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Essential Secrets 30: Improve the Groove

31 July 2017

Essential Secrets


Compliments of performance coach/bassist David Motto

DAVID MOTTO

Secret 30:
Improve the Groove

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Adding Spice to Any Song

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Advanced techniques like slapping and tapping, chordal playing, and harmonics are all used by bass soloists today. However, the primary responsibility of bass players is to create bass lines that define the groove and feel of songs. Focusing on groove playing should be part of your practicing every day.

The exact definition of the groove—and deciding just what makes some playing “in the pocket” while other bass lines narrowly miss this elusive and blissful state—is open to debate. However, there are several aspects of your bass technique that will improve any groove you play.

First, make sure that you subdivide all beats in every measure evenly. Whether you’re playing eighth notes, sixteenth notes, or triplets, every note needs to fall exactly in its assigned place in the bar if you want your bass lines to sound right. Keep the spacing between notes even by working with a metronome and counting the subdivisions.

Second, the length of notes radically changes the feel of your bass lines. Playing every note long and connected creates a different sound than playing all the notes short and separated. Experiment with note length and decide which notes need to be long and which need to be short to make your line sound best.

Third, accents play a critical role in determining the groove. Accenting the strong beats (one and three), the backbeats (two and four), or the upbeats (the “and” of beats one, two, three, and four) each gives you a different flavor. Don’t leave these accents to chance. Make sure you can control the volume of each individual note.

Every bass line you learn has a unique feel. Pay attention to note spacing, note length, and accents to make your playing feel right. When you’re in the groove, you’ll give every song you play a boost of energy and excitement.



Books by David Motto:



THE TEN MINUTE BASS VIRTUOSO
THE TEN MINUTE
BASS VIRTUOSO
-EBOOK/PDF-
ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR ELECTRIC BASS -- COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING STUDIES
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET

-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-



IN THE SPOTLIGHT

JIMI HENDRIX: THE COMPLETE SCORES
JIMI HENDRIX:
THE COMPLETE
SCORES
This masterwork contains vocal, guitar, bass and drum parts for 52 songs from four albums in its 1040 pages. Standard notation and TAB. Hardbound in purple velvet, with a slipcase. Magnificent.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

SLAP IT!
SLAP IT!
Also check out the
ONLINE COURSE

Tony Oppenheim's SLAP IT! will give rookies the right start and help pros refine their touch. Audio tracks included.

The ONLINE COURSE is a lifetime subscription that accesses more exercises and lessons. Like Volume 2 of SLAP IT!

EBOOKS

Save time and money (and reduce your carbon footprint!). Order books and transcriptions in easy-to-download PDF form. Read them on a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, and print out pages as you wish.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

ESSENTIAL SIGHTREADING STUDIES FOR BASS, 3 Vol. set
ESSENTIAL
SIGHTREADING
STUDIES FOR BASS
3-VOLUME SET
-EBOOK/PDF VERSION-
These three books from David Motto make up one of the great sightreading resources of all time. Available singly or as a set, in print or ebook form, with accompanying audio.

GETTING STARTED

Just learning your way around the bass? We'll start you right.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

PLAY BASS TODAY
PLAY BASS TODAY
Teach yourself to play bass guitar at your own pace. Includes CD with instruction and backing tracks.

BEGINNING ELECTRIC BASS
BEGINNING
ELECTRIC BASS
Part one of a three-part series, this book introduces music theory, scales and chords. Learn to build cool bass lines.

Click here to see all our Beginners titles.

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