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Chromatic Major Sounds In Two Octaves

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Chromatic Major Sounds In Two Octaves

One of the most important guiding thoughts that can be used to ready yourself for serious low end learning is to avoid shiny objects and drill straight down on the most fundamental materials to build your own great empire of bass. 

The purpose of this lesson is to help bass players accumulate a small suite of useful skills for getting closer every day in their practice to mastering necessary materials and learning to play them with compelling musical expression. 

In this lesson there is two-octave triadic work, but on the other hand there are also studies in rhythmic values, dynamics, and a solid shot in the arm for using these chromatic major sounds in your improvisations. 

In the course of introducing almost any exercise to get students across the fingerboard of a bass guitar with as little trouble as possible, I usually recommend staying away from any exaggerated stretching motions. In this case, though, the point is to accustom your fingerboard grip to a bit of helpful horizontal movement, so learning this five-fret position is just what the doctor ordered. 

As I show in the video lesson it isn’t necessary to do the stretch with fingers splayed out left and right. You can simply play the root of the arpeggio and then pick up and go get the third with your pinky. No worries, just pick up and get the note you need. Then your fingerboard hand can relax and the first finger can naturally spring forward to get the fifth and the next root with one easy barring motion and you’re off to the second octave. 

LESSON: Chromatic Major Sounds In Two Octaves

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.

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Coming around for the return trip is similarly easy.

The only caveat is that with all of this “relaxing” of your fingerboard hand – in other words, by using the pick-up-and-go technique, it is just as easy to underestimate distances with your pinky. After all, you will be stretching at least a little bit. 

Next on the agenda are my signature studies for dynamics and accents.

Why? Think about it. The fingerboard hand is only one of the hands you use. Now submit your other hand and start tightening up your fingerstyle and at the same time getting your hands to work together. 

Studies in dynamics and accents are the surest and quickest way to add punch and authority to everything that you already know how to play, not to mention all of the music that you are working to add to your playing. 

And as I have said many times before, you should exaggerate studies in dynamics to test for yourself what your upper kinetic range is. How firmly can you hit the string before you bottom out? Is your room dynamic level acceptable? Do you have to smash the bass like a caveman to get a sociable volume? 

After you benchmark your dynamics by carefully checking your upper and lower range, that is the point for you to start punching out accents.

Things stand out in relief and your ears will begin opening up to dynamics. I guarantee you will see a great difference when you set things up this way. 

These compound triad positions will prepare you for super useful bass mobility. It’s a great feeling of confidence to have that free-wheeling lateral motion across the fingerboard. And these positions also set you up for some smokin’ two-octave pentatonic moves. Oh yeah!! 

Remember that deciding what to play as an improviser also include the rhythmic choices that you make, not only how you are handling the harmony. Try an eighth note version of that line you are learning. Try a triplet version. Or start mixing rhythms for some instantly fresh combinations. 

And when you are working on rhythm skills don’t forget what great variety the use of long tones provide.

In my intro solo example, I threw in quite a few choice long tones to give you some tasty ideas. And the truth is they are just plain fun

For those of you who have a more adventurous spirit to your playing I have put in a section on chromatics by contrasting one measure each of the G7 and the Ab7 chords. If you listen carefully to the opening clip you will hear that it is chock full of pure major triads. 

I hope you can appreciate the unadorned use of these open triadic sounds as well as a bit of pentatonics, highlighting the flat seven, and also some chromatic approach notes. 

Learning to cross over at will into adjacent chromatic territory is definitely a more advanced skill set.

For this, you will need to accustom your ears and your hands to these spicy forays and play with quite a bit of accumulated confidence in your phrasing. 

As far as improvisations go, if you study my intro solo clip and examples in the lesson you will find that my approach is to get an easy lock on the tonality of the next chord by using familiar triad tones as target notes. They will give you a smooth landing every time and it’s a great strategy to have as an improviser. 

This has been my 20th monthly submission to Bass Musician Magazine and it has been a genuine pleasure bringing you these lessons this year. Please stay in touch! 

Thanks for stopping in. 

Kevin 

Bass Edu

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!”

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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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