Monday, December 01, 2008

Arpeggio Exercise


Arpeggio is playing the notes in a chord one by one instead of simultaneously.

In a G chord, the notes are G B D.

This arpeggio exercise is in G and helps to make it sound more interesting.

Hopefully this can give you some ideas to use arpeggio to create your bassline.

Have fun.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

G Major Scale Octave Exercise


This G major Scale Octave exercise can help you to practice for Stanley Clarke's "School Day".

First you try to play it using finger style, next move to slapping and popping.

When you pop, try to keep the note short.

Try to practice it with a drum machine or metronome.

Have Fun.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Different Tuning


Most 4 string bass player will probably tune their bass with the standard E A D G.

We are expose to players like Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten who tuned their bass to
A D G C(tenor bass).

Some people wonder if they are to tune the G string up to C or how?

For me, I will buy the high C string from a 6 string pack and use it instead.
Another common tuning is the drop D - D A D G. Either you can manually tune down to D or fix in the Drop D hipshot.

Standard 5 string bass tuning is B E A D G, but you can also tune it to E A D G C (standard+tenor bass). Many bassists tune it this way as they wanted to do more melodic stuff on their bass like Steve Swallow and Dominique Di Piazza.

I also see some people tune their 5 string to A E A D G(Drop D concept).

Standard 6 string tuning is B E A D G C. You can also tune it E A D G C F or F# B E A D G.
I personally haven't tried it before but I'm sure it is nothing new.

Michael Manring Hyper Bass is another interesting instrument where the tuning is C F Bb Eb.
Different songs he will tune it differently. He is so scary.
You guys can read up more if you like.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

SMV Thunder Tour (Singapore)

It was my privilege to witness the historical assemblage of Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten in their once-in-a-lifetime Asian tour.

Nothing beats watching them real live on stage.

Most of the songs played were from their Thunder album.

I personally enjoyed Marcus's bass clarinet playing and slapping tone, Victor's looping solo and Stanley's double bass percussive slap and solo.

The show ended with the famous "School Day" tune where the whole audience stood up and clap along.

I believe most musicians that attended the concert is further motivated to bring music to a higher level.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Basic Harmonics


Adding harmonics in your bass playing can be pretty musical.

The example given show a note pressed and the <5> is harmonics on the 5th fret.

You just need to place your finger lightly against the string but not touching the fret.

Try plucking it nearer to the bridge pickup and have a higher treble setting on your amp.

If successful, you will hear an unique chime sound.

For more advance study, please listen to:
1. Jaco Pastorius
2. Stu Hamm
3. Victor Wooten
4. Steve Bailey
5. Vail Johnson
6. Victor Bailey
7. Jeff Berlin
8. Billy Sheehan
9. John Myung
10. Michael Manring
11. and etc

Have fun

Monday, August 04, 2008

Melodic Minor Scale


Another scale that you may want to consider having in your toolbox is the Melodic Minor Scale.

The notes in the C Major Scale - C D E F G A B C (you should know by now :))

The formula for Melodic Minor Scale - 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 1(8) = C D Eb F G A B C

We can apply this scale on a minor chord but preferably not on a minor 7 chord. Try it on a Minor Maj7 Chord.

You can also apply the C Melodic Minor Scale on the (V7) which is G7 in the key of C

The notes in a G7 = G B D F, which are also inside the C Melodic Minor Scale.

You can try the D Melodic Minor Scale, F Melodic Minor Scale and the Ab Melodic Minor Scale.

Have fun.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Walk Down


G D7 Em7 Bm7 C G Am7 D7

Find the above chord progression familiar? Maybe for some of you.

The natural approach for beginners are to play the root note.

To make things more smooth, we can use the walk down approach.

Something like this - G D7/F# Em7 Bm7 C G/B Am7 D7

Bassist will play the slash note on the right - e.g D7/F#, we play the F# note and let the guitarist or pianist play the D7 chord.

Some people call this "inversion".

Basically, instead of playing the root note which is D in the D7 chord,
we play the 3rd which is the F#.

As mentioned in our previous lesson, Dominant chord are formed by the formula 1 3 5 b7

D7 = D F# A C

Therefore we can use the G to D7/F# to Em7, creating a walk down.

Using the same approach we can apply it on the C G Am7 to become C G/B Am7

Since you can walk down, you can also walk up, depending on the chord progression.

Hope you enjoy this lesson.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Funk Groove


Here is a simple exercise for those who are interested to learn Funk.

Important thing to take note is the ghost note and the Funk feel.

Chromatic scale was used as well.

Have fun

Sunday, June 08, 2008

2nd Dominant


As some of you already know, the 5th degree in a Major scale family chord is a dominant chord.
I.e. G7 in the Key of C.

Looking at a common chord progression(1 6 2 5) in key of C , the chords are C Am7 Dm7 G7.

Now, playing the same progression, instead of playing the Am7, play a A7 chord.

You will notice that the voicing is even more jazzy, creating a tension.

That is an example of applying the 2nd dominant.

You can try also changing the Dm7 to a D7 chord, but perhaps play a Am7 instead of A7.

Experiment around.

Have fun.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bass Workshop

Praise God for the first Bass workshop conducted on 1st June 2008.
There were sharing of good bass players in the world and watching their video.
There were teaching and discussion on melody, harmonics and techniques.
Most importantly, everyone enjoyed themselves.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Slap Exercise


The key to slapping the bass and allowing people to enjoy and tap along with you, is by adding ghost notes to your playing.

The above is a cool slap groove which is not too complicated but yet a good practice.

Make sure that the ghost notes (X) can be heard.

Have fun

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Rock Exercise


This exercise is simple but yet fun when play fast.

Try it slow first and slowly build up the speed.

If you do not have a band or drum machine to practice with, can use an online metronome.

The basic chords are G C D C G.

Have you have queries, please feel free to email me.

Enjoy and have fun.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Blues Scale


The blues scale is a pretty common scale and sometimes we use it without even realizing it.

Remember the pentatonic scale? Say G minor pentatonic, its G Bb C D F right?

You need to add a flat 5th into the minor pentatonic to form the blues scale.

So the G blues scale will be G Bb C C# D F.

Hope this information helps.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

7th chords


Often you will see chords like Cmaj7 or Cm7 and etc.

Basically they are just chords with a 7th note.

As we already know, chords are formed by 1+3+5.

A Major 7th chord will be 1+3+5+7.
E.g Cmaj7 - C + E + G + B

For Minor 7th chord, it will be 1+b3+5+b7
E.g Cm7 - C + Eb + G+ Bb

For Dominant 7th chord, it will be 1+3+5+b7
E.g C7 - C E G Bb

How about Sus 7th chord? It will be 1 +4+5+b7
E.g C7sus - C F G Bb

Trying adding the 7th to your chord now. :)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Chords from Major Scale


Chords are 2 or more notes pressed together simultaneously.

From the major scales, we can form 7 basic chords.

Let's take a look at the notes in the C major scale: C D E F G A B C

To form a basic chord, we can press the 1 and the 3 together.

If 1 = C ,E will be 3, we get a C chord.

Now we move to D. If D= 1 , F = 3, that is a Dm chord.

Next, E=1 than 3 must be G, that is a Em chord.

F=1, A=3, we get a F chord.

G=1, B=3, we get a G chord.

A=1, C= 3, that is a Am chord.

B=1, D=3, a Bm chord is formed.

The basic chords in a C major scales are: C Dm Em F G Am Bm C.

Some people play it this way: Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7(b5) Cmaj7.

Have fun.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Minor Pentatonic Scale


We have covered the major pentatonic scale in the previous post, let's take a look at the minor pentatonic scale.

Minor pentatonic scale consist of 5 notes from the minor scale.

The notes in a G minor pentatonic scale are: G Bb C D F (a common fingering pattern).

So when an instrument play the Gm or Gm7 chord, you can play the notes in the G minor pentatonic scale.

Have Fun.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Pentatonic Scale (Amazing Grace)


One of the most useful scales that help guitarists and bass players is the pentatonic scale.

We will look into the major pentatonic scale for now.

Major pentatonic scale consist of 5 notes from the major scale.

The notes in G major pentatonic scale are : G A B D E (a common fingering pattern).

You can play the melody of the song, Amazing Grace by using the G major pentatonic scale.

If you would like to play using harmonics, find out the melody first,follow by the harmonics on the bass frets and pluck near the bridge pick up(turn up the treble).

Have Fun.