As bass players, it is imperative that we have a good understanding of the fretboard. One of the best ways to do this is to learn how to take a solo. Learning to solo on the bass will get you more comfortable with knowing where notes are, moving up and down to neck, and give you a better sense of how to utilize the relative major and minor.
In his course, Bass Soloing Studies Vol. 2, Jeff Denson helps you bolster your chops in this sense, notably by helping you improvise with pentatonic scales.
Here are nine video soloing bass guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Jeff Denson’s Bass Soloing Studies Vol. 2 on TrueFire!
Bass Guitar Lesson – D Minor Pentatonic: Root
In this video, I improvise a brief solo over the D minor 7 play-along track using only the notes of the D minor pentatonic scale.
Bass Guitar Lesson – E Minor Pentatonic 9th
In this video, we’ll be practicing playing the E minor pentatonic scale in three different rhythmic subdivisions (quarter notes, eighths and sixteenths) along with the D-7 playalong track.
Bass Guitar Lesson – G Minor Pentatonic: Root
Here, we’ll be practicing playing the G minor pentatonic scale in three different rhythmic subdivisions (quarter notes, eighths and sixteenths) along with the G7 playalong track.
Really listen to how the minor third sounds against the track. Now, think of what I was saying about the “blue note”.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Bb Minor Pentatonic: Flat 3rd
Listen to how all the notes sound against the track. Think of what I was saying about the altered sounds!
Bass Guitar Lesson – A Minor Pentatonic: 6th
In this video, we’ll be discussing what you “get” harmonically out of using the minor pentatonic from the sixth on a major seven chord. For example, in this demonstration we’ll be discussing what notes of the chord you find when you play an A minor pentatonic scale over a C major 7 chord.
Bass Guitar Lesson – E Minor Pentatonic: 3rd
When using a minor pentatonic scale from the sixth over a major 7 chord, you get: the sixth, the root, the ninth, the third and the fifth.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Jazzy Two Five in C: Overview
In this last example we will be using the most common chord progression in jazz: the ii-V-I. Here’s the four-bar progression:
II: D-7 I G7 I Cmaj7 I Cmaj7 :II
Bass Guitar Lesson – Jazzy Two Five in C: Performance
Here I improvised a solo over a four-bar progression in C major.
Bass Guitar Lesson – Jazzy Two Five in C: Breakdown
In this solo, I tried to balance the root-based pentatonic sounds with varying levels of tension. With minor 7 chords, playing the minor pentatonic scale from the root gives us our most consonant (“in the chord”) sounds, but with the major 7 and dominant 7 chords, the most consonant sound comes from using the minor pentatonic from the sixth.
Digging these free video soloing bass guitar lessons? Check out Jeff Denson’s Bass Soloing Studies Vol. 2.