Category Archives: Online Bass Guitar Lessons
Why would I serve you filet mignon, when everybody’s lapping up the dog-doo? Because I can! It’s a simple answer to a not so straight forward question, but it’s based on years of investing time and money into my musicianship skills, which include studying with some of the best jazz and composition teachers on the planet, along with playing with some of the best musicians and recording artists around. But this still begs the question of why there is so much “junk science” being peddled as “the real thing” by so many unqualified people, all over the internet, who mostly, haven’t played with anybody of repute or paid any significant dues as working musicians.
Understanding that ‘chord tones are king’, is often talked about but frequently misunderstood. The whole premise of this principle is that the first step to understanding how to play over a set of chord changes is to first focus on the chord tones and not the scales as your primary source material to create meaningful and musical lines.
Once you understand this basic concept, then you must start to ‘spice up’ or embellish the chord tones to create a sense of tension and release in your lines. This is tantamount to adding a bit of garlic or fresh chilies to a somewhat bland meal. The source material to implement this kind of embellishment goes deep, but a good place to start is with chromatic approach notes.
Finger funk grooves became popular in the 70’s and have continued to be a major source of inspiration for pop, rock, smooth jazz and fusion music. The rhythmical feel suggested by the bass lines has a distinct sound where the 16 note is the main rhythmical subdivision against the pulse. Playing finger funk grooves requires a strong punchy right hand attack where the rhythmical phrases are played with a more staccato phrasing.
Rhythmic Displacement is a concept based on being able to hear and perform rhythmic patterns starting on different subdivisions of the beat. The new superimposed rhythm creates an interesting illusion with the lines you are playing, which in turn creates tension. This lesson is aimed at giving you usable ideas for improvising walking bass lines using the concept of Rhythmic Displacement. Learning to switch from one concept to another while improvising can be quite challenging!
Geographically, Brazilian bass grooves come from the South American country of Brazil. Like jazz, the rhythms of Brazilian musical styles are heavily influenced by African rhythms.
Brazilian music is vast in its complexity and history. To understand this music in an authentic manner can take years to master, so this lesson only serves an introductory launching pad and to enable you to understand the ‘essence’ of these grooves as applied to jazz and popular music.