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Lesson 4 – Double Thumbing with Alex Lofoco

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Welcome back to our fourth Bass Musician Magazine double thumbing lesson. We have seen in the previous appointment (Lesson3), some examples based on the pentatonic scale, how to play it straight and in group of three notes. Here we will see some four note grouping’s, in fourths.

This first sample is an ascending and descending pentatonic scale, again in D minor, in groups of four. The fingering is two notes per string and it is extended up to the minor third (F) on the 10th fret on the G string, so we can complete a 4/4 bar.

On the way up we find a linear T down, T up, Pluck, Pluck pattern but for the second group the easiest approach is an alternating T, P, T, P, because we are playing on three strings.

While descending, an even motion Tdown, Tup, P, P is involved as a two notes per string pattern is featured except from the third group where we need to skip three strings.

Note: in the second group of sixteenths, in bar 1, it is possible to alternate Thumb, Pluck, Thumb, Pluck to skip three strings (A, D and G), or to replace the second Tdown with a middle finger pluck and then pluck the last note (C on the G string) with the ring finger.

The movements involved are:

Ascending

  • Thumb down, Thumb up on the A string.
  • Pluck, Pluck on the D string.
  • Thumb down, Thumb up on the G string.

Descending

  • Pluck, Pluck on the G string.
  • Thumb down, Thumb up on the D string.
  • Thumb down, Thumb up on the A string.

Playing the pentatonic scale in fourths is a useful technique exercise and device to make the same scale more interesting, having a strong cadence between each note and its fourth.

On this second line we have a different descending pattern. Changing direction and alternating the root and the fourth below (which becomes its fifth); we have a nice and more articulated lick that provides an interesting result I found useful for bass lines and fills.

Note: in both lines I fretted the minor 3rd (F) at the third fret of the D string purely for a tonal choice. Being the F at the 3rd fret is more resonant than the same F played at the 8th fret on the A string which sounds a bit muddier. I suggest practicing fingering the F at the 8th fret of the A string to have an extra choice. In that case, no double thumbing is involved as we can just Thumb, Pluck each note and it’s fourth (or Maj 3rd for the F) below.

The following line is again based on the pentatonic played in fourths, but doubling each note. It is very effective if played at a fast tempo.

Note: in the descending pattern, take extra care in the last two semi quavers of beat two and the first two of beat three, where the movements Tdown, Tup are followed by a double Pluck on the same string. In this case the tips of your plucking fingers need to be in line with your thumb in order to have a smooth and flowing sequence. (See Lesson1 for hand position).

All these patterns can be applied in every key, and in each portion of the fretboard and strings. I do encourage you to practice every line you already play with other techniques with the double thumbing technique in order to avoid the usual ‘slap licks’ with a wide use of open strings. Being able to play everything with every technique gives you the freedom to choose the technique involved for the tone you get, rather than the choice of notes.

Playing melodies or solos is a good way to gain an independence from shapes and fingerings.

Enjoy, have a good practice session, and I look forward to seeing you in the next issue.

For any questions, suggestion or comments you can contact me at lesson@alexlofoco.com. I will be happy to answer your questions as soon as possible.

Stay tuned…

Alex

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New Gear: Aguilar Amplification Next-generation Tone Hammer and AG Series Amplifiers

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New Gear: Aguilar Amplification Next-generation Tone Hammer and AG Series Amplifiers

New Gear: Aguilar Amplification Next-generation Tone Hammer and AG Series Amplifiers…

Aguilar Amplification is excited to unveil the next generation of Tone Hammer and AG series amplifiers. These amplifiers are designed to meet the exacting standards of today’s bassists, enhancing their musical expression through in-demand features and fresh new designs.

The latest innovations in the Tone Hammer and AG series include the introduction of the Aguilar Cabinet Suite, dual XLR outputs, expanded connectivity options, and power section upgrades. These features not only provide superior sound quality and flexibility but also maintain the classic Aguilar performance that musicians have relied upon.

Key features of the next-generation amplifiers:

Aguilar Cabinet Suite: This new software allows players to load Aguilar ’s custom-designed SL/DB cabinet impulse responses (IRs), or their own custom IR files. This feature is available through both XLR and headphone outputs, offering new tone shaping and cabinet emulation options.
 
Dual XLR Outputs & Expanded Connectivity: Musicians can now tailor their tone and utilize cabinet IRs for their monitor mix, while also sending a pre-EQ ’d signal directly to the front-of-house. This dual functionality ensures optimal sound for both the artist and front-of-house. The new amplifiers include auxiliary input and headphone output options for silent practice. They also feature mix controls to fine-tune the listening experience, ideal for both practice and performance.

Upgraded Power Sections: Previously exclusive to Aguilar’s 700-series, the upgraded power sections in the Tone Hammer and AG 500 now support a 2.67 ohm load and include universal mains. These enhancements make the amplifiers perfect for international touring, offering seamless voltage adaptation.

“The new Tone Hammer and AG series amplifiers are a testament to Aguilar ’s commitment to world class sound and performance, providing bassists with the tools they need to define their sound on the global stage,” remarks Jordan Cortese, Brand Manager, Aguilar Musical Instruments.

The next-generation Tone Hammer and AG series amplifiers are available for purchase through www.aguilaramp.com and Aguilar’s extensive dealer network worldwide. For more information about the new amplifiers and other Aguilar products, please visit www.aguilaramp.com.

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New Gear: Spector Doug Wimbish USA Custom Series Basses

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Doug Wimbish, pictured with the new Spector Doug Wimbish USA Custom Series basses

Spector offers Doug Wimbish USA Custom Series basses…

Spector, a leading authority in bass guitar design, unveils two new Doug Wimbish USA Custom Series basses. Synonymous with bass excellence since 1987, Wimbish collaborated with Spector’s USA Custom Shop to create the DW-4 and DW-5 models, echoing the iconic instruments that have been favored heavily throughout his recording and performing career.
 
These signature basses faithfully replicate Wimbish’s originals, down to the smallest details like neck contours and nut widths. Customized EMG pickups, developed in collaboration with Wimbish, capture the distinctive sound that has shaped his monumental musical impact. These models invite players to explore the feel and response that have defined Wimbish’s signature style over the years.
 
Available in 4-string and 5-string versions, each model boasts unique features & finish options. The DW-4 comes in Amber Stain Gloss and Black Stain Gloss options, while the DW-5 offers Dark Blue Stain Gloss and Faded Natural Gloss. Every purchase includes a certificate of authenticity signed by Doug Wimbish. Wimbish comments, “Spector took the time to get every little nuance right, and that to me is dedication and being thoughtful enough to know ‘I want to nail it,’ and they did. I’m able to pick these instruments up for the first time and play them like I’ve already had them for years.”

For more information, visit spectorbass.com/doug-wimbish-usa-signature-series/.

Photo: Doug Wimbish, pictured with the new Spector Doug Wimbish USA Custom Series basses

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New Campaign: Alberto Rigoni, Nemesis Call – Queens Of Strings

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New Campaign: Alberto Rigoni, Nemesis Call - Queens Of Strings

Italian bass master and composer ALBERTO RIGONI is thrilled to announce his brand new project “Nemesis Call – Queens Of Strings”.

Nemesis Call – Queens Of Strings features a super talented drummer from Japan (TBA) and tons of female guitarists such as SAKI, Giusy Busetto, Alexandra Zerner (TBC) and many many others (TBA). Furthermore, Alberto has also launched a Fundraising Campaign for the project. 20% of the income will be donated to Lega del Filo d’Oro legadelfilodoro.it/it, an Italian association that helps deaf and blind children!

Alberto shares:
“Hello friends and music lovers! I’m Alberto Rigoni, an Italian composer and.. a BASS GUY! Between 2008 and 2024 I released 13 solo albums, spanning from progressive, rock, ambient to funky and experimental music, which also features contributions from musicians such as keyboard wizard Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) and Marco Minnemann (the Aristocrats), keyboardist Kevin Moore (ex Dream Theater), singer John Jeff Soto (ex  Goran Edman (ex Y. Malmsteen), bassists Nathan East, Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani), Nik West (ex Prince) and many others. I’m also bass player for BAD As, Sunset Groove Society, Kim Bingham, The Italians bands and co-producer of Mistheria’s Vivaldi Metal Project.”

Alberto on the new project Nemesis Call:
“Even if my latest album “Unexpected Lullabies”, dedicated to my newborn Vittoria Parini Rigoni, will be released on June 4th, 2024, when Vittoria came to life I felt the need to compose new music (yes, I really can’t stop!!!!!). This time will be quite challenging because I’m willing to release an instrumental ambient/prog/rock/metal album, that will feature a talented and young drummer (TBA) and tons of female guitarists (that’s why I will call the album “Queens of the Strings”) such as Alexandra Zerner, YOKA and many others (TBA/TBC)). It won’t be easy to manage all such great musicians but I will make it!! Are you ready to face a new prog experience? The album will be released in Digipack CD and in high-quality digital format approximately at the beginning of 2025.”

The Fundraising Campaign:
As an independent artist, Alberto is looking for supporters who can help him reach the budget for the production (recordings, mix, mastering, artwork etc.) of this new album and has started this fundraising campaign that will end successfully on October 15th, 2024.

Get further information about Alberto Rigoni’s new project Nemesis Call Fundraising campaign at albertorigoni.net/nemesiscal

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Artist Update With Bassist Derek Frank

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Artist Update With Bassist Derek Frank

Bassist Derek Frank…

Many of you will remember the last time I chatted with Derek Frank was back in 2017. The main thing that impressed me was how busy Derek was and how he juggled playing with many huge acts.

Now, I am happy to hear that Derek launched a new album last March titled “Origin Story” where he digs deep into his roots and pays homage to Pittsburg.

Join me as we get caught up after all these years and hear the details about the new album, how Derek gets his sound, and his plans for the future.

Photo, Stephen Bradley

Visit Online:

www.derekfrank.com
www.instagram.com/derekfrankbass
www.youtube.com/derekfrankbass
www.facebook.com/derekfrankbass

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @foderaguitars @bqwbassguitar @lecomptebass @xvector_basses @vuorensaku_guitars @phdbassguitars @meridian_guitars @sterlingbymusicman @ramabass.ok @overwaterbasses

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