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Triadic Mastery – Supercharge Your Bass Playing For Life

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Triadic Mastery

This is an exercise for professional playing ability that will raise your skill set several levels. I guarantee that you are going to have a great time with this! 

If you are seeking to add skills your bass playing there are few that will create the granitelike foundation of triadic materials. In fact, wherever you kick over a rock in the world of music there’s likely to be that triadic glint and glimmer for your prospecting. 

There is a seemingly endless list of musical activities for curious students, yet for bass players triads seem to be at the heart of it all. 

You can take common altered chords and form them from combining two triads. You can play great sounding walking bass lines based on little more than triads and chromatic approach notes. At just the right time in any solo you can use a triad to easily ring the upper structure color of the chord for dramatic effect. The list goes on. 

When you are committed to boosting your bass skills then  serious triad work will go a very long way. Triadic studies put you in a perfect position to start getting your game in great shape. That’s a promise. 

The purpose of the lesson is to urge serious students of bass to undertake an all-keys study of major and minor triadic materials in the open, first, and second positions, and to also give an example that will be easily understood.

LESSON: Triadic Mastery – Supercharge Your Bass Playing For Life

Before getting started, please click the orange button below to sign up for the download materials. There is a nice cache of mp3 audio play-along files and pdf charts of exercises and bass lines from the video lesson. FREE: SIGN-UP FOR LESSON MATERIALS

This is a highly demanding exercise and the prerequisite is that you must identify, note by note, each of the extended major and minor triad positions (grips) in the open, first, and second positions. 

Identifying each and every note of the triad at hand means to slowly trace out the root, the third and the fifth degree of each of the 24 triads going from the lowest possible note in the position up to the highest possible note in the position. 

These extended triads are the so-called “triad grips”. And please be prepared to proceed through the Cycle: 

G, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D

As per usual I am going to leave the enharmonically named materials up to your own judgment. 

You can play the triad grips without open strings by simply moving up to the second position and covering the open notes A, D, and G that way, and that’s fine. But I do suggest that you also learn to perform the open string positions as well.

To prove the virtue of open string bass lines, try playing Funky Broadway in closed position. Unless your rocking a graphite neck the tone just ain’t there. Word. 

In this study, on a standard 4-string bass there are six triads that will start on the open note E. They are E, Em, C, C#m, A, and Am. Go ahead and identify those right away to start getting into the spirit of the study. Of course, any note will function as a root, third, or fifth degree. 

Open strings ringing away and muddying up your bass activities is an annoying phenomenon but I believe it is a smart move to develop the facility to dampen open strings. It is definitely a subtle technique in its own right. 

In the video lesson I open with a short demonstration using what are called “enclosures” for a closed position G major triad and an open-position Ab major triad. 

Physically speaking, it will help to think of and use each note in the triad as an anchor of sorts. In the case of G major you have the notes G, B, and D. In the case of Ab major you have the notes Ab, C, and Eb. 

Concerning the video lesson itself, my claim to have played the Ab major triad exercise in the open position comes from the fact that once you add in the notes for the enclosure the open strings D and G will pop up. Don’t let it get you down – you can do it. 

Taking something through all keys can give you a ringing headache if you’ve never done it before. Believe it or not that is a good sign. Getting out of your comfort zone shows you are just about to clear out some cobwebs and start learning something of value. 

When you have identified all of the notes of a triad in the position please play them out of time to simply feel what it will take to get every note in the triad to ring out clearly.

This is an important step and take it from me, it’s not going to happen quickly. 

In fact, I recommend trying a bit of “finger meditation” to see just how firmly you need to press into the grip to make it work for you. Teachers of classical guitar use methodology similar to this to help imprint things musically into your hands, so please do take it seriously. 

When you have this lengthy first step under your belt then refer to the video lesson to learn how to add the surround notes. These are the so-called enclosures. You will be approaching truly expert musical skills when you do this. 

Make sure that you find a friend on your musical journey with whom to share this lesson. It is always inspiring to trade lines with your musical cohorts. It’s a lot more fun and I also think it helps you get better faster. 

Thanks to everyone for stopping in. 

Kevin

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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