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Alex Scott is a professional freelance bassist, drummer and recording engineer based out of Denver, CO. He has had the honor of sharing the stage with such artists as John Popper (Blues Traveler), Stanton Moore, Robert Randolph, DJ Logic, and many others. As a producer and engineer, he has 12 albums to his credit, as well as work in television and online content creation. He tours nationally with Fox Street, 40 Oz to Freedom, and performs and records all around Colorado wi... (more)
Alex currently offers 134 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 134 intermediate lessons.
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Are you brand-new to bass guitar? Then this is the course for you! Join veteran touring and session bassist Alex Scott as we learn about the basics of bass. We start from the absolute beginning - covering how to hold and tune a bass guitar, as well as reading simple tablature and musical terms. From there, we cover playing easy beginner basslines in 4 different styles - country, rock, blues, and funk. By the end of the course, you’ll be ready to start your journey on the bass!
One of the most critical skills of any musician is to keep good, solid time - especially bass players. But it doesn’t just end with a metronome. In this in-depth course, we take you through the many faces and facets of groove.
Alex kicks off the series with a methodical approach to getting in the groove. We will practice simple patterns with a metronome, beginning at uncomfortably slow tempos and increasing gradually. We connect this critical exercise to the idea of natural time and playing perfectly on the beat, and lay the groundwork for the idea of ‘feel’.
Building from lesson 1, we take the patterns learned and play over a straight-on-the-beat pop groove. We translate the metronome into programmed drums, and get a bearing on the ‘feel’ of rigidly playing exactly on the beat.
We move from on the beat to the back end - where the funk lives. We play over a hip-hop track with a relaxed pocket, and notice the difference that it makes from the previous example. We focus on playing the groove right with the drums for a relaxed, behind-the-groove vibe.
In this lesson, we switch sides for a taste of the front of the beat. We riff over a hard-rock influenced track, noticing how we’ve moved the feel from relaxed to up-front and angsty.
We discuss how songs can utilize mixed feels and tempos to create dramatic results. We learn a modern rock track that moves from slow and relaxed, to fast and rushed, and back again. This demonstrates the truly epic effect that feel and tempo has on music.
In this lesson, we dig deeper into a rock feel over a Hendrix-inspired track. We are going to work on locking with the drummer and learn some fun bass riffs.
Leaning back on the beat is the name of the game for this lesson. We play a groovy, laid-back funk track and focus on kick drum and bass interplay.
In this lesson, we play some rippin’ bluegrass and learn about the idea of double-time. The backing track illustrates how fast tempos can be played with a relaxed feel.
A whole new aspect of groove comes into play when we learn about the idea of ostinatos - a fancy name for repeating rhythmic motifs. The ‘drop 2’ feel of reggae lends to interesting new bass line ideas.
We round the course out with a deep, funky jazz/electronica track. This serves to exemplify the power and importance of feel. We recap all of the ideas we’ve discussed so far, and end with a conversation about the broad applications of feel as a bass player. Congratulations - you’ve got that deep pocket!
Want to play bass like a pro? In this series, Alex Scott breaks it down in bite-sized chunks!
To get this lesson series started off, Alex discusses the aim of his new series and some of the pre-requisite knowledge you should have to successfully complete the course. Designed around the concept of being a well rounded player, this course is designed to give you the tools necessary to gig with anybody without having to have tab, notation or charts in front of you.
To get the learning started in this series, Alex has a quick recap lesson designed to make sure you already have the theoretical knowledge you'll be using in this course, or provide it if you don't.
The next step in being able to grab your base and play with anybody, or along with any track is being able to hear the intervals between chords that create the harmonies we hear as listeners. Your job as a bassist will be to support or augment what you're playing along with.
Lesson 4 in his Play Like a Pro series, is all about the concept of voice leading. This is the idea that notes should lead in to each other to help smooth out your line of playing.
One of the major components to being able to effectively play with others, on the spot, is the ability to hear intervals. Alex provides several exercises meant to help develop your ear for hearing not only single note intervals, but intervals within chords.
Now that you've got a basic understanding of the theoretical piece to playing like a pro, it's start to look at practical application. In lesson 6, Alex discusses and demonstrates how the bassist can use the different drum instruments to help lock to the drummer.
Lesson 7 is a continuation from lesson 6 and adds to complexity through some simplistic styles and an open drum groove. Because locking in to the drummer is often times the go to action for a bassist, knowing how to cope with several variations will add to your bag of tricks while jamming with others.
In lessons six and seven you approached playing the bass from a standpoint of locking in with the drummer. In lesson eight, the concept is the same, but this time you're locking to a rhythm guitarist.
Like the previous lesson where you practiced playing bass locked to a guitarist, this lesson moves on to another common band instrument, the piano.
Lesson 10 is all about taking the knowledge you've gained over the past several lessons and combining it with the initial ear and interval training done at the beginning of the course. You'll use the concepts of rhythmically locking with another instrument and start thinking about harmonic accompaniment along with it.
Before moving on to the next section of the series, Alex takes one more look at building bass lines utilizing all of the techniques you've been focusing on in the previous 10 lessons. Not only will you be using interval and ear training to decide bass motion, but you'll be building it's rhythm based on multiple instruments instead of just one.
Now that you've completed the first phase of this three part lesson series, it's time to get up to speed with some genre specific chops. Over the next 10 lessons you'll cover tendencies of specific genre's you might encounter when playing out. To get us started off, Alex takes a look at the golden oldies.
Moving along in section two of this series, it's time to take a look at what is today considered Classic Rock. This track will be in a Led Zeppelin type of style and look at how bassist would comp this type of song in an improvisation setting.
In lesson 14 you move to a style study on more modern forms of rock. Like previous lessons, Alex will discuss the tendencies of a bassist in this style of music and provide two distinct bass lines to try out.
Lesson 15 is all about Funk. This genre may be the loosest and most experimental of genre's the bassist takes part in. Alex discusses tonal differences and looks at ways that this genre can really let you, the bassist, be the star.
It's time to move on to what Alex refers to as "straight ahead jazz." This is an essential genre for any musician and as a bassist you help underpin the frequent chord changes.
In a large style departure, lesson 17 moves away from Jazz and into the realm of Country and Bluegrass. Although stylistically this is very different, many of the same leading concepts discussed in the Jazz genre study still apply.
In the genre study section of this series, you're now moving to the Pop genre, but more specifically stylized from the 80's. Much of what is taught here can be incorporated in to almost any type of modern pop music. Alex discusses the sparse laid back approach to many Pop style bass sections due to the genre's focus more on lyric content. You'll then move to a more melodic type of pedaling line.
It's on to another core genre in part 2 of Play Like a Pro. This time you'll be looking at playing bass in the Blues category. Much like Jazz, you'll look at walking lines that favor outlining chord changes. In Scene two, Alex discusses 12/8 time and how it helps to create the famed blues shuffle.
Nearing the end of the genre study section of this series, it's time to look at the rhythmic stylings of R&B, the Motown sound and specifically James Jamerson.
To round out the genre study portion of this series, your last stop is the world of Hip Hop. Dominated by samples and repeating patterns, Alex discusses the nuance necessary to make those parts shine without creating undue repetitiveness.
Now that you've taken an extensive look at the vocabulary for most popular genre's you'd be asked to play, it's time to go deeper into creating the methods for which you can create lines and improvise on the fly. In the first lesson of the final section of this series, Alex teaches you how to chart any song you hear.
Now that you know how to chart like a pro, this is your first crack at improvising bass lines for the rockabilly genre. Alex will guide you through the charting process, then give you time to come up with bass lines yourself. Once you've done that, return to scene two and Alex will give you an example of what he'd play based on the chart.
Now it's time to take a look at the modern rock staple of music. Like you've already been doing, Alex will help you chart the backing track, then it's your turn to improvise a bass line. Come back in scene 2 where Alex will give an example of what he would play.
Next in line for your improvising practice and study is the Funk Genre. Like previous lessons, you'll chart the track with Alex, then you'll have time to improvise a bass line yourself before Alex comes back and offers up his example.
Now it's your turn to start improvising over what Alex calls "straight ahead jazz." Things start getting more technical in this genre. As usual, you'll chart the track with Alex, then he'll return to give you an example of what he's play.
As you continue on your journey through charting and improvising bass lines, we find ourselves now at Country. Like the previous lessons, Alex will help you chart the backing track, give you time to create your own improvisations and then will give you an example that he might play.
Back for lesson 28 is an 80's dance pop inspired track to try your improvisation hand at. Although this track has an 80's dance vibe, the improvisation techniques here would be well suited for modern varieties of pop, dance and scores of electronica. Like previous lessons, you'll chart the track with Alex and then he'll give you an example of what he might play.
In lesson 29 of Play Like a Pro, you're going to be charting and improvising the blues. Specifically, the track is a Blues/Rock number, but the essential skills and concepts here will work over all blues types. You'll chart the track with Alex, then he'll play an example based on that chart.
In lesson 30 of his Play Like a Pro series, Alex takes you on a journey through R&B and the MoTown sound. In this one, just like the previous lessons, you'll spend time charting a R&B track. Alex will then provide an example of how he's play an improvised bass line over it.
To end his series on playing bass like a pro, Alex offers up advise and another charting session on the hip hop genre. Just like before you'll chart a track with Alex, then he'll provide an example of what he might play in an improvised bass line for this genre.
As a bass player, finding your voice and place in the band can be a challenge. Do you follow the drummer? Should you lock with the guitar player, keys, or vocalist? How can you be sure to stand out in the band? Should you stand out in the band? How do you play alongside a rippin' guitar solo? How can you improvise on the fly and not miss a beat? Join Alex Scott as he performs a deep dive to unlock the untold secrets of improvisation on the bass guitar to answer these questions and meet the challenge!
Alex Scott introduces his Master Class, 'Conversations: Improvising on the Bass Guitar'
Let's hit the ground running with this first lesson where Alex will cover how the Major Scale relates to the different modes. We'll also discuss how to use triads to build and identify our chord shapes in order to cover most of the changes we'll encounter while improvising.
In this lesson, Alex will cover how to apply the concepts from the previous lesson to his original jam track, 'Enjoy Yourself'.
Being able to identify a chord progression is a key skill when improvising. Here, Alex will discuss his technique for this skill by utilizing the Major Scale, modes, and passing tones.
Ok now let's implement what we learned about transitions and passing tones with Alex's original jam track, 'Ridealong'.
The bass player is the glue that holds the band together. A couple of the most important ingredients in the glue are without a doubt, rhythm and syncopation. In this lesson,
Alex will break down these concepts of note division and changing up the rhythm by alternating between the up-beats and down-beats.
Time to put your rhythm and syncopation skills to work with Alex's original jam track, 'Big Cheese'.
Not surprisingly the most overlooked, yet most important skill a bass player can have in their toolbox is listening. In this lesson, Alex will discuss the who, what, where, when, and why of listening to the other member's voices in the band, as well as how this key skill applies directly to improvising.
Now it's time to put the skills from the previous lesson into practice with Alex's original jam track, 'Battleship'.
A truly dynamic band of musicians will have several leaders that step forward to lead the band at different times. How are these decisions made by everyone in the band in a moment of improvisation? In this lesson, Alex discusses the ebb and flow of following and leading.
Alright, now let's apply the following and leading topics discussed in the previous lesson with Alex's original jam track, 'Happiest Monkey'.
Dynamics can help create emotion in a song and can be influenced by many factors such as volume, tempo, and timbre. Here, Alex discusses the subtle nuances that can help create pronounced dynamics in a potentially flat composition.
Now it's time to improvise your own dynamics over Alex's original jam track, 'Tied Down'.
We've all heard a song or player that simply has too much going on. The effects of over-playing are typically the opposite of intention, and many times the most powerful elements of an improv session can actually be the space between the notes. Let's join Alex for a deep dive into the open spaces.
In this lesson, Alex gives us the opportunity to explore the space between the notes with his original jam track, 'Cabin in the Woods'.
The bass player and the drummer are the two sides of the rhythm section coin, and many times these two can be locked into a groove that creates the backbone of improvised composition. Join Alex as he discusses the nuances and importance of playing with drums and percussion.
Now it's time to take your improvisation skills to another world with Alex's original jam track, 'Roswell'.
Sometimes it can be beneficial for the bass player to follow the harmonic instruments in the band in order to create a different timbre or feel. In this lesson, Alex will discuss when and if we should follow along with the harmonic instruments, and the unique atmospheres that can be created.
Now it's time to put the theories discussed in the previous lesson to the test with Alex's original jam track, 'Athena'.
"Wow! That guy shreds!" We've all seen guitar players go to town on their instruments. While it may sound and look impressive, many times if we take the bass out of the equation in these instances suddenly those incredible guitar solos lack form and structure - drastically changing the solo. Join Alex as he discusses how to create and maintain a solid foundation when playing alongside a virtuosic guitar player.
Now it's your turn to jump in and improvise alongside a rippin' guitar solo with Alex's original jam track, 'Whirlwind'.
Let's close out the course with a few words from Alex.
Funk music is one of the wildest and most dynamic forms of music you'll hear and the bass plays a large roll in creating that sound. From complex syncopation to driving rhythms, funk bass takes advantage of a host of techniques to create this genre's signature sound. If you're looking for a primer on the style, this lesson series is for you!
Welcome to Alex Scott's Funk Bass Survival Guide! This course is designed for the bassist that's wanting to get their feet wet in the world of Funk bass. Alex guides you through the core concepts and techniques required for the genre, then gets you playing with a variety of funky tracks.
To get this Funk Bass course started off, Alex will give an overview of the concepts section of the course, then dives into the first concept, essential Theory. Alex will cover the basic theoretical concepts necessary to understand and play in the Funk style.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the theory that underpins the funk genre, let's take a look at the common scale figures and chord voicings that dominate the style.
The first picking hand technique that we dive into is the fingerstyle technique that is a bass staple and integrates well into the funk genre.
Next, we take a look at the slap bass technique. This one is always a favorite and also a must know for the Funk genre.
The ghost note adds a rhythmic push that can be added to either the slap or fingerstyle technique in various different ways. Alex discusses where they should land and the different types of ghost notes available to you.
Syncopation is the displacement of notes played outside of the downbeats. It's an incredibly important aspect of Funk music and Alex will break it down for you!
This concept lesson focuses more on a conceptual idea of groove and feel as opposed to learning a technique. Alex talks about listening and feeling what the entire band is doing to create good musical cohesion.
Building on the groove and feel ideas from the previous lesson, Alex discusses the ways you can put everything you've learned together to improvise for Funk bass.
To start off the performance section of this survival guide, Alex breaks down what you can expect, then jumps into the first tune he calls "Papa's Comin' Home."
Performance 2 is called "Congressional Funk" in the style of the well-known group Parliament Funk. This one will be utilizing the slap technique learned in the concept overview section.
Fingatips is a track in the style of New Orleans funk ground The Meters. This track will feature more complex rhythms with the fingerstyle technique.
The Disco element of Funk is synonymous with straight driving rhythms. You'll be exploring this style through consistency and locking in with the groove.
Destructo is a modern take on Funk bass ideas and is in the style of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. You'll be focusing on the slap technique as well as heavy syncopation.
Pillar of Killer is a track in the style of the group Tower of Power. This one will test most of the different skills talked about in the concepts section. Alex will also close out the course with some final thoughts and ideas.
Truly rocking on the bass is more than a state of mind. It's a set of core skills. Let's join Alex Scott as he breaks down the genre of Rock & Roll into an easily digestible set of core skills that will help any bass player to truly become a Master of Rock!
Alex Scott introduces us to 'Rock Bass: Core Skills'.
To start the course, Alex dives in headfirst with our first Core Skill - the Major and Minor scales.
Now, let's expand our use of the Major and Minor scales with a practical application. Alex will cover playing the scales in two G positions, and then apply the technique to the included drum track - 'One Last Dance'.
Let's move on to our next Core Skill. Few scales are more synonymous with a genre than the Pentatonic Scale and Rock. In this lesson, Alex will cover the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales in the keys of C and G in two positions.
Expanding our application of the Pentatonic Scale, Alex discusses chaining together the major and minor keys of A and D to create new and catchy progressions to be played alongside his original drum track, 'Just Take a Look'.
Time to move on to our next Core Skill - the Dominant Scale. In this lesson, Alex will perform a thorough inspection of the Dominant Scale and highlight the inner-workings that make the Dominant Scale such an important tool for diatonic progressions.
Diving deeper into the application of our Dominant Scale, Alex will teach us a familiar bass line utilizing the Dominant Scale to move in-between the keys of A and D alongside the included drum track, 'On the Rocks'.
Let's shift gears into some technique-related Core Skills. Here, Alex focuses on the right hand and discusses the technique and application of pedaling 8th notes.
Things are about to get deep and heavy! In this lesson, Alex will help us apply our pedaling 8th notes to the provided Hard Rock drum track - 'Depth Charge'.
Moving on to our next technique-related Core Skill - Syncopation. Here, Alex breaks down this skill that can be used to add some flare and groove to otherwise bland progressions by utilizing the off-beats of the count.
Ok now on to the application of our Syncopation Core Skill by adding another layer with the use of an Ostinato, or a repeating motif and/or phrase, alongside the included drum track, 'Just Take a Look'.
This next Core Skill, while somewhat simple, yields the most bang for your buck and is the cornerstone of riff-based Rock. In this lesson, Alex introduces us to fifths and octaves!
Oy! You'd better buckle your safety belts and get ready to dial up the speed as we apply our knowledge of fifths and octaves to the ultimate speed test with the supplied Punk Rock drum track, 'Lickity Split'.
Let's regroup and slow things down a bit with our next Core Skill - Passing Tones. In this lesson, Alex will break down Passing Tones and how they can be used to bridge different keys, scales, and modes.
The time has come to sum up the Core Skills that we've learned so far and start applying them to full tracks. Here we'll revisit our previous drum track, 'One Last Dance', but this time in the context of the full track. Time to rock!
Before we get to play along with our next full track, Alex discusses another Core Skill that can be used to identify and fill out the shape of the chords within a given progression - triads.
Returning to our Core Skills application to full tracks, here we revisit our previous drum track, 'Just Take a Look', to use our triads and chord shapes, but this time with the full track experience!
If one were to search for what lies at the core of the Rock genre they would ultimately come to the 12-Bar Blues. This historic progression is the true inception of Rock & Roll as we know it. Here, Alex will break down the 12-Bar Blues and discuss why it sounds the way it does, and how it ultimately evolved into modern-day Rock & Roll.
Let's get back to jamming along with our full tracks by revisiting our previous drum track, 'On the Rocks'. Here, Alex will utilize our 12-Bar Blues form while jamming along with this blues-inspired Classic Rock track!
"The Riff" - no other term sums up the genre of Rock so completely. The riff has long been the basis and medium for Rock music as we know it. In this lesson, Alex does a deep dive into the evolution of riff-based music, as well as what the term "riff" actually entails.
We've been to these depths before! Let's join Alex as we revisit the full version of our Hard Rock, grooving track - 'Depth Charge'
Rounding out the last of our Core Skills for this course, Alex will now discuss Chromatics. Here, we'll learn how we can use a chromatic approach to create intricate, progressive bass parts and move between unrelated chords and key centers.
Let there be METAL! If you're up for the challenge, Alex invites you to raise your horns and apply your Core Skills to jam along with this massively heavy full track - 'Dawnblade'.
Truly rocking can require the player to play continuously fast picking and fretting speeds. Over time these demands can result in playing injuries if the player fails to stretch before playing or "over-playing" with exaggerated techniques that tend to happen in a live setting. Let's join Alex as he discusses his go-to exercises and stretching regimens that he has used to avoid playing injuries over years of touring and grueling live shows.
Alright. It's time to go big or go home. We'll join Alex one last time as we cut loose, and close out our Core Skills course by revisiting our ripping Punk Rock track, 'Lickity Split'.
When playing bass in a true musical setting, it's all about the groove. However, it's important to be stylistically appropriate, authentic and support the music you're helping to hold down. Alex Scott breaks down groove creation for six different popular musical genres. You'll learn the fundamental concepts needed to make those grooves shine!
In this series, Alex takes a look at the most popular genres of music and dissects them to approach bass groove creation. Not only will you learn about the tendencies of these genres, but Alex will use them as a vehicle to conceptualize and apply bass groove creation.
To start off his Creating Bass Grooves course, Alex starts to break down the Pop genre. Alex discusses the diatonic chord theory and progressions that punctuate the style.
The next step for learning about Pop bass grooves is the use of passing tones. Alex will discuss the concept and provide a practice routine to get it under your fingers.
The next step in understanding the Pop genre and creating bass grooves is to understand the rhythmic side of the instrument.
Now let's take a look at the verse. Alex discusses basic ideas for creating bass grooves in a verse. Once again you'll practice to get it under your fingers.
TO wrap up the Pop genre study, Alex dissects ideas and techniques for use in creating bass grooves over the chorus section of a song.
Now let's move on to the country genre. Although somewhat simple and minimalistic, these traits actually make creating memorable and useful bass grooves a little more tricky. Alex will start by diving into the basic I-V movement.
Lesson 8 is all about double time. A rhythmic convention often seen in the Country genre, you'll need to get this feel under your fingers to really create country-themed bass grooves.
The next rhythmic strategy utilized by the country genre is the ghost note. This is a percussive note that carries no harmonic value, but adds to the rhythmic feel of the groove.
Now it's time to start learning the grooves for the sample song Long and Lonesome Road. As with the last genre, you'll start by learning the verse.
Now you'll learn the chorus bass groove for Long and Lonesome Road, as well as putting it together with the verse.
Now let's start breaking down groove creation for another genre, this time Blues. Alex will start by discussing swing feel.
Part two in the blues genre, Alex breaks down grooving over a basic 12 barre blues form.
Another core element to groove creation in the Blues genre is the idea of a walking bass. In lesson 14, Alex will show you how.
The next blues groove technique that Alex discusses transcends just the Blues genre. That's the idea of chromatic notes.
Now it's time to wrap up the Blues genre section and put everything you've learned together with the track.
Moving on from the Blues, Alex next takes our groove creation study to the Classic Rock format. You'll start out by studying the pedaled 8th note technique.
Diving deeper into the Classic Rock format, Alex offers up a refresher on the basic major and minor pentatonic scales on the bass.
The next idea for creating bass grooves in this series is vocalization. The concept involves creating melodic phrases that let the instrument "sing" much like the cadence of a vocalist.
Now it's time to apply the concepts learned over the last few lessons. You'll start by learning the verse section for the Classic Rock tune.
To wrap up the Classic Rock format study, you'll take the verse learned in the previous lesson and add it to the chorus, which will touch all the concepts and techniques learned thus far.
Next up in the series is a look at the concepts and techniques for creating bass lines in a more complex environment. This time you'll be looking at modern and progressive rock.
This lesson is all about the concept of chord extensions. As you get into progressive and fusion-based genre's and on to Jazz, the use of extensions becomes more ubiquitous and this opens up options for your bass grooves as well.
In part 3, you'll start to look at creating grooves in odd time signatures.
Now let's tackle the modern rock track. Alex will start by teaching the verse section to the tune "The Gamble."
Now, let's wrap up The Gamble by learning the chorus and putting it together with the verse.
We're moving into more complexity with the Jazz genre now. To start off, Alex discusses the concept of syncopation and how to add it to your bass grooves.
Next up in the Jazz genre study, Alex will discuss modes and how they can be applied to groove creation.
The next concept delivered by Alex for the Jazz genre is the idea of fingerstyle 16ths. You'll be using the fingerstyle technique with 16th notes to speed up the groove.
Now lets tackle the verse section of our Jazz tune "Live Wire."
Lesson 31 wraps up this bass groove creation series by learning the chorus for Live Wire. You'll add it to the verse and practice to get it under your fingers.
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