Learn how to play Elect Bass, improve your knowledge and enhance your skills !
  • Bass for Beginners

    Prerequisites: none – designed for absolute beginners

    Course Detail:

    • Play Brazilian music for the students and discuss the elements, the history and the role of bass.
    • Listen to samba batucada and listen for the instruments and the various parts.
    • Determine level of each student by playing simple notes in rhythm.
    • Introduce notes on the open strings and first three-five frets.
    • Have students play along in rhythm to a drum machine beat.
    • Introduce rhythmic notation, whole notes to quarter notes and 4/4 time signature.
    • Play rhythms on bass using one note.
    • Introduce a Cmaj scale in 2nd position, learning the notes and numbers.
    • Introduce intervals
    • Play along to Brazilian rhythms with drum machine using simple one or two note, emphasizing right hand and playing in time to a beat.
    • Introduce simple diatonic harmony and ear training, demonstrating the sound of certain chords and their relationship to each other.
    • Teach the numbers and introduce 1-4-5 harmony.
    • Play simple Bossa Nova groove using two or three chords, with drum machine, focusing on right hand articulation and left hand accuracy. Discuss use of roots, 5ths and 4ths in bass parts.
    • Review all material from the first 4 weeks, taking questions and reenforcing what needs work.
    • Introduce the G maj scale and sharps and flats, covering enharmonic spellings.
    • Introduce 8th notes and rests.
    • Play first song: ‘O Pato’ in C concentrating on bass movement.
    • Introduce Fmaj scale.
    • Play ‘O Pato’ in C with drum machine and guitar, reading the chord symbols only.
    • Introduce Baiao rhythm and play on one chord song “Magalenha.” Show the rhythm written out and introduce the concept of syncopation.
    • Introduce Bb maj scale and the ‘Circle of 5ths.’
    • Learn “The Girl from Ipanema” in F.
    • Introduce 2/4 time signature and 16th notes.
    • Introduce D and Eb maj scales.
    • Discuss playing samba on the bass and learn “O Morro” in G min or D min.
    • Review the percussion parts and their relation to the bass.
    • Discuss ’syncopation’ and demonstrate some written examples.
    • Complete review of all subjects and songs with quiz and questions.
    • Play “Samba de Orpheu” with everyone.

  • Bass for Intermediate

    Prerequisites:  basic instrumental technique, rudimentary reading skills, some performance experience.

    Course detail:

    • Discuss Bossa Nova history and important musicians Antonio Carlos Jobim, Johnny Alf, Dorival Caymmi, Joao Gilberto, Oscar Castro Nieves, Edson Machado and other prominent Brasilian musicians and play examples.
    • Present “Fotographia” in C and play it with drum machine and students, ascertaining each student’s level of proficiency.
    • Teach diatonic 7th chord harmony concepts and typical chord progressions (I-VI-II-V, II-V-III-VI etc….)
    • Discuss playing in 2/4 time signature and show some typical Brasilian rhythmic cliches in 2/4.
    • Give out “Bala com Bala” and prepare for next class.
    • Play “Bala com Bala” and talk about the difference between playing Samba and Bossa Nova on bass.
    • Review Brasilian rhythmic cliches.
    • Analyze simple songs using diatonic 7th harmony.
    • Demonstrate how percussion parts are used to create bass parts.
    • Introduce Partido Alto rhythm and demonstrate how it is derived from percussion parts. Show different ways it is used in samba and funk playing over different chord progressions.
    • Play “Partido Alto” and “Don’t Go”
    • Talk about famous Brazilian rhythm sections; Luizao Maia with Paulo Braga and Sizao Machado with Teo Lima and their work with Elis Regina and Djavan and how they approached and changed the Brazilian rhythm section.
    • Review all topics and answer questions with demonstration and notation.
    • Introduce and discuss right and left hand muting and articulating technique and how it emulates percussion instruments.
    • Demonstrate how articulation is used in Samba playing.
    • Play “Maça” featuring Sizao Machado and demonstrate the articulation used.
    • Discuss how note duration affects your groove and concepts in note duration in regard to articulation. Discuss how different positions on the bass sound different and how the string and position you play in effects the sound.
    • Play “Coisas do Brasil” featuring Pedro Ivo as a demonstration of articulation on a slow Samba.
    • Review 7th chord harmony and analyze some basic songs.
    • Discuss Baiao and play “O Ovo”, learning the melody and chords on bass. Discuss the origins and roots of Baiao and the influence of the Bahia and the north and the African influence on Brazilian styles. Show melodic rhythmic concepts and demonstrate by playing the music of popular artists who play Baiao, for example Luiz Gonzaga, Hermeto Pascoal and Gilberto Gil.
    • Demonstrate the articulation and the differences between playing Baiao and Samba or Bossa.
    • MPB ….. spend the class demonstrating and talking about the great composers and artists coming out of Brazil in the 70’s, their influences and how they changed the face of Brasilan popular music and continue to flourish today. Talk about the impact of Elis Regina and her music and how it influenced the generation.
    • Play Elis, Djavan, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco, Joyce, Milton, Toninho, Gal and hand out listening lists for MPB. Talk about the bassists to listen to from that generation and today.
    • Hand out and play “Bala com Bala,” “Aquele Um,” “Vera Cruz,” and “Beijo Partido”.
    •  Review songs from week 9 and review all material from all classes. Hand out a quick quiz on the material. Play songs with everyone.

  • Bass for Advanced

    Prerequisites: good instrumental technique, solid reading skills, extensive performance experience.

    Course detail:

    • Listen to more modern Brazilian artists: Hermeto Pascoal, Egberto Gismonti, Toninho Horta, Chico Pinheiro, Airto, Nana Vasconcelos,Trio da Paz, Tania Maria etc …. and discuss the influence of jazz and R+B on Brazilian music.
    • Explore playing Brazilian rhythms in different meters besides 2 and 4.
      Materials will include “Cravo e Canela,” “Toucan’s Dance,” “Ponta de Areia,” “Tombo in 7/4” etc …..
    • Explore advanced harmonic concepts used by Hermeto, Tonihno, Ivan Lins and more and how they alter chords and conventional harmony to make it more interesting. Discuss the use of line cliches and moving lines within chord progressions as well. Songs: ‘Aqui Oh (Toninho Horta) ’ “Pedra Bonita” (Mario Adnet) “Comecar de Novo” (Ivan) “Vera Cruz” (Milton).
    • Talk about more bassists not covered in the intermediate class: Nico Asumpcao,, Arismar Espirito dos Santos, Itiberé, Sergio Brandao, Artur Maia, Pedro Ivo, etc…. and their different approaches to Brazilian music.
    • Demonstrate how different approaches can be used on the same song, much like American R+B and Rock players.
    •  Playing slow songs in Brazilian styles. How to maintain your sound, groove and intensity while playing slowly. Ballads, Bossa and Samba Cançao, Material: “Na Batucada da Vida,” “Coisas do Brasil”.
    • Chorinho. A brief history of styles. Listening and playing.
    • Songs: “Lamentos,” “Um a Zero,” “Chorinho pra Ele”
    • Rhythmic cliches in Samba and Partido Alto, accents and common fills and rhythms used by bass and drums in the rhythm section.
    • Incorporating slap bass lines in Brazilian music.
    • Materials: Tania Maria, Gal Costa, Elis Regina, Djavan, Michel Camilo, Paquito D’Rivera with Sergio Brandao and Portinho etc …. Songs: :O Bebado e a Equelebrista,” “Made in N.Y.” “Samba for Carmen” ……
    •  Review of all topics and playing of songs previously presented.
    •  Present more current Brazilian popular music, Afro Brazilian and the influence of the north. Listen to Samba Axe, Samba Reggae, Forro, Maculele, Frevo and Afoxe. Discuss the concepts for creating bass parts in these styles.
    • Listen to Oladum, Filhos de Ghandi, Daniela Mercury, Carlinos Brown etc ….
    • Sight-reading to rhythm tracks and recording. Present several different charts from different artists in different grooves and perform mock recording sessions. Charts will have some written parts and some chord changes and players will be asked to create their own bass parts to the chord changes.
    • Soloing in Brazilian styles. Using melodic ideas and incorporating Brazilian rhythmic phrasing in your solos.
    • Playing chords and comping on bass in Brazilian styles.
    • Review of all material, taking questions and performing songs and examples with students, demonstrating any techniques that the students inquire about.

     Private class – All Levels

  • Class Schedule and fees

    Course detail: Classes begin January 2015

    Day – Mondays

    Drum for Beginners: Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    Drum for Intermediate: Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

    Drum for Advanced: Time: 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

    Sessions:10 weekly program – One hour sessions

    Age: 11 and older

    Class Size -Limited to 5 students per class, max of 10

    Instructor:Leo Traversa

    Fees: $ 350.00 – material included

    Private Classes : Contact us for more information

    Read our policy: Click here

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