Every bass player will live the moment when he will feel like something is missing from his repertoire. No one knows the real answer behind this drive, but we musicians just want to come up with something new every day. Something that has the chance of provoking synergy of creating a connection between us and something that is more than us.
To put it simply, one can soon find himself bored by playing only major scale arpeggios. Luckily, the bass guitar is one of the most versatile instruments when it comes to creating sounds that are out of the ordinary.
If you find yourself that you are stuck playing only arpeggios of major scales and you are incapable of anything else, it is possible that your academic basis has some deficiencies.
You should learn about what pentatonic and chromatic scales are and you should also learn the theory behind the construction of chords. Step beyond the point when you can only play, for example, a diminished seventh chord if you see the tabs. Learning a little bit of music theory will enable you to come up with your own chords based on the needed information and also come up with improvised idioms.
Slap bass is a technique that is rather common in many musical genres, including funk, Latin and jazz. Slapped notes have a quite percussive feeling when compared to notes played using regular fingering. The reason behind this is the fact that while regular plucking only makes the strings resonate in the air, slapping them makes them hit the body of the guitar, thus creating additional sounds.
In the example below you can see a very basic example of a slap technique that is often used by one of the contemporary virtuosos of bass guitar, Victor Wooten.
Download the .gtp file for the lesson ( Right click and Save As… )
If you do not have GuitarPro yet, download a copy of Guitar Pro instantly here…
It is really hard to explain how harmonics (or flageolets) sound like. Probably the Hungarian expression “glass note” tells a lot about the fundamental character of these notes. Technically speaking, the harmonic of a note is a component frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency.
If you would like to hear astounding examples of how one can make advantage of using harmonics, you should definitely check out some of the works of Jaco Pastorius.
I promised that we would talk about creativity and all of the above things are basically technical tricks. If you are willing to come up with something really creative and you have an acoustic bass guitar you might want to combine your bass guitar skills with your ambitions of a percussionist.
It might not surprise you that the body of your guitar has a whole range of hidden possibilities; you just have to find and hit them – literally. This type of percussions is really worth studying, you might even spare your band from a drummer.
Get bite-sized video lessons covering a range of bass guitar techniques and playing styles at JamPlay. For a few pennies a day, you gain full access to a huge library of professionally recorded lessons. Jamplay is everything that a bass player would need to improve their skills in the shortest possible timeframe. Check them out today!