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You Got A Blues Shuffle, Right?

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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

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BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part II

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Jaime David Vazquez - Lessons For Bass Guitar

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part II

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

In the last lesson, we were studying triads in their fundamental position. This time, we are going to study what is known as the first inversion of the triads.

The first inversion consists of the third going on the bass in the triad, as we will see below:

C Major Triad (1st inversion)
E – G – B
C Minor Triad (1st inversion)
Eb – G – B
C Diminished Triad (1st inversion)
Eb – Gb – C
C Augmented Triad (1st inversion)
E – G# – C

See you next month for Part III… GROOVE ON!!!

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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
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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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