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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 May 4 - Enroll Today!
April 20, 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. ... 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. ... APRIL SPECIAL - 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
Pentatonic Scales

April 20, 2015 - *Subscriber's Area*

The pentatonic sound is one of the most recognized tonalities in music, and beginners to advanced players alike have made widespread use of the pentatonic sound in every style of music. Although pentatonic scales have existed for centuries, they didn't become a significant part of the jazz vocabulary until the early 1960's when musicians such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and McCoy Tyner began employing them in their improvisations.

Of all the pentatonic scales, the major pentatonic is the most common. Because the major pentatonic scale is constructed entirely of whole steps and minor thirds, it lacks the type of chromaticism found in typical seven-note scales such as the modes of the major scale. As a result of its construction, the overall tonality of the major pentatonic scale suggests a greater sense of space than most other scales.

Following a series of whole steps and minor thirds, the formula of the major pentatonic scale is W-W-m3-W-m3. It is constructed of a root, major second, major third, perfect fifth, and a major sixth scale degree. The major pentatonic scale starting on C contains the notes C-D-E-G-A-C.

The major pentatonic scale is utilized with major family chords and can be played over unaltered major chord types including Maj6, Maj7, and Maj9. Major pentatonic is also frequently played over dominant seventh chords (7).

Just like other scales, by starting on a note other than the root, a series of modes can be generated from the major pentatonic scale. Since the major pentatonic is a five-note scale, it has five modes. The fifth mode of the major pentatonic scale has been played so extensively by itself over m7 chords that it has come to be recognized by its own name, the minor pentatonic scale. Again, due to their series of only whole steps and minor thirds, the modes of the major pentatonic scale tend to give music a more "open" type of sound.

In addition, playing the sequence of intervals contained within the major pentatonic scale and its related modes is the only way to divide an octave using five different notes without including half steps. You will also note that major pentatonic and its modes contain notes that are found next to each other on the circle of fifths.

To simplify things, soloists will often use the major pentatonic scale over all three chords of a ii-V-I chord progression beginning on the fifth scale degree of the key. For example, the ii-V-I chord progression in C major contains the chord changes Dm7-G7-CMaj7. You could play the G major pentatonic scale over all three of those chords without the fear of creating a dissonant clash against the harmony because there are no avoid notes present.

Even though the major pentatonic scale is the most commonly utilized of the pentatonics, technically, any five-note grouping could be classified as a pentatonic scale. ... 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!

April 20, 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!