Bass in your face!
GMC Admin & Bass Instructor
29 years old
Joined: 30-November 07
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Local Time: Feb 1 2015, 02:15 PM
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26 Jan 2015
Today my new aboslute beginners guitar lesson came out, it is the one one "Pull Offs Guitar Technique".
This one compliments the "How To Play Hammer-ons" lesson.
I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss something I have noticed with guitarists just starting to play lead lines or simple melodies. There seems to be a tendency not to utilize two technique which I find personally extremely useful and expressive : hammer-on & pull-off technique. I don't think this affects beginners only as I notice it with my guitar or bass playing as well. I guess this is because we get used to using certain guitar techniques and even though we practice different other techniques, we don't practice them in musical context so we don't feel comfortable utilizing them in our own improvisation/jamming. For example, I'd often see (beginner) solos using only straight picking (picking every note). This is perfectly fine, but I think it is a shame not to use the technique one has already probably spent practicing already. Good exercise here would be to just try to exchange some picked notes for hammer-on or pull-off notes instead, in the exact same solo. Of course, where this feels applicable. I didn't say "natural" on purpose as I think these add-on techniques do need some time to work their way into our playing and only then become "natural". Why I'm putting accent here on hammer-on and pull-offs? I guess because these are one of first "add-on" guitar techniques we are exposed to early on and we usually learn how to perform these techniques decently from the start. Another thing is that (beginner) solos can sound very choppy in their performance. This is usually because only picking motion is used to articulate the notes. Hammer-ons and Pull-offs are naturally "legato" sounding techniques which means there is no pause between one note and another one you play when you use these techniques. When I use word pause, I'm referring to silence. It can get hard (especially when starting on the guitar) to pick several notes and have them sound nice and connected without any pauses in between (while changing left hand finger position) and keeping notes sustained.
Have anyone else noticed these tendencies?
I personally just jam and then re-analyze the licks/riffs I play in order to see if they would be easier to play utilizing some add on techniques (in this case hammer-on and pull-off) and also to see if I can get some sound benefits like smoother sounding transitions between notes etc.
Here are some cool songs incorporating pull-offs and hammer-ons for inspiration
25 Jan 2015
I have been busy recording a series of absolute beginner oriented guitar lessons and I'd like to use this thread to organize them in a specific order and categories. This should hopefully make it easier for you to navigate these lessons and as new ones come out, I'll be adding them here. All the lessons are designed in such a way that you don't really need any previous playing experience to start practicing them. The order in which they will be presented here is one I'd personally suggest going through them but you can of course just skip to the topics that you'd like to study or find interesting
ESSENTIALS WHICH MAKE LEARNING OTHER LESSONS/SONGS EASIER
- How To Read Guitar Tabs
- Songbooks, Chord Diagrams & Charts
- Notes On The Guitar
- Beat Basics
- How To Play Power Chords
- Beginner Guitar Chords
- How To Play Barre Chords
- How To Play Hammer-ons
21 Jan 2015
I just wanted to share with you what is going on musically with me lately. I have relatively recently joined a new band called "Bilbord". We are aiming for psychedelic/brit/pop/indie sound and play under strong 60s influence. The band setup is 1 guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Vocalist also plays the acoustic guitar live in some of the songs.
One day, I was looking through the band ads and found this band looking for a bassist. They don't do covers, only originals and I really liked the songs I heard. I have sent them a message and then - nothing After few months I get the call, they need a bass player and I got the invitation. We clicked together quickly, mostly due to matching 60s influences with The Beatles being my favourite band, even though I didn't have much experience actually playing this genre of music since my previous band was funk/rock one. I did always want to play more melodic and relaxed brit/pop kind of music.
Before I share some links to the songs and music, I'd like to ask if anyone would like to know any more details or have any questions/feedback for me? For example, how did I approach the audition, learning songs, fitting in with the rest of the band etc... I'll be glad to chat about this, I just don't want to kill you with a long opening post
Most recent music video with me in it :
Soundcloud playlist with all currently published songs : https://soundcloud.com/bilbordbg/sets/bilbord-music
Band is currently working on composing and recording the remaining songs for the first album release.
This is probabbly my favorite song due to strong Beatles vibes I get from it:
19 Jan 2015
Hi Vic, I'm starting this thread for us to discuss some modes ideas on bass.
Before we start, I'd like to let you know that you shouldn't worry much about finding modes confusing, everyone does.
When I play or compose songs, I never really think about theory. It is there to help us choose some notes or explain what we are playing, but in the end all that it matters is music we play and come up with. That being said, having decent knowledge of scales can help you make some note choices when composing or improvising your bass lines. Personally, I have never digged too deep into the modes and incorporated them into my playing, beyond basics and stuff I found useful in what I was playing with my band(s).
As a starting point, I'd like to invite you to check out these two lessons of mine and let me know your impressions and if you have any questions :
This lesson covers essentials about modes and this is something which is useful to know to start understanding modes.
This lesson covers modes in more advanced way focusing on which modes work over which type of chords. This means that you choose a certain mode over a certain chord type, in example you have a C major chord in the progression and the safe bet scale wise would be to play the C Ionian mode over it. If you have Am or Am7 chord you could play A dorian mode notes over it and so on. I'd invite you to go through it but feel free to take your time and try not to get "stuck" just on that subject as it can really take away time. Rather, try to make goals simple and fun by learning what you'll be immediately using in your playing. Having fun while playing and learning the instrument is the only true way to stay inspired and make progress.
As a starting point, I would just choose a simple chord progression like famous Jazz ii-V-I progression and explore the possibilities of which scales can be played over it by matching each chord with a specific scale or mode. Maybe experiment playing dorian over the "ii" chord, mixolydian over the "V" chord and Ionian over "I" chord.
Since you are playing bass, question arises - what are you trying to play exactly?
Walking bass line? Bass solo? Standard root driven groove with some bass fills...
Context and your ideas can dictate which "road" you take when playing bass over the progression.
I'd also like to suggest checking out these parts of our theory board related to modes :
- Mastering Major Scale Modes
- Jazz Guitar Basics
Even though materials above are written with guitar on mind, everything is applicable on bass and can be "transferred" directly.
Please let me know if you have any questions, I'll be glad to help as much as I can?
These are indeed all interesting subjects which I'm also still learning about so I'm looking forward to feedback from you and others.
19 Jan 2015
I'll use this thread to share with you my new (old) bass lessons from back in the days which never got published before.
We are kicking off with a lesson called Bass First Steps : Plucking
This is the 10th lesson in my Bass First Steps series of lessons and helps me round up the series. Although the lesson is part of beginner bass series, it touches upon some extremely important concepts which are often missed when starting to play and show up as technique problems when players get to intermediate stage. This exact same thing happened to me and I basically hit a plateau until I could address those issues to make further progress. That has inspired me to record this lesson.
Which issues I'm talking about? Playing sloppy, feeling clumsy when fingerpicking more complicated passages, having trouble stopping unwanted noises which results in boomy tone and generally what is called "bad" tone, not being able to play fast enough. Good news is that all of this is fixable with some simple "rules" you can apply. Bad news is that stuff I'll be teaching here is not often addressed by teachers and can be hard to figure out on your own.
The lesson above addresses mostly fundamentals of fingerpicking bass technique and how to position your hand in order to be able to mute successfully unwanted strings. MUTING - this is where the key lies. This helps you have a good tone on the bass. Strings vibrate even if you don't touch them when playing, due to neck and wood transferring vibrations. In turn, you not only get the note you wanted to play, but also some weird frequencies and boomy sounds from other strings. This really kills your tone and I had quite a bit of issues, especially at band rehearsals and gigs where the volume is high, to keep my bass under control.
Other essentials I'll cover are proper right hand technique (picking hand) and how to utilize economy of motion. This is a concept which might be a bit weird to adopt at first (for example thumb anchor positions and trailing), but I highly recommend it as once it becomes natural to you, you'll be able to push through your current limits and make progress. I'm also talking about basics of what I like to call alternate fingerpicking technique, something which will help you play faster. At the end of lesson you'll find me covering topics of string crossing. String crossing was something really problematic for me to play until I figured out how to do it. What happened is that I'd get tons of noise when changing strings while playing and I had no clue how to stop them until I've figured out some tricks I could utilize. Last but not least, in the very end of the lesson I'll introduce you to the concept of playing double stops. This means two notes at the same time. Something which bass players don't play that often but useful to know. Personally, I like to end songs on a double stop when playing live. You know the very last note band plays to end the song. Double stops can also be cool in funky bass lines. Listen to the song Hump de bump by RHCP.
Besides theoretical stuff and addressing concepts, you'll also find exercises in the lesson which you can practice along with the metronome. When practicing bass, I do like to replace the metronome with just a drum beat. I find this very helpful overall as playing along drums makes the exercise more realistic and at the same time I get used to "really listening" to drums and what is being played there. Another benefit of this is that you feel more comfortable playing with a live drummer as you are used to "following and playing along with the drums". One thing to be aware of : live drummers will rarely play precisely like a metronome, rather they will be all over the place. I've once read a quote in some bass magazine, quote of a famous bassist was something along the lines that drummers which have problems with tempo and timing and the most fun to play with actually and they make the music come alive + they always keep you on your toes when jamming along
I'd be interested to know if anyone has any questions about the stuff I mentioned or has experienced similar things?
Also, I'd love to hear if you have any bass related questions or topics you'd like to discuss with me?
Just shoot your post right here in the topic and we'll have a bass chat
25 Jan 2015 - 7:09
23 Jan 2015 - 9:51
19 Jan 2015 - 23:59
17 Jan 2015 - 16:03
13 Jan 2015 - 11:09
Happy B' Bogdan wish the best for this day \m/
7 Jan 2011 - 1:47
hehe no problem :) then i hope you will have a nice party and much gifts.
8 Jan 2010 - 1:22
Happy Birthday Bogdan.
7 Jan 2010 - 23:30
Cool Bogdan! Looking forward to see/hear what you come up with, if you do :)
1 Aug 2009 - 13:27
Hi Bogdan, thanks for the add! :) Any chance of some Heavy or Thrash Metal bass lessons? ;) Even if that's not your style really, am I right? :)
31 Jul 2009 - 20:31
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