…making better bass players with Kris Rodgers A.K.A Dmanlamius
If you are new to Bass playing, you might want a little support from other people on your level, or others with a little more experience. I answer as many questions as I can, but doing so is a time consuming job. I have set a Bass forum up, where you can ask questions in a friendly enviroment where no-one will judge you. I answer questions here when I can! Please click the icon below to visit the forums:
Not all lessons are hosted on my youtube channel which is available here. As well as these, there are top quality, long extensions of some of the free lessons you see featured below. Please click here for details.
Once you have gone through all these lessons, move onto these exercises, that will further your progression!
A lovely Bass tuner:
Tuning your Bass guitar. How to tune using the 5th fret method, using harmonics, drop tunings and half step tunings also covered here. Don’t worry if it is too much information to take on. If you have a tuner, use that so we can start right away!
Hand and tendon exercises A few stretches and words of advice concerning not getting Carpel tunnel syndrome and R.S.I. Try and do these exercises before you start playing your bass, and especially if you know you’ll be playing for a long time (maybe for a gig). This is an early video, and I talk quite a bit before we start. Apologies.
How to increase finger strength for Bass. My personal review of these great little tools, that will help you maintain finger strength:
An effective Bass warm-up: Do this exercise before playing for long amounts of time. It really works! Also builds up your strength!
Beginners Bass lesson part one For the guys and gals that are starting from the beginning of their bass journey. What the different parts of the bass are, walking finger technique, and a simple riff for you to be getting on with.
Beginners Bass lesson part two The second part For the guys and gals that are starting from the start. What the different parts of the bass are, walking finger technique, and a For the guys and gals that are starting from the start. What the different parts of the bass are, walking finger technique, and a simple riff.
The Evolution of our Beginners youtube riff! In this lesson we will add fills to our riff and some other cool ideas. In this lesson we briefly cover:
Hammer-ons. Slides. Economy of motion/finger placement. String bends. Slapping and popping the riff.
We also cover alternative notes to play around the board.
After doing these, try these hammer-on exercises to build hand strength:
Here we have a “How to” on the twelve bar blues We start simple, and then get a little harder as we go on. This lesson is PERFECT for beginners, wanting to gain hand strength. It s also good for intermediate players that want a basic understanding of how the blues is made up.
I hope you enjoy the lesson!
Back to Basics Just a vid explaining terms of techniques on the bass guitar. What is tapping? What is slapping and popping? What is a hammer-on? What is a walking blues bass-line? I cover it all here!
How to learn the notes on the Bass fretboard I can’t emphasize how important it is that you learn these notes, and where they are off by heart! It’s one of the fundamental and first things you should learn as a bass player. Don’t feel like this task is too daunting. It’s more simple than it looks. There are only twelve notes to remember on each individual string, and our language is made up of a LOT more letters than that…
The Major scale What are root fifths and octaves? How do I play the scale? What does it mean? What are intervals? Need it all explained? Then watch on….
Ok, at this point you will have learnt the major scale, how to play a simple riff, learnt where a few notes are on the fretboard, learnt the history of the bass guitar, terms of techniques, as well as some great strengthening tips! Let’s carry on shall we? Now we’re going to get onto learning some famous songs. These are nice and simple, but will help you build up your strength and timing…
Seven nation army The White stripes, seven nation army. Although he doesn’t use a Bass on the recording of this song, his effect is so low, it may as well be! No playalong, because it’s a simple tune to learn.
Ben.E.King: Stand by me Learn Ben E King’s Stand by me Bass line, here. This is a nice and simple line that all beginners should have fun with. Good luck!
Radiohead: Creep A nice simple riff for you beginners to get started with. As I say in the video, try and mix it up a bit with the stuff I taught you in “Beginners Evolved” premium lesson, if you have it…
The Beatles: When I’m 64 A nice simple, fun Bass line for you to get results quickly with. Notice how this line isn’t overplayed? It’s nice and simple, and compliments the song perfectly!
Sly and the Family Stone: If you want me to stay So…the Chilli’s version of this Sly and the Family Stone CLASSIC.
Pink Floyd: Money (Part one) Here we have part one of this great song! It’s the first song I teach that is mostly in 7/4 timing. If you don’t understand what these numbers mean, please check out tips on timing 5/4 (Introduction).
Nirvana: Smells like teen spirit The song that made Nirvana (and grunge) famous. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Who knows. Learn the bass line here.
The Ghostbusters theme tune: Great Bass line to learn. Fun, and takes me back to ‘me youth!
Limp Bizkit: Re-arranged: A really cool Bass line that has a nice, hip-hop feel about it.
The Who: Boris the spider: Nice and unusual song from the brilliant, John Entwistle.
The Stranglers: Peaches: Awesome Bass line!
MC Hammer: Can’t touch this: MC Hammers version of this is awesome. Great Bass line, that we all know. As is the original. Learn it here.
Ok, so now you’ve learnt a few cool songs to help your playing along! I hope you enjoyed them. We’ll get onto learning some more songs in the near future. At this point you may have a few questions that will need answering. Below are some answers to questions that maybe troubling ‘ye.
I hope the above answers helped you out. If not, you can always ask me or my bass community any questions right HERE Also, you can contact me through my Twitter which is right here., or Facebook page which is right, here.
Now, let’s get on with a few more interesting songs. These are a little harder, and should keep you nice and concentrated.
Red hot Chilli peppers: The adventures of Raindance Maggie: Nice and interesting little line from Flea!
The Beatles: Come together. Ok, here is a tune by one of my all time favourite bands. The Beatles changed the way music was perceived and played, and inspired pretty much all the great music we listen to today. Ask any of your heroes for proof! If you dig into their music really deep, and get away from all the lovey (although that is still brilliant) stuff, there is some amazing music there. Especially if you dig really deep into the theoretical stuff that “shouldn’t” technically work. But it does…
The Breeders: Cannonball: Nice and simple but effective live from the Bass player from the Pixies.
The Police: Roxanne. Great song from a band with a great bass player.
Red Hot Chili peppers: Under the bridge. Ooo! I love this line! I used to have a “Blood sugar sex magik” tab book, and this was the first bass line I learnt from it. It took me ages! But the feeling of accomplishment was immense. I played that chorus riff over and over and over in the summer of ‘93. Enjoy. A few open E’s before each chorus. Simple stuff.
Red hot chili peppers: Under the bridge (Part two) Part two of the above, Mofo’s!
Wild cherry; Play that funky music. Really addictive bass line to play, once you get it down.
Groove is in the heart/Bringing down the Byrds: Deelite/Herbie Hancock: Fun little riff that can be challenging!
NWA: Express yourself: Really funky line, that is fun to play!
Michael Jackson: Beat it. A very popular song, with a great Bass line! Great fun to learn as well.
Red hot chill peppers: Give it away. Well, what can I say about this bass line? It’s unique, fun, and funky. Even to this day. Just like Flea. Great one to learn, and great to play. Don’t forget the funk!
The Pink Panther theme tune: Here is an extremely fun Bass solo to play! We play the Melody of the song in this extended lesson.
The Beastie Boys: Sabotage: A lesson which is also a remembrance to MCA, who died recently.
The Beatles: Day tripper. Awesome Bass line that can be tricky!
Johnny Cash/Nine inch nails: Hurt: A really unique version of this awesome song (on both fronts), that uses Bass chords, that we covered in recent lessons. It is also fingerpicked and down stroked.
So now you have a few more tunes in your repertoire! I hope you are enjoying them. Now you just need a guitarist and a drummer who also know the songs…But before you do, let’s focus on some of the more important aspects of the bass guitar.
Now, use the beats by clicking the icon below to further practice your timing! Timing and practicing to a consistent beat are a fundamental and important part of Bass playing!
So now you have some ideas on how to keep better time! Let’s have a look at some more techniques!
Introduction to natural harmonics. Harmonics are great little tools to get a unique sound out of your Bass guitar. Check out the lesson to find out how!
Introduction to natural harmonics part two. The second part.
An introduction to Bass chords (Orion) Here, you will learn how to play Metallica’s “Orion.” (the middle part). This is a good introduction to the chords I will teach you in the future
Here you will learn the shape of five chords to experiment with, and start to write music with. I also cover different ways of playing these chords. I dont teach the “names” of the chords, just the shapes. I name them “Primusy one” etc. At the end, we string these chords together to write a nice tune! This lesson is best for intermediate students, but will be O.K for beginners with good hand strength to sustain chords. It’s best if you do the “Basic chords” free lesson before you purchase this one…
MASSIVE tips on how I compose music, here!
Onto some Slap and pop…
Slap and pop lesson one Here we have the first in my slap and pop series. I explain what slap and pop is, where to slap and pop and how to slap and pop as well as add mutes (or ghost notes). We also go through a basic riff!
Slap and pop Lesson two The second lesson.
Slap and pop lesson three In the third lesson, we go through the Chili peppers’ “Higher ground”. Well, their version of the Stevie Wonder classic, anyway.
The Evolution of our free YouTube riffs!
These exercises have been created by me, and have been tried and tested with all my students. A lot of those guys (and Gals!) are now out gigging, and are at a very good standard…
In this lesson are eight exercises to get you slapping and popping like the pro’s! They come as one video file that is about fifty-five minutes long. This package also comes with seven drum tracks that progress in speed.
Here is a brief summary of what we cover:
Similar to our youtube video, but with a lot more groove, and a little harder. We start with a double slap, and incorperate pops, hammer-ons and mutes later. Also advice on the psychology of practice, featured here.
An exercise designed to gain finger strength. More slaps and pops but also double popping as well as barring (or bridging) with the fretting hand. More advice on muting and the economy of motion, here.
A cool line with a nice use of slides. A funky one, which is one of my personal favourites. Has a primus-like feel to it.
A great exercise that can be changed to the users personal preference. Again, this exercise was created to build strength, but it’s main purpose is to build up speed and efficency! Exercise five: An exercise and discussion on the role of the Bass player, and how slap and pop fits into that role. Also, an exercise with a pocket played slap and pop groove, and how it applies to the role. Exercise six: Another groove based exercise that we move around onto different frets. Exercise seven: A percussive exercise that will speed up your slap and popping! A cool little exercise that also covers timing. Exercise eight: Another percussive lesson/exercise.
More slap precision exercises for you to get your teeth into:
In this lesson, we cover some methods that will get you slapping and popping like the pro’s! We discuss right hand muting methods as well as left hand hammer-on stuff. We also cover the technique and method that “Flea” uses in his slap and pop playing. We break down the slap part of “Black eyed blonde”, and my song “Day of the goat.” Both these slap parts can teach good technique when slowed down and broken apart. I also tell you about tried and tested methods that will help your long term slapping and popping!
What does “playing in the pocket” mean? You may have heard of this term. Click to see my explanation of it.
Another new technique for you to get your fingers round! “Tapping”, a technique made famous by Eddie van Halen on guitar, is now being used more and more on the bass guitar. Here is my introduction to the technique.
And here are some more interesting exercises to get your head and hands round:
Below, we have a bunch of my personal funk lines for you guys to learn! I play the riff, show YOU how to play the riff, and then there is a drum track for you guys to play along with. All for free. Bargain. Some are finger played, and some are slap and pop, so make sure you have a little experience before you start these.
And some exercises to get your Funk precision down:
Finger Funk precision #2
How about practicing
And some more…
Great little unit I use for effects:
So hopefully, at this point you’ll have a good understanding of the bass guitar, be able to play a few songs, have good hand strength, know quite a few techniques, and have a good basic understanding of theory, know a few chords as well as loads of other important bass related stuff.
Feeling confident? Then try and create some of your own bass lines to these guitar and drum lines I created. There have already been some great replies to this, and i’m always interested in seeing what everyone else has been creating! Here’s the blurb:
And lastly, if you’re interested in my Bass-only compositions, then click here:
I hope this list has helped you in becoming a better bass player! Be sure to bookmark it!
Kris (AKA Dmanlamius)
There is a lot of content on this site! I am sincerely trying to reach out to you as if there were no geographical boundaries.
The first port of call on your Bass journey should be the “Lesson tree”. These are lessons that start off easy, and slowly progress.