Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bass Sessionz Vol 1


Very good bass players in this video.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Basic Improvisation


I would like to share a simple tip on improvising on the bass.

When we improvise or solo, one best way is to play chord tone but not using the root note.

e.g. When the harmony is an Am7 chord, instead of playing the root (A), we can play the

third (C) or fifth (E) or seventh (G).

I'm sure most of you are familiar with that.

Now the fun think is using the similar concept and apply it over chord changes.

Let say you want to improvise or solo over Am7 D7, the common approach is to play the

Am7 arpeggio followed by D7 arpeggio.

Instead of doing that, try playing a C arpeggio over the above chord changes.

Notice that C is the third of Am7 and seventh of D7.

To sound nice depend on your "landing".

Hope this approach can open more ideas for creative playing.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Inversion Chords


I was playing with a song with chords like these recently:

E E7 A Am7

If the bass just play the root note, it will be quite boring.

What I did was to play the inversion.

E E7/D A/C# Am7/C

It's a natural walk down bass line and much more interesting than just playing root.

Give it a try.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Major Pentatonic Scale (Start on the 3rd)


Previous lesson we covered playing the Major Pentatonic Scale starting on the 5th.

This time round, we will try starting on the 3rd.

Major Pentatonic Scale is derived from the Major Scale.

Just skip the 4th and 7th note of the Major Scale.

e.g. C major Scale - C D E F G A B C
C Major Pentatonic Scale - C D E G A


The notes are E G A C D E G A

Have Fun.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Chord Tone Proximity


Chord Tone Proximity is something that bassists, Gary Willis and Victor Wooten had talk about.

You're never more than a whole step from a chord tone. Take for example a C7 Chord.

The notes are C E G Bb. You can't find a note that's more than a whole step from any of these notes.

Which means you are just either half a step or whole step away from the "right" note.

Hope this helps.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Major Pentatonic Scale (start on the 5th)

Major Pentatonic Scale is derived from the Major Scale.

Just skip the 4th and 7th note of the Major Scale.

e.g. C major Scale - C D E F G A B C
C Major Pentatonic Scale - C D E G A

The exercise below starts the C Major Scale on the 5th (G).

All the notes are still inside your C Major Scale and by starting

on the 5th, it gives a different voicing and sort of allow us to have more notes to apply.

Give it a try.


Have fun!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Ghost Note Exercise


I find the below exercise useful to practice ghost note.

Ghost notes are muted notes that can be achieve when you lightly touch the fretboard
with your left hand and pluck/slap/pop with your right hand.

Practice the exercise with plucking first than slap. The "X" is the ghost note.

Make sure the harmonics do not ring out.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

Funk Groove Part 2


Another easy and cool funk groove for you to practice and apply.

You can shift the pattern to suit the chords played.

For the above example, get your musician to play an A and D chord (1 4 progression)

Have fun.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Power Chords


Power chords is the most used chords on guitar and can be used on Bass as well.

The best thing about power chord is that the fingering is the same for major or minor chords.

You can choose to pluck, slap or strum the chords on the bass.

Just play the root and the 5th. e.g. C power chord = C + G

Below is a 6 4 1 5 chord progression in key of C.

Some of you might find this tune familiar :)

Have fun.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Simple ii V I Progression Using Chord Tone

ii V I progression in the key of C is Dm7 G7 Cmaj7

For the above exercise, the notes are all within the chords itself.

This is an easy way to start learning walking bass as well.

Notice that the first note I played on the Cmaj7 is a E note instead of the root.

Since my last note on the G7 chord is a F, it will sound more smooth going to E which is the 3rd of a Cmaj7 chord.

It is not necessary to always land on the root note of the chord.

Experiment and have fun.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Slow Funk


A simple slow funk exercise where you can repeat over and over again.

Don't rush and try to feel the groove.

Have fun.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Using 9th


This bassline make use of 9th. Get your friend to play a G chord and C chord.

Have fun.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Diatonic Harmony


The term diatonic means that the notes come from the same key.

Chords and notes that fall outside those made from these scales are not diatonic.

In the key of G major,the seven notes are– G, A, B, C, D, E, and F#.

A Cmaj7 is a diatonic chord in the key of G major since the notes are - C E G B which fall inside the G major scale.

A Cm7 is not a diatonic chord in the key of G major since the notes are - C Eb G Bb,
where Eb and Bb fall outside of the G major scale.

Hope this is clear.


Friday, April 03, 2009

Dominant 7th


Dominant 7th Chord is frequently used in many genres especially in Blues.

The above example is the pattern and notes for G dominant 7th chord.
All you need to do is study the fingering pattern and you can form other dominant chords easily.

Formula for Dom7th chord - 1 3 5 b7

G7 chord consist of G, B, D, F.

As for finger position you can try:
R (middle)
3 (index)
5 (last)

Have fun.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Guitar plucking on Bass


Bass can sound melodic too.

This article talks about plucking the bass like a guitar.

Use your thumb to hit the root note, follow by your index finger plucking on the open D string and middle finger plucking on the open G string.

For the left hand, you can use your index finger to fret the root note, ring finger to fret the open D string and last finger to fret the open G string.

Follow the above tab and you should be able to get what I'm trying to say.

Have fun.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Basic Flea Slap Style


For those who are interested in Flea's slap style, this lesson is a good starter.

Slap on the C and hammer on to D, followed by a mute slap and pop.

The mute slap and pop is crucial to create the percussive feel.

Try it slow and as you increase the speed, you will be amazed that such a simple exercise make you sound so experience.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Relative Scale


Every major scale has a relative minor scale and every minor scale a relative major.

They share the same notes.

For example, a G major scale and a E minor scale are relative scales.

The notes in a G major scale are - G A B C D E F# G (G Ionian)

The notes in a E minor scale are - E F# G A B C D E (E Aeolian)

The different is the starting note.

The root of the relative minor is always the sixth note of the major scale.

The root of the relative major is always the third note of the minor scale.

This work for all the keys. Let's try key of C.

The notes in a C major scale are - C D E F G A B C (C Ionian)

The notes in a A minor scale are - A B C D E F G A (A Aeolian)

Have fun

Friday, January 02, 2009

Chord Tone Improvisation


One of the best ways to create bassline is by using chord tone,which are the notes in a chord.

Let use Cmaj7 for an example.

The notes in a Cmaj7 are C E G B (1 3 5 7).

What people tend to do is when the other musicians strike a Cmaj7 chord, we bass player naturally play the C, which is the root note,or sometimes followed by E -> G-> B than to the next chord.

You can start simple improvisation by experimenting different placement of the note. i.e 3 1 5 7 or 5 1 3 7, or 3 5 1 7 or 7 5 3 1 and which ever ways you can come out with.

By doing this, you will break the fix pattern of playing 1->3->5->7.

Hope this helps.

Have fun