Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bottom Feeder Improvising Tips To Take Your Bass Playing To New Heights

By Mark Grove

Sometimes your Bass playing gets stale and you don't stray far from the pocket for anything. One of the better utilization's of being a bass player is holding down the rhythm, yet adding your own texture and chording structure.

When you hit the first two beats with a solid pocket bass back beat take the next two and play them differently by combining different note structures inside the chord. This will take some training and practice on the chord and fret structure that takes the beat and sound to a higher level.

This will help create a bolder feel to the music. You can even switch the first beat to the new chord structure as well and assist in being more of a bass virtuoso and challenge your playing ability. Even take your band's playing and stretching it dynamically.

You can play different chord variations by learning from music that has both a higher and lower tempo feel. Blues arrangements like Elmore James Jr's tracks on his recent release(JSP)Daddy Gave me the blues album, with tracks like "Don't get Mad" and "I'll get you" are two examples of playing with intensity--yet taking your blues back beat on the bottom feeder scale to a new level.

You can buy Elmo's album from

You might want to include partial chords on each note you play, there by mixing up the bottom end even more. You'll learn when to include variations on chords and when to stay in the old Bottom Feeder pocket.

Mark Grove

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