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What's New At The IIB!
The IIB Online Bass Courses The Next Sessions Of The IIB's Online Bass Courses Begin July 4
June 30, 2016

Contemporary Techniques For Bass Guitar is the definitive guide to technique for bass guitar. Regardless of your current playing level, prior experience, or the genres of music you prefer to play, this comprehensive course will solidify the foundation required to become a proficient bassist and save you countless hours of frustration by learning how to do it right the first time. JUNE SPECIAL - $19.95. ... Enroll Today!

Music Theory For Bass is a beginner to intermediate level course that examines the essential elements of music. For beginners, this course will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of harmony as it pertains to bassists in contemporary music. More seasoned bassists will gain insight from this course as concepts already obtained from past musical experiences will be reinforced to expand the depth of their musical awareness. By the end of this 12-week course, you will have acquired the tools necessary to read, write, and improvise bass lines and solos over any chord change, chord progression, or song form in any style of music. ... Enroll Today!

Sight Reading For Bass Guitar & Acoustic Bass is a beginner to intermediate level course that explores all aspects of reading and writing music notation for bassists. Whether your principle goal is to become a professional session bassist, a member of a college jazz ensemble, bass chair of a symphony orchestra, perform in a school musical, play in church, jam with some friends in your garage, or to simply increase the productivity of your practice sessions, improving your sight reading ability will only expand your opportunities as a working bassist. ... Enroll Today!

Jazz Bass Lines is a beginner to intermediate level course that examines all of the fundamental components of walking bass line construction. During this comprehensive 12-week course, you will study the techniques and bass lines of the most prominent jazz bassists. From the basics of traditional walking bass line construction to more advanced contemporary principles, Jazz Bass Lines is designed to establish the crucial foundation and indispensable vocabulary that is necessary for bassists interested in the art of improvising bass lines. ... Enroll Today!

Soloing Techniques For Bass Guitar & Acoustic Bass is an intermediate to advanced level course that explores all of the fundamental elements required to improvise effective solos. Featuring classic bebop to modern era techniques, you will be presented with a wide array of improvisation concepts and learn how to create your own horn-like solos in the jazz idiom. Soloing Techniques is recommended for both aspiring and professional bassists alike who are seeking an indispensable resource for the contemporary study and analysis of soloing concepts on bass guitar and acoustic upright bass. ... Enroll Today!

Live Video Lessons For Bass Guitar Live Video Lessons For Bass Guitar
June 30, 2016

Following a step-by-step methodology with instructor Cliff Engel, you will acquire the essential skills and vocabulary which are necessary to connect your ears to the fingerboard, develop ideas, interact with other musicians on a deeper level, and expand the traditional role of the bassist. With these live video bass lessons, you will expand your fretboard familiarity and knowledge of chord/scale theory, improve your sight reading and ear training, and also increase your technical proficiency on the instrument. You will be presented with the fundamental tools that are required to improvise great bass lines and solos on any chord type, chord progression, or song form in any style of music.

These lessons are structured for bassists of all levels from beginner to advanced who are passionate about becoming a more proficient bass player and are seeking an indispensable resource for the contemporary study and analysis of techniques, theory, and principles on bass guitar. Why waste transit time and money while moving to and from private lessons when you can study one-on-one with a live instructor directly from the comfort of your own home? Many people who are current or former students of the IIB online bass courses enroll in live video bass lessons to help compliment and reinforce the concepts introduced in the courses. ... Get Certified!

Cliff Engel Featured Bass Lesson Of The Week
A Guide To Fretting Hand Techniques

June 30, 2016 - *Subscriber's Area*

Shifting occurs any time the fretting hand moves to a different position on the fingerboard. The most important factors to consider while deciding when and where to shift are access and tone.

Before you play anything on bass, one of the first decisions you need to make is where to place your fretting hand on the fingerboard in order to have access to the most notes in a passage while minimizing the amount of shifting.

At the same time, you also need to consider how the line will sound if you play the notes in a particular position. For example, the open strings sound very different than fretted tones because notes resonant in a different fashion when they are pressed against metal fretwires that are either nickel-plated or stainless steel and a nut that is constructed of plastic or some other synthetic material. Play the open A-string and then compare its sound to the same A in pitch located at the fifth fret of the E-string. Many bassists favor fretting notes over playing the open strings to achieve more tonal consistency. The only drawback to this approach is that by reducing the number of open strings that are available to utilize, you are increasing the amount of shifting which is required to play the tones of the opens strings as fretted notes across the fifth fret. To demonstrate another example of the tonal variation between the same pitch played in two different positions, play the note C at the third fret of the A-string, and compare how it sounds to the same C in pitch at the eighth fret of the E-string. The C at eighth fret of the E-string will sound darker with a more accentuated low end than the C at the third fret of the A-string. This variation in tone is primarily due to the difference in string gauges and also the length of the vibrating strings. Simply put, the E-string is thicker than the A-string, and the C at the eighth fret vibrates at a shorter string length than the C at the third fret. If you want to hear an even more dramatic example of the tonal variation between the same note played in different positions on the fingerboard, play the note A at the second fret of the G-string followed by the same A in pitch at the seventh fret of the D-string, the twelfth fret of the A-string, and the seventeenth fret of the E-string. Between that fifteen fret span over four strings, the note sounds significantly different even though it is the same pitch. If you have a preference as to how a passage sounds when played in a specific location on the fingerboard, this must be considered as you decide when and where to shift.

Not only should a shift make logical sense in order to provide you access to more notes in a higher or lower position on the fingerboard, but the execution of the shift must sound seamless despite the amount of distance that is spanned so you will need to think far enough ahead to plan when and where the shift should occur. To demonstrate a shift using the one-finger-per-fret technique, place the index, middle, ring, and pinky fingers of the fretting hand across the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth frets, respectively, on the A-string. Starting with the C at the third fret, play chromatically in an ascending fashion up to the sixth fret. While the notes ascend, the fretting hand fingers should move closer together to make the shift easier and quicker once the highest note in the four-fret span has been played. For comparison, if you leave the fingers placed over the notes they have already fretted, it will take longer to complete the shift because you have to move a greater distance. As soon as the note at the sixth fret has been sounded, the entire fretting hand will be moved up four frets and repositioned so the fingers are ready to play the notes at the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth frets.

Although shifting is a necessary movement that is required of every stringed instrumentalist, try to be aware of all the material you have available to play in a single position. In many situations, you don't need to shift more than one or two frets up or down because one of the most important concepts to always remember when playing a bass is that regardless of the position you are in on the fingerboard, you are never more than a whole step or two frets away from resolving to a chord tone. ... Subscribe Today & Read More!