Sonny Rollins F Minor Lick from Strode Rode

I have posted a line Sonny played on this tune before, (off of Saxophone Colossus), it was a very juicy lick from the bridge of Strode Rode, and here is another equally juicy lick from the beginning of his solo.

The band drops out and it is just bass and Sonny playing over the chords, and it is basically just F minor, but not natural minor, (with an Eb) but melodic minor, with an E natural.

Here is the lick as Sonny plays it

And here it is written out, first at a slower tempo and then at a faster more Sonny-like tempo.

Slow Speed

bass lick tempo 100 4/4 |Fmin r8 e8 f ab g f e g |f e f c ab f b ab |bb ab g f e f g e |f2 r2

Insanely Fast

bass lick tempo 220 4/4 |Fmin r8 e8 f ab g f e g |f e f c ab f b ab |bb ab g f e f g e |f2 r2

There are a ton of things to learn from this lick:
  1. What chord tones does he use? (hint - all of them)
  2. How does he make those chord tones fall on strong beats?
  3. Why does the lick sound so strong and resolve so well?
  4. What non-chord tones does he use, and where do those get placed?
And this is just two measures of his solo, he goes on and on like this for two full choruses. Gonna post more licks as I decipher them.
Check out how awesome his entire solo is here via YouTube:


Another 30% Off Everything

Yet another sale for the Festivus season has been announced, so go air your grievances, and remember that books are way better than a big steel pole any day. Just use the code "WINTERSAVE305" and get 30% off, so any ebook is only $6.99 and any paperback is only $13.99.


25% ain't enough? How about 30% off everything then.

The folks at Lulu are have further embraced the true spirit of the holidays by doing more shopping promotions. This time it is 30% off anything,  for only the one day though, tomorrows infamous cyber monday.

Use the code "CyberMonday" before midnight tomorrow and get 30% of anything. That is cheeeeeep.

Also stay tuned for more postings on intervals and scale fragments coming soon.

UPDATE - today is the day, 30% off everything, and that is just ridiculous. The triad ebooks are only 6.99,  and no shipping, instant download. Cheeeeeeep! The print books are only 13.99, crazy cheap too.


25% Off All Of It

Happy multi-denominational winter holiday observance!

Yea. It has come to that time of the year where we give each other stuff for all kinds of different reasons.

In honor of this magical time of the year, starting today every book is available for 25% off. Even though some of you, and you know who you are, probably have been very, very naughty.

So, that means the new prices for all the books are:

So even if you are one of those naughty types, you deserve to treat yourself to some bass presents and save some cash for all the other things that made you so naughty in the first place this year. Then you can make all those empty promises about being better next year.

All you have to do is go to lulu.com and use the coupon Code: BUYMYBOOK305 when you check out. The max savings is $50.00 but that amount actually covers every Basso book there is. You can use it for ANY book on lulu.com as well.

So happy winter solstice or whatever tree celebration you pray to or sacrifice this December and thanks for checking out the blog.


A Regularly Scheduled Interval

I have mentioned the completely awesome book called Forward Motion before and if you do not have it in your library and yet you are interested in improvisation at all, well, there is a big gap in your library, that's all I am saying. Its a book that has so much info in it that it will keep you busy for a long time and your girlfriend/boyfriend/xbox/playstation/dog/cat/gopher will feel hurt and neglected.

Here is a very small nugget pulled from one of the ways Mr. Galper talks about how to practice intervals, scales and arpeggios in the book. I am going to show you some examples using the interval of a third and the C Major scale so, buckle up.

Remember from earlier posts, that the word diatonic is just a fancy music school term for "only using notes in that key", thats all. So when I say "diatonic" and C major it just means that we are ONLY going to use the notes from that scale, and thusly, being C major, there will be no sharps or flats, just C D E F G A B C.

Now, if you take C Major notes, and you play a third off each note of the scale respectively, you get something like this:

Ascending Scale in Ascending Diatonic Thirds

bass lick tempo 90 2/4 |Cmaj c8 e Dmin d f |Emin e g Fmaj f a | GMaj g b Amin a c | Bdim b d c4

You probably have played that one, or heard something similar, it is a very common way to get the major scale under your fingers.

But there are always a couple of other ways to play the same set of intervals and when you start combining these different permutations, things start sounding less see-I-know-how-to-play-my-scales-y and more like phrases and licks that you can use during a solo.

Here is another way to get through the major scale in thirds, where instead of going up a third, you descend a third, so the first pair of notes is E down to C:

Ascending Scale in Descending Diatonic Thirds

bass lick tempo 90 2/4 | Cmaj e8 c Dmin f d | Emin g e Fmaj a f | GMaj b g Amin c a | Bdim d b c4

Now you can alternate each group of thirds, with the first group descending:

Ascending Scale - First Third Descending

bass lick tempo 90 2/4 | Cmaj e8 c Dmin d f | Emin g e Fmaj f a | GMaj b g Amin a c | Bdim d b c4

And you can alternate with the second third descending:

Ascending Scale - Second Third Descending

bass lick tempo 90 2/4 | Cmaj c8 e Dmin f d |Emin e g Fmaj a f | GMaj g b Amin c a | Bdim b d c4

Now how to turn these into licks?

Well since all of these notes are within a key, anytime you have a chord that works in C Major, so a C Major 7, or C Major #11, or even a Dmin, or Emin, or G7, or A min, you can use combinations of these same intervals.

Here is how that would work over a C Major chord, it is nothing but a combination of those intervals from above, but the rhythm is now 16ths and the patterns are moved around a little octave-wise.

Third Based Lick

bass lick tempo 120 2/4 | Cmaj e16 c f d g e b g | c a d b c+4

That is just one piddly example, there are a million ways you can do this, for example:
  1. Don't play the thirds in scale order, do them in another order, like go something like C, G, D,A,E,B F, C which is going up in 5ths. So C E, B G, F D, A C etc.
  2. Repeat one or two patterns before going to the next one
  3. Change the rhythm
  4. Mix up other intervals, don't just do it in thirds, do the first one as a third, the next one as a fourth or a sixth and then mix up the directions ascending and descending.

This is another one of those lick-factory ideas where you can get a million different chunks of solos out of stuff like this. As per usual, you have to make this sound like it is not just scalar patterns but is actually a melody of some kind.

Of course, this works with minor scales too, and you can do all the intervals within any kind of scale - thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, and sevenths. Even bigger intervals if you wanted to, especially if you have an extended range bass, like ninths and tenths. Big stretches though.

So there ya go, something to chew on. Go nuts.



I added a poll right over THERE ------------------>

So you can vote on what kind of content you are interested in seeing more of.

Requests honored as well, if possible.

Buy one get 50% off the second @ Lulu

Well, looks like the folks at lulu are trying to get ahead of black friday by offering some promos.

You can get 50% off the second book you order until tomorrow if you use the code below. I guess it supposed to be a big secret or something.

Oh yea, and Santa Claus is really your mom and dad.


All The Minor Pentatonic Scales

Here they are, all 12 of 'em. Well, it is actually the minors and the majors because the second note of any minor pentatonic is a major pentatonic scale. So A minor pentatonic is the same thing as C Major.

These things have a thousand and one uses, so get them all under your fingers. Here they are over two octaves, and starting from each note in the scale. My earlier posting about pentatonic scales will show you why some of the starting notes sound better than others and when you might want to use one over the other.

Having these together means you can solo over anything, maybe it won't be the snazziest solo ever, but you will have some note choices that will never fail and can be used in any style of music.

All 12 Minor Pentatonic Scales


Another Sale at Lulu 20% off everything

You can save 20% off any book in stock at lulu again using the code, "VETERANS".

20% off the Book of Triads ebooks is a great deal since there is no shipping anyway so you can get both books for less than the price of a large pepperoni pizza.

Oh yea, there are other books up there too and the sale is good for anything on the site.

I don't judge, people.


Mr. Big's Billy Sheehan's Rig

Once again the crew at Premier Guitar take us through the set up of people on tour.

This time, it is Mr. Billy Sheehan, and usually Premier Guitar talks to the guitar tech, but in this one it is hosted by Mr. Sheehan himself. Sheehan uses Hartke gear now after using Ampeg for 20+ years.


Joe Frazier - R.I.P

It seems an appropriate tribute to link to Stuart Clayton's excellent transcription of Jeff Berlin's homage to Mr. Frazier.

Stuart has a vast collection of transcriptions and very high quality bass books as well on his sites. Vast. High Quality.

Transcriptions | Stuart Clayton: Download


Name Your Price Music From Janek

To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of his album "The Space Between" Janek Gwizdala is letting you name your price on the entire album as a digital download.

While you could be a terrible person that should probably have something bad happen to them (like developing testicular cancer on just one side) by naming your price as being nothing, zero, as in no dollars, and download the entire album for free, don't do that dick move.

Try and actually cough up some amount, even if it is just a little, to help support a musician that is taking risks and making some really powerful and unique bass music available to us all.

Janek gives a lot to the bass community in the form of videos, clinics, lessons, podcasts and the like, and no matter what level you play on, I am pretty sure you can learn something from him, so check it out.

Farko Plays A Tango

Seattle bad ass bassist Farko Dosumov plays a very cool tango (I know...just watch it) with one his projects. He plays some very cool unison lines and chords to accompany the group and throws down with a great solo.

Farko is also the bass player in Micheal Shreve's group in addition to his own group, The Farko Collective, and many other projects.


Chuck Rainey Had A Stroke

according to a thread on Talkbass, Chuck Rainey suffered a stroke in Texas yesterday and is hospitalized in ICU. I was not able to find any confirming news reports of this however. So, take unconfirmed reports from the internet with a grain of salt, and lets hope it is not true, or as bad as it sounds.

The number of recordings Mr. Rainey has played on is staggering, "Peg" and " Rock Steady" to name just two landmark bass recordings. He has played with Aretha, Steely Dan and too many others to list.

Let's hope this is not serious and he will recover and get back to bass playing soon.

Give your favorite Chuck Rainey tune a spin and send out some good vibes his way.


Don't think repeating yourself is important in music?

Well, take a listen to what a piece of music that has been mathematically developed to have absolutely no repetition at all using a crazy algorithm designed by some guys that used the same idea to make a perfect sonar ping to find submarines. Really.

So remember, people need to hear repetition in order to want to keep listening, otherwise it sort of sounds like crap.

It's okay to play the same phrase.


Interesting Sound Illusion

This is an example of what is called a "Sheppard Tone" probably named after the guy who figured it out, or because he really liked sheep or something. I hope it is the former. Google/Wikipedia it for more info I should probably say.

Did it work for you? It did for me.

Our ears are weird, its easy to fake them out it seems.


Bass Link Blast Halloweens Edition

  1. FreekBass has a new Truefire video series with a generous amount of samples on the YouTube, you can check out the playlist here.
  2. You could have met Esperanza Spalding backstage at her concert in Philly next week. If you had an extra $1,000 to spare. The auction gave all the money to Musicians On Call, so it was for a good cause.
  3. Tim Lefebvre added a bunch of new tunes he has played on to his web sites music player thingy.
  4. John Goldsby posted a play-along for his column in Decembers BassPlayer Magazine.
  5. The original bass guy from Tool is doing a record with a new group
  6. Huh, imagine that, Keith Jarrett  is impossible to be married to. Uncharacteristically, he says some nice things about someone other than himself in this interview and talks about his bass player, ex-Seattleite Gary Peacock. He also proves yet again he is the biggest piano playing a-hole alive today.
  7. A team of Ph.d's anointed a Muse song to have the best bass line of any song ever by using the highly scientific and totally unbiased method called "asking people on the internet to pick something". You can tell what kind of sophisticated music listener voted in this poll by reading the results. "YYZ" came in second. 


Bass Links For Friday and Last Day of 20% Book Sale

Some places to hear new bass music this time.

  1. Meshell has 4 tracks from her new record “Weather” available on via Facebook. You know they are gonna be funky.
  2. Damine Erskine has released a live record of what he calls “weird jazz” of his quartet playing at Portland State (where he teaches). If by weird you mean totally awesome scary grooving bass playing, then yea, its weird.
  3. Janek Gwizdala has a free download of 3 tunes (about 30 minutes) from his live gig last week in L.A. that has Bob Reynolds, Dennis Hamm, and Tom Brechtlein playing on it as well. You just have to re-tweet or like it on Facebook.
  4. Evan Marien's track got featured in the final 50 on Bleep's contest for new music. WARNING - this page is retarded big and has 50 soundcloud embeds in it. But there is a lot of interesting free tunes there.
  5. Ray Reindau's new project Star Monarchy has it's first track up on SoundCloud here.
And today is also the last day you can get 20% off of any and all the Chord Tone and Triad books, hard copy or e-book format. Just use the promo code “Buried” (get it, its a little halloween-y theme thing they did there) and you will save the money on any book you order from Lulu.com.

And if you don't have a Kindle or Ipad, you can still read e-books on any PC with free software so don't feel left out of the flat screen party.


Dream Theater's John Myung's Rig

The geniuses at Premier Guitar put on their thinking caps and said to themselves "What if we had a cute girl showing us famous player's ridiculously expensive musical gear? Do you think dudes would watch that?"

Yes. I think they just might.

Well played Premier Guitar. Well Played.

Here they take that revolutionary formula of girl + gear = hypnotized dudes to a Dream Theatre show and let us look at Berklee Alum/Shredder John Myung's bass rig up close and personal.


20% Off All Books This Week And Ray Likes Melodic Minor

Yup, another coupon code celebrating the magical time of year that is Halloween, or Pedophile Christmas, as the Onion called it today. Ouch. It's a joke, people, relax.

Anyway, if you type in "BURIED" when you check out at Lulu.com, you can save 20% off your order, so that means you could get both the Major and Melodic Minor versions of the Book of Triads for like $16.00-ish. Which is a total deal, and as all the other coupon codes, it is good for anything on the site.

Oh yea, and check out what bassist Ray Riendeau says about the Melodic Minor version of The Book of Triads:
This book is an awesome resource for any musician looking to expand their knowledge and ears to triads of the Melodic Minor scale. It will have you melodically minoring all over your bass!!!!!
Ray Riendeau
James LaBrie, Halford, Star Monarchy
If you are a bass player and are not hip to Ray and his scary chops and funky grooves, you should be.

The first single, "MONARCHY" from Ray's new project Star Monarchy just went live on Itunes.

Ray is the leader of this new project and it features many top players/singers in the world of metal/rock.

On the first track he plays with:

So some pretty familiar names that obviously are going to throw down. Check it out on Ray's Facebook band page, or any of his other web places.


Here is Ray in action doing some demonstration of his monster slap chops and playing at a little gig down in South America where a couple of people showed up, something called "Rock in Rio" or something like that. Oh and by a couple, it turns out that means about 150,000.


Thank you, NoTreble.com

They actually printed this. No kidding. And the scary part is that it is all true. If you don't visit NoTreble.com it is clearly one of the best bass resources on the net, so bookmark that stuff.


Janek Live from L.A. Tonight

Janek is going to stream his show in L.A. tonight for us lucky bass players with an internet connection, two thumbs and some free time this evening.

Here is the stream location, it starts at about 9 PM PST, so check your time zone and tune in.


8 Ways To Play Triads ... in C Melodic Minor This Time

The major version of the triad exercises were such a hit, here are the same 8 exercises except this time in C melodic minor, which has a couple of curve balls in it.

Just a reminder that melodic minor has only one flatted note, the third, Eb. The rest of the notes are the same as C Major. The notes in the scale are:

C D Eb F G A B C

This combination of notes makes for some unique chords like the augmented triad (the one with the plus sign) and more than one diminished chord. That means this scale has a lot of possibilities so work these out and transpose them to other keys or play them in different orders and make up some new combinations of your own. Clicking on each image below will open a larger version for you to download or print.

The Dudes in UB40 Smoked All Their Money

Ahhh yes, the fabulous stability of the record business. I don't have any album covers to read and check, but I bet these guys didn't get any songwriting credits, or didn't write any of the hits.

But how can you be in a band that has a 30 year career, has hits in the UK, Europe, and the US and still end up bankrupt?

"One in Ten" and a lot of their early stuff has some great bass lines on them, btw.

Despite Millions of Record Sales, UB40 Members Are Bankrupt - NYTimes.com


Book of Triads for Kindle Now Available

The Book of Triads has been released on Amazon over the weekend. This means if you have a Kindle you can cram it full of 80 different ways to play the triads in the C Major scale and carry it around with you, or put your Kindle on your music stand and practice anytime you want.

Check it out here if you are in the US- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005VTAU3C

Or here if you are in the UK: In the UK:

It gets delivered just like any other Kindle title right to your device by some form of magic and little scurrying elves or something.

Take a look and write a review if you are a new happy owner of these 80+ pages of triadic information.


Janek Live Right Now at Iridium

UPDATE: If you missed this, the next show at 10 PM EST will also be broadcast live at the same link below. If you have the bandwidth they even do hi-def. The sound is great and Janek gets to solo a lot because it is just a trio. Check out Janek live right now at Iridium in NYC.

IridiumLive - live streaming video powered by Livestream

New Track from Ray Riendeau

If you "like" Ray's new project on Facebook, you can hear the first track on his upcoming record by his new project Star Monarchy. Some heavy hitters from the metal world are part of his new thing, looks like lots of guest artists and different inputs, so should be very interesting.

It is heavy stuff with some serious drum/bass action going on.

Star Monarchy Band Page

Free Music from Jason Ridenhour

Bass player Jason Ridenhour is giving away free music, and today is the last day to grab his album for free. 10 tracks he recorded from July of 2008.

You can say thanks to Jason on his twitter account.

Jason Ridenhour Free Album


Announcing A New E-Book: The Book of Triads, C Major

Here at Basso Ridiculoso Industries we have been hard at work creating a snazzy new bass thing.

So today, with our usual overly dramatic fanfare and pompous ceremony we are announcing a new e-book that has 80 different ways to play the triads that are found in the C Major scale.


Highly Super Awesome Bass Clef Files From Craig Fraedrich

Mr. Fraedrich is a trumpet player, but he has been nice enough to post some educational pdf's that are in bass clef on his site at http://craigfraedrichmusic.com/.

And, holy crap, are these some great files for free. These are not some 1 or 2 pages with some snippets on them kinda files, one of the pdf's is 70 pages and the other one on pentatonics is 135 pages long!

These are very, very good introductory and reference documents for anyone that wants a single document which outlines all the basics of chords, scales, theory, arpeggios, chord tones, and he even goes into how to analyze chord progressions.

This is the good stuff, people, so go grab the pdfs, and some midi play alongs he has to work through the exercise.

Ridiculoso Supremo!


Drug Related? You Don't Say...

Color me not very surprised when a 40 year old is found dead in his hotel room.

Yet again, drugs take out another musician from his bass playing and breathing, this time the guy who played with Wheezer and was on the record that had "Hash Pipe" on it.

Entwhistle, the guy from Slipnot, Mike Starr from Alice in Chains, now this guy..Gee don't drugs sound like a lot of fun?

What, being found 12-hours dead on the floor from an overdose in your Day's Inn motel room by the cleaning lady doesn't sound glamorous and exciting?

 No? It doesn't? Huh. Well, don't be all surprised if that is what happens.


15% Off All Books Today With Special Magic Code

Okay, its not all that magic, it's just a coupon code TANGO305.

If you use that code during checkout you can pick up some awesome bass books, about, oh, I don't know, a whole bunch of ways to play chord tones.

There are other good bass books up there as well, but this is a way to save on some great practice books on chord tones.


Send Some Good Thoughts in Justin Raines Direction

Justin Raines, bass player for Israel and New Breed and a very funky and melodic bass player has some health issues going on right now.

So follow him on Twitter and send him a note and let him know you are a bass player thinking about him. Let's send him some good thoughts, and if any of you have an extra kidney in good working condition you are not doing anything with...well, you should talk to Justin.

Check out Justin in action, and even if gospel ain't your thang, he brings it. C'mon that is some serious bass playing. Gorgeous.

Billy Sheehan at NAMM 2011

Mr. Sheehan canoodling around on his very customized signature bass at the Hartke booth this year. Um, thats a lotta notes! Maximus Velocitus Ridiculus!

Interesting to see his technique up close like this, his three finger thing is kinda Garrison-esque so this idea has certainly been around for quite a while. He has his own take on it of course, and it has made him one of the most recorded bass players around and a regular poll (popularity) winner.

Apparently, Another Amp manufacturer that had many endorsees (such as Mr. Sheehan) alienated all their players by not really paying attention to or listening to them, and so pretty much en masse most of those endorsees left that Other Amp Co. and are now split between one of two companies it seems - Hartke (wooten, hamm, bailey, sheehan) or TC Electronic (gwizdala, JPJ, Nathan East, plus scads of others) and a few others on Mark Bass ( berlin ). Sheehan was a long time endorser of That Other Co, so this was him showing off his new rig in public.


Triads with Octaves This Time: 8 Ways To Play Them

Well the triad postings have been such a hit, here is yet another take on them. This one adds one more note, the octave, so it has a total of four notes - root, third, fifth, then the octave.

Basso Ridiculoso on Amazon.com

So, you can buy the first book in the Book of Chord Tones (Major chords) series on Amazon.com now. And when they finally take their sweet time about it, the other two will be up there as well.

Lots of folks have discounts on shipping and other benefits at Amazon so now you can use those if you want to get some some bass books. Or write a review. Or ask a question or whatever.

Amazon.com: Basso Ridiculoso: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle


"Love Foolosophy" From Rock In Rio 2011

A mellower version of their hit, until the bass kicks in and they pick it up.

JK doesn't do many gigs lately so its great to see the full band (and feathered headdress) doing a bunch of the Jamiroquai hits which always have great basslines.

Here are some additional links to the rest of their set as it was broadcast live on YouTube last week.
  1. Rock Dust Ligth Star (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_06Scwq-Jk)
  2. Main Vein (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJPb9JxFIys)
  3. Cosmic Girl (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmctwtoXPhQ)
  4. High Times (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NALds_sWuM)
  5. Little L (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej3RDKnNDtQ)
  6. Canned Heat (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMqiYH9fG_k)
  7. Love Foolosophy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLG6aIIfgQI)
  8. Travelling (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXlj4XkYz3Y)
  9. Deeper Underground (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ahd1oSW-yA)
  10. White Knuckle Ride (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV6IT1jqf74) (less info)
Many thanks to YouTuber 17McKagan for uploading these.


8 Ways to Play Triads: In E Major This Time

Well, you mooks sure like you some free bass junk. Geez.

That post with the C Major triads got all kinds of hits.

The crafty ones amongst you may have already transposed the exercise in C Major to other bass friendly keys like E and A and G, but for those who are transpositionaly impaired, well, here are the same 8 exercises in E Major instead of C Major.

Same deal, figure out some cool fingerings and practice them slow.

And you mooks are on your own for any other keys you want to do these in.


Bass Link Blast - Semi-occasional version 2.13r4v17

  1. Meshell Ndegeocello is giving us all a free track from her new album. She is one fonky melinated womans as Ms. Badu might say, and a seriously sick bass player, so I am sure it is groovy. Pick it up here or from her facebook page.
  2. Joe Hubbard has an article about ear training as he learned it from Charlie Banacos, a guy who was the Yoda for improvised music and taught Joe, Jeff Berlin, Mike Stern, Alain Caron and thousands of others. Good stuff indeed.
  3. I found some old podcasts that Christian McBride did back in 2006. In this one he talks about the role of the bass, a topic the man knows a great deal about. Listen up!
  4. Miles Davis died twenty years ago this week, and here a UK magazine talks about his last couple of projects which included Prince and some rappers.
  5. Shockingly, the Pat Metheny and Larry Grenadier duet gigs are freakin' amazing. Um, duh.


Sonny Rollins on Tavis Smiley

Sonny Rollins is one of the last originals from the bebop era still with us, so check out his talk with Tavis Smiley from last week.

Sonny has seen it all, met them all (and played with them), and played it all during the last 50 years and along the way he has personally created several jazz recordings that are considered historic and landmarks in the music.

Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins | Tavis Smiley | PBS


Happy Birthday Coltrane

He would be have been 85 today.

Here is an interview he did when he was in Sweden in 1960, touring with Miles Davis and the "Kind of Blue" band, but without Cannonball for some reason. They had Sonny Stitt instead.

It is kinda rare to hear him not playing and just talking, so it is interesting to hear his voice. Sounds like a laid back cat.


8 More Ways To Play All The Triads In C Major

I have been goofing around (well all I do is goof around really) with a new project and here is a sneak peek of what it is going to look like. More triads. Lots and lots and lots of triads.

Here are just 8 of the many many ( trust me.....there are many ) ways to play the triads that occur in the key of C Major. The fancy music word for that is "diatonic" which just means, "only using the notes in that key".


Jaco Books for Cheap

Lulu has all 4 of the Jaco transcription books, plus the play-along book up on their site, and all of them are about 30% off the list price, plus if you use that oktoberfest coupon thingy from the other day, you can save an additional 15%, so you can pull in a big ol' haul of Jaco transcription books really cheap. There is gold in them books!

Jaco Transcription Books at Lulu.com

Branford Hates Jazz

Branford Marsalis is like the Jeff Berlin of saxophone, they both follow the same adage "I don't care what people are saying as long as they are talking about me".

They both seem to say stupid stuff on purpose just because it will get people all discombobulated and they can appear to be shockingly controversial.

So now Branford thinks jazz sucks too, which is apparently what all the cool cats think these days - Rosenwinkel, Metheny, and now Branford. Okay, they all think most jazz sucks, not all jazz. He said this stuff this week while playing in Seattle during an interview the local free weekly.

Branford Marsalis: The Problem With Jazz - Page 1 - Music - Seattle - Seattle Weekly

The Darkest Day in Bass - Jaco R.I.P

Today, in 1987 Jaco Pastorious died. Or was killed depending on how you feel about what went down.
I can't even imagine how many times I listened to his first album, or "Heavy Weather". 10,000 times? Quite possibly.

If you put on "Broadway Blues" or "Port of Entry" or "Havona" and don't go "Holy Good Lord!!!" then you should maybe play clarinet. Or make pottery or something.

For my money, he is it, there still isn't anyone who has the tone, the taste, the feel, the groove, the compositional skills, the inventiveness and just the raw musicality that he had on the electric bass. 

Comparing bass players is generally a stupid undertaking, but Jaco is in a class all by himself. 

Pop in "Heavy Weather" or "Bright Sized Life" or his first record today and let him know you are thinking of him. He is probably busting out his favorite "Third Stone From The Sun" lick with Mr. Hendrix himself right now. I am sure they both have an every-night gig up in the same place forever.

NPR on Jaco

Miami Newspaper on Jaco's Death

NY Times Obit

Rick Sucow's Jaco Page


15% off "The Book of Chord Tones" Series This Week

All you have to do is enter the promo code OKTOBERFEST305 when you check out. All three volumes are available, Major, Dominant and Minor 7 chords.

And there are plenty of other bass books up there as well, some are really cheap, some are older, some are obscure and they seem cover the range of experience, from rank beginner to more complex. Plus the coupon code is good for any book you buy on Lulu.com until the 23rd at midnight. Of course, I have some pretty strong opinions about which ones you should buy.

Bass Player - Slap Masters Supplement

John Goldsby posted this today on twitter - Bass Player has another electronic version available discussing the funk and slap bass playing. Vielen Dank, Herr Goldsby!

Articles about Marcus, Les Claypool, Larry Graham, and of course Mr. Wooten.

Looks like you can learn how to play Brick House if you didn't already know how.

Bass Player - Slap Masters Supplement


Bass Link Blast number oh, 3 or 4 I think...

  1. BassLinepublishing.com has released a book of transcriptions from Zander Zon, the guy who made solo bass famous on YouTube. If you are into some very musical solo bass you might dig it. He tunes his bass like a cello, and up an octave too I think. But it sure sounds pretty.
  2. If you are in North America, it is Damian Erskine's birthday today, so tweet, email, fb wall, or just call him up and say Happy B-day. I think he turns 14 today. Or 43. It's hard to tell.
  3. Christian McBride is going to release an album of just duets in November, "Conversations With Christian" will be released on Mack Avenue Records. "Conversations..." is a CD of 13 duets with some of Christian's closest friends and collaborators - Sting, Angelique Kidjo, Chick Corea, George Duke, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eddie Palmieri, Roy Hargrove, Regina Carter, Russell Malone, Gina Gershon, Ron Blake, the late Dr. Billy Taylor, and the late Hank Jones. If you like singing and bass, but hate all the other instruments clogging things up, you will probably like this record. Christian is a double-threat electric/upright player, so I am sure he will sneak in a little electric bass playing somewhere on the record.
  4. Here are couple of interviews with two of the A-team for bass, Bob Cranshaw ( Sonny Rollins) and Ron Carter (Miles Davis and 10000 others). Both are from a radio show out of Arizona I think.  Bob talks about the business of recording and how it was just that sometimes. Cranshaw is one of the only guys to play electric in a somewhat straight ahead jazz setting with Sonny Rollins so check him out if you can. And Ron Carter, what can you say? He gets called "the most recorded bassist in history" a lot, and I am sure not going to argue with that.
Bob Cranshaw Interview: 

Ron Carter Interview:


Billy Joel Studied With Lennie Tristano??



Lennie Tristano's playing is about as far away from Billy Joel's as one can possibly imagine, but apparently, Mr. Joel spent sometime studying with Tristano, or so Billy says during the Judy Carmichael's Jazz Inspired radio show at the link below.


Billy Joel

Happy Birthday, Cannonball

What can you say, he was one of the best ever. Born today.

The transcription of the bass line on his version of Autumn Leaves is the most popular page on the site by a factor of 3 over the next most popular page.

Listen to some Cannonball today and say thanks.


All 24 Examples from Book Of Chord Tones for C Major 7 Uploaded

So, all 24 examples from "The Book of Chord Tones" for major chords are now up on Soundcloud.

These sound files play each of the 24 ways the notes of a major 7 chord can be arranged. The book contains these exercises (in notation and tablature) for each pattern in all 12 keys, but these sound samples are just for C Major so you can get an idea of what the exercises sound like.

Each book has a total of 288 exercises (24 x 12 keys). Other volumes do the same patterns for all keys, but use the notes for dominant and minor 7 chords. Take a listen and git yer arpeggios on!
  • Exercises 1 - 6 start on the Root ( C )
  • Exercises 7 - 12 start on the 3rd ( E )
  • Exercises 12 - 18 start on the 5th ( G )
  • Exercises 19 - 24 start on the 7th ( B )

Book of Chord Tones - Major Chord Exercise Examples by Basso Ridiculoso

Tim Lefebvre Gets Uprighty and Funky

Lots more at the soundcloud page for his new project here:


Roncarter 1 by Lefebvre Corporation

Scott Devine's new Lessons

Scott Devine has some more free lessons, this time about ii-v licks.

There are a ton of articles up in here about ii-v's both in terms of soloing and walking lines, and in his Scott breaks down some solo phrases and talks about how they are created. Jolly good and ridiculoso, I say! Check 'em out.


Three Volumes of The Book of Chord Tones - Major, Dominant & Minor

Next week, all three books of The Book of Chord Tone series will be ready for all your grubby little bass playing fingers. These books cover all the 24 possible variations for the four notes in each of the chord types (major, minor, dominant), over two octaves and with brain damaging tab included.

Also, piasan de Basso, and molto ridiculoso bassist Damian Erskine has decided (very likely against the advice of his agent, his attorney and his doctor) to allow his thoughts to be recorded about this series after he viewed the books himself. And I quote
"The Book of Chord Tones has assembled what I believe to be a terrific resource and a wonderful way in which to explore chord tones. Working through these exercises opens up your mind and ears to what you can do "inside" of a chord while soloing (or just expanding your vocabulary with regard to bass lines). If we take these basic exercises and begin to expand the harmony to include tensions and alternate chord types, one truly has opened a Pandora's box with regard to playing inside any changes. It's this kind of practice which leads to fretboard mastery"
Damian Erskine
Peter Erskine Trio, Teri-Lynn Carrington, Gino Vannelli, Jeff Lorber, Tony Furtado, Solo Artist, adjunct professor Portland State & Marylhurst University, Columnist, Author 

You know that is going to come back and haunt him at some point, but for now, get a copy before he wises up and sends me a cease and desist letter on scary legal looking letterhead. Eh, like I haven't ever got one of those before.....

In the meantime, if you want to get your head wrapped all the various chord tones, from fret zero all the way up to fret 22, check out the link below where you can see the first few pages of each book. They all follow a similar format except the kind of chords they outline changes.

And if you do pick up a copy, please let me know what you think via email or leave a comment here.


BOCT Major Thumb.jpeg BOCT Dominant Thumb.jpegBOCT Minor Thumb.jpeg


Janek Does Yet Another Free Lesson - Triad Pairs

Janek Gwizdala is offering a free lesson on Triad Pairs for the next 24hrs on his videobasslessons.tv site.

Geez, even getting married over the weekend doesn't slow this guy down. 

I have written about triad pairs before also, so go check out how Janek uses them I am sure there is going to be a lot of good stuff in there on picking which ones to use over what chords and how to make really cool lines with them. 

More Free Blank Music Paper

This guy put together a pretty awesome blank music sheet generator. It does bass clef of course, and bass tab (gross) but it will also do string trio's, grand staff, choir, and even a whole dang orchestra. He probably has something for a euphonium octet even. There are a lot, that is what I am saying.

He used the same killer, FREE, music notation program I used for most of the pdf examples up here and what the Book of Chord Tone books were written with. If you are looking for a completely capable notation program for zero florins, ducats or dollars, check out Lilypond.

If you just want free stuff off the internet for the minimal amount of effort, well check out this guys page and download all the PDF blank sheet music your hard drive can store.


Mike Starr's Alice In Chains Ampeg Amp Heads

Yea, well, he certainly isn't going to have much use for them anymore....

Mike Starr's Alice In Chains Ampeg Amp Heads

Bass Whisperer Update

Looks like the era of Bass Whisperer TV, aka Ed Friedland's very thorough video reviews of basses, amps, pedals, and other bass goodies has come to an end.

The good news is that Ed will be writing 3 articles per month for Bass Player Magazine going forward, a blues article, a gear review and a gear overview. This is good news.

Ed is one of the most published and well known names in bass education, I don't even know how many books and videos he has put out on bass playing but it has got to be close to 20 at least, and they are all very high quality material. So it's good to see he is going to be putting that content into Bass Player Magazine now going forward.

All the best, Ed!


NPR gives The Electric Bass some Love

I think someone at NPR is a bass player because they sure cover a lot of cool bass stuff.

Here they run down some of the most famous electric players that have played "jazz", an admittedly broad definition.

Popping And Bopping: The Electric Bass In Jazz : A Blog Supreme : NPR


15% off until tomorrow on The Book of Chord Tones - Major 7 Chords

So you can save 15% not just on the book, but ANY book on their site if you use a promo code. There are other music books up there, quite a few that look very interesting.

Use coupon code SEPTSAVE305 at checkout and receive 15% off The Book of Chord Tones - Major 7 Chords or any other available title on Lulu.com.

The fine print (not mine, theirs) - Maximum savings with this promotion is $100. You can only use the code once per account, and you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer ends on September 2, 2011 at 11:59 PM.

The Book of Chord Tones - Major 7 Chords by Basso Ridiculoso in Arts & Photography

The Dwayne Burno Interview Part 1

Oh momma, you think your humble narrator might have some opinions about things musical and such?

Well, buckle up for an earfull of Dwayne Burno, bass player and set-your-jive-ass-straight-er.

In my (very very) limited exposure to guys that can play at this level, I have seen more than one of them with attitudes like this, and I can't say that I blame them. They have very little tolerance for wankery and bull-shyte and if you try any such nonsense in front of them, well, you are gonna hear about it and right quick in some rather, uh, direct language. You best come correct.

There is a lot of good stuff in what he says, and he gives a lot of examples for why he thinks about things the way he does, and as he relates his career, you can see just how good you have to be to hang with guys that have been improvising and playing tunes for 30 or 40 years. It is amazing how much those guys know.

jazztruth: The Dwayne Burno Interview Part 1


More info about "The Book of Chord Tones"

Here are few pages from the Book itself.

If you have played around with the Transmogrifier, some of these may look familiar.

Also here are what the first 12 of the exercise sound like in C Major -

You can download them as well to get an idea of how they sound. The first 6 start on the root, (C) and then next six start on the third (E). The remaining patterns start on the fifth and the seventh.


Jeff Berlin Tour with new band - Scott Henderson and Mike Clark

Dang. Mike Clark is one of my mostest favoritest drummers ever.

Looks like there is only dates on the east coast for now, hopefully they make it out to the west coast.

Jazz-Fusion All-Star Trio Scott Henderson Jeff Berlin Mike Clark To Tour The US

Announcing: The Book of Chord Tones, Book 1, Major Chords

Well, "someone" got the bright idea to collect a bunch of patterns, (well, all the patterns actually) that are possible for arranging the notes of major 7 chords and to put them all on paper and in a book.

For bass, no less. Clearly, "someone" has way too much time on their hands.

And so, for your perusal and harmonic edification I give you the first installment in The Book Of Chord Tones - Book 1, Major Seven Chords.


2nd Bass Link Blast 'o The Week

  1. Eddie Gomez gets interviewed on NPR. He played with Bill Evans, Micheal Brecker, and just about all the jazz heavies for the last 30 years, so check it out.
  2. The Roots get a new bass player. That has got to be a fat gig, plus being on TV and all that. The new cat, Mark Kelly certainly seems more than qualified. Check out some videos from his days at Berklee at the link.
  3. Adam Neely, aka Havic5 is doing what can only be described as a dope-ass breakdown of how to do chords on bass, what voicings sound good and why, inversions and arrangement tips. Collect the whole set and check it out. Molto Ridiculoso!
  4. Believe the hype. Esperanza Spalding live at Small's in NYC, pre-grammy.


Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Live at Greenfield Lake Amp on 2011-08-14

Aka - Victor Wooten live from last week. Check out what he is doing on this tour if you haven't seen them live. A couple of tasty bass nuggets in there for sure. Victor et al do allow taping, so if you need a fix of some live music, the Internet Archive has hours and hours of their shows for free download.

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Live at Greenfield Lake Amp on 2011-08-14


Bass Link Blast

  1. Duff McKagan (ex-G'n'R, Velvet Revolver) is really rich. So rich he will now help other rich people figure out what to do with their money.

  2. The bass player from AC/DC wrote a book about what it was like touring with AC/DC in the 70's and 80's. Probably talks about all the bible verses they memorized during their prayer meetings and all the soup kitchens they volunteered at while on the road. Either that, or how they went through about 30lbs of cocaine each on the average Wednesday night bus ride to the next show.

  3. Free Victor Wooten track here, all it costs is your email address.

  4. Bryan Beller is in a new band and he has a free MP3 he is giving away also, for the same cost - your email. It's rocky-funky-not-in-4-improv-nerd-metal. Marco Minneman on drums, so watch out.