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Hey Bass-chatters,

If you could have any resource to help you to learn how to improve your Blues bass playing, what would it be? 
 

For example, backing tracks, video instructional course, coaching, etc.

Also what is your preference with styles of Blues?  American or British Blues?  Or do you just love it all like me?

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I think looking at the style of particular players is a good way to go. My two favourite, blues centric bass players (at least they have been in the past) are Roscoe Beck and Tommy Shannon. Roscoe’s work with Robben Ford and Tommy’s with SRV are worth a look.

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1 minute ago, ezbass said:

I think looking at the style of particular players is a good way to go. My two favourite, blues centric bass players (at least they have been in the past) are Roscoe Beck and Tommy Shannon. Roscoe’s work with Robben Ford and Tommy’s with SRV are worth a look.

Great, they are both particular favourites of mine too.  Saw Roscoe Back with the Blue Line back in the late 90’s and I was blown away by his tone and lines. 

As for Tommy Shannon, he’s such a powerhouse and love his ‘Texas Shuffle’ line on ‘Pride and Joy’! 
 

Solid suggestion to study the playing styles of Blues bass players 👍

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I’ve saw Roscoe with Robben at the Jazz Café in Camden. I was upstairs in the restaurant part and he was eating his pre gig meal a couple of tables away. If I hasn’t been with Lady Ez, I may well have had to be the total fanboy and bothered him for a chat (I’m glad I didn’t). Roscoe’s CV is obviously far beyond just jazz tinged blues, but that’s where I discovered him in The Blue Line and then with another of my guitar heroes - Eric Johnson. Roscoe’s instructional video is still one of the best all round bass resources I’ve seen.

Tommy is the king of the shuffle and what impresses me most is his (and Chris Layton’s) ability to be just behind the beat, giving that lazy/dirty feel, even during extended fills, Pride & Joy being a prime example.

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 The blues scale was the first thing I learned when I started playing at 14 , my bass tutor was a blues player , it’s a great genre, so much feel , a good video I have saved is this one by Scott Whitley 

 

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15 minutes ago, ezbass said:

I’ve saw Roscoe with Robben at the Jazz Café in Camden. I was upstairs in the restaurant part and he was eating his pre gig meal a couple of tables away. If I hasn’t been with Lady Ez, I may well have had to be the total fanboy and bothered him for a chat (I’m glad I didn’t). Roscoe’s CV is obviously far beyond just jazz tinged blues, but that’s where I discovered him in The Blue Line and then with another of my guitar heroes - Eric Johnson. Roscoe’s instructional video is still one of the best all round bass resources I’ve seen.

Tommy is the king of the shuffle and what impresses me most is his (and Chris Layton’s) ability to be just behind the beat, giving that lazy/dirty feel, even during extended fills, Pride & Joy being a prime example.

Ah cheers, didn’t know Roscoe had an instructional video.  That will be interesting to look at. 
 

I think we have similar tastes.  Tommy’s feel is just so on the money!  

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12 minutes ago, Reggaebass said:

 The blues scale was the first thing I learned when I started playing at 14 , my bass tutor was a blues player , it’s a great genre, so much feel , a good video I have saved is this one by Scott Whitley 

 

I love his background on the video and it’s a nice lesson.  
 

I agree that Blues is a great style to use to learn bass. It has a lot of transferable musical ideas and techniques. 

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  • 2 months later...
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On 28/06/2021 at 23:21, gjones said:

Playing behind the beat is a skill you and any drummer you play with need to master.

This a VERY extreme groove but is a great example of this style of playing.

 

Great point!  I always find this is a tricky skill for students to get their heads round initially.

 

I love this groove too. 

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On 28/06/2021 at 23:21, gjones said:

Playing behind the beat is a skill you and any drummer you play with need to master.

This a VERY extreme groove but is a great example of this style of playing.

 

 

Rubbish! A few bottles of Jack and that's dead easy 😉

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I would say most people new to playing blues could probably do with understanding some of the conventions.

 

For a start the 12 bar isn't a rigid structure always to be followed. Cover some of the popular variations in length and chord sequence.

 

Note that many songs will change to a 'more standard' 12 bar for a solo.

 

Understand the difference between major and minor keys, things that rapidly give away the key and how this influences how and what fits.

 

Things to play until you suss the key if jamming...

 

Different turnarounds

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On 07/04/2021 at 10:06, greghagger said:

Ah cheers, didn’t know Roscoe had an instructional video.  That will be interesting to look at. 
 

I think we have similar tastes.  Tommy’s feel is just so on the money!  

I have it actually https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ultimate-Beginner-Series-Blues-Bass-Basics-Beck-Roscoe-Good-Condition-Book-/133775010841?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0

 

irs very playalong in a good way and I notice something new each time I watch - the other musicians are good too 

 

Greg - where can I get the pdf for your bluegrass vid ? The chord chart in particular 

 

Edited by Geek99
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On 14/09/2021 at 21:37, Stub Mandrel said:

I would say most people new to playing blues could probably do with understanding some of the conventions.

 

For a start the 12 bar isn't a rigid structure always to be followed. Cover some of the popular variations in length and chord sequence.

 

Note that many songs will change to a 'more standard' 12 bar for a solo.

 

Understand the difference between major and minor keys, things that rapidly give away the key and how this influences how and what fits.

 

Things to play until you suss the key if jamming...

 

Different turnarounds

 

Cheers @Stub Mandrel I’ve finally made the Blues course now (I called it ‘Walk The Blues’) and I made a bonus Blues Jam Survival Guide to focus on all the extra bits involved in turning up and jamming Blues. 

it was a great help having everyone’s suggestions to make sure I didn’t miss anything important.  Thanks. 

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On 14/09/2021 at 22:28, Geek99 said:

I have it actually https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ultimate-Beginner-Series-Blues-Bass-Basics-Beck-Roscoe-Good-Condition-Book-/133775010841?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0

 

irs very playalong in a good way and I notice something new each time I watch - the other musicians are good too 

 

Greg - where can I get the pdf for your bluegrass vid ? The chord chart in particular 

 


@Geek99
 

Great, just ordered that to have a look. 
 

These are the links to the Bluegrass PDF’s.  All the links to the relevant PDF’s are under the YouTube videos in the description if you need any others. 
 

TAB PDF:
 

https://gregsbassshed.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/PDF's+50+onwards/How+To+Play+Bluegrass+Bass+-+TAB+(Greg's+Bass+Shed).pdf

 

STANDARD NOTATION PDF:

 

https://gregsbassshed.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/PDF's+50+onwards/How+To+Play+Bluegrass+Bass+-+Standard+Notation+(Greg's+Bass+Shed).pdf

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