A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Archive for August, 2015

Bass Tone Rows with Mike Overly

So last week I posted up Scott Devine’s Groove Grid Concept video. It shows how to take a bar of music, count out beats and assign notes to some of them to quickly create repeating patterns and easily write bass grooves.

The idea is similar to videos from Anthony Wellington and Scott Whitley that I saw before Scott’s. After I posted, Mike Overly of 12tonemusic shared a great video on the Bass Blogs Facebook group that illustrates his idea of Bass Tone Rows, which are essentially the same concept.

As I mentioned to Mike, his is the perfect companion to Scott Devine’s video. It showcases tons of basslines that fit right into the grid. Give the above videos the once-over if you haven’t seen them yet, and then watch Mike work his magic. He runs through a bunch of great basslines that can be mapped out using the groove grid.

Bass Tone Rows with Mike Overly

After watching this, I realized how great the concept is for practicing certain music theory concepts. For example, if you’re working on arpeggios or chords, its a great idea to map out some simple patterns via the groove grid and then pick notes from whatever you’re practicing to play over the pattern. The pattern tells you what beat to play each note on, and then you just play that note to whatever duration sounds good.


Site Updates 3

Escalation_I’ve added a new page to the menu at the top of the blog called Bass Blogs on FB. It links to the blogs that are part of the bass & music Facebook group that I’m part of. Check out the group, if you’re on FB and also go visit the blogs themselves. Most are already either on my bass blogroll or music blogroll, but this one has pictures. Ooh, shiny!

Scott Devine – The Groove Grid Concept

Here’s a great video lesson from Scott Devine which should help beginners learn about developing basslines. It gives advice and a method to demystify the process. He acknowledges the difficulty in coming up with exercises geared towards this, and as a beginner, I can corroborate that most of what I’ve seen are speed & technique exercises and then scale & chord exercises.

Scott’s Bass Lessons: The Groove Grid Concept – A “Must Know” for Every Bassist

A few other people, like Anthony Wellington and Scott Whitley have published similar videos, but by and large, its not something I come across frequently.

Right off the bat, he says that the skills which need to be learned include finding or creating a groove, getting a great feel for time (internal time) and then actual knowledge of how to create bass lines & fills.


Personality Studies Show the Difference Between People Who Play Music and Everyone Else

theory-of-personalityHere’s a fascinating article dealing with findings about musicians’ brains. It deals with personality traits, aptitudes, creativity and a lot more. There are comparisons with the general populace and with other types of artists and musicians – especially with visual artists. Links throughout the article provide a lot of additional supporting info.

Apparently, musicians – especially instrumental musicians – are more open, conscientious and agreeable than non-musicians. I mostly agree with that (is that being agreeable?!). Regarding music and expression in general, when reading various music forums and even listening to people when I’m outside or at shows, I notice that those who don’t play instruments tend to vocalize more critical opinions about what they’re hearing than those who do play one. Instrumentalists tend to observe more, and their criticisms are generally in comparison to their own experiences. I often wonder if they’re imagining themselves playing along with what they’re hearing, which is something I do all the time. I unconsciously tap out rhythms and keep time whenever I’m listening to something.

Anyway – give the article a look. The concept of “bold introvert” is new to me, much like the ambivert was, from something else I was reading.

BASS BLOGS group on Facebook


Earlier this week, I joined a few people who blog about bass and music in the formation of a Facebook group called Bass Blogs. The group serves to publicize posts from their sites for easy distribution to interested readers. If you follow my ugly blog and have a FB account, join them and check out all of the other great sites they link to. There’s an impressive body of work distributed throughout the collected blogs, and its only going to get better as more people contribute.

If YOU write a bass or music-focused blog, drop in and post about your blog there as well.

Strange Bass Gallery 7

Welcome to my garden of unearthly delights…


You know that can’t be the only warped apple to fall from the tree:


Gene loves Lemmy

This is just a brief update since I’ve been AWOL a lot since June.

Its been around 2 1/2 months since I last practiced, I think. Its really bothering me. I think it’ll pass in the next few weeks though. I’m almost ready to start the tech support company that I’ve been working on. This coming Sunday is the 3-year anniversary of when my boss passed from melanoma. Two weeks after that is the baby’s 3rd birthday. So, sometime in the next 2 weeks, I’m going to register a business and go for it. Its a fitting month for both beginnings and endings.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to complete the CompTIA certifications at the end of the month, but I’m still going to get it done this year – my aim is around October. There’s just too much to do and my head can only handle so much before I lose focus and quality – its a lot like practicing bass, I think, except that my threshold and enthusiasm is higher for that.

So, this AM, the wife messaged me to tell me how much she digs Motorhead. Somewhere along the line, I turned her stomach with the thought of what it would look like to have Gene Simmons from KISS snake his tongue around Lemmy‘s infamous facial appendages. That may or may not count as bass porn. While on hold during a client call, I smashed together a Valentine of the two. Someday, Gene will see it and sue me for it.. Lemmy won’t care because he doesn’t want to live forever.

Lemmy & Gene

Anyway, I hope the rest of you have been practicing, gigging and making progress while I’ve been sidelined. I’ve read some bass-related stuff on FB that I need to make time and post up. I also have like 100 strange bass pics to post up. I’ll try and push one out tomorrow, since I generally hold those for Fridays.

Oh, and we’re gonna get those drums for the baby at the end of the month.