Free Online Bass Lesson Samples

This is an example of a possibility for a bebop-style bass solo line over an F7 chord. The line is based on chord tones being approached by a mixture of chromatic approach notes and scale tones. Note how most downbeats are chord tones. This makes the line sound very "inside".

sample bass line

Speed Training

  1. Establish Maximum Continuous Playing Tempo (MCPT) using, for example, one or two triplet sets (3 or 6 notes) or four sixteenths (4 notes) per metronome beat.
  2. Increase the metronome tempo by three notches above your MCPT and play the phrase once every 2nd beat, resting on the starting note of every other beat.
  3. Exaggerate the difficulty by skipping a string or two, or avoiding note repeats.
  4. Go back to step 2) and increase the tempo by a further two notches.
  5. Play the phrase twice, i.e. for two beats, then rest for two beats.
  6. Decrease the metronome tempo to two notches above the original MCPT and play the phrase continously. This is now the new MCPT.

Groove Creation

Often bass players are required to come up with a groove - instantaneously, now! Inexperienced players often have no idea where to begin and therefore stumble or freeze. Here are some tips to guide you beyond that first moment of panic. The following steps will initially develop slowly. However, with practise and increased awareness of the elements, grooves will start to come quickly and intuitively. (Intuition can be defined as a quick sub-conscious decision-making process based on our relevant prior experiences and current observations.)

  1. Sing or hum a phrase of a tune or bass line you know very well - IMITATION.
  2. Hum only the rhythm of that phrase or line on one pitch/note - SIMPLIFICATION.
  3. Choose a different group of notes (try using only a few notes) and put them in some kind of order - ALTERATION.
  4. Play those notes in the chosen order using the rhythm of the reference phrase/line - APPLICATION.
  5. If this does not sound satisfactory, change a note and/or rhythm until it works - MUTATION.
  6. You should still be able to relate to the reference phrase/line - ASSOCIATION.
  7. Now play the new phrase until it grooves, i.e. has consistency - GROOVE CREATION.

Former Students of Note

  • Greg Royal, Australia, ABC TV O'Loglin on Saturday Night band, Kate Ceberano (Pop/Jazz), Lee Kernaghan (Country).
  • Brendan Clarke, Australia (Winner of the 2001 National Jazz Award) The Enormous Horns ( R 'n' B, Soul, Jazz) Bobby Gebert Trio (Jazz).
  • Kim Khahn, London, England (Pop, Sporty Spice Mel C, Natalia Imbruglia, Robbie Williams).
  • Kevin Hailey, Canada (Jazz).
  • James Sofo, Paris, France (Folk, World Music, Jazz).
  • Rory Quirk, Australia, USA (John Butler Trio)

All of these players have recorded CDs in various genres.

Student Testimonials

"I enjoy being able to do the lessons at my own pace and don't feel under pressure. Most importantly, I have the ability to replay the lessons. Also, I have the benefit of learning from a highly experienced and credentialled player at an affordable rate."

Steve Bain, Canberra, Australia.

"You never cease to amaze me by how much you can offer a learning bass player like me. Thanks, you are a great teacher."

Mark Ellis, Sydney, Australia.

"I love the format."

John Westcott, Mount Isa, Australia.

"Thank you for your ready help."

Werner Wegener, Germany.

"You seem to have the knack of hitting my playing where I need it most."

Rod Kingston, Tamworth, Australia.

"If it wasn't for your instruction for three years, I highly doubt I'd have any of the tools I have at my disposal today. The other members of the band (all older than myself) are surprised that someone of my age (18) was so competent at playing in such a band setting with very little time spent with the band. All that jazz training sure is really useful."

Stuart Mitchell, Canberra, Australia