Bass Tutorial

Essential Techniques for Acoustic Bass

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10 Videos | Length: 1hr 14min 15sec
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    Tutorial 1

    Bass Setup & Mechanics


    After an intro song, we meet Todd Phillips who goes over picking the right bass for you as well as setting it up to play comfortably.

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    Tutorial 2

    Fingerboard, Bridge Angle, & Bracing System


    In this video, Todd continues to go over bass set-up with focus on the fingerboard, bridge, and bracing system.

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    Tutorial 3

    Stance & Hand Positions


    Now he moves into how to stand with the bass and approach playing it correctly.

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    Tutorial 4

    Right/Left Hand Techniques & Tuning


    Here he shows how to pluck the strings with your right hand, how to space your fingers with the left hand, and some discussion on tuning.

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    Tutorial 5

    Visualizing the Fingerboard & Whole Step Finger Spacing


    In this video, Todd describes how to visualize where the notes are and how to line your fingers up on the fretboard.

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    Tutorial 6

    Note Intonation/Pitch & Left Hand Stretch


    Todd goes over how to play in tune with other instruments as well as using your left hand correctly.

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    Tutorial 7

    Half Step Intervals & Tone


    In this video we go over left hand placement for half steps with an emphasis on tone.

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    Tutorial 8

    Scales & the Number System


    Here, Todd goes over scales.

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    Tutorial 9

    Examples of Playing in Context & Chord Progressions in C


    Now Todd puts everything we learn in the context of simple song forms.

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    Tutorial 10

    Chord Progressions in D & Final Thoughts


    In this final video, Todd shows more chord progressions and leaves us with his final thoughts.

In this Homespun video series, Bass master Todd Phillips gives you the important foundation needed to begin to play the acoustic upright bass. If you’re new to this beautiful instrument, this series is a great place to start.

Todd welcomes you and familiarizes you with your instrument, showing you how to play with good tone and timing, and provides you with the essential techniques you'll need to eliminate unnecessary stress on your body and hands.

Unique on-screen diagrams and close-up camera work will guide you in visualizing the geometric grid of notes on the fingerboard as Todd guides you through major scales and chords in both open and closed positions.

Moving to right hand techniques, you'll learn how to achieve volume, tone production, definition and the solid rhythm to lay down a musical foundation for any kind of music you want to play. Check it out today!


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Todd Phillips is an American double bassist. He has appeared on many innovative, as well as traditional, acoustic instrumental and bluegrass recordings made since the mid-1970s. A two-time Grammy Award winner and founding member of the original David Grisman Quintet, Phillips has made a career of performing and recording with acoustic music artists.

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    tutorial video

    Essential Techniques for Acoustic Bass

    In this Homespun video series, Bass master Todd Phillips gives you the important foundation needed to begin to play the acoustic upright bass. If you’re new to this beautiful instrument, this series is a great place to start.

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