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From Electric Bass to Upright Bass by Maureen Pandos

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From Electric Bass to Upright Bass by Maureen Pandos… So, you’ve been playing electric bass now for some time and you’re thinking about maybe trying your hand at the upright bass.  Maybe you’ll even get a bow and mess around with that a little bit.  I mean, how different can it really be?  EADG.  Let’s do this.

But first, let me introduce myself.

Hello. My name is Maureen Pandos and I am a luthier.  Just in case you’re unfamiliar with that term, I am a person who makes and/or repairs stringed instruments.  You may more commonly know me as a “bass tech” or “guitar tech” but what makes me a little different is that I specialize in bowed instruments, and, more specifically, the upright bass.  I own a little violin shop in Portland, Oregon where I spend my days building, restoring and repairing bass violins.

I fell in love with the art of violin making when I was a student at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. I would schlep my bass downtown to David Gage String Instruments for tune ups and was time-after-time mesmerized by what was going on in that shop!  I managed to procure an apprenticeship with Jack Havivi of Havivi Violins, which continued until I moved west in 2001.  I then managed to get my first real job with Schuback Violin Shop in Portland, Oregon. Here I quickly learned the ins and outs of a high volume, fast paced shop.  I also found out that Portland had a heck of a lot of bass players and needed someone to help tend to their needs!  In 2004 my business, MDP Bass Works, was born and I’ve been surrounded by basses ever since.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to some FAQ’s about the upright bass….

Where are the frets?  How am I supposed to know where the notes are?

Nope.  No frets.  And the fingerboard (notice how I did not call it a “fretboard”) is curved and concave (there is no truss rod either so the fingerboard must be shaped with a slight relief in the middle). The string length is also quite a bit longer than what you’re used to on your electric bass (average string length from nut to bridge is 42”).  But don’t fret!  (Haha, sorry), with a proper hand position and some diligent practice you will learn to rely on your finely tuned ear and muscle memory to nail those notes every time.  You can do it. I believe in you.

What is the difference between the Double Bass, Contrabass, Upright Bass, Stand-Up Bass, Doghouse Bass, Bass Fiddle, String Bass, Acoustic Bass, Orchestral Bass, and Jazz Bass?

Nothing.  They’re all the same instrument just known by different names depending on what style of music they’re being used to play.  Double Bass, or just simply Bass, is commonly used in the Classical community.  It gets the name “Double Bass” because the pitch literally doubles the bass line.  Technically, the cello is the bass since it ‘sounds’ where the bass line is written on the staff.  Since the double bass sounds an octave lower than what is written on the staff it has adopted the name “double bass”.  Contrabass is what they call it in Europe getting its origin from the Italian Contrabasso.  Since Italy is the country where this instrument was conceived and birthed, we use this as the first and authentic name of the instrument.  Upright Bass refers to the fact that the thing stands upright.  Nuf’ said.  Same goes for the Stand-Up Bass and the Doghouse Bass.  Stand-Up because well, duh, you stand up when you play it and Doghouse because I guess it’s big enough to put your dog in it.  String Bass is most commonly used to separate the low brass bass section in an ensemble from the string bass section and Acoustic Bass is used to differentiate it from the Electric Bass. Bass Fiddle?  Another self explanatory one.  It’s a big old version of your old-timey fiddle.  (I often have people ask me what’s the difference between the violin and the fiddle and the answer is once again, nothing.  It all depends on who’s playing it and how the instrument is set up to be played.)  Orchestral Bass and Jazz Bass are often used just to differentiate between the player’s style of playing but can also be referring to, again, the particular set up of the instrument.

Next installment?  Let’s talk about set-ups!

 

Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 6 

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James Rosocha

Approach Notes – Part 6 

As we move into lesson six of approach notes applied to chord tones, it’s important to go back and review the previous approaches. The constant review and application of these concepts will add a layer of chromaticism to both your bass lines and solos. The approaches need to be burned into your long term/ permanent memory for them to come out in your playing. 

This first example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio. 

A single chromatic approach from below and a double chromatic approach from above approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, single from below and double chromatic from above to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down. 

The next example approaches the G major arpeggio in root position.

The next example approaches the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a single chromatic from below and a double chromatic approach from above -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, single chromatic from below/ double from above to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down. 

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio. 

A single chromatic from below/ double from above approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, single chromatic from below/ double from above to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down. 

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio

A single chromatic from below/ double from above approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, single from above/ double from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down.

After studying these various approach notes, you will begin to recognize the concepts utilized in your favorite solos. Continue the journey and good luck! 

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Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I

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Jaime David Vazquez - Lessons For Bass Guitar

Triads & Inversions Part I

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue, we are going to study the triads and their inversions.

It is very important for all bassists to understand and master the triads, but it is even more important to understand their different inversions.

In Part I, we are going to learn what the triad is in fundamental position.

The Formula consists of root, third and fifth.

Degrees of the Triad

Major Triad: 1 – 3 – 5
Minor Triad: 1 – b3 – 5
Diminished Triad: 1 – b3 – b5
Augmented Triad: 1 – 3 – #5

Fig.1 – The C, Cm, Cdim & Caug triads
(Fundamental Position)

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I
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Bass Edu

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

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Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice's Bassist Lewis Bridges - From the Album, Grotesque

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

Bassist Lewis Bridges Shares…

“Gruesome’s sparse intro marks a stark contrast from the intensity of the rest of the album.  The original intention was to keep the bass simple but colourful, however as I worked on it, the lines grew more expressive and the more striking flourishes began to emerge.  The intensity builds into a harmonic minor passage that takes us into the drop — a signature death grind cacophony.  This is where Foetal Juice thrives.  You’re getting a full-on right-hand barrage to in the face to take you into a groove-laden mulch-fest.

I owe my throbbing bass tone to the Darkglass Alpha Omega pedal borrowed from our sound engineer, Chris Fielding (ex-Conan), mixed with the clarity of the tried and true Ampeg SVT CL.

As mentioned earlier, colourful basslines are important, especially in a one-guitar band. Chucking some funny intervals and odd flourishes here and there brings life into the brutality. There’s no point sounding brutal if it’s not gonna be fucking evil too!

Recording this playthrough was hard work. This was not the fault of James Goodwin (Necronautical), who was kindly filming and is ace to work with, but because in true Foetal fashion, we had stinking hangovers — and that jam room was hot!”

Follow Online

FB @FoetalJuice
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IG @foetaljuice
Youtube: @Foetaljuice
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Foetaljuice.bandcamp.com

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Bass Edu

Bass Lines: The Circle

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jaime Vazquez

Bass Lines: The Circle…

Hello bass players and fans of bass! This month we’re going to study “The Circle.”

The Circle of Fourths can also be called “The Circle of Fifths or just The Circle.

Practicing the scales, chords, and ideas in general via the circle has been a common practice routine for jazz musicians and highly recommended.

It is a disciplined way of working through all twelve keys.

Plus, many bass root movements to jazz and pop songs move through sections of the circle.

Fig. 1 – “The Circle”

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thecircle, #thecircleoffourths, #thecircleoffifths,#scales & #chords.

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Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 5

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James Rosocha

Continuing our lesson of Approach Notes, Part 5…

In continuing with the concept of approach notes being applied to chord tones, this lesson approaches the root, third, fifth, and seventh degree of each arpeggio inversion by incorporating a double chromatic approach from above, and a single chromatic approach from below. 

The first examples approach the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a double chromatic from above and a single chromatic approach from below -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down.

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, double chromatic from above/ single below to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down.

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down. 

This final example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above and below approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, double chromatic from above and below to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down.

Be sure to pace yourself with these lessons to avoid burning out.

Being overly ambitious with your practice schedule can lead to unrealistic expectations. Try learning one approach note concept and one chord type a week. Change your practice routine as necessary and tailor it to your needs as a musician. Good luck!

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