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Mastering Speed on the Bass Guitar

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Bass Lesson: Mastering Speed on the Bass Guitar…

Mastering Speed on the Bass Guitar: Tips and Exercises

Playing the bass guitar with speed and precision is a skill that every bassist should learn. Remember, mastering speed isn’t just about playing fast; it’s about maintaining control, rhythm, and clarity in your playing. Let’s dive into some valuable tips and exercises that can help you become a faster and more proficient bassist.

Tip 1: Start Slow and Build Momentum

Contrary to the goal of playing fast, it’s essential to begin your practice sessions at a slow pace. Starting slow allows you to focus on building the foundations of speed. Practicing different rhythms and tempos at a slow pace enables you to ensure that everything sounds correct and that your technique is precise. Slow practice also helps you avoid the pitfalls of sloppy playing, allowing you to maintain clarity and control. 

Tip 2: Utilize a Metronome

A metronome is an indispensable tool for improving your speed. It provides a precise beat, allowing you to control the tempo of your practice sessions. Start at a slower tempo and gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable. A metronome helps you develop your sense of timing, ensuring that you stay in rhythm as you play faster. This method makes it easier to monitor your progress and maintain consistent improvement.

Tip 3: Practice Scales and Arpeggios

Mastering scales and arpeggios is crucial for bassists looking to enhance their speed. Practicing these musical patterns not only helps you learn your fretboard but also improves finger dexterity. You’ll become adept at navigating the fretboard, identifying different notes, and understanding how various scales sound. This foundation is essential for playing fast and exploring more complex bass lines.

Tip 4: Perfect Your Technique

Your choice of picking technique can significantly impact your speed. If you use a pick, practice alternate picking, which involves alternating between upstrokes and downstrokes. Gradually increase the speed to refine your picking control. If you prefer fingerstyle playing, work on using both your pointer and middle fingers (and occasionally your ring finger, depending on the music style). Alternating between fingers can relieve pressure and enhance your speed and precision.

Tip 5: Collaborate with a Drummer

Collaborating with a drummer allows you to work on tempo, timing, and coordination. It’s a fantastic way to see how fast you can play while staying in sync with other musicians. The dynamic between bass and drums can be electrifying and inspiring, making it an excellent tool for pushing your speed limits.

Tip 6: Listen and Learn

To enhance your speed, broaden your knowledge by listening to other bass players and musicians. Explore their techniques, warm-up routines, and exercises that have helped them increase their speed. Bass Musician Magazine’s website features contributions from professional bassists, providing a wealth of knowledge and exercises to aid your progress.

Bonus: Exercises to Help You Play Fast

In addition to these tips, here are some exercises to help you improve your speed on the bass guitar:

1. Scale Runs: Practice running up and down scales using different finger patterns. Start slowly and gradually increase the tempo.

2. Arpeggio Sequences: Work on arpeggio sequences to improve your finger dexterity and ability to move quickly between notes.

3. Chromatic Exercises: Practice chromatic runs to enhance your finger strength and agility.

4. Slap Bass Techniques: If you’re into slap bass, work on your slap and pop techniques to develop your speed and groove.

5. Hammer-ons and Pull-offs: Incorporate hammer-ons and pull-offs into your playing to achieve faster and smoother transitions between notes.

Remember that building speed takes time and consistent practice. Be patient and focused, and over time, you’ll see remarkable progress in your bass guitar playing. If you want more in-depth articles and resources, check out websites like hollyfranklinbasschick.com and BassMusicianMagazine.com.

In conclusion, mastering speed on the bass guitar is a rewarding journey that combines technique, patience, and dedication. By following these tips and practicing the recommended exercises, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a faster and more proficient bassist. Rock on and enjoy your bass playing journey!

For more about Holly go to www.hollyfranklinbasschick.com

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
Youtube: @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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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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