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JHB BLOG

Beginner’s Bass Principle #2: Learning What Not to Play!

In my previous blog article, I introduced the concept of being able to improvise whatever comes into your musical head space in real time. We established that to accomplish this, your goal is not to speed up, but rather to slow down.  This way, you will start to hear the musical content and begin to […]

Beginner’s Bass Principle #1: Learning to Slow Down!

As a beginner, the first thing that you want to establish is the correct mindset for efficient learning and improvement to take place. For starters, I believe it’s important for beginners to keep in mind that their involvement in learning the bass guitar is primarily for enjoyment and personal growth.  In other words, bass playing […]

How We Learn to Speak & Play Bass!

A large majority of jazz improvisation courses will teach the scales or modes that fit over the chord changes and then tell you to start improvising melodies hoping that everything will eventually fall into place. That is tantamount to advising a 6-year old child to start writing meaningful poems without having first developed a working […]

Do Beginner Bass Players Need a Qualified Teacher?

There’s a myth going around the internet proposing that, as a beginner, you do not need a qualified teacher but rather somebody that is a slightly better than your current skill level will do. This recalls an episode of the Simpsons, where Marge states that to earn some extra money she’ll simply start to teach some […]

Welcome to My New Website!

Hey Guys!  Welocome to the new Joe Hubbard Bass website!  I’ve been working overtime the past few months on redesigning the entire site and making it much easier to navigate and showcase everything that I have to offer you.  There are lots of cool new things to check out including a new free eBook, an […]

Got Music Theory?

Within the community of bass players, there exists a certain controversy regarding the value of music theory.  Some are sceptical about this subject because of their belief that music theory will hold back natural musical creativity, along with the overall enjoyment of playing the bass guitar.  Ostensibly, other disbelievers regard theory and analysis as an […]

Rant & Raves Episode 4: Technical Competence

In this episode, I’m talking about the importance of developing a good level of technical competence on your bass guitar, before anything else and what specifically is developed as a by-product of good technique!   Simply put- if you have no technical ability on the bass guitar, then the level of musical depth you will have as a result […]

No Treble Bass Lesson: How to Play Across the Bar Line

Here’s my latest No Treble bass lesson on how to play across the bar line.  Understanding these concepts begins to create an elasticity in your groove and feel.   This will enable you to phrase your lines with greater freedom and ease.  Many bass players are completely in the dark when it comes to rhythmic variation and much of […]

Rants & Raves Episode 3

The Truth About Reading Music! In this video, I’m talking about why everybody needs to read music.  Although many teachers leave the decision up to their students, without the skills to read music – at least a little bit – is the very same thing as being musically handicapped! To find out more, watch the video! […]

Rants & Raves Episode 2

The Power of Intention- The ‘X’ Factor to YOU Becoming a Better Bass Player! In this video, I’m talking about a super important attribute that is a neccessity if you want to take your skills one step beyond and it’s called intention.  Intention is all about your determination to succeed at becoming a better bass […]

Rants & Raves Episode 1

This is the first installment of a new video series that I’m producing called Rants & Raves.  In this first episode, I discuss and reveal the biggest kept secret in music education. This video series is based on all things music centric related to music education, the music industry, improvisational methodologies, practice principles, long standing myths, personal stories and […]

New Book! Chord Tone Sudoku Workbook by Joe Hubbard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16/02/2017 Joe Hubbard Releases Innovative New Workbook Joe Hubbard has launched his sixth self-published book, The Chord Tone Sudoku Workbook.  Hubbard, a renowned bass guitar player, author, jazz recording artist and respected educator, reveals the concept of chord tone recognition in his latest book. With an in-depth selection of musical examples and […]

Creative Chordal Connections

Playing chords on the bass guitar can create a double edge sword because the time that you would spend applying this to a performance scenario is extremely limiting, unless you are planning on becoming a solo bass performer.  So, what possible advantages could we be gaining from spending our precious practice time on learning creative chordal connections? Learning […]

Technique- The Great Equalizer!

So, you want to be a musician?  That’s great news, but how are you going do that?  Well, one way to get started is learning something about Western music, which is comprised of tonal and atonal music.  Ninety-nine percent of all the music you’ll end up playing will probably lean on the side of tonal […]

Very Superimposition…Writing on the Wall!

Superimpositions are used by all great improvisers, but are often taught as ‘substitutions’ which can be confusing when you are trying to understand how to apply this information while improvising over a tune. Succinctly put, substitutions are replacements for the harmonic content within a song and are often chosen to re-harmonise the composition in question, […]

Why Would I Serve You Filet Mignon, When Everybody’s Lapping Up the Dog-Doo?

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 […]

Is Practice Your New Year’s Resolution?

Well, it’s that time of year again when New Year’s resolutions start to surface and as a practicing musician, you’re probably just starting to think about new ways of how to improve the ‘quality’ your practice regime.  If you are 100% happy with your bass playing and musicianship skills, then don’t read any further.  But…if […]

Spice Up Your Lines With a Dash of Chromaticism

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 […]

How to Warm Up!

There is a litany of finger exercises, but sadly, most of them just serve to wiggle your fingers and nothing more.  What you want is something to warm up with that engages all three of the senses and relates to something musically- right? 12-tone rows are a great musical source to sink your teeth into, […]

Killer Finger Funk Grooves

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 […]

New Joe Hubbard Book Release!

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16/12/2016 Acclaimed bass player, educator and jazz fusion recording artist Joe Hubbard has just released his fifth self-published book entitled, How to Practice with Maximum Efficiency!   This book will change the way you look at practicing a musical instrument forever. Consisting of 61 different concepts or ‘practice hacks’, Hubbard takes you […]

Displacing Walking Bass Lines

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 […]

The BIG 5 Brazilian Bass Grooves

  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 […]

New Joe Hubbard Bass Book! 50 Essential Jazz Funk Lines

CLICK  HERE  TO GET YOUR COPY! This book contains 50 Essential Jazz Funk Lines for improvisation enabling you to produce lines in the style of Hadrien Feraud, Jeff Berlin, Jaco Pastorius, John Patitucci and Matt Garrison.    Musical concepts contained within these lines include Pentatonics, Triad Pairs, Coltrane 3-Tonic Systems (Giant Steps changes), Tri-Chord Patterns, Chromaticism, […]

3 Ways to Use Melodic Minor Over II V I Progressions

Minor II V I progressions are a challenge to perfect compared to its sister progression in major tonalities.  It is also the gateway to really getting inside of jazz standards because you need an equal ability to play over both major and minor chord sequences and the backbone of this vernacular is found within II […]

LISTEN TO A SAMPLE OF ALIEN NATION!

Discover how 1000’s of folks have improved their muscianship skills through understanding how to reach their personal best by challenging their current skill levels.   Joe Hubbard’s Play-Along Bundle for Bass Players and Drummers will give you that challenge and predictably enable you to grow beyond your current set of musical skills.  Click on the media player […]

New! Joe Hubbard Alien Nation Release

I’m super stoked to announce that we’ve finished mixing for the first single from my new CD called Alien Nation and we are nearly good to go!.  I’ve been working on this project for the past few months with the formidable keyboardist George Whitty (Michael Brecker, Santana, Dave Sanborn, Brecker Bros.) and the legendary drummer Tom Brechtlein (Chick […]

Beware of Time Vampires

You can never take back time- once it’s gone, it’s gone forever! Time mismanagement is the number one stumbling block that will hold you back from accomplishing your goals.  Quality time is the single most common element that people lack when attempting to make their practice routine more consistent.  You can never take back time- […]

Practicing with Recorded Music

A common question I get is: “Do you have any tips for practicing with recorded music?” Your evolution as a player directly reflects what you practice, what you listen to and who you play with.  With that in mind, one of the best ways to improve as a bass player and understand a related style […]

Understanding the Evolutionary Process

In order to develop the understanding of the evolutionary process of jazz, you need to understand the music that has come before.  Many young players are deluded by trying to develop what they deem as their ‘own style’ without first spending many years studying the great bass players from the past and thus, learning to […]

Not Enough Time to Practice?

A common email that I often receive goes something like this: “Hey Joe: I’ve been playing bass for many years and although I love music so much, I just can’t seem to find the time to practice.  What is your advice for how I can improve my skills even if I can’t find enough time to practice […]

Functional Harmonic Concepts

I’m excited to announce the launch of my new book- Functional Harmonic Concepts.  The book will be focused on both diatonic and non-diatonic functional harmony, along with applied exercises and ear training examples that will enable you to hear the concepts that you will run across in real tunes.  The course will include an e-book comprised […]

New Bass Video Column

I’m now a  monthly contributor for highly regarded online bass guitar site No Treble.  Click here to check out my page and bass video lessons. The column is geared towards the intermediate-advanced player and I’ve already got two videos up there.  Feel free to leave comments below and let me know some topics you’d like […]

Warwick Bass Camp 2015

I’m really pleased to have been invited and take part in the Warwick Bass Camp 2015.  This fantastic event will host a “who’s who” of the bass guitar world including Alphonso Johnson, Abe Laboriel, Phil Chen, Bobby Vega, Doug Johns, Hadrien Feraud Adam Nitti, Steve Bailey, Jonas Helborg, Stu Hamm and the list goes on and on.  Check out […]

Triad Pair Lick

The Rhythm Changes bridge, as originally written by George Gershwin is comprised of four dominant 7th chords moving through the cycle of 4ths.  The roots start on the 3rd, 6th, 2nd and 5th of the key.  Triad Pairs are an excellent way to navigate through these changes, giving you some new and more complex jazz […]

Intervals- The Missing Link

Intervals are the missing link in modern music education today as it is often presented as a purely theoretical concept that has no application to what you are actually playing. In fact, the importance of intervals is abundant and having this knowledge expedites the learning process on the bass guitar exponentially. Understanding intervals goes way […]

Learning Music as a Language

To help us understand this better, let’s look at learning music as a language. At a beginner’s level you are still learning the meaning of individual words- how to spell them correctly; the shape of the letters and the sounds that they make. Eventually, you would have learned enough useful words to start playing with […]

Bird Blues Analysis

Blues for Alice is a Charlie Parker tune (also known as a Bird Blues) that is based on a traditional twelve bar (I-IV-V) blues progression, but starts off with a major 7th chord instead of the traditionally seen dominant 7th. I’m going to do a harmonic analysis here, but let’s not forget that this is […]

An Argument Against Tablature

“Hey Joe, what are your thoughts on using tablature versus learning to read music?” Watch out, there’s a rant coming: Tablature, which is promoted by many teachers as being an easy to follow alternative to reading music, can cause serious problems for the developing bass player as it is set up to create a ‘motor […]

How to Develop Finger Speed

One of the main preoccupations of bass players is how to develop finger speed by strengthening their individual fingers first. The dirty little secret is that everybody already possesses more than enough strength in their fingers to play fast. Think about this for a second- the fingers of an infant are strong enough to support […]

“Peace” Solo Bass Arrangement

  In this video I performed the Horace Silver tune Peace as a solo bass arrangement. The harmonic structure of this tune is interesting and contains some cool chord substitutions. This lesson is going to break down the harmonic content for analysis purposes. Peace by Horace Silver is comprised of a ten bar form phrased […]

How to Learn a Piece of Music Fast in 3-Steps

In order to learn a piece of music fast, we need to be aware of the following 3 steps: First– analyse the piece of music and make sure that you understand all of the elements (melody, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint and form) along with the technical considerations that are instrument specific. Secondly– play at a tempo […]

Improvisation in the Style of James Jamerson

Study Bass with Joe Hubbard- The Teacher to the Pro’s!  Former students include Pino Palladino, Paul Turner (Jamiroquai), Mike Mondesir (Billy Cobham), Dave Swift (Jools Holland) and so many more!  In this lesson Joe will teach you a set of improvisational tactics used by the legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson. 

10 Things That All Bass Players Should Know About Jaco

1)  Jaco was hired by Joe Zawinul of Weather Report to play bass on the award winning jazz record Heavy Weather as a session bassist.  Jaco ended up contributing as a composer with two of the most iconic tunes in jazz fusion history- Teen Town and Havona. 2)  Jaco’s musical personality connected in such a […]

Breathing is the Key to Playing Bass Guitar

It’s Saturday night and you’re just about to go on stage to play a high energy gig.  The drummer counts you in and as the fanfare begins you are beginning to feel a bit tense.  The band is kicking it old school and as you get closer and closer to your 16 bar bass guitar […]

Majoring In Banacos!

I recently discovered an interesting piece of information related to my teacher Charlie Banacos that I felt compelled to share with you.  It has to do with lineage!  In regard to music education, lineage is what maps out the “line of descendants” of a particular teacher.  This is important because it outlines how the art […]

Creating Interesting Bass Lines

Check out this free video where I’m teaching my “Two Chord” Drill.  Practicing over two successive chords is a great way to start learning how to play interesting bass lines over a complete set of chord changes.  Looking at chords in groups of two, instead of trying to negotiate the entire harmonic progression of a […]

Bass Guitar Technique

What is wrong with this picture? Bad bass guitar technique?  You got it in one and this unfortunately is subscribed by many as being current, young and/or hip.  There are a deluge of music educational programs that – in an attempt to attract more bass guitar students – use these very same pictures in their […]

Know Mind / No Mind

The concept of conscious vs. unconscious is essential when it comes to understanding the developmental stages of learning the bass guitar from practice to performance.  A conscious mind needs to be in place in order to effectively learn a skill and then further evolve that skill into an unconscious action.  The developmental stages for the […]

Joe Hubbard Launches New Bass Video Lessons Membership Website!

I’m proud to announce the opening of my new bass video instructional website: http://www.joehubbardbassvideos.com  This website is a ‘one of a kind’ bass guitar instructional website that has been carefully designed to guarantee efficient practice with rewarding results.  You will learn the same program that I have taught to iconic bass players such as, Pino […]

Chord Tone Sudoku Part 3

  Chord Tone Sudoku part 3 is here!  I basically pick up where I left off with Chord Tone Sudoku 2, but this time I’m applying the CTS principle to the Dominant 7th chord.  I’m also highlighting another technique called ‘octave displacement’ which enables you to voice lead your arpeggios when transitioning from one chord […]

Chord Tone Sudoku Part 2

Here is Chord Tone Sudoku Part 2, which is a follow up FREE video bass guitar lesson outlining the importance of adopting a “chord tone driven approach” versus playing with a “scale only” methodology.  This method is largely unheard of within modern day music education and hopefully I will shed some positive light on this subject […]

Chord Tone Sudoku Part 1

Click Here to Download the FREE Chord Tone Sudoku PDF Worksheets! Learning to understand a chord tone approach to improvising on your bass guitar is a key essential ingredient for your evolution as a bass player.  In this introduction video bass lesson, I explain the importance of this and how to begin learning and solidifying […]

The Joe Hubbard Event!

If you are in the London/Surrey area, please come down and check out my new band featuring virtuoso instrumentalist Mornington Lockett on sax, Tony Smith (guitarist w/ Roy Ayers) and the legendary Frankie Tontoh on drums. This will be a full on, balls-to-the-wall jazz fusion gig that is not to be missed!  Energy and vibe […]

Learning Methodologies- The 80/20 Rule

How important are learning methodologies in relation to your evolution as a bass guitar player?  Many people understand what they have to do in order to improve and develop, but how they get there and the time that they spend doing that can be a problem if their methodologies are ineffective and/or outdated. The real […]

How To Practice The Bass Guitar Effectively

“Practice does not make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.” –Vince Lombardi Becoming an expert is no simple task.  Mastery does not come easy as many people simply do not have the will and discipline to become better bass players.  Throughout the years, I have witnessed that the students who progress the fastest and furthest […]

What Are the Components of Music?

An interesting phenomenon that occurs frequently with new music students is a lack of understanding towards what is actually involved with the study of music; in other words- the ‘what’ is often misinterpreted with several esoteric attributes that make up the already technically skilled musician.  Terms such as feel, emotions and interpersonal connection are often […]

This Language Called Music

“Music is the vernacular of the human soul.” –Geoffrey Latham      Music is a language.  It has rules and needless to say, if you want to be considered to be a good bass guitar player, you are going to have to learn the language of music – tonal principles, harmonic structures, rhythmic considerations, song forms, melodic permutations, etc […]

Finger Dexterity Exercises for Bass Guitar

Spider exercises, chops building exercises, left & right hand gymnastics, tablature, finger combination drills, technique builders, rubber band assisted finger exercises and grip strengthening exercises all belong in one place- the TRASH!  That’s right- anything you practice that does not include musical content and/or context which isn’t engaging the mind as you practice is useless […]

Ear Training- Developing Relative Pitch

Ear training is a ubiquitous concept within a musician’s vernacular, but often the quest for the acquisition of “good ears” is filled with a road of misinformation from post to pillar.  Many approaches and mixed opinions exist: some espouse you must be able to hear intervals; some say that you should develop perfect pitch; some […]

Bass Guitar Lessons

How important is a music education to you?  Have you also considered the value of taking bass guitar lessons and the return on investment that it will bring you in the long run?  Many bass players today haven’t done the proper research into the “real-world” importance of being prepared in advance for the performance stage of playing […]

The 10,000 Hour Rule

For almost a generation, psychologists around the world have been engaged in a spirited debate over a question that most people would consider to have been settled years ago.  The question is this: is there such a thing as natural born talent?  Most people would answer yes, but the problem with this view is that […]

Charlie Banacos: The Zen Master of Jazz Improvisation

I never got to say goodbye.  Somewhat like a respected father figure or friendly military drill sergeant, the profound effect that he had on me was unparalleled.   It was a year ago today that my jazz improvisation teacher – Charlie Banacos – passed away after a brutal battle with cancer.  Charlie was only 63 when he […]

How To Accelerate Your Bass Playing Skills By Using Visualisation

For bass players, visualisation is the process of imagining in your mind’s eye what you would actually hear in your mind’s ear.   Being able to visualise and “picture” your fingerboard and the notes you are playing is a valuable skill to acquire.  This tactic will enable you to play the bass, rather than the bass […]

The Attributes of Awareness

Understanding awareness means you are living in the present moment.  All good bass players understand this concept.  You need to ask yourself, “What am I doing right now?  Not last week or next month, but right in this crystal moment called NOW.”  Confronting yourself with this question on a regular basis will not only help […]

Understanding the Learning Process of the Bass Guitar

This illustrates what I call “The Chain of Sound.”  When somebody plays their bass, this is the way the chain of sound occurs in order of importance: 1)  Spirit, Soul- YOU! This is where the feel, heart and emotions of your sound come from.  Everybody is different and we all come from a variety of […]

Welcome to My New Bass Guitar Online Resource!

As bass playing continues to evolve, the more confusion there seems to be about how to develop the ability to actually getting the job done.  Many principles are highly debated- theory vs. functionality; whether to play a 4, 5 or 6-string bass; fretless vs. fretted; electric vs. acoustic; vertical vs. horizontal positions; tablature vs. reading; […]

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