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 ….

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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
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Bass Lessons Online

Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Bass Stuff... | 0 comments

” Learn a skill that will last a lifetime”

It’s time to make that resolution for 2014 with your bass playing a reality. You will become a better musician who can function in the world of music. I’ve taught many working pros over the years. My students learn the skills and information that I’ve used in the recording business and on stage for many years as a working bassist. Real World, Real Deal…I’m teaching in person in my home studio in Nashville and also Worldwide via Skype..

Here’s a quote from student Tyrone Coughlin:

” I was just thinking about how grateful I am for the musical leaps and bounds I’ve made over the past year under your mentoring guidance! I’ve been revisiting a lot of the chordal stuff we’ve covered and it just keeps getting better”

contact me at:

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Learn real deal, real world bass skills from seasoned pro Steve Bryant

Posted by on Aug 22, 2013 in Bass Stuff... | 0 comments

I teach pro, semi-pro, and serious amateur bassists via Skype and in my office in Nashville. My Skype lessons feature Hi-fi pro sound and wide angle HD Camera. I have been bass tutoring privately for over thirty years and many of my former students are working professionals or are successful part-time  bassists. With bass mentoring you will find correct, useful, and musical information regarding what it takes to compete and function in the pro world of bass playing or simply to play better.
I play bass full time in the studio and have exhaustive credits in the recording field as well as the live venues too…. ( click on the ” About Steve Bryant ” tab) I started playing in 1969 and went pro in 1975 playing just about every type of music out there. While there are tons of material out there in the form of videos, books, magazine articles, and clinics; These avenues are  generally fixed on a  particular player’s style and indeed the ” athletic event” of the chops being displayed…. This is all well and good for the fan of the player or bass fans who love to cop those licks. ..but because they do not study music and good content that fit the requirement of the gig and develop their own artistic style, they are dead in the water..Witness many a blooming player who copies players and are either unaware or willfully not recognizing that there are a legion of bassists copying the same licks as a famous player and cannot groove, know what key they are in, or get a handle on how to project a tune. Very few on this path stop to consider that what they are doing is predicating their entire musical output on something has already been done and you will only be a copy. The true musical life is not built on that. First, meet the requirements of the gig and after that is satisfied you can invest yourself and your own art into whatever music you are doing…..This is simply what makes a great player. I am amazed at the lack of material out there that helps the aspiring bassist to have the skill level to gig, play shows and record..

This site is NOT about
”licks, scales, or what player did this run on this tune”

By the way, I’ve never been hired to play a scale. Music functions chordally…not this scale over this chord…but PLAYING the chord. You will be learning chordal theory that forms that basis of all western music

Correct grounding in real music will be your portal to being your own person while satisfying the requirements of the gig.

My tutoring sessions are an intensive and complete program in the grounding you need to compete in the real world of music. I will teach you what I’ve learned over 35 years of recording and touring.  I am an experienced teacher to dozens of bassists who are pro and semi-pro.

I’ve found many sources of bass education to be lacking.   This is because they teach licks, scales, and exercises that have nothing to do with understanding musical events and functioning in chords.

When you understand how music works, you become a more engaged and competent bassist.   It doesn’t matter which musical style you play. With this program, I am making myself available to musicians who cannot travel to my office in Nashville and need professional guidance.


Program highlights:


1) I recommend weekly sessions, especially for the first two or three lessons.  Weekly lessons will get you up to speed quickly.  You will need to work about 30 minutes daily on the material. Practice is a requirement. You will not see results if you do not practice daily. Consistency counts. After the first few lessons, you may decide to have bi-weekly lessons.  This will depend on your progress.


2) Beginners are welcome.   But, I do not teach ‘groove exercises,’ licks, scales, ‘hand warm-ups’ ‘speed exercises’ or songs that are current huge hits. I teach musical information and good habits.  These will keep you playing for a lifetime. If you learn the right stuff you can function in any musical style.   You must learn correct information and good musicianship. This process requires discipline and the decision to learn what it means to be proficient on your instrument.


3) My fee is $77.00 75 minute session  payable thru PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, it is easy to set up. You will also be responsible for the small PayPal service charge on my side of the transaction( $ 2.00) that I will add to my fee.


4)   I will be happy to go over a few minutes at no charge if we are working on something that needs to be addressed on the spot or you have career questions. I find it very rewarding to teach and help people reach their goals. I want you to learn at your own pace and ‘get it.’ No two students are the same.


5) I am a living, breathing Session Bassist/Producer  in Nashville.  That is my career priority and my primary source of income. There is a rare occasion in which we will need to reschedule.  I can generally let you know a couple of weeks before our ‘Skype time’ so we can reschedule. Please understand that it is possible that I may need to reschedule with you on a shorter notice. This has happened a few times in the last 5 years, but it is a reality of the session business.


Skype address: stevenontheone

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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

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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:-)


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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:-)



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