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Two Octave Walking Lines For The Win

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Kevin Guin

The quarter-note occupies a deceptively modest place in the pecking order of musical rhythms.

You might even think that since you are getting along rather well rhythmically that you could probably play walking bass lines in your sleep, right? 

Well, that was how you thought in the innocent days of yore. 

Nowadays if you listen to great walking bass players and then hear your own garage band attempts it is truly amazing how lifeless quarter notes can sound. And I know you know what I mean! 

One thing that can be said for sure: it is very easy to kill a quarter note groove if the subtle multi-tasking that is needed for playing walking lines doesn’t become a completely natural state of mind for the bass player. 

Every bassist needs to become familiar with both the insistence needed to render the quarter notes and the flexibility needed to listen and respond to the drummer so that the swinging feel of the rhythm section becomes a closely guarded treasure. 

The purpose of the lesson today is to give bass players a helpful start to the process of adding range to their walking bass lines through studying and playing two octave bass lines and to also develop skills for quicker, more accurate position changes and ease of execution on their instruments. 

Let’s define “range” as how high and how low the musician is playing. When you learn to add range to your playing you will naturally learn to change positions with ease. That in itself will help solve a pervasive problem developing bass players face: having to spend so much concentration for simply getting around on their instruments that bass line development goes down the tubes. 

The materials in the video lesson today consist of three two-octave quarter note lines: a minor line, a dominant line, and a major line. In other words they are the iim7 sound, the V7 sound and the I Major sound. 

The lines are simple in that they are linear, they generally move in one direction, and they repeat in the second octave and return in a circular way back to the starting point. 

In the accompanying pdf chart the lines are written out in standard notation and also in tab. Each line also comes with a variation that should be easy to implement. 

The lines are intended to be academic lines for study and memorization. To start out, simply play each line slowly, identify the note names, and then sing the line along with your instrument. 

Identifying note names and singing bass lines is a magic potion for training your ear and learning musical materials. 

Once the line is taken apart, sung repeatedly and played often enough then memorization will follow easily. At that point, the lines should be practiced with the accompanying play-along mp3 audio. Since each line also has a variation written out in the pdf chart then there is a built-in head start on learning to expand bass line vocabulary. 

In the lesson, I suggest that if you can practice the lines sufficiently every day for approximately 20 or 30 minutes and learn to take them through the cycle then your walking bass skills will take a great leap forward.

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

Learning to play effective quarter note lines is a very important part of modern bass playing and it is also an incredibly satisfying skill to have. 

I hope all of you can deepen your playing skills to include walking bass lines and that you truly enjoy the long process of developing yourself as a musician. 

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 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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Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Staccato for Bass

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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!!!

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Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Legato Slide vs Shift Slide

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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!!!

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Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 4

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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!

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