Welcome back, bass-folk!
My last 2 articles dealt with basic tapping exercises designed to introduce you to the techniques used, as well as right and left hand independence. In this installment, we will move away from the more ‘exercise-like’ nature of our previous lessons and into more practical applications that allow you to create and play some slightly more musical grooves using 2 handed tapping.
The time we have invested so far on permutations and ‘copycat’ lines has hopefully helped you to somewhat equalize the dexterity between your right and left hands. For most of us, tapping using the plucking hand is the more difficult task to master because that hand almost never spends time on the fingerboard. If you have been practicing consistently, now you should have developed enough skill in your plucking hand to where you can now begin to work on right and left hand independence.
Obviously, being able to play independently with each hand is absolutely necessary if you want to become skilled at performing 2 handed tapping grooves and compositions. When beginning to work on these skills on the bass, it is helpful to assign specific tasks for each hand. An approach I like to use involves using the fretting hand for playing bass lines, while the plucking hand plays a melody or chords. Although this is not the only way to create complimentary 2 handed parts, this is the approach we will take in this latest installment as we work on pushing you to the next level in your development.
In this exercise we will practice tapping out a bass line with our fretting hand that will be used in the remaining exercises for today’s assignment. The bass line is a bossa type line that taps out the root and 5th from a C major chord in a repetitive fashion. You can see it played in the accompanying video clip.
DOWNLOAD EXERCISE 1 BELOW
Now we will add a simple melody for the plucking hand made up of whole notes, using notes from the C major scale. Refer to the accompanying video clip to see how it is played. If you are having trouble putting the 2 parts together, even at very slow tempos, then practice each hand’s part individually until you feel comfortable combining them.
DOWNLOAD EXERCISE 2 BELOW
In this exercise we will once again add a tapped melody line with the plucking hand, but this time the melody will be a little more involved, incorporating a bit of syncopation to increase the level of difficulty. Once again, if you are having trouble putting the parts together, first practice each part individually.
DOWNLOAD EXERCISE 3 BELOW
Until next time, have fun shedding!!!
About Adam Nitti
Adam Nitti has emerged as one of the cutting edge bassists and composers in the world of instrumental jazz and rock.