Greg's Blogs

Must-Know Secrets To Refine Your Bass Playing  

Based on Video No.57 Must-Know Secrets To Refine Your Bass Playing

I have been sitting practicing this morning, in particular, focussing on my sound, and I thought it might be useful to share with you the techniques and approaches I use in my bass playing. 

I focus a lot in my lessons on how to play different bass lines, how to execute techniques, and how to learn different styles of music. But today, I’d like to talk about the thought processes that I have while I play, and how I put everything together to…

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Should You Read Music? 

This Blog is taken from my Greg Talks #2 - No.62 Should You learn To Read Music? 

In this blog I am going to be discussing whether I think it’s a good idea to learn to read music or not.  Although I am a bass player, this discussion is relevant for all musicians considering whether they need to read music or not. 

I recently put a few posts out on Facebook and Basschat, to see how people feel about reading music.  The overwhelming response was from established players who wished that they had learnt to…

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Learn To Play a Jazz Turnaround 

Based on my YouTube Lesson No.38 - Learn to Play a Jazz Turnaround

You can download the full musical examples (also with Tab), by following the link in the video description on YouTube.

We briefly looked at what a jazz turnaround is in my last lesson, No.37 Five Steps To Playing Jazz Bass Guitar

You may want to reference that lesson, but I will explain the basics again, here. 

A turnaround is usually found in the last 2 bars of a chord progression and it serves to get you back to Chord One, at the start…

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Starting Jazz Bass Guitar 

This blog is taken from my YouTube video lesson - No.37 Five Steps to Start Playing Jazz Bass Guitar


To get you started, here are some of the important jazz bassists to check out: 


Ray Brown, Stanley Clarke, Scott LaFaro, Jaco Pastorius, Oscar Pettiford, Marcus Miller, Percy Heath, John Patitucci, Charlie Mingus, Dave Holland, Eddie Gomez, Avishai Cohen, Paul Chambers, Christian McBride, Ron Carter, Stanley Clarke 


This is a list of jazz standards that I suggest you look at first: 


Blue Monk, All…

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New Bass Beginners Guide from Greg's Bass Shed 

My Bass Beginners Guide has really taken shape recently, and I am working on the last few finishing touches.  There is a chapter in there for absolute beginners, if you need it. As you work through the eBook, you will learn about rhythm, groove, reading music, scales, arpeggios, setting up your bass and amp, tone, technique and how to practise.  There is enough in there to keep you busy for some time, but it will help you to progress quickly. 

The idea for this eBook was formed a long time ago, and I have…

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How To Play a Hammer-on and a Pull-off 

Based on Lesson No.29  from Greg’s Bass Shed on YouTube

These 2 left hand techniques will  really enhance and add  style to your basslines. 


A Hammer-on is played by tapping the fretboard with a finger of your left hand, without plucking with the right hand.  You need to apply a fair amount of pressure for the note to sound as strongly as a plucked note. 

You use a hammer-on to play a note above the one you have just played.  Technique wise it is important to keep the previous note held down in…

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How To Read A Chord Chart 

How To Read A Chord Chart  From Greg’s Bass Shed YouTube Lesson No.27

A chord chart is a guide to the harmony (chord sequence) of a song.  It will hopefully give you the ‘geography’ of the song to whether that be verse, chorus, bridge, etc. or an A B A A form for example. 

You will come across different versions of chord charts from nicely printed sheets to a few hastily scribbled out chords.  Half the skill of reading a chord chart is actually deciphering it, well it is for the bad ones anyway! 

In the…

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Pick or Fingerstyle for Bass Playing?  

Today I am going to broach the subject of using a pick or plectrum to play the bass guitar. While teaching bass guitar in my home town of Berkhamsted or online at Greg’s Bass Shed, I am often asked this question by my pupils; which is better to play bass with, your fingers or a pick?  Well the simple answer is neither! 

Let me explain why…… 

First of all I will go back to when I was learning to play bass in the 90’s.   My mates and I use to look down on players who used a pick and we were of the opinion…

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To Read Music Or Not To Read Music? That Is The Question.... 

So, do you need to know how to read music to have a career playing bass or guitar? Well, the short answer is yes! Although there are some extremely talented players who are successful in having a professional career without being able to read music, they are few and far between. Extremely talented players such a Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Elvis Presley, Robert Johnson, Mike Mondesir, Dave Grohl, Slash, and Jimi Hendrix could not read music. The difference between them, and you and I, are if we wanted to…

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Tele Bass Build Article Here is a short article describing how I put together my Tele bass which is featured in lots of my video lessons. I explain how I stained and treated the body using an excellent product called 'Wudtone'. 22.7 MB