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From Blues Lines To Jazz Walking

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Kevin Guin

There are plenty of things to work on that can help you spice up your blues lines and learn to tread the middle ground between blues lines and jazz walking lines. 

It’s a very common situation when you’re playing blues lines to reach out for a little more variety and at the same time find that you are limited to starting the measure off with roots, roots and more roots. 

There isn’t anything wrong with playing roots. We’re bass players and rootin’ around down there in the basement is just how we like it. But when you want to expand the possibilities for your bass lines you will want to learn how to use any and all chord tones on the top of the measure to outline the chord in interesting and effective ways. 

The purpose of the lesson is to give bass players a way to build a new and expanded skill set for their blues walking lines that will put them closer to jazz walking bass if they do eventually want go in that direction. 

Even if you claim to have no jazz tendencies at all, as a blues player at heart you will still be able to add great interest to your lines by working on this material. 

Click to download the play along mp3’s if you need a little help with some comping material for the lesson. And please visit me online at basslessonswithkevin.com

With a familiar three chord G major blues you will learn to use common chord tones to kick off the measure where you would normally use the root of the chord. And as you might have guessed, these common alternate chord tones are the third, fifth and seventh degrees. It gives a nice flavor to the line and can create some very sneaky sounding chromatic shapes, too. 

The examples themselves all start on G7 and run for four bars to the four chord, ie, C7. There are recognizable parts to all of the lines: triadic material, some pentatonics, and of course major mode stuff as well. The point is to learn to hear the sound of the line when you plow into a measure using an alternate chord tone instead of the root. 

Please take your time learning these lines.

I want you to memorize the lines but also to sing each note and determine exactly which degree of the chord the notes are. By playing bass lines, dissecting bass lines, and singing bass lines you will get massive benefits in the long run!

In these particular examples you can think of the scale material for your bass lines as a major scale with a flat seventh: the dominant seven sound, the Mixolydian sound. Of course, most blues lead players won’t be using that modal sound for their melodies. But when a bass player thinks in those terms for putting together the actual bass line then it creates a solid foundation for the chordal players as well as the lead players.

It’s that minor bluesy melody over the major harmony which gives blues a big part of it’s undeniable musical attraction. 

Take note of the fact that the example lines are geared towards linear shapes with lots of chromatics (as opposed to a more intervallic approach). It makes for a strong direction to the line and a classic jazzy sound. These lines dopush the envelope of what is usually used on a three-chord blues tune but they sound great and you can learn a lot about bass lines by learning to play them, sing them and use them in various ways.

I truly hope that you can make time for focused practicing and to learn how to enjoy your time as a musician. It’s a great job to have.

Thanks for stopping in – Kevin

ps Don’t forget to download the play along mp3’s if you need a little help with some comping material for the lesson.

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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Bass Edu

BASS LINES – The Blue Notes (Minor Blues Scale)

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jaime Vazquez

Hello bass players and bass fans! Happy New Year 2024!

In this issue, we are going to study the blue notes.

In blues, jazz, and rock, a blue note is a note that (for expressive purposes) is sung or played at a slightly different pitch from standard. Typically the alteration is between a quartertone and a semitone, but this varies depending on the musical context.

The blue notes are usually said to be the lowered third(b3), lowered fifth(b5) and lowered seventh(b7) scale degrees. The lowered fifth(b5) is also known as the raised fourth(#4). Though the blues scale has “an inherent minor tonality, it is commonly ‘forced’ over major-key chord changes, resulting in a distinctively dissonant conflict of tonalities”.

Blue notes are used in many blues songs, in jazz, rock and in conventional popular songs with a “blue” feeling.

Formula:

The A Minor Blues Scale

1 – b3 – 4 – (#4/b5) – 5 – b7

A – C – D – (D#/Eb) – E – Bb

The grades(blue notes):

b3, (#4/b5), b7

C, (D#/Eb), Bb

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thebluenotes, #minorbluesscale & #bluesscale

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