, check out the lessons link
on Gary Williss website: garywillis.com.
JONATHAN HERRERA

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

16

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BASS!

Sven Pipien
The Black Crowes

For over 40 years, professional bass players like Sven Pipien have consistently
chosen Acoustic to project their signature tone and musical passion.

Sven Pipien plays an Acoustic B600H head with B410 and B115 Cabs.

2010 acoustic amplication

TECHNIQUE
ADVANCED

PLUCKING-HAND EXERCISES
HERE ARE A FEW EXERCISES THAT WILL HELP IN
getting your technique up to speed. Following my
plucking-hand fingering system, in which you use alternating fingers except when descending strings, we will
play a C major scale in the middle of the neck using all
four strings. Well actually start from B so that we can
play three notes per string. Concentrate on your plucking hand; as I mentioned last time, to gain speed, youll
have to learn proper plucking-hand technique.
Ex. 1 will get you familiar with the scale and position we will be using. Watch your plucking hand to see

what youre doing, and to be sure that you are getting


rid of bad habits. Ex. 2a and Ex. 2b, which involve playing 3rds, are a bit harder because you have to come back
to the lower string using the same finger. Ex. 2a shows
the ascending pattern; Ex. 2b shows the descending pattern. Dont try to play fast nowgive your hands the
time to learn the pattern slowly. Ex. 3a (ascending) and
Ex. 3b (descending) involve triads that will get you
accustomed to playing arpeggios. When you add arpeggios to your solos, they always sound melodic.
BUNNY BRUNEL

Ex. 1

plucking
1
hand:

8 10

10

10

10

Ex. 2a

2
1

1
2

7 10 8

2
1

2
1

10

1
2

2
1

1
2

2
1

8 7 10

1
2

1
2

2
1

etc.

10

1st time: 2
2nd time: 1

10

1
2

1
2

7 9

Ex. 3a

10

10

10

10

2
1

2
1

1
2

2
1

1
2

9 10 7 9

1
2

10

2
1

2
1

1
2

etc.

8 10

Ex. 3b

1st time: 1
2nd time: 2

www.bassplayer.com

Ex. 2b

1st time: 1
2nd time: 2

18

2
1

10

PLAY

1
2

BASS!

1
2

2
1

1
2

10

1
2

10

2
1

1
2

etc.

1st time: 2
2nd time: 1

10

1
2

1
2

2
1

2
1

10

1
2

2
1

2
1

2
1

10

etc.

10

etc.

TECHNIQUE
THE OPEN HAMMER PLUCK

ADVANCED









4






4         





T LH P
0

PAUL HAGGARD

MANY TIMES PEOPLE COME UP TO ME AFTER A SHOW


and tell me that when Im doing a thumb technique,
they hear a lot of notes but dont see a lot of motion.
Thats because I have spent many hours figuring out
ways to get the most out of each movement. This is what
Bruce Lee and many others have called economy of
motion. In this issue Ill explain one of my techniques
that utilizes this concept: the open hammer pluck.
Well explore this technique over two lessons, and I
hope youll then be able to explore the endless musical
possibilities available with this approach. (You may also
want to check out Abraham Laboriel and Brian Bromberg
to see how they use open hammer plucking.) I will
explain this with the assumption you are a right-handed
player; if not, make the necessary adjustments.
Open hammer plucking refers to hitting an open
string with your right thumb, hammering a note with
your left hand, and then plucking a note with your
right index finger. Its essentially a triplet. Ex. 1a shows
the basic pattern; Ex. 1b shows an alternate rhythm.
The basic O.H.P. technique is only the beginning
a reference point, to keep our thinking simple, rather
Ex. 1a
3
3
3
than a set rule. The actual pattern may get more complex: as you can see in Ex. 2, the hammered note can be
changed to play any note you wish. Ex. 2 uses the A major
T LH P T LH P T LH P
scale, but try this technique with a pentatonic scale, a
Fret: 0 3 0 0 3 0 0 3 0
blues scale, or with any of your favorite patterns. You can
even turn a walking bass line into
Ex. 1b
triplets with this technique. Its a little too much for many situations,
but oh, well. (If you are trying to
lose your gig, this is a great way!)
T LH P T LH P T LH P T LH P T LH P
Ex. 3a and 3b show that the
Fret: 0 3 0 0 3 0 0 3 0 0 3 0 0 3 0
open string doesnt necessarily
have to be open. And if you want,
Ex. 2
3
3
3
the hammered note can be two
hammers, or you can pluck as may times as you like.
So you see, the pattern can change as we move along.
Although you may be playing quadruplets or quintuplets with open hammer plucking, it may help you to
T LH P T LH P T LH
think of them as the basic O.H.P. If you are always thinkFret: 0 5 0 0 7 0 0 4
ing of the basic pattern, it will be easier to change the
patterns and rhythms you play.
Ex. 3a
Take these patterns, alter them, rip them up, and
turn them inside out. Practice them in all the keys, at
different tempos, and using different dynamics. But please
3
3
3
remember to keep it musical. The Music Police will be
T LH P T LH P T LH P
watching, and I dont want them coming after me!
Fret: 5 7 5 5 7 7 5 7 5
One last thing: All of the notes in these patterns can
be changed to protect the innocent.
Ex. 3b
(Wait, Im sorrytoo much TV.) I
mean, the notes can be changed to
suit your taste or to follow the chord
changes of any particular song.
T LH P T LH P T LH P T LH P T LH P

etc.






  
 
4

4                     

etc.

                
 44





    
3

T LH P

T LH P

T LH P

T LH P

T LH P






4   





4 

3
3
3
3

T LH P

T LH P

T LH P

T LH P

T LH P

VICTOR WOOTEN

Fret:

etc.

PLAY

BASS!

19

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4      

4 


TECHNIQUE
ADVANCED

PAUL HAGGARD

VIBRATO

www.bassplayer.com

ITALIAN FOR SHAKING, VIBRATO REFERS TO AN


intentional periodic wavering of pitch in order to add
expressiveness to music. Vibrato has several acoustical
advantages. A solid vibrato aids in tone projection, which
helps a soloist to be heard over a large ensemble or a
singer to be heard without amplification in a large hall.
Alsoalthough I certainly dont recommend using it
exclusively for this purposevibrato helps mask intonation discrepancies. Vibratos inherent expressiveness,
though, is more important than any practical attribute.
Vibrating sounds have a direct emotional appeal.
There are two main ways for we string players to
produce vibrato: The classical method entails pivoting the fretting finger along the length of the string; the
blues method involves bending the string back and
forth across the fingerboard. Each method has its adherents, and its not unusual for fans of one kind to look
down at those who use the other. In my opinion it makes
sense to try them both. As bass players its more important to note the significant difference between how fretless and fretted instruments respond to vibrato. In
general, most musicians find fretless instruments to
have more sensitivity to vibrato, especially the classical
form. But this doesnt mean classical vibrato isnt applicable to fretted instruments.
There are two primary attributes to vibrato: speed
and depth. Consider both carefully and separately when
faced with a new piece of music. For instance, you can
link vibrato speed to dynamics. A faster vibrato tends
to be more dramatic and will call more attention to
itself, so musicians often use faster vibrato for louder
passages. Of course the opposite approach can be very
effective, too. You might find it helpful to establish a
default vibrato speed that you can slow down or speed
20

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up as the music changes. Or you might find it more


musical to match your vibrato speed to the musics
tempo, dividing your vibrations into musically appropriate subdivisions, such as eighth-notes, triplets, or
16th-notes.
Another option to consider is keeping your vibrato
speed fairly constant and varying its depth instead. As
with speed, the greater the depth you use, the more dramatic the effect. If you really want to get peoples attention, try a vibrato so wide that your finger doesnt just
pivot but actually slides back and forth on the string.
This produces an exciting sound, and many bassists use
it to accentuate key notes in a line. Keep in mind you
dont have to vary your vibrato speed and depth in the
same way. For example, you can make your vibrato
wider yet slower as the music becomes faster and louder.
(Deep vibrato is especially good for hiding intonation
discrepancies. Again, I recommend dealing with pitch
problems directly instead of resorting to tricksbut
vibrato can be a godsend in an emergency!)
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is when to use vibrato and when to lay off. Some
forms of music use vibrato pretty much all the time
but it can be very effective to use restraint as well.
Mozarts father, Leopold, wrote a popular violin method
book that said, Vibrato must only be used at places
where nature herself would produce it. Speaking of
restraint, its easier to hear vibrato on long sustained
tones than on notes that fly by, so some musicians avoid
it altogether on anything less than half-notes. Try starting a long note without vibrato and slowly introduce it
as the character of the note begins to take shape. This
can lend a sense of movement and detail to a melodic
line. M I C H A E L M A N R I N G

Mark King

Signature Series Bass Amp

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This amp takes my sound
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Mark King

Celebrating 30 years of Level 42


The Mark King Signature Series Gold-Plated Amp Head
A very special version of a very special amplifier
Were making just thirty examples of this stunning, 24-carat gold plated bass amp,
each signed and numbered by the man himself. But dont worry if youre not lucky
enough to get your hands on one of these very special amplifiers. The standard
Ashdown MK500 Mark King Signature Series head is exactly the same 575-Watt funk
powerhouse, minus the bling. See it on the Ashdown website and hear it on tour
with Level 42. Check out www.level42.com for dates.

www.ashdownmusic.com www.level42.com

THEORY
BEGINNER

WHATS THE FORM?

FORM IS EASY TO UNDERSTAND.


Mathematically speaking, many basic forms
are organized in powers of two, usually in the
form of two-, four-, eight-, 12-, 16-, and 32bar sections. Most standard jazz and pop tunes
are structured this way. Lets look at a few specific examples of chord charts, and how to recognize the form.
The chord changes of the Duke Ellington
classic Perdido (Ex. 1) provide the basic structure for many other standard jazz compositions.
The form consists of an eight-bar A section,
which is repeated (the second A), followed by
an eight-bar B section (the bridge), and finally
a reprise of the first eight-bar A section (called
the last A). The bridge jumps out because of
the chord change to D7, but the three A sections can run together unless you concentrate
Ex. 1

Cm7

and know where you are at all times. To lock


the form in your brain, say top, second eight,
bridge, and last eight silently to yourself
each time you start a new section.
AABA is a tried-and-true song form for
improvisers. Countless standards, like Body
and Soul, Georgia on My Mind, Take the
A Train, and Softly as in a Morning Sunrise,
to name just a few, are based on the AABA form.
John Coltranes Impressions and Miles
Daviss So What also share the AABA form.
Both of these compositions have the same chord
structure: eight bars of Dm7, eight of Dm7,
eight of Ebm7, and eight of Dm7. The hard part
about playing these changes is that there are
long stretches of a one-chord sound. Its easy
to zone out in Dm7 and forget whether you
just played the last eight bars, or the first eight
F7

Bbmaj7

Cm7

F7

Bbmaj7

Cm7

F7

Bbmaj7

Cm7

F7

Bbmaj7

bars. Remember to concentrate, count, and call


out the sections to yourself.
Some compositions are slightly uneven in
form. All the Things You Are has an ABCD
form (8-8-8-12), with the D section being similar to A but with a four-bar extension. You
can keep your place in this form easier than in
a tune like Impressions, even though there
are more chord changes. In each section of All
the Things You Are, you start in a different
key, which creates an automatic landmark for
your ears.
Saxophonist Benny Golson has given us
many jam-session favorites with unusual forms,
like Stablemates (ABA, 14-8-14), and pianist
Horace Silver has contributed great standards
like Nutville (ABC, 8-8-8; see Ex. 2). The
trick in Nutville is to remember that the last

Ebmaj7

Ebmaj7

Dm7

Dm7

G7

G7

Ebmaj7

Dm7

G7

Ebmaj7

Dm7

G7

13

17

D7

G7

C7

F7

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21

25

Cm7

F7

Cm7

F7

29

22

PLAY

BASS!

Bbmaj7

Bbmaj7

Ebmaj7

Dm7

G7

two bars of Cm7 dont mark the beginning of


the form, even though the groove goes back
to the original Latin feel. When you get to that
point in the tune, count to yourself and then
say top when you go back to A.
There are standards with even longer forms
that jazz musicians like to play: Cherokee
(AABA, 16-16-16-16), Caravan (AABA, 1616-16-16), Night and Day (AAB, 16-16-16),
and possibly the mother of all standard song
forms, Begin the Beguine (ABCDEFG, 1616-16-16-16-12-16). You wont find this classic Cole Porter rumba being called on
Ex. 2

jam-session night at the local jazz club, but it


is often played at society gigs when the beautiful people get up to do their lizard dances.
To start exploring form with easier jazz
standards, take a look at Cantaloupe Island
(ABCA, 4-4-4-4), St. Thomas (AABC, 4-44-4), or Summertime (ABAC, 4-4-4-4). To
keep your place in Summertime (Ex. 3), look
at the chord that begins each four-bar section.
The first chord in A is Dm7. The first chord in
B is Gm7. The repeat of the A section in bar 9
begins on Dm7 like the first A. C, the last four
bars of the form, begins on Fmaj7. Once you

know where each section begins, you are on


your way to hearing and feeling the musical
landmarks in the form. Memorizing the whole
progression is now just a matter of filling in
the harmonies between those landmarks.
Always look at the form of a new song;
youll learn the song faster. Take songs that
you already know and check out the form. You
might be surprised at the simplicityor complexityof your favorite songs. Above all,
remember to concentrate on keeping your
place, and youll always land on your feet. BP
JOHN GOLDSBY

Cm7

B Fm7

Db7

Cm7
13

17

Ab7

G7

Gb7

F7

Swing/walking bass

Ab7

G7

Cm7

21

Latin/samba

Ex. 3

Dm7

13

Gm7

Em7(b5)

Dm7

Fmaj7

A7(#9)

Gm7

Em7(b5)

A7(#9)

Dm7

Em7(b5)

C7
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Swing/walking bass

A7(#9)

PLAY

BASS!

23

THEORY
THE OCTAVE
BEGINNER

ITS HARD TO IMAGINE, BUT NEARLY ALL WESTERN


music was, is, and will be composed using the same 12 notes,
tuned to the same basic pitches, obeying the same fundamental rules of consonance and dissonance. From Mozart to
Metallica, musics elegant vastness is the result of 12 ever-present ingredients, mashed and molded with infinite variety.
Slowly realizing this basic fact, spiritual in its profundity, is
one of the most beautiful parts of becoming a bass player. As
hard-working beginners, our minds steadily illuminate, awakening to the fingerboards patterns, hearing and feeling our
instruments cosmically deep potential.
My journey began with the octave. Until I recognized its
potential, the basss fingerboard was an arcane peg-game board,
randomly dotted and divided. But discovering octave patterns
was like getting that games rulebook: Suddenly, I perceived
the fingerboards wondrous economy, the visual repetition at
the core of bass technique. This perception was the seed of
everything Ive since learned.
An octave is an interval that represents the distance of
eight diatonic degrees between two notes of the same name.
When played consecutively, notes an octave apart sound similar, only lower or higher in pitch. To see the octaves potential, its essential to appreciate that notes an octave apart are
the same noteso any pattern played in one position on the
bass can be exactly duplicated in a different range by beginning on the note an octave above or below. Fig. 1 shows every
appearance of the note G on a 21-fret, 4-string fingerboard.
To play the riff in Ex. 1, use one of the blue note locations
from Fig. 2; Ive also shown the riff in a few other locations
with red dots.
The basss pattern penchant is bittersweet. Reinforced by
position markers, our tendency to favor symmetry can rule
our visual interpretation of the fingerboard. Well play certain licks just because they follow a geometrically logical pattern, despite the musical consequences. Ideally, we should
think of each note on the fingerboard as having equal priority; bass lines and licks that fall into shapes merely do so
through coincidental convenience. But as beginners, understanding the fingerboard is our main path, and the octave and
its patterns are step one.
JONATHAN HERRERA

www.bassplayer.com

Ex. 1

24

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Fig. 1

Fig. 2

G C F

C#

D G C

C#

D
C

C#
D

C
C#
D

THEORY

BEGINNER

HOMEWORK
I KNOW. YOU THOUGHT YOUR HOMEWORK DAYS
were long behind you. Sorry. Turns out, annoying though it
was, homework had a pointthat whole learning thing. And
BASS PLAYER is all about making you a better player, so think
of this assignment as a bit of prescribed funthat class that
you secretly (gasp!) actually liked. Each month Ill give you
a brief task, youll do it, and youll post any thoughts, comments, critiques, and insights from it in a special thread on
BASS PLAYERs Low Down Lowdown Forum (click forum at
the top of www.bassplayer.com to get there).
Running up and down scales, endlessly shedding arpeggios, intervallic studiesisolated, music they do not make.
Rote exercises may improve technique and unlock a few fingerboard mysteries, but creativity requires more than mere
vocabulary; rather, the developing player should try to practice musically relevant exercises that marry the intellectual
to the more transcendent aspects of music, like harmony and

its authority over our ears and hearts. One interesting area to
explore is the circle of 5ths and its rather nifty clues on cadence.
By now youve probably encountered the circle of 5ths
(COF), most likely in the context of learning about key signatures (if not, hit up Google). But the COF is way deeper
than a legend to the accidentals in a key; its a remarkable
visual representation of functional harmony. The fundamentals
of harmony dictate many possibilities, but perhaps the most
frequently adopted are the use of chords whose roots move
down a 5th (or up a 4th) to the next chords tonic. This resolute root motion is appealing to the ear, and when it takes
place within the diatonic constraints of a key, we hear a logical progression to the note of maximum gravity, the tonic.
Look at Fig. 1. Ive taken the circle of 5ths and added diatonic chord qualities and their corresponding Roman numeric
designation for each diatonic root note in the key. Ive also
added arrows that show the most fundamental progression
of chords in C, starting with tonic, moving to the IV chord,
and then cycling through the secondary, subdominant, and
finally, dominant chords to arrive back at C. The resulting progressionImaj7, IVmaj7, VIIm7b5, IIIm7, VIm7, IIm7, V7,
Imaj7is the basic structure of countless songs; a fact I hope
youll jive with once youve stared at the chords for awhile.
Now, the point. Try practicing scales and arpeggios that are
diatonically related to the COF. The tried-and-true method of
picking a single scale or arpeggio and running it through the
COF is cool, but I suggest playing diatonic scales or arpeggios
for practice through the COF, using the progression described
above. Say you were practicing the major modes in C. In order,
youd play: Ionian (C), Lydian (F), Locrian (B), Phrygian (E),
Aeolian (A), Dorian (D), Mixolydian (G), and finally, back to
Ionian (C). This runs through all the major modes, but instead
of chromatically or arbitrarily, its directly correlated to chord
movement, preparing the hands and ears for the inevitable onthe-gig confrontation with this sequence. Apply the same fundamental structure to all keys, and dont limit your practice to
full scales and arpeggiostry diatonic tensions, intervallic
sequences, and the like. Its an extremely useful way to get that
much deeper into the musics peculiar magic, all while shedding the same old warhorses. BP
JONATHAN HERRERA

www.bassplayer.com

Fig. 1

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BASS!

25

THEORY

BEGINNER

A chord is a group of
three or more notes
played at the same
time. An arpeggio is the
sounding of chord
tones in succession.

CHORD TONES
NO ONE CAN DISPUTE THAT MUSICIANS ARE
artists. So if bass players are musicians (no comments
from you smart-aleck guitarists, please), then bass players are also artists. But as beginners, we dont feel like
weve got much in common with Jaco, Jamerson, Geddy,
and the bass worlds other equivalents to Van Gogh,
Shakespeare, and the rest. But we do! Bass is art because
its inherently creative and expressive, just like painting, sculpting, writing, or dancing. And the core aspect
of being a good bass playerand good bass artistis
developing the creativity to make first-rate bass lines.
As bass players, were expected to know how to create a bass line from day one. The usual scene: Your guitar- or piano-playing buddy brings a song over to your
house or rehearsal space, excited to try it with a bass.
He or she tells you the chords of the song, or theyre
written down on a piece of paper. Your friend says, Ill
play it, and you come up with something. You panic
what will you do? First, youll need to know which notes
go with which chords.
Some people call the series of chords in a song a
chord progression, others, referring to the way that
chords change throughout a song, the chord changes
or simply the changes. One of our primary responsibilities when creating bass lines is to reinforce and outline the changes in a solid, musical way by marrying
them to the songs rhythm. In most songs, the other
instruments in the band colorfully outline the changes
by implying the changes with chords and arpeggios.

www.bassplayer.com

Fig. 1. Major chord


tones in relation to
the root.

26

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BASS!

In general, we bass players arent quite as free as the


other members of the band. We usually play one note
at a time in a way that establishes a songs rhythmic feel.
This often means playing the root note of a chord on
the first beat of a measure and perhaps continuing to
play it throughout that chords duration. The root note
is typically a chords letter designation. So, if you see a
G written on a chord chart, you know that the note G
on your bass is the root of that chord. Sometimes youll
see a slash chord, like G/A, in a song. This chord, usually described as G over A or G with an A in the bass
means that instead of playing a G, you play an A.
Always playing root notes is like eating nothing but
vanilla ice cream: Sure, its good once in a while, but isnt
vanilla with chocolate sauce and whipped cream even
better? To spice up your bass lines, youll want to season them with notes other than the root. To begin with,
try playing chord tones, the notes that make up the chord.
For triads (chords with three notes), the chord tones are
the root, the 3rd, and the 5th. Figures 1 and 2 show a
few ways that 3rds and 5ths look on the fingerboard in
relation to the roots. Memorize these shapes and begin
experimenting with these additional notes in your bass
lines. Be aware, though, that the root note will generally
sound the most stable and solid, so try to use your ears
as a guide for when to add the other notes.
Get these shapes under your fingers, and dont be
afraid to explore chord tones like colors on a canvas.
JONATHAN HERRERA

b3
1

5
3

Fig. 2. Minor chord


tones in relation to
the root.

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THEORY

THE MAJOR SCALE &


FINGERBOARD BASICS

BEGINNER

THE MAJOR SCALE IS IMMEDIATELY


recognizable from that swinging little Julie Andrews
number Do Re Mi, from The Sound of Music. Rodgers
and Hammerstein did the world a real service by embedding the major scale in everyones musical subconscious.
Its very important to understand this scale; its the foundation for most Western music, and we musicians also
use it as the reference point for the scale-degree system
we use to communicate.
Ex. 1 shows the C major scale; the suggested fingering pattern is 24124134. Play this scale up
and down to get comfortable with the fingering, and
then play it with a metronome set to 60 beats per minute,
giving each note two clicks to keep the tempo slow. Pay
close attention to the click, and try to nail each downbeat precisely.
Above the notes in Ex. 1, youll find a line labelled
scale degrees. These numbers (1 through 8) are
assigned to each note in the scale, and they form the
basis of how we talk about music. As you practice this
scale, pay attention to how the scale degrees correspond
to the fingering; the goal is to learn where the scale
degrees are located in the pattern. For example, the 2nd

scale degree is always under your 4th finger on the lowest string of the pattern.
In addition to numbers and fingerings, you also need
to know the actual note names of the scale. The musical alphabet uses the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, and
then it repeats. Our major scale is in C, so the letter
names for each note in the scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, B,
and C. Say them aloud as you play the scale. Notice that
in the key of C, there are no sharps (#s) or flats (bs);
all the notes are natural (n). In other keys, some notes
are made sharp or flat, depending on the key signature.
The major scale has a very specific construction.
The spaces that occur between the notes (i.e., the intervals) follow a certain pattern of whole-steps and halfsteps. A whole-step (written here as WS) is a distance
of two frets, and a half-step (HS) is one fret. Ex. 2
shows the intervallic construction of the major scale;
notice that the half-steps occur between E and F (scale
degrees 3 and 4) and B and C (scale degrees 7 and 8).
Now lets learn the notes on the fingerboard. Its
important to remember the half-steps are between E and
F, and between B and C; all the other notes have a chromatic (sharped or flatted) note in between. Fig. 1 is a

Fig. 1
STRING
G

G#/Ab

A#/Bb

C#/Db

D#/Eb

F#/Gb

D#/Eb

F#/Gb

G#/Ab

A#/Bb

C#/Db

A#/Bb

C#/Db

D#/Eb

F#/Gb

G#/Ab

F#/Gb

G#/Ab

A#/Bb

C#/Db

D#/Eb

10

E
O

11

E
12

FRET

Ex. 1
Scale
degrees:

Fingering: 2

T
A
B

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28

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THEORY
Ex. 2
Note
names:

   
   
   





 

WS

Intervals:

WS

HS

WS

diagram of the first 12 frets of the fingerboard,


with all of the notes labelled. As you can see,
each of the chromatic tones has two names;
for example, G# is the same note as Ab. Which
name you use depends on what key you are
relating it to. In the key of Eb, you would call
it an Ab; in the key of A, it would be a G#. For
now, just be aware of the two names for each
chromatic tone.
Heres a good exercise to help you learn the
locations of notes on the fingerboard: First,
study the chart and look for the patterns of
recurring notes. Starting with the low E, find

WS

WS

HS

HS

WS

WS

all of the Es on the bass. Then play your low


F, and find all of the Fs. Repeat these steps with
each note. The next step is to do this exercise
with a metronome. Set it to 40 beats per minute,
and give each note four clicks; start again with
low E, and do the entire exercise. Its important to do this in tempo, because you need to
learn how to get to a specific place on the bass
at a specific time. If its too fast for you, give
each note more clicks. Above the 12th fret, the
entire fingerboard repeats, so you can use the
chart to learn the notes up there as well.
Here are some more things to practice with

WS

HS

WS

WS

the major scale. First, play the major-scale pattern up and down five times in a row, beginning with different notes. Keeping your fingers
in the same position, use your knowledge of
the scale degrees to play them in these patterns: (1) 1213141516171
881716151413121 and (2)
16253625134236251.
Getting used to the major-scale degrees
takes time, and so does getting to know the
fingerboard. So practice these exercises a little every day, and remember to have fun!
ED FRIEDLAND

INTERMEDIATE

JAZZ CONCEPTS

RHYTHM N SCALES
YOU KNOW THE FEELING WHEN YOU
practice: Sometimes it seems like youre just
playing exercises and that music is something
else. The problem lies in our choice of what we
practice, and how we approach the material.
We do need to separate technique from music
when we practice, but we should practice tech-

nique in a musical way to get the best results.


Lets look at rhythms and scales, basic staples of any practice routine. A lot of players
approach practicing scales this way: They start
on the root and play up and down the scale in
quarter-notes, or eighth-notes or 16th-notes,
gradually increasing the speed until the fin-

gerboard is smoking and their tendons are


about to pop. This method gets boring quickly
because theres no real musical learning going
on, just motor coordination.
Using this system, you can eventually play
a boring scale very fast, but there are better
ways to make practicing basic technical skills

Ex. 1

Cmaj7

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Ex. 2

Fmaj7

C7

30

PLAY

BASS!

continue through cycle...

THEORY
a practical musical experience. By changing
some of the typical rhythms and starting notes,
you can find new ways to liven up your daily
practice workout.

TIPS FOR PRACTICING RHYTHM


AND SCALES
1. Do not always start on the root. Start on
other chord tones like the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th,
11th, and 13th.
2. Start at the top of the scale and go down,
then back up.
3.Use various rhythms to practice a scale.
4. Play scales using groups of three notes in
4/4 time, or groups of four notes in 3/4 time.
5. Isolate only one or two musical concepts for
each scale exercise. For example, start on a
particular scale tone and use a certain rhythmic pattern.
6. Play your new scale exercises through all 12
keys and at various tempos.
All of the examples in this article start on the
9th of the scale. The 9th is a beautiful sound;
it does not define the chord like the 3rd or 7th,
but it gives substance to the basic color. The
9th is the same note as the 2nd, only an octave
up. Both terms are correct, but here I will refer

Ex. 3

to the 2nd note of each scale as the 9th.


Why should we even worry about starting
on the 9th? Its good for a bassist to be focused
on the root, but sometimes we also want to start
on other, more colorful notes of the scale. Ex.
1 shows a practice method for major scales. This
exercise sounds cool and will cure you of rootitis. Once you can play the scales in C and F,
keep moving through the cycle of 5ths, playing
all the major scales starting on the 9th: Bb, Eb,
Ab, Db (C#), Gb (F#), B, E, A, D, and G. This
approach is different from what you find in most
technique books, which have you start on the
root, and then play up the scale and back down.
Ex. 2 demonstrates how you can make a
rhythmically tricky little piece of music out of
a descending C Mixolydian scale. Too easy,
you say? Put on the metronome and give it
your best shot looks are deceiving. The goal
is to hear the rests on the offbeats and always
nail the whole-note on the root C.
After playing the root of Gmaj7#11 in Ex.
3, you jump to the high A and come down the
G Lydian scale. Examples 2, 3, and 4 train your
ears, mind, and hands to feel the missing
downbeat. Remember that youll create a good
groove and good time by placing the notes and
the rests in the pocket.

Ex. 4 is a rhythmic grouping of three eighthnotes against the basic 4/4 pulse. In bar 2 (the
beginning of the phrase), the F quarter-note
plus the F eighth-note move to the Eb quarternote (two tied eighths) plus the Eb eighth-note
and on down the scale. Put your metronome on
beats two and four at a pedestrian tempo and
see if you can keep the groove. The scale is an
Eb Lydian-dominant, associated with an Eb dominant 7 chord with a raised 11th (or raised 4th).
You might be asking: Who needs to know
these scales and rhythms anyway? Eggheads
and fusionites? You should know this material, no matter what style of music you play. By
using these tips, you can tackle all of the mysterious scales and rhythms youve heard about
but have never known how to practice.
Once you get the hang of this practice
method, you might never go back to starting
on the root and running up and down major
scales in eighth-notes. Find new scales you need
to work on, and play them rhythmically. Invent
your own exercises, but limit the variables by
starting on a particular scale tone and using a
repeated rhythmic figure. Remember that your
goal is to play music, so make sure that you
practice technique in a musical way. BP
JOHN GOLDSBY

Gmaj7#11

Ex. 4

Eb7#11

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PLAY

BASS!

31

THEORY

RIFFS

INTERMEDIATE

HUMAN BEINGS LOVE A GOOD RIFF. NO


matter what our fave style, short and repetitive musical phrases, or riffs, are usually the sounds soul.
Beethovens Fifth Symphony (da-da-da-daaaa) and
AC/DCs Back in Black (da-danana-danana) may not
appear to have much in common, but they both rely
on killer riffs for a solid foundation. A simplified version of the riff equation goes something like this: If bass
= foundation and foundation = riff, then bass = riff!
As beginners, we must respect the riff, as its usually
our responsibility to play it over and over while soloists
and singers get their rocks off. You could lament the
lameness of this repetitiveness, or you could revel in the
sheer potency of a riff well played. The latter will be a
big step in your mastery of the basss unique mind-game.

Good technique is your best friend, but its important to know when to bend it to suit the riff. When your
hand, body, mind, and spirit are jiving as one, your
endurance and focus make for awesome riffage. Practicing riffs reveals the impact that subtle changes in
physical attack can have on sound. Examples 1 and 2
show a short riff I came up with. Check out the tablature: Ex. 1s fingering places everything in the same
four-fret range, while Ex. 2 obligates a position shift.
While Ex. 1s fingering would be proper, Ex. 2 gets
extra heft because of the shift. Play it, and youll see
what I mean. Try messing with the fingering of riffs
you know. Diving into the details usually uncovers a
whole new layer of coolness. BP
JONATHAN HERRERA

Ex. 1

1
3
3

1
3

Ex. 2

3
6

1
1

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4
Above: Fingerboard diagrams
showing the riffs two fingerings.

32

PLAY

BASS!

THEORY

INTERMEDIATE

RHYTHM RECON
AS BEGINNERS, OUR PATH TOWARD
badness (the good kind) is often defined by
lightbulb-moment landmarkslittle gems of
experience and insight that help shape our
musical personality. A big one for me was this
question, posed by a teacher on the first day
of class in music school: What is rhythm?
Hands leaped to the ceiling. Its like beats
right? Yes and no, the teacher smirked. A
few hands timidly descended. Its the pulse;
the thing that makes you bob your head. Yes
and no. More hands dejectedly sunk. Its repetition. Well, in a way. All hands went below
desk, chins nervously dipping in unison. How
could we expect to be masterful musicians if
we couldnt even define rhythm?
Sensing our mental exhaustion, the teacher
prompted an exciting discussion about rhythm.
Turns out, there is no clear definition. I wont
get into the details of our rambling dialogue,
but we all left that class with a renewed respect
for rhythm and a deeper awareness of our special bass-endowed rhythmic responsibilities.
Music without rhythm is like a highway without lanes: chaotic and potentially disastrous.
When rhythm is strictly followed, it provides
solidity and structural reassurance for the player
and listener. When its bended, morphed, or
temporarily ignored, it functions as a stable
springboard for creative interpretation. Our
unique task is to help imbue a songs harmonic

side (chords, notes, and melody) with rhythm,


breathing life into the notes on paper or in our
head. Knowing how rhythm works is essential
to being a versatile, competent bassist, and
being able to understand rhythmic notation
will go along way toward helping you realize
this goal.
Most Western music (almost everything
on the radio in the U.S.) is based on a predictable, straightforward pulse based on groups
of four. There are many other types of rhythm,
but lets focus on this most prevalent type first.
Ever notice how counting to four while listening to rock or pop music seems to make
everything line up? Thats because each pulse
which well now call a beatis packed into
groups of four. Musical events, like fills, riffs,
new sections, and breakdowns generally occur
within this four-beat organization. This organization is called a songs time signature or
meter, and these groups of four are called
measures or bars. Notes that last the full
length of each beat are quarter-notes, because
each one fills one-quarter of a bar. That fraction-looking thing at the beginning of each bar
in Ex. 1 is the time-signature, and it identifies
the songs meter. The bottom number shows
the type of note that will be used as the songs
beat. Quick tip: Replace the top number with
a 1 to figure out what this basic beat-note is.
The top number is the number of each of these

notes in each bar. So, in 4/4 meter, there are


four quarter-notes in each bar. Since 4/4 meter
is so common, its sometimes replaced with a
C for common time.
Once youve got your head wrapped around
meter, its time to dive into understanding the
relative time value of each note, what these differently valued notes look like, and their equivalent rests. Ex. 1 shows the basic note types
and rests. At the top is the whole-note, which
lasts the duration of two half-notes, four quarter-notes, eight eighth-notes, and so on. Rests
are those all-important note-less moments in
music where we pause playing for the duration of the rests value.
There is much, much more to understanding rhythm, and it can get confounding
quick, so take it slow. For now, try listening
to music with a heightened awareness. Try
counting the beats and bars, figuring out how
the music falls into the framework they provide. Notice how it isnt just beats but bars
themselves that are often organized into groups
and multiples of four. Excited? Tackling
rhythm and rhythmic notation is like getting
a secret musical decoder ring that gets better
each time you practice. Put in enough work,
and suddenly the whole universe of rhythm
and feeling will begin to materialize in your
head. Arent we bass players lucky?
JONATHAN HERRERA

www.bassplayer.com

PLAY

BASS!

33

THEORY
INTERMEDIATE
WHADDYA KNOW?

LEARNING TUNES QUICKLY


WHATS UP? I MEAN, WHAT TUNE
do ya wanna playwhaddya know, dude?
Youve heard these or similar words countless times at jam sessions and gigs. Horn players, pianists, guitarists, and vocalists call tunes,
and youre supposed to give a nod of the head
and magically float through the chord progression to any standard as smoothly as your
drummer friend sneaks through the buffet
line ahead of the guests at a fancy wedding
reception.
On typical jazz gigs, weddings, casuals, or
club dates, you are expected to lay down a bass
linewithout musicto everything from
Kansas City to Chameleon to My Way.
How can a bass player remember all that stuff?
When you pull out a fake book, you might
help yourself get through Love for Sale (not
a great wedding standard, considering the
lyrics), but you arent helping yourself actually learn the chord progression so that you
will remember Cole Porters gem forever.
Lets look at techniques and tricks for learning songs and remembering chord progressions.
Its possible to memorize changes to standard
tunes and build a huge repertoire of music that
you can play off the top of your head, but you
must understand both the theoretical and the
practical sides of the music. The famous acting
teacher Sanford Meisner encouraged his students to memorize their lines so well that they
could then forget them. Similarly, bass players
must have a songs form and harmony deeply
ingrained in order to relax and make music.
Lets start with something basica tune
youve been singing since you were two years
old: Happy Birthday. Dont give up and flip
the page until youve proven to me (and to
yourself) that you can actually do this. Lets

play it in C. Sing the melody starting on G,


and play your bass line starting on the C below
that. Ready, go: Happy birthday da dah,
happy birthday doo dah . . . . Go on, sing!
Hopefully, you nailed this. If not, dont
be discouraged; its actually a tricky little tune.
Lets assume you have never heard Happy
Birthday before, but you want to learn it. In
addition to just singing and playing it over
and over, you should look at the songs form
how it is divided into sectionsand look for
the key harmonic spots.
Ex. 1 shows the Happy Birthday chord
progression in all of its splendid simplicity.
Its eight bars long and contains four two-bar
phrases. You can think of the beginning of
these phrases as landmarks. If you hit the landmark, you know youre keeping your place in
the chord progression. After studying Ex. 1,
see if you can write out the changes to Happy
Birthday from memory. Dont cheat.
Its good practice to step away from the
bass and analyze a chord progression that you
want to learn. Take a tune like Herbie Hancocks Cantaloupe Island, which is a 16-bar
form: four bars of Fm7, four bars of Db7, four
bars Dm7, and four more bars of Fm7. Think
about the form for a minute or two without
your bass and envision playing through the
chords in time. Now pick up your bass and
play a medium, rockish bass line over the
chord progression while you say the name of
the chord on beat one of every measure. If
you want to keep things simple, you can just
play the roots on each downbeat. Be sure to
call out the chord on one of each measure.
Now you can play Cantaloupe Island
from memorynot because youre reading
the changes (Ex. 2) but because you took the

time to analyze the changes before jumping


in and playing. You probably dont need to
read the Cantaloupe Island chart ever again.
(If I do catch you reading the changes, youll
have some explaining to do).
As a teacher, Ive noticed that bass players
often stare at a chart for chorus after repeated chorus, even though they could memorize the chord
progression with minimal effort. So dont just
gawk at the music and let your fingers do the walking. Take a minute, analyze the music you are
learning, and note the following characteristics:
Form How long is the whole song, and how
is it divided into sections? For example: does
it have four-bar, eight-bar, or ten-bar phrases,
or a combination of phrases of different lengths?
Key centers Which key does the song start
in, and does it move to other key centers?
Landmark chords Look for the first chord
in each new section, and look for harmonic
cadenceswhere the progression finally
comes to rest on a tonic chord.
If you are learning a song by ear (without written music), the same techniques apply: Listen
for the form, listen for various key centers, and
listen for landmark chords at the beginnings of
new phrases and at harmonic resolution points.
But what about really long and tricky progressions? Next time, well look at John
Coltranes Moments Notice to learn how to
apply these simple memorization techniques
to a complicated harmonic structure. Until
then, look for new songs to memorize. You
already know two classic chord progressions:
Happy Birthday and Cantaloupe Island,
and thats the start of a great set list. BP
JOHN GOLDSBY

Ex. 1
Medium
rock tempo

C6

G7

G7

www.bassplayer.com

F6

C7
5

34

PLAY

BASS!

C6

F#dim7

G7
7

C6
8

THEORY
Ex. 2
Medium
rock tempo

Fm7

Db7
5

Dm7
9

13

Fm7

INTERMEDIATE

CHORD INVERSIONS
WHEN WERE FIRST LEARNING ABOUT
chords, we rightly focus our lines on their
essential tones, giving the tonic note maximum
priority and letting the other chord tones fall
below it in a perceived hierarchy of musical
relevance. This is an excellent approach, particularly when constructing solid bass lines
but getting better demands a more nuanced
understanding. Great musicians see chords as
an ephemeral clue into available notes, letting
the music dictate their lines use or neglect of
particular tones. Rather than seeing a maj7
chord as 1-3-5-7, and playing those notes in
that order, an experienced musician may invert
these tones, add passing tones, or choose notes
from an associated scale.
One way to free your lines from plodding
through root-position arpeggio shapes is to integrate inversions into your practice with exercises
like the one here. Take the changes below and
write a line that uses the lowest available chord
tone (were talking 1, 3, 5, or 7) and places the

next available chord tone on the following quarter-note, moving up from the lowest string and
falling within the four-fret range from the nut to
the 4th fret. Youre limited to the notes within
the range of the open E string to the B on the 4th
fret of the G string. When youve reached the
highest chord tone available within this four-fret
range, work backward toward the low string, and
so on. Take a look at my example and then do

your own using a different set of changes (look


at a fake book for help with real-world chord progressions). Youll notice that this obligates a new
perspective on chord construction, freeing your
hands from rehashing the same physical pattern
youve come to associate with each chord type.
Its also a superb method for constructing more
sophisticated walking bass lines. BP
JONATHAN HERRERA

A7

Em7

Chord tone: 1

G7

Dm7
3

PLAY

www.bassplayer.com

BASS!

35

THEORY
ADVANCED

THE MINOR MODES


I PRESENTED THE MODES OF THE MAJOR
scale in July 08, but before moving onto the
minor modes lets briefly review how we arrived
here. First, we had to understand chords and
chord symbols since chord tones are the basis
for a strong bass line. We discussed each chords
tensions and I presented the modes as available scales for playing over chords. It takes
time, persistence, and repetition for these tools
to become a natural part of your playing. Right
now lets learn the vocabulary.
Lets look at the modes within the minor
tonality. I use tonality as opposed to key,
because there are actually three minor scales for
possible use on a I minor chord: natural, harmonic and melodic minor. Just like with the
major scale, modes can be made from the notes
of each of the three minor scales. There are seven

modes of the major scale, but 21 come from the


minor scales. I know what youre thinking: Holy
crap, how am I ever going to learn all these?
Relax. Always remember that the chord tones
are the foundation for our lines and solos, so
when you understand chord symbols, you can
create strong bass lines. Plus, some of these
modes occur much more frequently than others, so by prioritizing you can work on the more
important ones. I placed an asterisk next to the
modes I encounter most frequently.
Perhaps youve noticed that the I chord in a
minor key tune is often a triad, as opposed to a
Im7 or Im6 chord. Thats because there are potentially three scales and three chords to color this
basic triad. Ex. 1 shows the natural minor scale,
then the minor scale with a major 7th (harmonic
minor), and harmonic minor with a major 6th

(melodic minor). (Formal theory dictates that


the descending melodic minor is identical to the
natural minor scale. Dont worry about this, as
its not relevant for our use.) When the major
6th and 7th are applied throughout the subsequent scales, we end up with the modes of the
harmonic and melodic minor scales. Notice how
often the parent chord is the same between
modes, but the notes in the modes differ slightly.
Awareness of this will prove useful in adding
modern flavor to our lines and solos.
The melodic and harmonic minor scales are
an essential component of modern jazz, and the
chords they suggest offer a rich palette for exploration. In future articles I will present applications
of these modes, but serious time in the shed is
needed to learn this basic vocabulary. Get to it!
ED LUCIE

www.bassplayer.com

Ex. 1

36

A natural minor

Am7

A harmonic minor

Ammaj7

A melodic minor

Ammaj7

Bm7b5 (Locrian)

Bm7b5

Bm7b5 (Locrian n6)

Bm7b5

b9

Bm7 (Dorian b2)

Bm7

b9

Cmaj7 (Ionian)

Cmaj7

PLAY

BASS!

b9

11

b13

11

b13

11

11

11

11

11

b13

13

13

13

THEORY
Cmaj7 (Ionian #5)

Cmaj7aug

Cmaj7 (Lydian augmented)

Cmaj7 Lydian augmented

Dm7 (Dorian)

Dm7

Dm7 (Dorian #4)

Dm7

D7#11 (Lydian b7)

D7#11

Em7 (Phrygian)

Em7

E7 (Mixolydian b9b13)

E7b9b13

E7 (Mixolydian b13)

E7b13

Fmaj7 (Lydian)

Fmaj7#11

Fmaj7 (Lydian #9)

Fmaj7#11

F#m7b5 (Locrian n2)

F#7mb5

G7

G#dim7

G#dim7

G#7alt

G#7alt

#11

11

11

#11

b9

11

b9

11

#9

11

#11

#11

13

13

13

13

13

b13

b13

b13

b13

13

11

b13

11

13

b9

10

b9

#9

PLAY

b13

www.bassplayer.com

G7 (Mixolydian)

11

b13

BASS!

37

THEORY
TENSIONS

ADVANCED

IF YOUVE EVER READ A CHORD CHART,


youve likely encountered symbols like this:
Cmaj7#11, G7b9, or Dm7b9. Depending where
you were at on your journey toward harmonic
brilliance, you either knew to play a Lydian
sound over the Cmaj7#11 chord, an altered
dominant scale over the G7b9, and a Phrygian
tonality on the Dm7b9 or you simply ignored
the 11s, 9s, and 13s and stuck to outlining the
root triad or seventh chord. While the latter
approach is perfectly acceptable, it excludes
the colorful tones that help make music interesting. These extensions or tensions are
notes beyond the basic 1, 3, 5, and 7 formula
of chord construction, and understanding them
is a crucial step in any players musical development.
A chord gets its primary sound from the root,
3rd, 5th, and 7th, although the 5th isnt quite as
important as the other three chord tones. Changing any one of these chord tones while leaving
the others the same alters the chords harmonic
function. Tensions dont affect chords harmonic
function but do add color and texture and can
improve voice leading between chords. The numbers 9, 11, and 13 simply represent the 2nd, 4th,
and 6th of a chord but an octave up. Ex. 1 shows
a C major scale in two octaves. Note that Ive
numbered each note, but that I didnt start at 1
again when I hit the first octave. As you can see,
the D, F, and A are numbered 9, 11, and 13 in
the second octave. We use these numbers when

referring to tensions because tensions are often


played in a range above the chord tones, mostly
because a large bunch of notes clustered in single-octave register sounds harsh. If youre ever
confused about what note a tension number
refers to, just subtract seven.
When speaking of tensions, youll often hear
terms like available tensions and avoid notes.
While music is infinitely filled with breakable
rules, in most circumstances, theres a system for
deriving which tensions will work on a particular chord. To start off, the simplest way to pick
diatonic tensions for a given chord is to stack diatonic triads starting at the 7. The bottom staff of
Ex. 2 shows all the diatonic 7 chords starting from
the I chord (Im using C major in this case, but
these rules apply to all major keys). The top staff
shows the diatonic tensions for each chord, their
intervals from the root, and the quality of the triad
they produce. The first bar of Ex. 2 shows a Cmaj7
chord in the bottom staff and the notes D, F, and
A in the top staff. D is the 9 of Cmaj7, F is the 11,
and A is the 13, and together they are a Dm triad.
The rest of the bars of Ex. 2 show the available
tensions for the other diatonic chords in a major
key. I suggest memorizing the tension triad for
each diatonic chord in major harmony. For example, the tensions for Cmaj7, or any I chord, could
also be described as a minor triad a whole-step
up from the root. Similarly the tensions for the
IV chord, in this case Fmaj7, make up a major
triad one whole-step above the root.

Ex. 1
5

minor

13
11
9

minor

13
11
9

Imaj7

7
5
3
1

IIm7

b7
5
b3
1

Ex. 2

10

14

13

12

11

major

b13
11
b9

major

13
#11
9

minor

IIIm7

b7
5
b3
1

IVmaj7

7
5
3
1

V7

13
11
9

15

minor b5

b13
11
9

Tension
triads

b7
5
3
1

VIm7

b7
5
b3
1

Diatonic 7
chords

Ex. 3

Dm13

www.bassplayer.com

Cmaj13
1

11

13
1

b3

b7

11

13

Em7b9b13
1

b3

b7

b9

A NOTE TO AVOID
Using the system in Ex. 2, we see that the Cmaj7
chord contains a note, F, which actually sounds
ugly against the chord (if you have a piano, try
playing a Cmaj7 with an F on top. Yuck.) This
ugliness is why the 11 is considered an avoid
note. While its playable as a passing tone over
a major chord, emphasizing the natural 11
sounds clash-y with the 3rd of the major chord.
While half-step distances between a chord tone
and a tension are common, clashing with the
all-important 3rd is a bit too much for our ears
to handle. Because of this, the 11 is often raised
a half-step over major chords, creating a #11
and making for a prettier sound. This is one of
several examples of a tensions sound dictating
a departure from the diatonically available notes.
Well explore some more examples in an
upcoming column.
Theres much more to cover with tensions.
Perhaps most important, tensions help clue an
improviser into an appropriate scale for a given
chord. For example, an Am7b13 chord suggests
an Aeolian scalea minor scale with a b6 (b13).
But with an Am13, the composer is clearly suggesting a Dorian sound, a minor scale with a natural 6 (13). Tensions start getting really crazy
over dominant chords, as these already tense
chords love to be decked out with as much tension as can be piled on. For now, try arpeggiating diatonic major chords beyond the 7th. Ex.
3 demonstrates the first three arpeggios in the
key of C; youll have to figure
out the rest on your own.
Regarding naming, the tension
number that follows the chord
symbol usually implies that
chord tones and tensions
b13
beneath it are also available, so
11
major
b9
a 13 chord generally includes
the 9 and 11, which are natural
unless otherwise specified. Also,
if you have access to a piano,
b7
experiment with playing the
VIIm7b5 b5
b3
1
chord tones in your left hand
and the tensions in your right.
Youll immediately hear their
beautiful benefits. BP

11

b13

JONATHAN
HERRERA

etc.

8
38

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12

10 14
10 13

12

10 14

12 16
0

Catch Rhonda Smith


This Summer on Tour
with Jeff Beck!
www.rhondasmith.com
www.jeffbeck.com

R H O N DA S R I G :
d M-Pulse 600
d Big Block 750
d Powerhouse 4x10
d Powerhouse 2x12

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HAND BUILT IN THE USA


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THEORY
ADVANCED

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THE COMPLETE APPROACH


YOU COULD COAST IN YOUR BAND FOR
years by thumping through the songs and hitting most of the roots. However, if you want to
learn why certain tones work on some chords
better than othersif you want to become a
great bass playerthen you need to know your
IIm-V-I progressions, inside and out, from every
note of every scale. (IIm-V-Is, pronounced two
five ones, are also written as ii-V-Is or just iiVs.) Only then can you tell your guitar player
with confidence, Noooo, Dude! Youre playing the natural IV against the dominant V chord.
Go back to the woodshed!
In our last couple of columns, weve looked
at how the IIm-V-I progression permeates many
styles of music, from jazz to Latin, pop, and
rock. This month, we move through every possible starting place in each scale to find new
ways to outline the IIm-V-I progression. All of
the examples here are built using the G major
scale over the IIm-V-I progression in G major
(Am7, D7, Gmaj7). Examples 39 are melodic
patterns starting on every scale degree.
Musicians use numbers to describe chord
progressions as well as the placement of notes
in a scale. The IIm-V-I progression in G major
starts on the II (two) chord (Am7, which is
the chord built from the second note of the G
major scale), the V chord (D7, which is the
chord built from the 5th note of the G major
scale), and the I chord (Gmaj7, which is the
chord built from the 1st note of the G major
scale). As shown in Ex. 1, we can describe the
scale degrees of the G major scale using numbers: 1 (G), 2 (A), 3 (B), 4 (C), 5 (D), 6 (E),
and 7 (F#). Often, musicians use Roman numerals to describe the corresponding chords: I, IIm
(or ii), IIIm, IV, V, VIm, VIIm. (Lower-case
Roman-numeral letters indicate a minor chord.)
Start by listening to each scale used in the IImV-I progression. The seven notes for each
chord/scale are all the samethey are the notes
of the G major scale. If you start the scale from
the root A, you play an A Dorian minor scale,
which sounds good over the Am7 chord. The

Ex. 1

D7

Am7
1

0
Ex. 2

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Ex. 3

Gmaj7

5 5

3 3

D7

2 5

4 2

3 3

Gmaj7

2 5

4 2

5 3 2

Ex. 4

Am7

Gmaj7

D7

2 4 2

7 9 7

5 2

2 5

Ex. 5

Am7

D7

5 4 5 4 2

Ex. 6

5 2 3

Gmaj7

4 2 4 2

5 3 0 1

D7#11

Am7

2 0 2 0 2

Gmaj7#11

Gmaj7

Am7

D7

5 5

Am7

Very slow & groovy

40

THEORY
Ex. 7

Am7

Ex. 8

5 3 2 3

2 5

Am6

Gmaj7

D7

5 9

5 4 2 4 7

D7#11

2 4 2

2 3

7 5 4

7 5 4 2

2 0

Gmaj6

1 4 1

2 0

2 0 2

Ex. 9

Am7

D7

Read more about navigating chord pro-

Gmaj7

gressions in John Goldsbys The Jazz Bass


Book [Backbeat Books], the definitive
guide to jazz bass players and their techniques. Also check out Johns new CDs

5 2

3 0 3

2 5

5 4 2

5 4 2

5 2

2 5

called the 9th because the note is usually


found voiced more than an octave above the
root. The 2nd and the 9th always share the
same note name, even if they are played in different octaves. If a note is the 2nd tone of a
scale, then you can call it the 2nd or the
9th. This tone creates an open sound over
each chord. By going back and forth to the root
of each chord, you emphasize the beautiful
singing quality of the 9th.
Example 5 shows a line starting on the 3rd
of each chord. On beat four-and of bars 1 and
2, there is a chromatic passing tone between
the 2nd (or 9th) and the 3rd. This leads into
the 3rd of the new chord in bars 2 and 3. It is
common practice to place chromatic passing
tones in certain spots so that a chord tone is
forced onto a strong rhythmic release point
(usually beats one or three in a 4/4 measure).
The 4th scale degree is an interesting starting point (Ex. 6). On the Am7 chord, the 4th
(D) sounds great. On the D7 chord, however,
the 4th of the scale (G) would just not work.
If you emphasize the G on a D7 chord, it clashes
mightily with the 3rd of the D7 chord, the note
F#, and you are screaming n00b! to anyone
with jazz ears.
However, you can play a #11 (or #4 as it is
also called) on a dominant 7 chord. Its a handle-with-care note, but it works in a lot of sit-

Space for the Bass and The Visit


[www.goldsby.de].

uations. The #11 on the Gmaj7#11 also projects the hip, urbane, Im-too-cool-for-basicharmony vibe. Ask a piano player how they
play #11s on dominant and major chords. Make
em play it for you real slow on the piano
theyll be impressed that you are even asking.
The 5th of the scale is a great place to start
a line (Ex. 7). Notice that in bars 1 and 2 there
are no roots, but you can still hear the progression. Example 8 uses the 6th (13th) as a
starting point on each chord. The 6th note of
Am6 (F#) sounds very hip. The 6th of D7 (B)
also suggests using a #11 (G#). Notice the E
triad in the middle of the D7 line.
Example 9 shows one of the most common
starting points for a solo linethe 7th. In this
example, the Am7 is outlined with the arpeggio, the D7 with the scale, and the Gmaj7 with
the arpeggio. A good practice technique is to
play all of your arpeggios backwards by moving down the arpeggio or scale from the 7th.
After you understand the basic concept of
the IIm-V-I progression and have the sound in
your ear, try to invent some of your own
melodies starting on different scale degrees
and chord tones. Once you take a complete
approach to practicing chords and scales, youre
on your way to becoming a complete musician. BP
JOHN GOLDSBY

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41

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numbering system is shifted to describe the


scale and chord tones of the A Dorian minor
scale: 1 (A), 2 (B), 3 (C), 4 (D), 5 (E), 6 (F#),
and 7 (G).
Start the G major scale from the root D,
and play a D Mixolydian (dominant) scale,
which sounds good over the D7 chord. Here,
the numbering system is shifted to relate to
the notes of the D Mixolydian scale: 1 (D), 2
(E), 3 (F#), 4 (G), 5 (A), 6 (B), and 7 (C).
Play through the three scales in Ex. 1 slowly
to get the sound in your ear. Each scale has a
certain characteristic color. In order to put the
exercises in a musical context, vamp on Ex. 2
for a couple of minutes to lock in the root
movement of the IIm-V-I in G major. To practice effectively, go back and forth between the
new patterns in Examples 39, and the solid,
bass-line vamp in Ex. 2.
Example 3 shows a line using patterns starting on the root, or the 1 of each chord. The
pattern outlines the Am7 arpeggio, to the D7
arpeggio, to a melody moving down the scale
on the Gmaj7. A defining element of harmony
is how notes change with each new chord. By
outlining the arpeggios and some of the scale
tones, you can create a clear sonic picture of
the harmony.
The line in Ex. 4 begins on the 2nd degree
of each scale. The 2nd scale degree is often

THEORY

ADVANCED

ODD METERS DEMYSTIFIED

USE SUBDIVISIONS TO GET HIP


SO-CALLED ODD METERS ARE SCARY
terrain for many musicians. Defined generally
as time signatures that fall outside the common 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 meters, the relative infrequency of their appearance in Western music
means they arent in our musical DNA like the
conventional meters. In odd-meter music, bass
players are often the primary time-keepers, so
for us, being rhythmically secure is the key to
feeling relaxed and free within the music.
I had a terrible time learning how to play
odd-meter music. My feel seemed so wrong,
and reading tied rhythms over the bar-line just
knocked me out. Then a drummer taught me
the subdivision concept as a way to untangle
metric problems. At last I had found a consistently effective procedure to interpret rhythmic figures!
The basic premise is that by thinking and feeling smaller rhythmic groupings, you can subdivide rhythmically intricate music into familiar

Ex. 1

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Ex. 2

42

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pieces. Complex rhythms are easily subdivided


into various groups of 1, 2, or 3 beats. Larger
rhythmic groupings are just compounds of
these smaller units. Using this technique, you
can master any syncopated figure in any meter,
odd or even.
Heres the trick: First, find the lowest common rhythmic denominator for the rhythmic
figure in question. This would be the shortest
note value in any lick. Once youve found the
lowest common rhythmic denominator you can
then organize it into groups of 1, 2, or 3. Longer
rhythmic groups will be composites of these
three smaller rhythmic units. No matter how
the music is notated you can use this technique
to find the melodic rhythm of the bass line.
This is important: Work out the rhythms
before you apply them to a bass line. Tap or
clap the rhythmic figures out. You need to do
this physical process to get the rhythm out of
your head and into your body. Feel the basic
pulse in your feet while you play all the sub-

divisions with your hands and sing the accents.


Your bass lines will be constructed of the longer
rhythmic groupings of the accented notes you
sing. The Indians are major proponents of this
approach. Check out Jonathan Herreras Homework column in July 08 for tips on using the
Indian art of Konnakol to sound out the
rhythms.
Once youve worked out the rhythms and
have considered which pitches to play, you
should finally practice with a bass. Use a
metronome to regulate the tempo. In 5/4 meter
with rhythmic figures involving eighth-notes,
use an eighth-note click to hear the smallest
rhythmic unit involved in the figures. If the
rhythms involve 16ths, use a 16th- note click.
Lets apply this concept to an odd-meter
rhythm. Ex. 1 shows several interpretations of
5/4. Bar 1 has five quarter-notes. In bar 2 you
can see beat three divided into two eighthnotes. In 5/4 you have to think in an eighthnote pulse to divide each group of five

M`ZkfiNffk\e
?`^_c`e\9XcciffdsE\nPfib:`kpsAle\)*i[)'('
)'('?Xikb\s_Xikb\%Zfdsm`Zkfinffk\e%Zfdsg_fkf1Aljk`e9filZb`

THEORY

Im getting lost counting to five, so in Ex. 3,


Ive grouped the 20 16th-notes into four 3+2
units in bar 1 and four 2+3 units in bar 2. In
bar 3 you see the 2+3 16th-note groupings written as an eighth-note and a dotted eighth. In
bar 4 the groups of three and two 16ths are
notated respectively with a dotted eighth and
an eighth-note. Either way, you end up with
one odd and one even grouping that gives you
some aural reference to delineate the beginning of the bar.

quarter-notes evenly (ten divided by two equals


five eighth-notes). Bar 3 shows the eighths and
quarters tied together, and bar 4 is the same,
written with half-notes on beats one and four
tied to the eighths in beat three.
Dividing a 5/4 bar into four equal parts
requires a 16th-note subdivision, as in Ex. 2.
Bar 1 groups the 16th-notes into five groups
of four against the quarter-note pulse. In bar
2 you see four groups of five 16ths.
Now that Im thinking in groups of 16ths,

Ex. 4 shows one way to play a 12-bar blues


thats in 5/4. Learn the line here, and then come
up with your own.
You can mix up these subdivisions at will.
Thinking in these small rhythmic groups creates unusual melodic phrases that become the
melodic rhythm of your bass line and are easy
to remember. I hope youve enjoyed our odd
time together and been inspired to do some
experimenting in odd meters. BP
TIM EMMONS

Ex. 3

Ex. 4

D7

A7

2 0

A7

D7

E7

7 5

A7

2
0

E7#9

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11

2008 Timothy Emmons ASCAP all rights reserved

44

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7 5

9 7
7

7 5
5

STYLE
BEGINNER

15 BLUES LINES YOU MUST KNOW


WHETHER YOUR BAND COVERS SWING
standards, 50s oldies, or most of Led Zeppelin II, you
must be able to play the blues. And if youre a bassist
without a band, theres no shorter road to gigsville than
the Blue Highway. The ability to nail down chorus after
chorus of 12-bar, three-chord jamming is the hallmark
of the working bassist. So put down that advanced harmony book and those four-note chord exercises for a
minute and dig into some classic blue grooves.
A note about the music: The vast majority of blues
and blues-based tunes incorporate just three chords:
the I, IV, and V. (In the key of G, these would be G,
C, and D.) Most of the following examples are oneor two-bar excerpts based on a songs I chord; its up

to you to continue these lines across the IV and the


V. In many cases, this is as simple as moving the I
chords root note up one string (toward your feet) to
hit the IV, and then over two frets (toward your bridge)
for the V. Of course, you should always be on the lookout for other, smoother, more interesting ways to traverse the changes.

Walk The Walk


Lets get to it: Ex. 1 is the blues bass line. This majorscale-based beauty was developed in the 1930s, and its
still widely used today, as its appropriate beneath almost
any jump or swing groove. Those quarter-notes can be
played straight (as written), doubled up and played as

Ex. 1

G7

  
 44
4

    


  

 
 4   



T
A
B

Ex. 2a





T
A
B

Ex. 2b



Ex. 2c


 4
4

4 
       


  4          
 4  


 4   
 
 

= 80



T
A
B

2 5





T
A
B

Ex. 3

= 112

5 5

4 4 555 6 7



E 7

= 160



T
A
B

6 6

3 3 6 6

3 3

6 6 4 4 3 3

6 6



Ex. 4

  =    G7

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 44
44       
44          

  
 
 
 
 



T
A
B

46

PLAY

5 5
3 3

BASS!

3 3

5 5



C7

= 104

T
A
B



3 3

3 5



C7

= 104

T
A
B



5
3

3 5

3 5



STYLE

The keys that drive Ex. 2b, a popular mid-tempo


groover, are the quick 4ths (Dn s) in beat three and that
#4 (D# ) passing tone in beat four. Guitar great Albert
King based many of his classic tunes on grooves similar to Ex. 2a and 2b. Ex. 2c, meanwhile, is a brisk walking line with a distinctly jazzy feel. Jumping down to
the major 3rd on beat two and then climbing back up
to the root is a jazz-approved move that imparts a real
uptown vibe to a songs low end. This line, too, works
with quarters, eighths, or swing eighths.

straight eighth-notes, or played as swing eighths. The


second half of Ex. 1 shows the most common variation
on this line. Notice how much more bluesy things
get with the simple addition of the flatted 7th (in this
case, Fn ) on beat one of bar 2.
Ex. 2a through 2c present a trio of boogie-woogie
lines derived from early piano-blues grooves. Ex. 2a,
the most basic of the bunch, has a nice rolling feel due
to those eighth-notes in beat four, as well as the momentum they carry into the quarter-note root on beat one.

Ex. 5b

Ex. 5a

A7

= 64

A7

 128
 86
    








 


 
 

   


T
A
B

7 6

5 6 7





T
A
B



Ex. 6

Ex. 7 3

  =    Am

Gm7

= 120

4
            
 


4  
 
4     



T
A
B





T
A
B

5 5

5 3



Ex. 8

G7

= 84

C7

 44                            

 

  
 
3x



T
A
B

(5)

5 5



Ex. 9

(5)

5 5

3 3

(3)

3 3

Ex. 10

C7

C7

= 92

T
A
B





T
A
B



5
3

5 3

5 2

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44     
4
    





4

 


 
 

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47

STYLE
Dance The Blues
Weve all heard Ex. 3 a thousand times, but its still
worth a close look. Most effective when played as a
shuffle, this line provides elemental groundwork for a
variety of upbeat blues grooves. Strive for clear, even
articulation and a pumping, bouncy feel. Variation: Play
the final, beat-four eighths as an eighth-note triplet.
This is a very effective way to punctuate a chord
changeespecially if the third note of the triplet
becomes a passing tone into the next chord.
In the late 50s and early 60s, many popular blues
artists put a dancefloor-savvy spin on the rootoctaveb75
sequence from Ex. 3, injecting this old standby with slippery rhythms and some funky attitude. The two 16thnote-laden lines in Ex. 4 are groovy examples of the kind
of thing youll often hear underneath the highly danceable R&B instrumentals of guitarist Freddie King and
harmonicist Junior Wells. Notice how hard these riffs
work the 5th and b7th across beats two and three, even
though they always dedicate the downbeat to the root
and end the measure with the octave. This approach
reached its apex with Jerry Jemmotts incredible work
alongside B.B. King and sax great King Curtis.

Take It Slow
Every blues bassist needs a pocketful of slow blues
grooves in his repertoire. Tommy Shannon is one of
the greats in this crucial arena; Ex. 5a is a line Shannon might have played on a slow, 12/8 blues with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Dotted quarter-notes on beats one
and three establish the lines dominant flavor by nailing the chords root and b7th, and that chromatic walkup to the 5th in beat four is a great tension-builder. It
really sets up the whole band to come crashing down
on the subsequent downbeat.
Ex. 5b is a slow-blues classic. This heavy, 6/8 Estring groove can anchor everything from Texas slowburn to 60s-style rock-blues. Hit bar 1s root and b7
hard, and consider some wobbly finger vibrato to
enhance the lines plodding, psychedelic vibe. If this
crawling tempo leaves you a bit too dazed and confused,
take things up to a smooth 60 BPM, and youve got one
of B.B. Kings favorite slow grooves. Variation: Play the
dotted quarters as quarter/eighth figures. Sure, less is
morebut sometimes a few additional notes can keep
things from dragging too much.

Get Minor
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Few things will get your guitarist going like a midtempo minor blues. Ex. 6 is a rolling, syncopated line
thats perfect for those late-night, Chicago-style jams.
Notice that this line actually skirts the b3rd, which
would outline the minor tonality; let your ears be the
judge, of course, but know that its often perfectly acceptable to let the horn players or the guitarist define a

48

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tunes tonality. Windy City guitar giants Otis Rush and


Buddy Guy can ride a minor line like this til the cows
come home, and somewhere between Ex. 6 and Ex. 2a
lies Albert Kings legendary Crosscut Saw groove
(with Duck Dunn on bass).
Lewis Steinberg, Duck Dunns predessor in the MGs,
owns one of the all-time great minor blues grooves: the
stone-simple, rootb34 figure that fuels the timeless
M.G.s chestnut Green Onions. (See Ex. 7.) Advice:
Lay back, lock in with the kick, and really land on that
b3rd (C) in beat three.

Funk It Up
Ex. 8 outlines the IIV change across bars 4 and 5 of a
gritty soul stomper. The masterful Chuck Rainey spun
out sweaty grooves like this beneath many a classic
recording by Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, and Donny
Hathaway. Dont gloss over those ghosted 16ths at the
end of beat two (they really bring the line to life), and
pay close attention to the varying rhythms from one
beat to the next (especially that killer 16th-eighth-16th
figure in beat three). The key to nailing the change is
that C# in beat four, the true-blue flatted 5th of the G
chord, which just happens to lead chromatically into
the root (Cn ) of the IV. Very cool.
Ex. 9 is pure gut-bucket funk. This stuttering groove
has its roots in early-60s Chicago (dig Howlin Wolfs
supremely funky 300 Pounds of Joy, with Buddy Guy
on bass!), but it works equally well beneath chickenscratch rhythm guitar or hard-edged metalloid blues.
No laying back here; punch those eighth-note roots
with everything youve got. Variation: Swap the n7 passing tone in beat four for another low 5th, and youre on
your way to the greasy Louisiana grind of Slim Harpos
swamp-blues classic Got Love If You Want It, or the
take-no-prisoners charge of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers Steppin Out (with John McVie on bass).

Rock The Blues


Ex. 10 revisits our old friend, the rootoctaveb75 figure. This time, though, were filtering Ex. 3s basic box
pattern through Led Zeppelins infectious strain of riffrock. Really emphasize the major 3rd (E, tied across
beats two and three) that begins the dramatic walk up
to the 5th (G). Variation: Play that final, eighth-note
5th as two 16thsthe first as written, and the second
an octave lowerthereby surrounding the upcoming,
downbeat root. Many imitators followed, but few even
came close to Zeps mighty, blues-based bombast. Jimmy
Page gets all the creditbut its John Paul Joness bass
thunder that makes these righteous riffs rock.
GREGORY ISOLA

Many of these music examples were excerpted from Mel


Bays Complete Blues Bass Book by Mike Hiland.

STYLE
INTERMEDIATE

CLAVE & CUBAN SON


next chord on beat four as opposed to the downbeat.
Those of us who have played R&B, jazz, rock, and pop
are used to playing on beat one, so this can get a little
confusing!
Set your metronome at a comfortable tempo and
start walking on beats one and three. Now try playing
Ex. 5. Once you are comfortable with it, move on to
Examples 6 and 7. We are going to look at playing
through changes in the next lesson. In the meantime,
try to get your hands on some Afro-Cuban music, and
go salsa dancing!
HUSSAIN JIFFRY

Ex. 1

Ex. 2

Ex. 3

Ex. 4

Ex. 5

A7

Ex. 6

A7

Ex. 7

A7

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THE CLAVE (KLAH-VAY) IS A TWO-BAR


rhythmic pattern that forms the most crucial element
in Afro-Cuban music. This pattern is played on two
wooden sticks, called claves, that are about one inch
in diameter by eight inches in length. Much like the
way jazz and rock uses beats two and four as the strong
beats, in Afro-Cuban music, the clave pattern forms the
underlying accent. Composers and arrangers need to
understand clave when they write in this style of music,
and a musician or writer well versed in the idiom can
immedietly hear and feel if a melodic phrase or rhythm
pattern is cruzadomeaning undesirably crossed
against the clave.
It is believed that clave was born out of 6/8 rhythms.
When you hear Afro-Cuban music, listen closely to its
underlying 6/8 feel, and check out how the rhythm section seems to weave in and out between the 4/4 and 6/8
feels seamlessly and with some elasticity.
Two forms of the clave used today are the son clave
(Examples 1 and 2) and the rumba clave (Examples 3
and 4). As you can see, both forms can be played in
either of two variations: Examples 1 and 3 show what
is known as the 3:2 variation (with three accents in the
first bar and two accents in the second bar), while Examples 2 and 4 show the 2:3 variation. All Afro-Cuban
percussion patterns, piano montuos, bass tumbaos,
melodies, and improvised riffs must adhere to whichever
clave is being used in a particular piece. Since the clave
is a two-bar pattern, composers and arrangers add or
subtract a measure at the end of a section if they want
to reverse the clave from 3:2 to 2:3 within a song.
Son is one of the traditional forms of Afro-Cuban
from which contemporary forms have evolved. This
music is written around clave, so its important for us
bass players to understand and feel clave in order to
make this music swing!
The tumbao (repeated bass pattern) that we play
does not change with the clave. The bass pattern used
in son is played on beat one, the and of two, and beat
four, which is tied to the following measures beat one.
Most of the time the bass doesnt play the downbeat;
in fact, it may play the downbeat only on the tunes first
bar! After that, beat four is always tied to beat one of
the next measure; therefore, the band needs to play the

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49

STYLE
BEGINNER

COUNTRYS CONVENIENT
CHORD CUES
LIVING IN THE SOUTHWEST, ONE TYPE OF JOB
I encounter often is the corporate country gig. During
the winter, local resorts attract big companies from out
of town, and the groups are always treated to a Western night where they might go to a dude ranch to have
barbecue, beans, and beer. The band plays country, and
if enough beer is consumed, the crowd usually gets a
little rowdy and whoops it up. I recently played one of
these events, filling in with Rancho Deluxe, a band that
has played these gigs for many years.
Unfairly, a lot of folks snicker at country music.
Some bassists who are into rock, jazz, blues, R&B, funk,
or metal wont go near it. I think every bassist should
learn how to play country, because its bass playing in
its purest form: roots and 5s, half-notes, quarter-notes,
scale walkups to the next chord, etc. These elements
are the foundation of all good bass playing. While many
of my jazz buddies turn their noses up at C&W, most
of them would have a hard time simplifying their playing enough to do it right. The chromaticism of jazz
offers many hiding places, but if you blow it on a country gig, everyone knows. Being able to play Donna
Lee but not Hey Good Lookin is like building a
house on a fault lineone day its gonna fall down all
around you.
Country music is generally pretty simple, but that
doesnt mean it doesnt involve skill. Capturing the basic
2/4 feel requires you to nail the downbeat, hold your
half-note for the full length, and feel the connection to
the backbeat. Note choice is criticalyou usually play
only two notes to the bar (hint: hit the root on one), but

you also need to make sure the second note functions


well with the next measure. There are ample opportunities to play scale walkups to the next chord, but you
have to know to not overuse them.
Ready to saddle up? Begin by internalizing the beat
shown in Ex. 1, a typical two-step drum pattern. Once
youve got it, move on to Ex. 2, which shows a basic
country progressionits easy to play, but you have to
commit to simplicity to make it work. Tempted to add
just a little more to this line? Dont.
One of the big challenges on a country gig is faking your way through a tune you dont know. Sure,
most classic country is built from the I, IV, and V chords
(with the occasional II or VI making an appearance),
but the trick is in knowing exactly where and when it
changes. Most of the time, its obvious where the chords
are heading, but some tunes have unusual chord placement, and considering that you play mostly half-note
roots on beat one, when the change comes, youre either
on it, or youre not.
On the Rancho Deluxe gig, I had many unfamiliar
tunes thrown at me, and like in any gigging situation,
I had to keep my ears wide open for musical cues. Fortunately, there are a number of classic musical hints
that helpful guitarists might throw your way on these
gigs. Ex 3 shows one: If a progression is heading from
a I chord to the IV, a guitarist might cue you by plucking this bass line. Examples 4a and 4b show you ascending and descending cues from the I to the V.
Furthermore, Ex. 5 is a cue to the II chordthe first
part of a IIV turnaroundand Ex. 6 shows how you

Ex. 1
hi-hat
snare
kick

Ex. 2

C (I)

F (IV)

C (I)

D (II)

G (V)

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Ex. 3

C (I)

Ex. 4a

Ex. 4b

Ex. 6

C (I)

G (V)

descending cue to the V ........

C (I)

ascending cue to the V ........

C (I)

Ex. 5

C (I)

F (IV)

cue to the IV .....................

G (V)

cue to the II ..............................

D (II)

cue to the VI .............................

A (VI)

www.bassplayer.com

might approach a VI chord. Once you have a firm grasp


on a tune, these are great ways you can cue selected
chord changes to your bandmates.
One tune I learned on the fly was in A majorthe
keyboard player flashed me the numbers with his left
hand while singing the tune! It was a short eight-bar form

that went IIIIIVIIIVI/IVI/V (/ indicates two


chords per bar.) Turn on your drum machine or
metronome and see how fast you can figure out the right
bass line; then play it in different keys. Once you get it,
youll be cueing changes til the cows come home!
E D F R I E D L A N D
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51

STYLE
BEGINNER

STRIKE FORCE:
The Foundation Of Hard Rock/
Metal Bass Tone
GREETINGS ONCE AGAIN, INTREPID readers.
Against their better judgment BPs editorial chieftains
have granted me this space to write about Playing Rock
and Metal Bass Guitar. Barring some massive fail on my
part (or a subscriber revolt on your part), this will be
the first of many installments on the topic.
I can hear the snark: Thanks, Beller there havent
been enough columns written on this topic already.
Heres my angle: There are players who somehow
arrived from the womb with their axes swinging just
above their knees, a variety of hard rock techniques
built into their hands, killer metal tone that works both
live and in the studio, etc. In my experience, theyre a
rare breed, and this column isnt for them. Its for the
rest of us who grew up playing a little of everything
pop, rock, funk, R&B, fusion, jazz, country, Latin,
polka, honky tonk, whateverand are interested in
nailing a more authentic hard rock/metal sound and
feel, even while playing fingerstyle, as I do. Are you
with me?
In 1993, when I first started playing with Dweezil
Zappa, Id play along with his insanely technical material in headphones, and it sounded fine to my ears. Then
at rehearsal, on a big soundstage, the bass disappeared
in a swirling mass of distorted guitars and kick drums.
I could still feel my playing, but the attack was lacking, and the notes didnt have the roundness and presence they had in my headphone mix. Dweezil noticed,
and asked, Can you play harder or something?
It would be years before I knew what he was driving at. He wanted a more rock bass sound. Seeing
as I didnt play with a pick, he wanted something with
that aggressive initial attack, followed by a stronger,
dirtier note. Without me throwing down 2,000 words
of pure tonal nerditude, lets just say that, tone-wise,
hard rock/metal bassists have a challenge unlike those
playing funk or pop. Theres less sonic space available,
Bryan Beller is the touring bassist for the metal band
Dethklok from the Cartoon Networks Adult Swim
www.bassplayer.com

show Metalocalypse, and has played with Steve Vai,


Mike Keneally, Dweezil Zappa, Wayne Kramer, and
more. His most recent solo album is Thanks in Advance
[Onion Boy]. Follow him on Twitter (@bryanbeller) and
find out more at www.bryanbeller.com.

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thanks to those crunchy guitars up high and the kick


drum down low. So if youre out there like I was, playing Rage Against The Machine riffs correctly but with
a tone that isnt cutting it, what do you do?
I have three starter solutions:
1. Use a Jazz Bass-style instrument (with two single-coil pickups). Turn both volume knobs all the way
up, or if theres a pickup blend control, set it in the middle. Why? Precision-style basses (with one split-coil
pickup) lack treble edge and typically arent focusedsounding enough for hard rock, while single-bridgepickup basses can sound too throaty and midrangy to
mix well with guitars. (Are there exceptions? Yes! Please
stop yelling.) A Jazz-type setupone neck pickup, one
bridge pickupis the best starting point for these purposes. Throw on some new stainless steel strings while
youre at it.
2. Overdrive the sound. Not full-on Big Muff fuzzy
distortion, just something that adds dirt. This can come
from any proper vintage tube power amp, or a decent
pedal in front of a solid-state amp. Overdrive adds harmonic distortion to the fundamental note, enhancing
your sounds position in the mix in complex ways. Ive
found the resulting tone sits better with crunched-out
guitars. Under normal genre circumstances, youd kick
on the overdrive for heavy or solo parts; in hard rock

and metal, though, you leave it on as a default, and kick


it off when the guitars go clean.
3. Fingerstrike through the string. This is crucial,
and what this column is really all about. Normally when
playing fingerstyle, we pluck with the fingers resting
close to the strings, and use a combination of striking
and pushing down on the string for our attack (shown
in Figures 1 and 2). This works well for most genres
needing a clean, fat sound. But here we need a stronger
chime on the attack. In Figures 3 and 4, see how far
away my finger is from the string. Ill wind up from that
far out and use the top of my fingertip to strike through
the string, as opposed to using the middle of my fingertip to push down and past it. If you do it right, the
sound should become way more metalespecially with
overdrive on.
Achieving consistency in string attack requires practice. Your fingers may be wild at first, so warm up with
some basic scales. Then try Examples 1 and 2 both
ways, traditional and rocked out. From there, its a
quick leap to nailing killer tone for playing along to
your favorite Lamb Of God or Hatebreed tune. (I think.)
Check out the BP website for a thorough demonstration of the strike-through technique. Ill be back
soon enough. Until then, lemme see those horns: \m/
BRYAN BELLER

Ex. 1
= 108

0 5

(3) 3 (1) 1

3 0 0 5

3 0 5

(3) 3 3 3 1

Ex. 2
= 108

3 0 5

(3) 3

(1) 1

(3) 3 3 3

www.bassplayer.com

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53

STYLE
INTERMEDIATE

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE


THERE ARE TWO KEY QUESTIONS
you should often ask yourself to insure youre
staying on track in your development as a
bassist: (1) Am I practicing the correct things?
and (2) Am I practicing these things correctly?
This month, Ill give you a list of things
to practice. You can think of it as the table of
contents to the book that taught me how to
play; I could write out all of it for you, publish it, and then try to sell it to you for $20
(its worth $24.95)but instead Ill just give
you the basic outline so you can write your
own book. (You will learn more that way.)
The list is a good jumping-off point for you
to develop your technical and musical skills.
If you do not understand certain items, ask a
teacher or another player to explain them to
you, demonstrate them, and play you examples from recordings.
You can also dig deeper by checking out
jazz theory and improvisation books. I recommend Creative Jazz & Improvisation by
Scott Reeves [Prentice Hall], The Jazz Theory
Book by Mark Levine [Sher Music], and the
Jamey Aebersold play-along series [Jamey
Aebersold Jazz Aids]. Ultimately, though, the
best answers to all of your musical questions
can be found within the huge body of jazz
recordings.
Listening can take you from being an averJohn Goldsby can be heard on several new
releases, including John Marshalls Keep On
Keepin On [Mons], Frank Vignolas Look
www.bassplayer.com

Right, Jog Left [Concord Jazz], The Return


of the Great Guitars [Concord Jazz], Olivier
Peterss What Is New [New Classic
Colours], and Andy Fuscos Big Man Blues
[Double Time Jazz]. You can reach John by
e-mail at: 100423.1471@compuserve.com

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age bass player to a great one. Your playing is


filtered through your knowledge and understanding of the jazz tradition, and your playing reflects the recordings you have (or have
not!) listened to. Check out my column The
Tradition, which ran from July/Aug 92
through Jan/Feb 95, for insight into some of
the great bassists throughout the history of
jazz.
On an immediate level, when you play and
practice, you need to listen intently to what
is going on and hear how you are complementing whats happening around you. You
dont get hired because you can play fast; you
get hired because you can listen fast.
Some of the easy sounding exercises on
my list are not really so easy. Take, for example, the first one: open strings. I have not
heard many bass students who can play four
quarter-notes on each string in time with every
note equal in volume and tone. Dave Holland
has practiced open-string exercises Rufus
Reid practiced them I practice them, and
you should, too. It is a small technical skill
that will have a marked effect on your sound.
Dont ignore or gloss over what may seem to
be a simple technical exercise; great technique
is built by combining many simple technical
skills that have been practiced to perfection.
As for scales, you should practice them
many different ways, not just up and down.
Practice all scales in thirds, fourths, fifths,
sixths, sevenths, and octaves. You can practice scales in broken-triad or 7th-chord patterns. Also, play scales with at least two or
three different fingerings; you should be able
to play the same scale up and down different strings and in different positions. There
are thousands of ways to practice scales, and
there are limitless melodic patterns you can

derive from them.


Practice things slowly, or even out of time,
to make sure you nail the notes and fingerings. I think the metronome is a useful tool
when practicing, as are play-along CDs and
drum machinesbut always remember you
want your bass lines and solos to groove on
their own. A good bass player can groove alone
or with a drummer, with a click track, or with
stuff falling down stairs. Its up to you to make
it feel good.
You also need to be able to groove at all
tempos. Practice extreme tempos (both fast
and slow), and strive to stretch the limits
within which you can groove. You should
learn to feel smaller subdivisions of time when
playing slowly; at the opposite extreme, you
should feel fast tempos in one (i.e., feel the
downbeats rather than one, two, three, and
four).
The emotional and human side of bass
playing is often slower to develop than the
technical part. Practicing technique will not
cripple your ability to express yourself on the
bass; in fact, your personality as a bassist will
come through only when you have some kind
of technique to bring it through. Your technique gives your playing a unique musical
accent. Technique is only a means to an end,
the end being music that communicates
something.
This is my last Mastering Jazz column.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you
again soon in the pages of BASS PLAYER. In the
meantime, heres the list. Get to work!
1. Open strings: single-string and string-crossing exercises
2. One-octave major scales, practicing each
in all 12 keys

STYLE
PAUL HAGGARD

27. Diminished scales (there are only three)


28. Diminished arpeggios
29. Diminished scale patterns
30. Major/dominant scales with chromatic
half-steps (bebop scales)

YOU DONT
GET HIRED
BECAUSE YOU
CAN PLAY
FAST; YOU
GET HIRED
BECAUSE YOU
CAN LISTEN
FAST.
31. Harmonic-minor scales
32. Playing all scales from the lowest note possible on your bass to the highest; also,
starting on the upper notes of the scale,
playing down and back up
33. Bebop melodies
34. Thumb-position scales
35. Thumb-position arpeggios
36. Long tones with the bow
37. String crossings with the bow

38. Arpeggios and scales with the bow


39. Vibrato
40. All styles of tunes: swing, bebop, standard,
hard bop, modal, contemporary, free jazz,
fusion, Brazilian, and salsa; memorize the
form and the chord changes
41. Playing ballads, memorizing the chord
changes and melodies
42. Playing songs in all 12 keys
43. Transcribing bass lines and solos from
CDs or tapes
44. Tritone substitutions
45. Using pentatonic scales to imply altered
scales
46. Using pentatonic and chromatic scales to
go outside the key center
47. Superimposing triads on top of chords to
imply the upper extensions of the chords
48. Improvising on a single chord or scale for
a long time without stopping
49. Using pedal points when walking or soloing
50. Using classical method/tude books (play
tudes both pizzicato and arco)
51. Using method books written for other
instruments (such as trombone, piano, or
guitar)
52. Practicing with and without your amp
53. Recording yourself while you practice or
perform
54. Writing out your own exercises
55. Transcribing horn, piano, guitar, and drum
solos
56. Breaking up the time in 4/4 and 3/4
57. Playing in odd-meter time signatures
58. Using dynamics
59. Singing
60. Playing the piano . . . .
JOHN GOLDSBY

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55

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3. One-octave Dorian modes


4. One-octave dominant scales (the Mixolydian mode)
5. All other modes of the major scale (Phrygian, Lydian, Aeolian, Locrian)
6. Major- and minor-triad arpeggios
7. Bass line construction: 4/4 walking blues,
standards, Rhythm changes
8. Playing along with recordings, emulating
the sound and feel
9. Playing with a metronome clicking on the
two and four, as well as practicing without
the metronome
10. Playing with the metronome clicking only
on the two, or only on the four
11. Reading and learning melodies
12. Chromatic scales
13. Blues scales
14. Pentatonic scales
15. All scales in two octaves
16. Triad arpeggios in two octaves
17. Arpeggios to the 7th and 9th
18. Bossa nova and Latin bass lines
19. Scale patterns
20. Melodic patterns
21. VI patterns and IImVI patterns, walking and soloing
22. Melodic-minor scales (the ascending
melodic minor, also called the jazz
minor)
23. All modes of the melodic-minor scale
(melodic minor, susb9, Lydian augmented,
Lydian
dominant,
Locrian
#2,
altered/diminished, whole-tone)
24. Altered dominant chords, arpeggios, and
patterns (e.g., C7#9#5, C7#9b5, C7b9#5,
and C7b9b5)
25. Whole-tone scales (there are only two)
26. Whole-tone scale patterns

STYLE
INTERMEDIATE

WHAT THE FUNK?


HIP-HOP, R&B, URBAN CONTEMPORARY, rap,
drum-n-bass, nu-jazzcall it what you want, but its
got to be funky. The term funk has become a blanket description of anything with a booty-moving bass.
You know it when you hear it, but what is it exactly?
Lets look at some funk basics: the must-know music,
the players, and their techniques.

A FUNK
PRIMER:
5 ESSENTIAL
SIDES

History

1. James Jamerson

Funk bass pioneers reigned throughout the 60s and


70s on dance and pop records. Four decades after he
recorded most of the tracks for the Motown label in
Detroit, players today still agree that James Jamerson
was the king of funky Motown bass. Jamerson had a
knack for laying down a solid rhythmic foundation
while simultaneously inventing bass hooks that defined
top hits of the era.
Larry Graham was one of the first funksters to bring
slapping into the arsenal of electric bass techniques.
His pop-and-slap stylewhich he calls thumpin and
pluckin (see BP, May 07)emulates the drums: The
thumb represents the bass drum thud, the pop being
the snare drum crack. He contributed the defining sound
to Sly & the Family Stone from 196772, and later went
on to form his own group, Graham Central Station.
William Bootsy Collins appeared on the radar in
1970 playing with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.
Bootsy played with the J.B.s, as the rhythm section was
called, for only one year. He went on to funkify groups
like Parliament/ Funkadelic and Bootsys Rubber Band,
and most recently, Prince. He is still active and plays
and produces music in the P-Funk mold.

with the Funk Brothers, Standing in the

Shadows of Motown:
Deluxe Edition [HipO-Records, 2004]
2. Bernard Odum
with James Brown,

Live at the Apollo


[Polydor, 1968]
3. Larry Graham with
Sly & the Family
Stone, Stand!
[Legacy, 1969]
4. Larry Graham with
Graham Central Station, Graham Central

Station [Warner
Bros., 1974]
5. Bootsy Collins with
Bootsys Rubber
Band, Ahh...The Name

Is Bootsy, Baby!
[Warner Bros., 1977]

Ex. 1

Ex. 2

= 92

= 92

Ex. 4

= 92

= 92

www.bassplayer.com

Ex. 3

56

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3 3

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3 3

3 3

Get Started, Get Funky


You can cop a feel for funk in a simple, deep way by
playing quarter-notes on beats one and three, while leaving big rests on beats two and four. Ex. 1 shows the basic
groove. Attack one and three precisely. The line under

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a4 e & a

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a4 e & a

3 3

5
3 3

Many bassists contributed to the James Brown


sound, including Hubert Perry, David Hooks Williams,
Charles Sweets Sherrell, Fred Thomas, Tim Drummond, and the inimitable Bernard Odum. Logging over
a decade of gigs with the Godfather of Soul, Odums
legacy of definitive funk grooves stands out.
To funk up your playing, the key first step is listening to the masters (see sidebar). There are many
ways to play funky. There are probably even more ways
to try to play funky that miss the mark. Dont mess up
the funk! Listen, emulate, and work through these exercises.

5 3 1

5
3

3 3

5 3 1

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STYLE
notes of beat one, followed by the third and fourth
16ths of two. Make sure that you feel the rest on three
after playing the two 16th-notes. The feeling of the
empty beat three makes the line funky.
Many funk bass lines incorporate a pentatonic scale
for melodic variation. The five-note scale shown in Ex.
4 sits perfectly on the bass fingerboardits easy to
transpose to various chords, just asking to be funked
with! Play the basic pentatonic melody with the same
careful attention to rhythm and groove that you used
in Ex. 1.
Wanna play a game? No, not with Jigsaw from the
Saw moviesthis is more of a Sudoku for funksters, a
mix-and-match to give you some new ideas about funk
grooves. Look at the five different two-bar funk grooves
in Ex. 5. You can play the exercise as written, or take
any pattern from column A and combine it with one
from column B to create new patterns. Ex. 6 shows a
couple of the funk patterns that you can find by mixing the patterns from the previous example. Now you
tryplay the patterns from Ex. 5 over and over, mixing and matching to create your own variations.
JOHN GOLDSBY

the quarter-notes (called a tenuto line) means that the


notes are longheld for the full quarter-note length.
Theres some mojo at the end: Cut off the note just before
the attack of the snare drum on beats two and four. Great
bass players pay attention to the length of notes and
exactly where each note should stop.
Think its simple? See if you can play the groove
for ten minutes or so without stopping. By that time,
your dog should be hypnotized by your unfaltering
command of the un-played backbeats on two and four.
Dont have a dog? Play the groove until the neighbors
ring the bell and ask if everything is okay. Repetition,
consistency, and a solid groove are essential when playing funk.
You can make your bass line dance by adding some
syncopationnotes rhythmically placed on the off-beats
or weak beats. Ex. 2 shows the fat downbeat, followed
by the third and fourth 16th-notes of beat two. To analyze the groove and keep your place, count out loud:
one-e-and-a, two-e-and-a, three-e-and-a, four-e-and-a. Play
this line until the dog gets back in the zone. Dont answer
the door this time when the neighbors show up again.
Ex. 3 offers another variation: the first two 16thEx. 5
= 92

3 3

5
3 3

5 5

5 5

5 5

5 3
3 3

5 5

5 3
3 3

3 3

3 3

x . 66
Ex.
www.bassplayer.com

= 92

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5
3

3 3

5 5
3

3 3 3

3 3

STYLE
ADVANCED

A PRIVATE LESSON WITH RON CARTER


lime, so you can mix your concrete and shape the bricks
the way you want. But it all starts with the fundamentals. Where does he begin with a student? I ask new
students to write down what they feel I can show them
and what particular areas they want to improve on, and
I continue to have them write a list of questions for each
lesson. I try to get them to be an active part of what they
need, based on what I see.
Rons student on this day is Philadelphia native
CHRIS JISI

SO YOU WANT TO STUDY PRIVATELY WITH RON


Carter? Well, bring your upright bass, but leave your
preconceptions at home. On a sunny June afternoon,
Carter graciously invited us to sit in on one of his hourlong lessons in the mirrored music room of his stately
Upper-West-Side Manhattan apartment. While we waited
for his student to set up in an acoustically optimal corner of the room, Ron shared his goals and misgivings
about teaching. People come in here wanting to know
about licks I played on
Nefertiti or E.S.P., or they
want to come to hang out,
but they dont want to learn
about the nuts and bolts of
the instrument, he laments.
They dont understand
thats what all of those licks
and lines are based on.
Thats why I wont give just
one lesson; I cant show a
player what they really need
to improve in one session.
My objective is to build a
concept for students based
on how to do what I do and
then enable them to develop
their own voice around it.
When you walk out of here
for the final time, youll have
the sand, the water, and the

www.bassplayer.com

Dwayne Burno, a 16-year New York upright vet whose


recording and touring credits range from Betty Carter,
Roy Haynes, and Freddie Hubbard to Donald Harrison,
Greg Osby, and Stephen Scott. Carter played on the
same bill as Burno in Germany recently, and he watched
the younger bassists set, took mental notes, and spoke
to him afterwards. I later asked Ron if I could study
with him in back in New York, says Burno. This is
my second lesson, but Ill take 200 if I need to. I have
to unlearn 20 years of habits.
Carter fills us in on week one with Dwayne: The
first thing we discovered was that Mr. Burnos bass was
too high and it was throwing off his intonation, so we
lowered the peg [endpin] a notch. We also adjusted
how he stands with the instrument. Burno reports,
The first gig I played with the new stance felt strange,
but by the end of my second gig it felt much better.
Ron proceeds, Another problem for Mr. Burno is
he tended to move his plucking hand north and south
on the fingerboard. This meant he was attacking the
60

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be able to play an entire song in half and first positions.


To assert his point, Carter takes Burnos bass and demonstrates on the 12-bar blues, issuing smooth intervallic
lines without a hint of hesitation between note choices.
Dwayne takes over, and after falling into a few traps,
hes soon sailing through triad, 5th, and octave shapes
confidently, adding dominant 7ths in the appropriate
measures.
The hour concludes with Carter reading questions
from Burno, the topics of which he promises to address
in upcoming lessons. He then gives Dwayne a set of his
La Bella Black Nylon Tape Wound strings to try, advising, These are brighter than your strings and may make
your bass speak more easily and clearly. For Burno,
ease and clarity have fast become what his time with
Ron Carter is all about.
CHRIS JISI

www.bassplayer.com

strings in different ways at different angles and getting


different tones and volume output, which compromise
his sound. So we decided to find out where on his bass,
within a small range, Dwayne can execute the sound he
wants to be known for. Then we marked that spot by
putting two pieces of Velcro on the fingerboard enclosing an area that his right thumb should not move on
either side of. We also talked about keeping his right
hand on the fingerboard, especially when playing on
the E string. A lot of players float, and youll find thumbnail marks on their instruments. Ive been playing the
same bass for 40 years and there are no thumbnail marks
on it.
Next, Carter asks Burno to play Bb and F major
scales, which he counts off while walking around his
student. He checks hand positions as he listens closely
to each note. Ron emphasizes easiness of sound, so that
open strings sound no different from fingered ones.
People tend to play the acoustic bass too hard because
they see this big box. The secret is to find out how hard
can you not play and still fill this box
with the necessary energy to get a big
sound. You cant develop a sound in a
club with all the variables. Right here
is where you develop your sound. Ron
stops Dwayne a few times for bunching up his left-hand 4th finger against
his 3rd while playing notes with his
1st or 2nd fingerbut his peek up at
his left hand alarms Ron the most.
Dont look at the neck, man! Youve
got to feel where that area and that note is. You have to
be able to wake up at 2 am, go over to your bass in the
dark, and play a Bb on the A string without looking.
He encourages Burno to look at his hands in the walllength mirror in front of him. I tell students to invest
$4 in a 12" x 12" mirror they can put on a music stand
to look at their hands while playing.
For the lessons second half, Carter has Burno play
a blues-in-F walking line with the following stipulations: Play all quarter-notes (no rhythmic additions,
such as eighths or triplets), use only chord tones, and
play strictly in the first position. As a guide, Ron brings
out his Hal Leonard book Building Jazz Bass Lines and
turns to a 12-bar progression. He explains, This is how
you build a bass linefrom the ground up. Im also trying to get you to think more horizontally, across the
bass, without relying on shifting to make the line work.
There are so many choices in the first position; theres
no need to go way up the neck for a line. You should

PLAY

BASS!

61

STYLE
Steve Swallow

ADVANCED

REFINING YOUR SOUND

www.bassplayer.com

THE FIRST STEP IN DEVELOPING A SOUND OF


your own is an act of imagination: What is your sound?
You might want to listen intently to your favorite bass players, focusing analytically on their tone and articulation.
You might also profit from listening to players of other
instruments; I think Ive learned the most from singers.
But in the end youll need to be able to use what youve
observed about sound to imagine your own, distinctive
sound. Youll then begin to realize it, in ways both conscious and unconscious. You cant move toward achieving your sound without a sense of what it is. Progress
toward the sound you hear is incremental. Its a lifes work,
but its fascinating, gratifying labor. Id like to share some
of what Ive learned over the years.

62

PLAY

BASS!

PICK UP A PICK
While its paradoxical that a pick (and in my case, a very
hard pick made of copper) can produce a warm, singing
tone, I noticed that Jim Hall was able to do it on guitar, and
reasoned that I ought to be able to do the same on bass. I
looked carefully at his right hand and imitated it. Ive also
looked at the picking hands of many of my other favorite
guitarists, among them Mick Goodrick, John Scofield, and
Pat Metheny.
My primary stroke is up, not down; I think this instinctually resulted from my experience as an acoustic bass player.
The upstroke mimics plucking an acoustic bass string with
the index finger. There is a practical limit to the intensity
with which you should strike a string with a pick, and this

STYLE
limit falls below what is physically possible. Its
counterproductive to pick as hard as you can;
beyond a certain degree of force youre causing
distortion and actually weakening your signal.
You need to discover the precise point at which
this occurs, and then develop the discipline not
to cross that line. This is something learned on
the gig, as the heat of battle tends to produce
fits of physical excess.
Given this limit, its necessary to learn to
play as softly as possible, in order to achieve
the greatest dynamic range. This is not as easy
as it might seem, and the kind of restraint and
delicacy it requires is learned as much away
from the practice room as in it.
Use Ex. 1 to develop your sense of dynamics, and try extending the number of notes in
this exercise. See how many gradations between
fortisissimo and pianisissimo you can achieve.
The key to widening dynamic range, and thus
expanding your range of expression, lies in
practicing slowly, and carefully observing what
your hands are up to. Take it easy.
Compare the sound of the upstroke and
the downstrokethe goal is to make them similar (see Ex. 2). When you execute an upstroke
you may be attacking and releasing the string
from different anglesand with differing intensitythan with your downstroke. Again, play
slow; the faster you play the less youll learn
about tone.

When you pick, notice that your forearm


rotates; look also at your thumb and index fingers, as their controlled motion during each
stroke has a lot to do with generating tone.
They influence the angle and the intensity with
which the pick touches and releases the string.
You need also to examine where along the
strings length youre picking. Theres a tendency to pick where the arm most naturally
falls, but this position may not produce the
tone you want. As Ive moved closer to the
sound I hear, my right hand has migrated away
from the bridge; Im presently lacerating the
high end of my fingerboard with every stroke.

TAKING THE TIME


The left hand influences a note throughout its
duration. To my ears, Percy Heath has the most
delicately calibrated sustain and release of any
bassist; Ive spent days on end marveling at
how he controls the envelope of every note,
and the tiny sliver of silence between each of
them. To achieve this kind of control, youll
have to focus intensely on the left hand.
Its best to practice long tones, like a horn
player would (Ex. 3). When I was in my early
20s and playing with Jim Hall, I would often
chat nervously with him before the gig, as he
sat with his guitar. His responses to my comments were sometimes faltering and distracted;
it took me months to realize that he was warm-

ing up, but doing it so slowly that it wasnt


readily evident he was playing at all.
An effective way to develop your tone production is to play a single note with as much
deliberation as possible, as in Ex. 4. When you
do this, youll notice that once the right hand
has set the string in motion, its work is done,
and youll want to pay attention to the role of
the left hand in sustaining and shaping the
note. Hows your vibrato? Vibrato is crucial to
developing an individual sound.

FEELING IT
As you play, examine whats happening with
your upper arms, shoulders, back, the base of
the spine, and even your legs and feet. (To fully
grasp the implications of this, look into the principles of Kundalini yoga.) Your whole body contributes to your sound. I generally get a better
sound when Im standing up. Miles Davis advocated bending the knees and placing weight on
the balls of the feet, but Sonny Rollins gets a
massive sound planted on his heels. Go figure.
Also, your breathing is terribly important.
A significant result of well-modulated breathing is efficient oxygenation of your muscles,
which allows them to work well and avoid
cramping. Regular, deep breathing is also essential to the calm, centered state youll need to
be in to play well, and to enjoy doing it.
AS TOLD TO ED FRIEDLAND

Ex. 1
= 60





Ex. 2

= 60

(downstroke)

(upstroke)

Ex. 3

= 60

www.bassplayer.com

Ex. 4

= 60

PLAY

BASS!

63

STYLE

ADVANCED

CHANNEL THE
THEORY: FLEA
LESSON
ON THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS BY THE WAY,
Flea explores pick playing, fretless bass, and even a trad
Mexican grooveall while still delivering his raw,
unmistakable feel and energy. Ex. 1 is similar to his
furious finger-funk chorus on the title track (also the
discs first single). Flea, who tunes his E string down
to D on the tune, chuckles, Its one of those bass lines
that you start playing and go, Thats kinda cool. Whassup, fellas? Ex. 2 shows the essence of the main Venice
Queen line. Play the laid back, soulful 16ths legato;
the feel is reminiscent of Fleas part on Down and Out
in New York City, from Govt Mules ATO release The
Deep End, Vol. 1.
Ex. 3 approximates the verse bass line of Midnight. Both Flea and guitarist John Frusciante toy with
the similarity of the F#m and Dmaj7 chords. Ex. 4 is
Ex. 1

Ex. 2

= 125

Em

D5

4              

4


4
   
  

4   
 
H
T
A
B

= 90

Meloow
soul rock
Mellow
soul-rock

Funk rock

3 5

(3)

3 5

0 3

3 5

(3)

0 5

PO
T
A
B

5 3

7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 5

Ex. 3

= 94


Dmaj7
Dmaj7
     
 
    
 44
    





Trippy ballad

1.

2.

www.bassplayer.com

F m

 11

T
A
B

64

PLAY

BASS!



STYLE
Ex. 4


    
      
 4
  
      


 4  

= 176

Ska rock

Bm

T
A
B

F 7

Ex. 5

= 82

Amaj7

F m

7 9

11 9

18 16

    
 
 


 44



Rock ballad

etc.
T
A
B

16 14
11

Ex. 6

= 104

Rock

Em

 44                



T
A
B

Ex. 7

= 114


 


 4


 

 

 4 

Gothic ballad

let ring - -

let ring - -

T
A
B

10

13
11

11

14
9

12

Ex. 8

= 124

Driving funk rock

N.C.
www.bassplayer.com

4
  

 4               


T
A
B

66

5 5

PLAY

0 5 5

BASS!

5 5 0 5

0 0

7 7

7 7

similar to Fleas main On Mercury bass line.


His edgy part, as well as the overall feel, merges
medium ska with a cheesy wedding-band vibe.
Ex. 5 is in the style of Fleas opening fretless
fills on I Could Die for You. He recalls using
either a Music Man or fretless Fender. I had
never really played a fretless before. It was a
challenge to keep it controlled and in tune,
which was good because it probably stopped
me from playing too much. I was trying to create melodies that went against the vocal, almost
like harmonies or countermelodies that could
be keyboard or horn parts. I waited until the
vocal melody was down so I could play off it.
Ex. 6 illustrates Fleas rock-solid Dosed chorus line. Note his use of non-chord tones, such
as the F#s in bar 1 and the G and A in bar 2.
We were jamming at rehearsal, and I started
playing a simple part based on the chord pattern.
Ex. 7 is similar to Fleas pick part on Warm
Tape. His use of 10ths going to octaves adds
melodic tension to Frusciantes winding keyboard line and Anthony Kiediss angular vocal
melody. Flea laughs, Johns part is a trip and
Anthonys melody is totally wild. I was like,
What else are they gonna think of over this
weird-ass music? Ex. 8 approximates his killer
opening (and recurring) bass line on Throw
Away Your Television. The Cs at the end of
bar 2 throw the ear a tasty little curve.
CHRIS JISI

WARWICK...Its a Family Affair!

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