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A Bass Lesson from J.S. Bach


The music of J.S. Bach is a great resource for us bassists. For years, electric bass players have used Bach cello suites as chop busting etudes to gain better facility of their instrument and improve reading skills. In the early 80’s, Jaco Pastorius blew our minds with his interpretation of the organ piece Chromatic Fantasy on Fender bass.

Ghost In The Machine


My favorite medium for listening to music is still the compact disc and, one of my favorite things to do is hunt for music in used CD stores. Ms. B’s Used Books and CD’s in Hendersonville, TN is one of the stores I’ve enjoyed going to for years. It’s in a small old house on Main Street and Ms. B herself is always there when I stop by. I’m a believer in supporting small businesses – the proverbial Mom & Pop’s – and consider Ms. B’s to be such an important part of the community. So, I like to go in from time to time with some money to spend on something whether I need it or not. The cool thing about Ms. B’s is, even though it’s small, I’ve found some great (and sometimes rare) stuff there on CD and vinyl – and cheap!

Using Open Strings For A Funkier Bass Solo


1969 Fender Jazz

We bassists have a handy device at our disposal with the “open string”. Incorporating unfretted notes in our bass lines and solos can create interesting passing tones, give a phrase more rhythmic interest, and provide the ability to make long interval jumps from one end of the fretboard to the other.


Mr. Evans


Mr. Evans

My latest tune titled Mr. Evans is a tribute to one of the greatest and most influential pianists and jazz musicians of all time. Most people who are familiar with Bill Evans became aware of him through the 1959 Miles Davis album Kind of Blue – which remains the biggest selling jazz album to this day.

Dealing with the Roles of Artist vs. Technician


Art Vs. Money

I love music and have been a musician for a long time – 38 years. I consider myself to be a creative individual. Music is one of the most expressive forms of art. I have a strong attraction to that and possess the heart of an artist. That’s how I am wired – an introverted artist.

I use music as a form of artistic expression in different ways: mostly through composing, arranging, recording, and improvising. I can express myself better performing music that is more harmonically and rhythmically interesting. These are the musical activities that satisfy me the most.

Pausing to Learn



For the past three years, I went through a season of pursuing bookings as a band leader. The musical formula has been to play my original tunes and arrangements of jazz/funk classics mixed with vocal cover songs. The purpose of the latter is to increase performance opportunities by making the band a little more “commercial”. It’s a great formula that has worked pretty well.

Bass Lessons & Twitter


I want to announce that I completed a year of the Lesson of the Month on this blog in December with the Stanley Clarke installment. Thank you for your positive feedback on the lessons! They will remain available for everyone.

4 Classic Stanley Clarke RTF Bass Lines



Welcome to the final lesson for 2015! This month I want to highlight one of my all-time favorite bass players - Stanley Clarke. Stanley’s work and contribution to bass and music over the past 40 plus years is vast and, for this lesson, I’ve selected four funk lines from Stanley’s 1970’s tenure with the band Return To Forever.

Lesson: Bebop Jazz Patterns Pt. 2











Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed the bebop patterns from last month. Let’s continue with a few more licks from David Baker’s Bebop Jazz Solos book.

Lesson: Bebop Jazz Patterns Pt. 1











I’ve always loved music books. At the age of 13, a family friend gave me a Mel Bay bass method book that kick-started my bass playing career and love of printed music.

One book in my library is Bebop Jazz Solos by David Baker. (You can purchase your copy for only $5.95 at but I’m not finding it in bass clef anymore.) I had the good fortune of being in one of Mr. Baker’s jazz improv classes at a Jamey Aebersold camp about 30 years ago – an experience I am still grateful for.

Bebop Jazz Solos is chock full of excellent patterns and motifs that will greatly expand your jazz improv vocabulary. I lifted a few from the first etude to share with you.

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