Connect with us

Bass Edu

You Got A Blues Shuffle, Right?

Published

on

You Got A Blues Shuffle, Right?

It would be hard to think of a bass groove that is kicked to the curb more often than a blues shuffle.

At the same time, you could also say that if you can’t play that blues shuffle then you’re going to get some cold, hard stares!

A blues shuffle is a slippery and demanding groove to master.

It would seem to be a simpler formula than other grooves because of its repetitive nature. To be sure, though, the many possible interpretations of the bass line along with the insistent pulsing of the shuffle require a well-seasoned grip on the fingerboard and a stout heart. 

The purpose of the lesson today is to provide an example of a classic blues shuffle, to show effective ways to interpret this noble bass groove, and to also give some smart, helpful advice on how to supercharge your shuffle fingerstyle with massive amounts of bass expression. 

The introduction playing clip in the video lesson is a rather fast tempo if you are just now starting out with playing blues shuffles.

In the lesson, however, you will find the tempo to be much more approachable. The two main elements that are demonstrated are the shorter, sharper shuffle notes and the longer, “greasier” notes. Please pardon the street language, but it fits the situation!

Learning to maintain the blues shuffle with the shorter, bouncier notes is definitely a challenge for the uninitiated.

Sometimes I think of those types of notes as old-timey (in a good way). But in other instances, I feel that they are perfect for the heads of the tunes. It leaves more space and therefore more room for vocal expression to occur. 

When you feel free to use longer notes and fill out the measure you get a more modern sound that is perfect for when the guitarist starts to pour on the heat. You provide a fat, wide platform for all of that blues mayhem that rages in the upper registers. 

The point that I would try to make is that when you become familiar enough and skilled enough to mix these two basic interpretations of the shuffle at will, you are getting close to the time when you can put your own personal stamp on this classic bass line.

Again, a blues shuffle is an extremely insistent groove due to the short “period” of the basic pulse. It’s not a two-measure or even a one-measure bass line. A shuffle is more like a constant pulse – a heartbeat that keeps the blues band alive. 

I have added to the video lesson one of my favorite exercises in dynamics to help supercharge your fingerstyle skills.

The purpose of these accent studies will become clear to you in only a few weeks of consistent practice. It is a fantastic bang for your buck, so to speak. 

Click to download the lesson materials – any questions, please visit me online at basslessonswithkevin.com

The main point of accent exercises is for you to become completely aware of exactly how you are playing your bass notes.

Are you bashing incessantly without any thought of the dynamics? Does every note have the same tone as a jackhammer down at the worksite? 

By developing a wide kinetic range (how hard and how soft you are striking the strings), you will start to develop a similar skill for dynamics that orchestral players have. By learning to randomly place accents you quickly become aware of how you are playing. And as long as you learn to set up your instrument volume and room dynamics, you will be setting the stage for a wide range of bass expression and better musicianship in general. 

I truly hope you can take your time with these blues shuffle materials and learn how to enjoy your practicing. 

Want 2 Free Online Bass Lessons? Click Below:

Thanks for stopping in.

-Kevin

Remember… if you have any questions, you can always contact me online at basslessonswithkevin.com | View more of my Bass Musician Magazine Lessons | And check out my Try Before You Buy

More Bass Education

Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 5

Published

on

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!

Continue Reading

Bass Edu

BASS LINES – The Blue Notes (Minor Blues Scale)

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Staccato for Bass

Published

on

jaime David

Staccato for Bass…

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue, we are going to study the technique known as staccato.

When we talk about the staccato technique, we are referring to a form of musical articulation.

In modern notation, it signifies a note of shortened duration, separated from the note that may follow by silence.

* In 20th-century music, a dot placed above or below a note indicates that it should be played staccato.

* The opposite musical articulation of staccato is legato, signifying long and continuous notes.

Fig. 1 – An example of a normal notation.

Fig. 2 – Is the same example but now with the staccato articulation

Fig. 3 – A basic groove played and written in a normal notation.

Fig. 4 – The same basic groove using the staccato technique.

So, at the end of the day, you as a bassist will decide what type of technique you will use depending on the effect you want in your performance.

See you next year for more full bass attack!!! Happy Holidays & New Year 2024!!! Groove On!!!

Continue Reading

Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Legato Slide vs Shift Slide

Published

on

jaime Vazquez

Legato Slide vs Shift Slide…

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue we are going to study how to read the swing eighths.

When we talk about slide techniques, we are referring to what is known in classical music as the glissando.

• Glissando = a continuous slide upward or downward between two notes.

There are two types of slides, legato and shift.

Legato Slide = strike the first note and then slide the same fret-hand finger up or down to the second note. The second note is not struck.

Fig. 1 – Legato Slide – Upward

Fig. 2 – Legato Slide – Downward

Shift Slide = Same as Legato Slide, except the second note is struck.

Fig. 3 – Shift Slide – Upward

Fig. 4 – Shift Slide – Downward

So, at the end of the day, you as a bassist will decide what type of Slide you will use depending on the effect you want in your performance.

See you next month for more full bass attack!!! Groove On!!!

Continue Reading

Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 4

Published

on

James Rosocha

Bass Lesson: Part 4 of Approach Notes…

My previous lessons on the topic of approach notes covered approach notes from above, approach notes from below, and approach notes from below and above. This lesson flips the concept around to approach notes from above and below. Don’t make the mistake of only learning this material in the major keys. As a starting point, these exercises should be applied to major 7, minor 7, dominant 7, minor 7 b5, and diminished 7 in all 12 keys for all inversions. If you are just starting this lesson, I recommend you go back to my first lesson on approach notes and follow them in sequence. My lesson on arpeggio inversions lays the groundwork for the approach note concept to be applied. 

The first examples approach the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a double chromatic from above and below- before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, double chromatic from above and 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 and below approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, double chromatic from above and 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 and below approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, double chromatic from above and 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.

These lessons take a very long time to complete so pace yourself and don’t give up. Good luck!

Continue Reading

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Facebook

Trending