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  1. Black Magic Woman is an absolute classic that every musician should know. I heard the Peter Green version first but remember being blown away when a friend then played me the Santana version with the extended jam section at the end. Check it out if you haven't heard it. I love the mix of Blues, Rock, Jazz and Latin in Santana's music. But most of all I love the vibe and energy that comes across in all of his songs. The bass line to Black Magic Woman is fairly simple to play (apart from the Latin riff at the end!) but it does require you to lock into the groove and land accurately on each change of chord. Once you get it, this is a lovely bass line to play. I’ve made a video lesson on the bass line from this extended Santana version. You can also pick up a full transcription in standard notation or Tab for free under the video. Enjoy this classic bass line. https://youtu.be/5uyro1t_vks
  2. You can have great fun playing bass at Blues jams. There's something really liberating about stepping onstage with a bunch of musicians that you don't know and playing a tune totally off the cuff. Now the thought of doing this may fill you with dread, you might not think that you're good enough to get up to jam or you might not know how the whole scene works or even how to get yourself on the list to play. I've put a video lesson and article together to help anyone who has aspirations to get up and play at a Blues jam. I'm sure that the lesson will give you the confidence to go for it and head down to play at your local jam. In the video I discuss common Blues jam tunes, I talk about learning Blues song structures and importantly give you some of my personal experience concerning jam night etiquette. I hope this helps and I’d love to hear any of your jam night stories or if you would like to play at jam and the lesson helped you. All the info you need is on the webpage. https://www.gbshed.com/how-to-survive-a-blues-jam-for-bass-players
  3. The Blues shuffle groove can be problematic for bass players attempting to play it the first few times. There's a particular rhythmic pattern that has to be there in the bass line and this often throws players. To play the shuffle groove correctly, it's all about understanding how the beat is divided and how to lock in with the drums. After that it's easy... he says! To help you with the Blues shuffle I have created a new free lesson page on the Greg’s Bass Shed website where I start with explaining the basic groove and then show you shuffle bass riffs that you can use at a Blues gig or jam night. So many great Blues tunes are played with the shuffle feel so it's great to master it once and for all. You can also download a free PDF with all the Shuffle bass riffs on it in Tab and standard notation. https://www.gbshed.com/how-to-play-the-shuffle-groove-on-bass
  4. Did you know that Jazz is heavily influenced by Blues and that the Jazz Blues chord progressions come directly from the humble 12-Bar Blues? In my new video 'Evolution Of The Jazz Blues', I show a clear path from the tradition 12-Bar Blues progression to the more complex Jazz Blues progressions used by Jazz musicians such as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. Understanding this link is vital if you want to really understand the lineage of the Jazz Blues and play walking bass lines to these chord progressions. I’ve put the various chord progressions from the lesson on a free PDF which is downloadable from a link underneath the video. There’s also the ‘standard’ Bebop Jazz Blues progression on the PDF and you should know this if you want to survive a Jazz jam night! If you’re looking to start playing Jazz then this is definitely a good video to check out. Have fun! https://youtu.be/g2J3g8EvYRc
  5. I’ve always loved the descending unison riff in the tune Feelin’ Good. It’s so powerful and really defines the song. The Nina Simone version is probably the most well known with versions also by Michael Buble and Muse. I found a Joe Bonamassa version that I really like and I’ve used this to make a lesson. In the video find out how slash chords work and how they can help with creating smooth linear bass lines. I’ve transcribed the whole Bonamassa and Nina Simone bass lines and you can get a free copy of the PDF booklet in standard notation and TAB under the YouTube video. Have fun with this. https://youtu.be/HYieMYZm8sQ
  6. When thinking of Reggae bass, one man always springs to mind and that's Aston "Family Man" Barrett. He's one of the forerunners of the Reggae scene, playing on all the Bob Marley hit records . Playing Reggae bass can initially be confusing with the very particular 'riddims' and grooves involved. There are specific rhythmic patterns that sound great and bass is so important in this style as it really drives the tunes. To keep things simple and get you started with playing Reggae I have laid out a lesson with six fundamental techniques that you can use to construct your own Reggae bass lines that work and sound authentic. In the lesson there are four bass grooves and two backing tracks to quickly get you up and running playing Reggae bass. I've made up a lesson page on the GBS website that you can work through and you'll also find the Youtube lesson video at the top of that page with a free downloadable PDF under the video. https://www.gbshed.com/how-to-play-reggae-bass-lines
  7. The reason you can hear the clanking in online tutorials is because the vocal mic is picking it up. It’s that simple! Try and record yourself playing with a mic near your bass and it will all make sense! When I make my bass tutorials I cut the vocal track out of the video in the sections where I’m playing during editing but sometimes I’m talking and playing so I can’t do this in these sections. Also, a lot of fret noise disappears in the mix. If you’ve ever been in the studio and listened to bass only on playback, you’ll hear a lot of noise!
  8. Hi, if you want more of a manual that gets you started reading by yourself with a teacher then check this book out. It explains how to work out the notes and rhythm. https://www.gbshed.com/books/reading-music-for-bass-players
  9. There's a quick way to learn any scale and then play it over the whole bass fretboard. This involves visualising a shape that the scale makes and using this shape as 'building blocks' to stack on top of each other. This method enables you to see where all the notes of the scale are over the entire fretboard. Once you can play scales over the whole fretboard, you're open to more easily constructing fills and riffs using the notes that you know work and sound great. The pentatonic scales in particular are essential to us bass players and you need to have these under your fingers. I focus on the major pentatonic scale in this new YouTube video lesson. Find out more and download the free PDF with all the exercises and fret diagrams by clicking the video below. https://youtu.be/wnJ0ilCM0i8
  10. Hi, I’ve just opened up a new Jazz video course to help anyone interested in starting to play Jazz bass. The course is a deep-dive into the Jazz Blues progressions and how to play walking bass lines from chord charts. The Jazz Blues is a great starting point when playing Jazz and studying this form will give you a strong foundation in Jazz bass playing. You can take the video course at your own pace and join if you are an electric or upright player. You get lifetime access. I’m offering a special bonus group coaching upgrade with the video course until tomorrow night. You’ll get 4 free online group coaching sessions to reinforce the contents of the video course. So if you are keen to start playing Jazz and walking bass, you can check out more information by clicking below. Please ask if you have any questions. Cheers Greg https://www.gbshed.com/wtj-launch-week
  11. The slow 12/8 Blues has a certain bass groove that you really need to play if you want to be authentic to that style. 12/8 Blues tunes are often in minor keys too, and although they frequently follow the 12-bar Blues progression they often have a few 'quirks' which you need to know about. The tune I'm covering in this week's lesson is 'The Great Flood' by Joe Bonamassa, a classic 12/8 minor Blues tune. I work through the chord progression and then show you how the bass line is developed from the studio version to the live versions. The live versions I’m working from feature Carmine Rojas on bass. He plays the Blues with a more modern approach on a 5-string. He’s got an impressive CV and is well worth checking out. Find out more about this bass line and also about the minor Blues form in this video lesson. You’ll find the chord chart and bass line transcription link under the video. I’d love to hear how you get on with this song and whether you have any favourite Bonamassa bass lines. https://youtu.be/c6R3CdzKVF0
  12. If you're a fan of the slow 12/8 Blues and you haven't heard the tune, Life Is Hard by Johnny Winter then check it out as it's fantastic. It's a minor Blues so there are some juicy chords in the progression along with a great hook that the whole band plays. This makes the bass line very satisfying to play. I've transcribed the bass line, the exact part as played by Jeff Ganz the bassist. I’ve also made a transcription page on my website where you'll find the original song along with standard notation and TAB for the whole bass line. You can download the chart here too. Let me know what you think of the tune. https://www.gbshed.com/life-is-hard-johnny-winter-bass-line-transcription
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