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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

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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

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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