The International Institute Of Bassists
Bass Courses Video Lessons Bass Lessons Subscribe Interviews News Links Advertise About Contact Archive Home


Enter Your E-Mail:

What's New At The IIB!
The IIB Online Bass Courses The Next Sessions Of The IIB's Online Bass Courses Begin Feb. 2
Enroll Today!

January 26, 2015

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. ... JANUARY SPECIAL - 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!

Cliff Engel Featured Bass Lesson Of The Week
The Modes Of The Major Scale

January 26, 2015 - *Subscriber's Area*

A thorough understanding of scales and their related modes is essential in the development of technique on your instrument and your success as an improviser. Through your knowledge of scales, you will possess the ability to instantly evaluate lead sheets or chord charts and recognize the appropriate scales and notes which are available to utilize on particular chord types.

Even if it may seem like there are hundreds of scales and chords used in music, you can analyze and play over practically every chord type using only four scales and their related modes including the major scale, the melodic minor scale, the diminished scale, and the whole tone scale.

To begin, we will analyze the most common scale found in Western music, the major scale. The major scale is composed of seven different pitches and features seven consecutive letter names which extend in an ascending or descending fashion from a given note. Starting from the note C, the major scale would be played as follows: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. These pitches are all of the natural notes of the musical alphabet, and they are also all of the white keys found on a piano.

In addition to playing this set of notes, you are also performing a specific sequence or series of whole steps and half steps. A whole step would be the interval between C and D, and a half step is the distance between E and F or B and C. The formula of whole steps and half steps within the major scale is: W-W-H-W-W-W-H. By maintaining this pattern of whole and half steps, you can build a major scale starting on any note on the fingerboard.

The notes of the major scale can be identified by scale degree according to their location in the scale. For instance, D is the second note of the C major scale and is referred to as the second scale degree, E is the third scale degree, F is the fourth scale degree, and so on. Along with numbers, every scale degree has a scale degree name as well such as tonic (1), supertonic (2), mediant (3), subdominant (4), dominant (5), submediant (6), and leading tone (7). For singing, syllable names including Do (1), Re (2), Mi (3), Fa (4), Sol (5), La (6), Ti (7), Do (8) are commonly used because they are easier to sing than numbers.

Since the major scale contains seven different notes, there are seven unique diatonic modes or versions of the scale which can be generated from a single major scale. Theoretically, not only are you playing the C major scale when you play C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, but you are also playing the first mode of the C major scale which is called the Ionian mode. If you take the C major scale and play from the second scale degree or the note D to the D one octave higher, you have just played the second mode of the C major scale which is referred to as D Dorian. The C major scale is the parent scale of the D Dorian mode. Likewise, if you again take the notes from the C major scale and play from the third scale degree or the note E to the E one octave higher, you have just generated the third mode of the C major scale which is E Phrygian. If we continue on in this fashion, the resulting modes in the key of C major include F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, and B Locrian. In classical or traditional theory, the modes of the major scale are often referred to as "the church modes" or Medieval modes.

In terms of chord/scale theory, the modes of the major scale can be categorized into major seventh, minor seventh, dominant seventh, and half-diminished seventh chord types. The Ionian and Lydian modes are major seventh sounding in quality because they contain the same chord tones consisting of a root, major third, perfect fifth, and a major seventh scale degree. The Dorian, Phrygian, and Aeolian modes are all minor seventh in quality due to them containing a root, minor third, perfect fifth, and a minor seventh scale degree. Mixolydian is associated with the dominant seventh chord type since it includes a root, major third, perfect fifth, and a minor seventh scale degree. Finally, Locrian is half-diminished seventh in quality because it features a root, minor third, diminished fifth, and a minor seventh scale degree. ... Subscribe Today & Read More!

The IIB Subscriber's Area The IIB Subscriber's Area
Subscribe Today & Receive A FREE Set Of D'Addario ProSteels Bass Strings!

January 26, 2015

The Subscriber's Area is an exclusive section of the IIB which includes the 20-lesson online bass course Jazz Improvisation For Bass Guitar & Acoustic Bass, the IIB Bass Samplers, and an extensive collection of lesson material featuring over 300 individual lessons which cover a broad range of subjects.

Jazz Improvisation is a comprehensive 20-lesson course that will help you acquire the essential skills which are necessary to connect your ears to the fingerboard, develop ideas, and communicate more fluently through the language of improvisation. Featuring dozens of fretboard diagrams and play-along tracks with exercises written in standard notation and tablature, topics covered include practice techniques, ear training, scales, modes, chords, passing notes, approach note techniques, and chord tone soloing. After completing this course, you will have expanded your fretboard familiarity, broadened your knowledge of chord/scale theory, increased your technical proficiency on the instrument, and become more productive in your practice sessions. You will possess the fundamental tools that are required to improvise great bass lines and solos on any chord type, chord progression, or song form in the jazz repertoire. ... Subscribe Today & Read More!