Bass Blog

Bass Lessons Online How do I improve? A quick but effective overview…

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 in Bass Blog | 0 comments

The subject of what to practice on bass is overwhelming in the number of posts and Youtube videos that are being paraded on the internet. Many times the content offers so little! I have at times ” deprogrammed” new students who had accepted ( because they didn’t know better) unworkable methods that were not grounded in music content. Learning music informs your art of playing at minimum and enables you to be competitive to ” earn in the real world”. Why do we accept that a lawyer would get applied knowledge in order to earn his fee, but not have the same standard for a young or perhaps not so young bassist wanting to learn his craft to satisfy the requirements of the music.

Practicing musical information is not supposed to be emotional, you are regarding musical facts that you need to know, play and hear in order to play your ideas and the ideas of others in a method of communication that has been in use for hundreds of years regardless of the style being played. Small wonder that the bassist is confused and not getting good quality methods based on the language and craft of music.

The web has brought a wealth of information, both correct and incorrect, in our homes. As I am fond of telling my students in regards to practicing: ” The only bad mistake is the one you didn’t realize that you made”….studying music gives us how and why of practice and how to correct mistakes. Become a better musician getting quality instruction and applying yourself..

I’ve had the great pleasure of ” pouring in” to students who earn that title and some of gone on to be wonderful and successful bass musicians in their own right. All of them learn craft and music and can fit the requirement of the gig…and they all play their own way in expressing their art. However, they function well in whatever musical environment they are in.

Contact me if you want to hear more about learning Craft to inform your art and compete ”Real World, Real Deal”….






Read More

Knowing Your Chordal patterns and the application of them

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Bass Blog | 0 comments

In my private teaching and also Worldwide on Skype, I do stress very strongly with my students the importance of knowing your chords and the patterns they convey in making music and creating that serious underpinning that makes a great bass line….You will not function in pro quality music without getting this skill in your mind, ears and fingers. It is the direct link of playing what’s right for a song in musical terms, NOT playing licks that you know into a song….and that is a dead giveaway that the bassist is not fully prepared to function ….too much practicing nowadays with tricks, scales, ” working on catching a groove” etc..that is not based on music fundamentals — when you study music content, it points the way to good technique as a byproduct of learning music that helps you express your ideas as will as understanding and playing the ideas of others… and that is clearly that hallmark of a pro player..and frankly you help your chances of employment too:-)  Art is a function of expression with out limits and is the open range of our feelings — Craft is understanding the tools to get there and place them at the service of art and/or employability…..Don’t confuse Craft with Art…Art is the urge to express, Craft is knowing how to…..Make your practice time productive in working on musical facts….this you do unfailingly for those of you with pro and semi-pro aspirations…and also those who simply want to play better ….

Read More

Bass Lessons from a Nashville Studio Musician

Posted by on Jan 18, 2014 in Bass Blog, Bass Stuff... | 0 comments

Bass Lessons from a Nashville Studio Musician
Lessons from a Nashville Bassist with 34 years experience with all types of music — Real Deal, Real World….As a bassist, knowing the chords and the how/why of their movement in a song is vastly more important than running scales as your practice content…Over the years, I’ve had to ”deprogram” some students from this method …once they see that music exists and is expressed in chords, the musicianships grows and their abilities expand..( and fulfill the requirements of the gig) for those interested, contact me via private message here or at
10Like ·  · Share
Read More

Bass Lessons and the ” 10,000 hour rule”

Posted by on Aug 12, 2013 in Bass Blog | 0 comments

I was approached via facebook recently by a student whom had heard of ” the 10,000 hour rule”. It states that it takes that long to ” master your instrument”. This is an oversimplification. It stresses quantity over quality and how much time the bass is in your hands. it is FAR more important to work on what and how you are practicing than the amount of time you are putting in. Remember to practice music content and to take breaks often to rest your ears, mind, and fingers

Read More

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in Bass Blog | 0 comments

Left side vs. Right side of the brain and practicing

  It is no secret that many of us become frustrated with our practice time and the lack of results in our goal to be better players.  Boredom sets in and we soon find ourselves aimlessly noodling, wondering how do we get better.  In my years of doing private instruction in my home and now Skype, I’ve identified the stumbling blocks that have encumbered many to the point of distraction and disappointment. Believe me that a great majority that I’ve taught have in common that most deadly of bassists’ malady…not practicing musical facts.

Practicing music on your bass ( chord tones, chordal movement, reading) not only gives the musical carpenter the hammer and nails with which to build the house of the creative in expression and artistic content; It requires ongoing work of fundamentals…and practicing them with a view that they are not supposed to contain emotional content — the emotional and creative is right brain dominant and the left is logical and analytical. Many bass players get tripped up when they confuse the two.

Case in point are some bassists not spending enough time on music fundamentals. Instead, they will only practice what they know ( or even more dangerously, what the Think They Know:-) and expect improvement for their efforts…compounded with this is bringing a performance attitude to the the practice session and thereby not tolerating or gaining self-critical thoughts that creates an environment of boredom–

Don’t Right brain your practicing…do the right stuff with giving grace to making mistakes and just correcting them. Go slowly so your mind, fingers, and ears absorb new musical facts…that way you can correct your mistakes simply and without the critical right brain stuff. Making mistakes are glorious in that you simply correct and learn from them — no pressure…just play the pattern chordal stuff that has been used for many generations and also how chords move and ”ask” for next one. This is the basis for all western harmony…it all eventually goes into the right brain creative thinking side without trying.

Remember to keep your practice sessions short at first and be very present with what you are working on — every day short sessions first and as you advance you can spend more time without rigor mortis of the brain:-)

All of my students learn this way, regardless of skype or in office here in Nashville. you can subscribe to my post at my blog landing page.. home page bottom left side and click on subscribe to Posts ( Atom) for an RSS feed

My Tutoring website is for more information. our will see the same blog content there under the bass blog tab.


Keep it Low, My Friends:-)


Read More

The Real Deal- continued from below

Posted by on Apr 7, 2013 in Bass Blog | 0 comments

The Real Deal– Continued



In addition to getting the chordal patterns under your fingers then into your mind and ears…learn what makes up good chordal movement…If you practice your chordal patterns in fourths… i.e. G -C -F etc — you are playing one of the most common progressions in Western Harmony. Say the chord as you  play…you will soon find your way around the neck that you could never learn with scales and just referring to a fingering chart as a crutch. You will also find that your EARS will be picking up the patterns in a recognizable, logical fashion that is musical and relatable to all styles of music….the ” DNA” if you will, of music


All of my students learn this and when the put in the time and study are amazed at how they can listen to music and pick our chords..and how they are functioning in a progression….and they are light years ahead of others who do the creative dead end of too much time practicing scales….



I have four free vids on my you tube channel


here is the fourth dealing with chord fundamentals that is basic to good strong bass lines





and keep it low, my friends:-)



Read More