Getting The Most From The Basics – Creating A Walking Bass Line

As the new year starts like many of us I’m readdressing my practice routine! I’ve currently got more work on than I know what to do with, which is great! But my practice time definitely suffers. My new quick fix when I’m tight on time is to just practice the basics, the easy stuff!

We all know that the easy stuff is boring, right? Practicing triads is a waste of time, it’s only three notes, that’s easy! RIGHT?! Well no, not really, but I’m sure we’ve all been there. You find yourself sitting in the practice room with good intentions and when you’re working on the easy stuff, the basics, your mind wanders and you move into more adventurous territory. Hopefully this post will help us all stay on the straight and narrow in the practice room when you see what can be done using the simple stuff.

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Lover Man – Dizzy Solo

Hey bass fans! Back with another transcription for you, it’s only short but it is a double whammy – bass and trumpet transcription! I’ve transcribed the bridge that Dizzy blows over from his 1945 recording with Sarah Vaughan. Take a listen in the YouTube clip below!

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New Transcriptions! Little Sister and more!

Hey bass fans!

Sorry for the complete lack of posts recently, wedding season is definitely in full swing! I just wanted to do this quick post to share some of my new transcriptions with you, head over to my transcriptions page to see all of the new additions I’ve been working on.

I was working with a private Skype student of mine recently and while we had been mainly looking at basic improvisation and walking lines over blues/funk tunes we decided to take a break and work on some really solid rock bass playing. I chose Little Sister by Queens Of The Stone Age as it ticks a lot of boxes for me.


First off it’s an absolute TUNE!! Secondly the tone is awesome. Honestly, just listen to that tone! Finally I think it’s just a great example of how to play rock bass. It is a combination of locking in tight with the main hook and drum beat mixed in with driving eighth note sections with just the right amount of fills. Check out the dots and TAB below! I’ve also included an MP3 where I have copied an isolated bass track onto the original and panned the track hard right and the bass hard left so you can blend in as much P bass goodness as you need!

Little Sister Panned With Isolated Bass Track

Little Sister - Queens Of The Stone Age (179)
Little Sister - Queens Of The Stone Age TAB (154)

I hope you enjoy rocking out with Nick Oliveri this weekend and I promise to get back into the swing of things next month!! Any transcription requests are still being accepted too, if there’s anything you want to see uploaded drop me a message in the comments section below and let me know!

Exploring Minor Scale Choices

The idea for this blog post came from another transcription request I received from one of my subscribers. It is one of the stranger requests I’ve received being that the line they wanted transcribing was actually a sound clip from a review/demo of the new Sire Marcus Miller bass. If you haven’t heard about this bass yet, where have you been?!? Catch up here! 

The original sound clip can be heard following this link. The sound clip is called 3. Bridge PU in playback’ and is eight bars of tasty minor grooving! The bassist in question must be Rainer Wind, a guy I’ve not come across before but he is the author of the article so we can only assume that these cool licks came from him, if anyone can shed any light on this please let us know in the comments below!

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Are Be Bop Licks Just For Be Bop?

Not all of the subscribers to this site are jazz fans and I wanted to post this quick lesson to show how learning jazz, or more specifically for this post, be bop, can still be relevant to the modern day bassist.

Check out the video below, I’m using a Charlie Parker ii V lick over an F7 funk groove. Scroll down to download the backing track and a PDF with notation and TAB!

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Charlie Parker’s Cherokee Solo – Phrase Three!

I’ve made it to the end of the first repeat of the A section! While this doesn’t sound like much, if you’ve been following this series with me then you’ll know what a challenging piece to play this is. This series of posts is taking a lot longer than I’d anticipated to produce so apologies for the delay, the reason being that I really feel that I need to be up to speed playing wise and also internalising the music before I keep ploughing on through transcriptions so I’ve taken a bit of a breather to try and get to grips with the first 16 bars.

Let’s take a look at the phrase that finishes this section off, a harmonic analysis of the chords would look like this;

| II7 | ii | VI7b9 | ii | V+7 || I |

cherokee 3 cherokee 3 TAB

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Introduction To Blues Bass Lines

In honour of the late B.B. King who sadly passed this week, this bass lesson is all about how to play a bass line for a 12 bar blues.SAN RAFAEL, CA - FEBRUARY 26: B.B. King performs at Marin Center on February 26, 2014 in San Rafael, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)

This lesson comes with a FREE eBook containing all the information in this post plus three blues bass line transcriptions and a practice sheet to get you on your way playing blues bass! Click here to go to the store and download your FREE eBook!

Blues intro cover

One of the first areas of study I look at with a new student is how to play over a 12 bar blues. Using a simple I IV V progression and just one chord type it’s a great way to start learning and using some basic theory for students who are new to it. (If you need help with your theory, I am currently working on a new ebook – an introduction to theory for bassists which will be available soon!)

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Charlie Parker’s Cherokee Solo – Phrase Two!

If you missed the first phrase from this solo you can catch up here. If not, let’s get stuck in!

cherokee 2cherokee TAB 2

Harmonically, this sequence starts on the bVII7 chord (Ab7) in the key of Bb, moves to the chord for two measures, ending on C7, bringing us into the key of F. In Roman numerals you could think of it as | bVII7 | bVII7 | I | I | V of V |

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Charlie Parker’s Cherokee Solo – Phrase One!

Hey bass fans!

I’ve put it off for long enough, it’s time to transcribe some Charlie Parker! I’ve decided to go for Cherokee and even though I’m only a few bars in, let me tell you… It’s going to be an epic task!

This solo is such a massive and daunting project that I’m going to break it down into bite size chunks to upload as and when I get through them. The plan is to make a comprehensive guide of how to, analysis, dots, TAB, backing tracks, the lot!

To help us all along I’ve created a forum which you can find here. It would be awesome if everyone learning the solo with me would make an account and upload progress audio/video alternate fingerings and any errors in the transcription, my ears are not quite fast enough for me to be confident with this transcription yet!

So let’s get cracking!

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Alone Together Reharmonisation

Welcome to the first transcription of 2015! I have been working a lot on ‘Alone Together’ so as per usual I wanted to transcribe some parts for this tune. Being a big Mingus fan and a big Miles fan I thought the version from ‘Blue Moods’ would be a perfect fit.

I was wrong!

After working my way through a full chorus something didn’t look right, then I remembered reading in Mingus: A Critical Biography, that it was Mingus who had contributed the arrangement for this session. In typical Mingus fashion the song is reharmonised to within an inch of it’s life!

I have done my best to identify the chords used in the transcription but there may be some errors, anyone who finds any discrepancies please let me know in the comments below so I can amend the file!

Transcription is available from my download page here!