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Cliff Engel Bass Lessons - Composing Bass Lines
April 14, 2014 - *Subscriber's Area*

As an instructor who has spent many years teaching bassists of all playing levels and styles located around the world, I have found the single biggest rut which bassists tend to fall into is that they rely too heavily on playing the instrument through patterns or shapes. The design of a fretted bass guitar fingerboard and the placement of position markers such as dots and inlays makes memorizing patterns or shapes very easy. Patterns and shapes can be useful as long as you don't allow them to completely dictate the music you are trying to create. You don't want to rely on them too much because playing solely by patterns or shapes isn't a very musical approach to performing on any instrument. If you play bass using only patterns or shapes, at some point your playing will begin to sound very predictable since everything you play will tend to sound like everything else that you play. Rather than memorizing patterns or shapes, try to always view the fingerboard as an available pool of notes which you have the opportunity to utilize at any particular time.

If your playing ever starts to sound monotonous or predictable as a result of reverting back to the same patterns or shapes that you have continually repeated over and over again, you can approach the bass from a different perspective by composing lines in standard notation before you attempt to play them on your instrument. When you write bass lines in standard notation without reference to your bass, you are forced to think compositionally about music and the notes that are available to play over chords instead of relying on muscle memory and specific hand positions to play patterns or shapes. If you compose musical phrases before you figure out how to play them on bass, you will often encounter lines that you never would have typically played on the fingerboard because the phrases that you wrote in standard notation were based on good note choice and melodic contour rather than patterns or shapes. ... Subscribe Today & Read More!

The IIB Online Bass Courses The Next Sessions Of The IIB's Online Bass Courses Begin May 5 - Enroll Today!
April 14, 2014

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. ... 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!

The International Institute Of Bassists Featured Bass Lesson Of The Week
Contemporary Techniques - One-Finger-Per-Fret: Part 3

April 14, 2014 - *Subscriber's Area*

The one-finger-per-fret technique provides the most efficient method of playing bass guitar. To demonstrate the one-finger-per-fret technique, place the index finger (1) on the fretting hand over the fifth fret, the middle finger (2) at the sixth fret, the ring finger (3) over the seventh fret, and the pinky finger (4) at the eighth fret. Generally speaking, the ring finger will be the weakest and least independent of the four fingers utilized on the fretting hand.

The size of your hands will be the primary factor in determining how much of the fingerboard can be played with the one-finger-per-fret technique. Although you should never have to group two fingers together to play a note like on acoustic upright, you can borrow fretting hand technique from upright bassists by using the index and pinky fingers to play over a three-fret span rather than four. While some bassists with large hands can employ the one-finger-per-fret technique across the entire range of the fingerboard, players with smaller hands will feel more comfortable utilizing the traditional upright technique in the lowest positions. Once you move up to the fifth or seventh frets, the notes are closer together so even someone will small hands can start to use the one-finger-per-fret technique in that area.

Even though the one-finger-per-fret technique can be utilized over any four-fret span across the entire range of the fingerboard, it is more important to play next to fret with a relaxed and tension-free fretting hand than it is to strictly use the one-finger-per-fret fret technique especially in the lowest positions of the fingerboard. ... Subscribe Today & Read More!

The IIB Subscriber's Area The IIB Subscriber's Area
Jazz Improvisation For Bass Guitar & Acoustic Bass

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!