Fender Play Live is a weekly live show that brings in a diverse array of artists and experts to dive into Fender gear, teach new techniques and styles, and inspire players of all levels.
While the program typically takes place every Wednesday, this week's edition is a special Saturday broadcast featuring prolific producer and bass player Justin Meldal-Johnsen.
Justin has not only handled bass duties for Beck, Air and Nine Inch Nails, he has also performed on a multitude of albums, as well as many film and television scores. In more recent years, Justin has focused his production talents toward making albums with M83, Paramore, Wolf Alice, Young the Giant, Jimmy Eat World, Tegan and Sara, and many others.
In this edition of Fender Play Live, he'll be joined by Nick Reinhart, a guitar authority known for pushing the boundaries of creativity. The guys will discuss Justin's bass backround, influences and journey towards songwriting and production.
Make sure you tune in, because one lucky viewer will win a new JMJ Road Worn Mustang Bass to one lucky viewer. All you have to do is enter here (must be over 18) and watch the show live. The winner will be randomly selected during the live stream.
To accompany this Fender Play Live, you can follow along with a playlist of bass skill and technique lessons compiled below, all through Fender Play. And if you're not a Fender Play subscriber yet, click here for a free trial.
JMJ Bass Crash Course: Level 1
Bassline Basics: Roots and Fifths
Roots and fifths are commonly used throughout many songs. Any aspiring bassist should have an understanding of the root and fifth concepts because they are compatible with many of the chords played on the guitar and the keyboard, so you can easily accompany other players.
Dexterity Building: The A Natural Minor Scale
Scales help you develop finger strength and dexterity, so you'll want to know how to play them. Not only do they make you more familiar with the fretboard, they also form the foundation of harmony in music.
Grooving with 8th Notes
One of the bass player's main jobs is to hold down a steady rhythm, and understanding an eighth-note groove is a great way to do this. One way to think about eighth notes is to count "1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and," plucking the string on both the number and the "and."
Root Notes: How to Jam With a Guitarist
The relationship between the bass and guitar is very important in any band. One way bass players can support guitaritsts is by by doubling up on the root notes of the guitar chords, which you can learn more about in this video.
Moveable Shapes: The Box Pattern in Rock
The box patern is a great go-to sound to play. It will work well with many chords a guitarist or keyboardist might play. As long as you know where your root notes are, the box pattern will help you create great basslines in many contexts.
Dexterity Building: The G Major Scale
Once you've become comfortable with the A natural minor scale, the G major scale is a good scale to continue building strength in your hands, as it is used across multiple genres of music.
Moveable Patterns: E and A Major Scales
A moveable scale pattern is a way to shift to new keys by moving the shape to different frets and strings. Learn how you can move from the E and A major scales in this course.
Dominant 7th Arpeggios
An arpeggio is the act of playing the notes of a chord individually, and you can use them for basslines, licks, solos or fills. Traditional chords and arpeggios are made up of three notes, but a dominant 7th chord or arpeggio adds another note that allows you play even more interesting basslines.
Movable Patterns: Bb and F Major Scales
Keep moving around the fretbaord with more moveable patterns. This course shows how the concept relates to the Bb and F major scales.
Building Speed With 16th Notes
While they might sound daunting, 16th notes can add more contrast and excitment to your basslines. When you can play a 16th-note bassline, the tracks can sounds like they're galloping along, like "Cherub Rock" by Smashing Pumpkins and "What is Hip" by Tower of Power.
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