Oh no! Not the dreaded ‘p’ word I hear you say. “Do I have to?” Well yes, if you want to get any better on your instrument, you are gonna have to. I have never heard of a great musician who doesn’t practice, and if you have, I bet they’re lying. What I find is that if I stop practising, my playing soon starts to suck. It’s that simple.
Super-guitarist Steve Vai has a 10 hour practice schedule and meditates in a special pyramid thingy. Since most of us don’t have ten hours a day to practice or have a room with a special pyramid to sit in, we’re instead going to design a personal practice schedule based on one hour per day. If you stick to it for at least two months, you’re playing will improve, I guarantee. When I was taught this simple practice schedule technique, I couldn’t believe how much stuff I learnt in a small amount of time.
Right, let’s do this – I promise it won’t hurt!
Exotic And Erotic Scales And Licks
Haere mai, welcome to the world of bass erotica and exotica, a world of wacky and bizarre scales. ...more
Playing a Blues Tune All The Way Through
Hi ya all! The following examples have an intro, two verses, turnaround and an ending. ...more
A Tappin' The Latin
In this lesson I thought we would carry on with the two-hand theme. So what I’ve done is taken some Latin piano progressions and applied them to the bass.
A Tapping the Rhythm Changes
Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum - or something like that. Anyway, Merry Christmas to you. Here's a little show off piece to play to Santa or perhaps you could play it on Christmas day to the rellies - they'll love you for it! ...more
Making Scales Musical - Part 2
Gidday to you all. In the last lesson we talked about some scale concepts such as intervallic and sequencing ideas to inspire you to be more creative and musical with scales. ...more
Making Scales Musical
Gidday to you all. At one time or another most of us have been shown a scale or two. We run up and down the scale, which is okay. Let's take a minute to play Example 1 - a G Major scale in two octaves. ...more
Odd Time Grooves
I was going to continue on from the Feb/March '06 issue with some sitar stuff, but decided instead that we should look at some odd time signatures such as 5/8, 7/8 or 9/8. ...more
Basslines Indian Style
Happy New Year to you all. I thought we would carry on with the culture vibe again in this lesson. Since there aren’t any electric bass guitars in traditional classical Indian music, a lot of these basslines have been adapted from other instruments such as the sitar, vocal lines and sarod. ...more
Know Thy Intervals Bass Cadets
This is a very important topic that a lot of bassists tend to skip over. The old interval studies. ...more
Bassline Styles: Afro-Cuban Basslines
The most crucial elements in Latin Afro-Cuban music is the clave. ...more
Bassline Styles: Soul Grooves
Firstly, I would like to say congratulations to the editor and publisher of this wonderful mag, Mr Richard Thorne, on the 100th issue. ...more
Bassline Styles: The Blues
Let’s kick off the new year with a series of lessons dealing with different musical styles and various basslines associated with those styles. ...more
Soloing Over Jazz Standard Part Two: Using a combination of arpeggios and scales
I thought this time we would improvise over the chord changes to a little Latin number called Blue Bossa by Kenny Dorham. ...more
Soloing Over Jazz Standard Using Arpeggios only: Part One
Howdy dudey. In the next few lessons I thought we should explore some different concepts for soloing over a jazz standard with a few chord changes. ...more
Ideas for Composing Basslines - Reggae Style
In this lesson I thought let's carry on with addin da riddim idea from the last lesson (Vol 11 No 5 April/May 2004). ...more
Ideas for Composing Basslines Part 2:
In the last lesson (Feb/March issue), we talked mainly about the harmonic function of the bassline - in other words, outlining the chord by using the chord notes (arpeggios), chromatic passing notes and using chord inversions. In this lesson, we're going to explore the other most important role of the bassline - the 'rhythm'. ...more
Ideas for Composing Basslines
In this lesson we're going to cover various techniques for bassline composition. The first thing to understand about composing a bassline is the role that the bass plays in the music.
Harmonising the melodic minor scale and its modes:part 2
Before we launch into the rest of the melodic minor modes, let's do a bit of a recap. ...more
Harmonising the Melodic Minor Scale and its Modes: Part 1
Before we go harmonising the melodic minor, best we identify what the Melodic Minor is. ...more
In this lesson we are going to check out a harmonic concept called Modal Modulation or Pitch Axis. ...more
Chord Scale Relationships in the Harmonic Minor Scale
Hi y'all. Let's recap on what we've been up to in the last few lessons. Basically all we've been doing is working out which chords belong to which scales or modes.
Chord Scale Relationships in the Harmonic Minor Scale - Part Two
Happy new year to y'all. Let's carry on with the diatonic chords and modes of the harmonic minor, starting with the 3rd mode the C Ionian augmented (see Ex. 1). ...more
Jamming with the modes of the major, harmonic and melodic minor scales
In most of the lessons I have written this year, we have been looking at the modes of the major, harmonic and melodic minor scales and what chords belong to which mode etc.
Chord Scale Relationships Part 3
In the last lesson we looked at how we get the diatonic triads from the Ionian (major scale), Dorian, Phrygian and Lydian modes. Now we will check out the diatonic chords from the Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian modes. ...more
Chord Scale Relationships Part 2
In the last lesson we looked at how we get the diatonic triads from a major scale - we get these chords by simply stacking 3rds on each note of the major scale. This is called the harmonised scale. ...more
Chord Scale Relationships
You can know all the scales in the world, but if you don't know how or when to use them over a chord progression, they really mean squat. For instance, if you were asked to solo over Dmi7 to G to Emi to A - what would you do? ...more
Blame It on the Bassline
There are 12 different notes or pitches in Western music and they are divided into two groups - natural notes and accidentals (sharps and flats).