Learn The Secret Language Of Bass!
That The Pros Don't Want You To Know!
You're probably wondering what this image has got to do with the bass (and blues rock)? Right?
Well this is a picture of a famous rock called The Rosetta Stone - discovered in 1799. The stone contains an Ancient Egyptian decree written in three languages.
The reason this stone is so important that it's on display in the British Museum is that it allowed scholars who studied ancient languages to use it to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.
You're probably still thinking: WTF has this got to do with the bass?
So let me tell you.
Creating bass lines in any genre - not just blues rock - isn't done by grabbing a note from here and a note from there and putting them together and seeing if they sound OK.
Bass lines have their own language.
You've already been learning the alphabet of the bass language - the A-B-C of blues rock if you like - in the 5 Day Challenge. Because the language of bass lines is built up of devices and modifying devices and connecting devices. Plus rhythm.
There's a bass line that I consider to be my own "Rosetta Stone" - and it's Tommy Shannon's line on Pride And Joy. Here's Verse 2 to give you a taster if you've not heard it for a while...
Now if you've learned the devices and ideas in the (free) 5 Day Challenge and you listen to that video again you should hear some familiar ideas in Tommy's bass line.
I transcribed the bass line from scratch and analyzed it - and that analysis led to my Rosetta Stone moment. Tommy uses around 20 different devices in Pride And Joy. Plus there's modifying devices like the open string that we saw in the 5 Day Challenge. There's triplet modifying devices too along with a bunch of other great ideas. Plus that led me to analyze more of Tommy's bass lines. And then someone suggested I check out Berry Oakley with The Allman Brothers along with Carl Radle with Derek And The Dominos and early Clapton.
And the reason I used the Rosetta Stone as a metaphor is that in all the work of these players that I analyzed I found something amazing:
...each of these bass players was 'speaking' the same language!
And I wondered if I could learn this secret language (that no-one teaches) and learn to speak it myself.
Here's another video to watch, this time it's a line that I created. The chord changes (and the soundalone backing track) are similar the great Allman Brothers reading of Statesboro Blues. The bass line uses devices and ideas I learned from Shannon, Oakley and Radle plus there's some triplet ideas I lifted from funk bassist Rocco Prestia. And some Duck Dunn in the mix too.
Yet whilst I think this bass line sounds authentically "blues rock" I don't think you could point to any section and say: that's a direct lift from Tommy Shannon or Berry Oakley.
Have a listen for yourself:
I've been collecting bass books and videos/DVDs since the mid 80s.
In my music library I've got a first printing of Standing In The Shadows Of Motown (with cassette tapes), I've got an early printing of Slap It! by Tony Oppenheim (that came with a floppy plastic record for the examples) and a first print of Ed Friedland's Building Walking Basslines (the cassette tape for that is long lost).
I've not got everything - but I've got (and read) a great deal of bass literature that's out there (including all the issues of Bass Player Magazine from 1st Issue right up to 2008).
You know how many times I've seen reference to the bass devices that make up the secret language of the bass?
And yet all the pros use this language.
In the free 5 Day Challenge you learned the R-3-4-Ch and its variations. You'll find that device in the work of Paul McCartney, James Jamerson, Jerry Jemmott, Tommy Shannon, Carl Radle, Berry Oakley, Duck Dunn, John Paul Jones and literally hundreds of others.
And yet no-one teaches it.
I can only draw two conclusions from that fact:
#1 - the bass teachers out there don't know about it (which I find hard to believe because everybody and his dog uses it - see list above)
#2 - the bass teachers out there KNOW about it but they don't want YOU to know about it
So I decided it was time somebody took on the task of teaching this so that bass players like you (and me) could learn the secret language of blues rock bass...
If you think back to the list of bass players I gave you who have used the R-3-4-Ch in their lines it included the following players and the genres they played in:
James Jamerson - Soul, Funk and R&B
Paul McCartney - Rock
Duck Dunn - R&B and Blues
Jerry Jemmott - R&B, Funk and Blues
John Paul Jones - Heavy Rock
Tommy Shannon - Blues Rock
Berry Oakley - Blues Rock
Carl Radle - Blues Rock
So here's the thing:
...if you've learned say the R-3-4-Ch already in the free 5 Day Challenge...that device is a strand of musical DNA.
You can use it soul and R&B.
You can use it in funk.
You can use it in rock.
I've even seen it used in walking jazz lines.
All the devices and ideas that we're going to learn from the perspective of blues rock can be used in just about every other musical genre. The main change needed is usually rhythmic.
This makes creating and playing lines in other genres easy.
It makes playing other player's lines for cover bands/bar bands easy - because without exception those lines are made up of the devices that the Pros don't want you to know.
So learning these devices in a blues rock context will give you the tools to play fluently in other genres too.
That's not all though.
Once you start practicing (and using) these devices your perception of bass lines will change forever. You'll hear a song somewhere and recognize the devices the bass player is using to create his or her line.
If you hear something you really like, you can go back to your practice space and model that combination of devices and ideas and add it to YOUR vocabulary.
So how do YOU go about learning the secret language of blues rock bass that, don't forget, is 100% applicable to every other kind of music?
Glad you asked....
If you've already been through the 5 Day Free Challenge then you've got a great idea of exactly how the 30 Day (Plus) Challenge works.
The Challenge is split into five "Challenge" weeks of six days each, plsu there is bonus material on the 'rest days' and there is a bonus week as well. Hence: 30 Days (Plus).
The first week of the Challenge is already live in the Members Area waiting for you - it's essentially the material that you've already covered in the free 5 Day Challenge. Though there are downloadable PDFs. Plus there's an additional 5 pre-training days as well.
24 hours after you enroll Week 2/Day 7 will go live.
And a new lesson will appear every 24 hours for the next 30 (plus) days. (Once a lesson is published, you have unlimited access to it).
Each new lesson introduces new concepts and new parts of the secret language of bass and by the time you've mastered all the material in the Challenge you'll be able to speak fluently in the language of blues rock bass!
Here are some of the things we're going to be working on to improve your Blues Rock Bass IQ in this 30 Day Challenge:
- detailed instruction on using deliberate composition - the 1st step in learning to create great bass lines spontaneously
- the R-3-4-Ch triplet variation with harmonic movement (day 11)
- two bar devices (part 1) (day 9)
- five ideas lifted from Jaco Pastorius (Fannie Mae) that you can add to YOUR blues lines (Bonus Week)
- what to play in a classic trio setting when guitar starts to solo (day 15)
- playing muted notes with swing 8th notes and triplets (day 25)
- open string modifying device borrowed from a "disco" bass player (Bonus Week)
- basic triplet modifying devices (day 11)
- 12:8 bass line ideas from Texas Flood, Stormy Monday and Dirty Pool (Days 19 to 24)
- more two bar devices (day 15)
- bar 9 turnaround devices (day 6)
- devices incorporating unusual chromatic approach notes (days 26 and 27)
- using "Rocco Prestia" triplets in blues rock (Bonus Week)
- 12:8 bass line ideas from Stormy Monday (day 20)
- adapting swing 8th note lines for straight 8th note...and vice versa (day 18)
- the Duck Dunn two bar pattern (from Sweet Home Chicago) (Bonus Week)
- how to set up the 5th on the downbeat (and when to do so) (day 15)
- using the front end-back end concept with 12:8 bass lines (day 21)
- stop verse and stop verse fills (day 10)
- the Duck Dunn last note modifying device (Bonus Week)
- approach notes and target notes - the five different types of approach notes
- how to create your own practice exercises (at will) (Day 19)
- two devices from Testify (day 14)
- advanced triplet devices (day 29)
- device walkthrough of Tommy Shannon's "Rosetta Stone" bass line on Pride And Joy (Bonus Week)
You'll also be creating your own lines using all of the above ideas (and more) using a technique that I've pioneered and teach all my students that's called deliberate composition! (If all you took from the Cracking The Blues Rock Code 30 Day (Plus) Challenge was deliberate composition you'd still be on track to make big improvements in your bass playing.)
The screenshots below were on the enrollment page for the 5 Day Challenge as well...but they were written about the original version of THIS 30 Day Challenge (and not the PLUS Version) so they are 100% relevant:
Or how about this for the kind of effect the Challenge will have not only on your playing but also how you hear bass lines:
So How Much Is The Investment In The Blues Rock 30 Day (Plus) Challenge?
I wanted to make this challenge totally affordable but also be enough money so that those students who take the Challenge value what they've invested in and it gives them a kick to do the actual work. (If they don't do the work...it's just information that's going unused and collecting virtual dust on the Interwebz).
Now each lesson in the Cracking The Blues Rock Code 30 Day (Plus) Challenge covers a similar amount of ground as a lesson with a face to face teacher would. Good teachers (who are rare as hens teeth) charge around $75 to $100 per lesson. Let's err on the low side and say you can find a good teacher for just $50. 35 Lessons with such a teacher requires an investment of $1750.
Plus the opportunity cost of travel time (if it's not on Skype). And travel expenses. And unless you record the lesson in some ways - which most teachers won't allow - then you have to be great at taking notes and recall (which takes up more time).
That doesn't take account of the value of bonus lessons that are in the 'Plus' version , the critique library , the video song tutorials and the other bonuses..
So let's say that's the equivalent of around another 10 to 15 lessons worth of material, that would take your investment well north of $2000.
If you enroll on the Cracking The Blues Rock Code 30 Day (Plus) Challenge today though you won't pay $2000.
You won't pay half of that - $1000.
You won't even pay a tenth of that - $200.
Instead, the investment requires to enroll on this unique program where you can learn the foundational devices and ideas in Blues Rock bass and put them to use in your own playing is just...
On It's Own That Represents A Great Investment...
But If You Enroll Today...Here's What You're Going To Get
The Critique Library is a work in progress.
If you're reading this it means that there's another Bonus in play.
Here's how it works:
- For a number of lessons I create a blank chord chart, create practice tracks, and get YOU to create a bass line for it using what you've learned in the Challenge up to that point AND the process of deliberate composition.
- You submit that composition to me.
- I critique it.
- Both the composition (anonymized) and the critique go in the Critique Library so that your fellow students can learn from what you did and my comments.
- YOU benefit because other students do the same and you get to learn from my critiques on their compositions.
Most critiques take around 15 to 20 minutes of my times....I allow each student 5 critiques in the Challenge. If we say 20 minutes per critique, thats's around an hour and a half of my time. If you asked me to one on one teach you for 90 minutes I'd charge you AT LEAST $200.
Now my hourly rate might seem high to you...it's irrelevant. This is a highly valuable bonus.
Once a certain number of students have signed up this bonus will go away and the Critique Library will become a fixed asset rather than something that's being built in real time with YOUR contribution.
So the sooner you enroll the sooner you'll lock those 5 critiques in place.
Need More Information Before You Make Your Decision?
Bonus 1 - Blues Rock Video Tutorial Collection (value $50)
This is a collection of 25 song videos demonstrating the bass lines to the songs being played. Most songs are broken down into sections, and each section is played twice - once at performance tempo and once at slowed down tempo. The videos are edited with picture in picture so you can clearly see what's going on. There's no notation and tab - but as you acquire proficiency in the various devices taught in the challenge you should start to hear those devices in the bass lines. Songs include Pride And Joy, Statesboro Blues, Sweet Home Chicago, Stormy Monday, Key To The Highway and more. (Goes live at end of Challenge)
Bonus 2 - Deliberate Practice For Bass Version 1.0 (value $47)
In 2010 I wrote a 300 plus page book about applying Deliberate Practice for bass which used to sell for $77. Now I no longer sell this book because my understanding of deliberate practice has outgrown what I originally wrote about - but the information isn't outdated in any way and is still 100% relevant. One day I'll write Version 2.0 which will layer in the understandings I've gained in the last 8 or 9 years that go beyond this...but this is still a great place to start learning about what should be a foundational level topic but that: (a) no-one really teaches and (b) no-one who does mention it seems to properly understand
Bonus 3 - How To Practice In your Dead Time (value $47)
This is an eBook I wrote in 2011 about how you can use time when you don't have your bass handy to practice your bass. If you productively use 30 minutes of 'dead time' a day you'll get an additional 150 hours of practice in the next 12 months! (Which is actually priceless!)
Bonus 4 - 80-20 Pride And Joy Walkthrough (Value $30)
You saw the intro section of Pride And Joy on the "Bonus" Day of the 5 Day Challenge. Every section in the song gets the same 80-20 Device Deconstruction treatment in this bonus. (Goes live at the end of the Challenge)
Bonus 5 - 80-20 Sweet Home ChicagoWalkthrough (Value $20)
This is a walkthrough of 5 choruses from Sweet Home Chicago where we'll check out how Duck gets through each chorus, how he connects devices (often with Last Note Modifying Devices) and we'll look at one chorus with examples of the Duck 2 Bar Pattern that we'll check out in the Challenge itself. (Goes Live at the end of the Challenge)
Bonus 6 - 80-20 Key To The Highway Walkthrough (Value $20)
This is a walkthrough of 5 choruses from Carl Radle's bass line on Key To The Highway (with Derek and the Dominos). There's some really interesting stuff hidden away under Clapton and Duance Allman's wailing guitar solos....and we'll unpack some of that in these videos. (Goes live at end of Challenge)
Bonus 7 - 80-20 Statesboro Blues Walkthrough (Value $20)
Berry Oakley is one of my favourite blues rock bass players and his untimely passing in 73 robbed us of years of his playing - especially as it was showing signs of real evolution in the 5 Piece Allman Brothers band without Duance. You can hear this clearly on the Live At Macon CD - and this is the version of Statesboro that we'll be walking through.
Future Bonuses - (Value $47)
I've got plans to add more bonuses over time to make this even more valuable. The first of those will be a unique collection of Blues Rock Sight Reading Etudes...there's a real dearth of real world sight reading literature around and this is something I've wanted to put together for a while. I think there will be 30 etudes by the time I'm finished - so you know the second example video on this page is the first etude in the collection so you can see the kind of things that will be included. This is scheduled to be completed by Christmas 2020 but will roll out - etude by etude - between now and then as time allows.
It's time for you to make a decision - and the way I see it you have three options:
Option #1 - do nothing and your bass playing will stay pretty much exactly as it is right now
Option #2 - create your own program to study blues rock. You can analyze all of the published transcriptions of the main songs in the blues rock canon (e.g. Pride And Joy, Statesboro Blues, Sweet Home Chicago, Key To The Highway and so on). Once you've analyzed between 50 and 100 of these perfromances you should start to have a good idea on which devices and ideas are foudn throughout the blues rock repertoire.
Then all you'll need to do is work out a sequential learning system to internalize and assimilate those devices and ideas AND develop a system to teach yourself how to take those devices and ideas and turn them into good bass lines.
If you're willing to work hard transcribing and analyzing you may be able to pull it off. (If you need to budget time for this....500 hours would be a good starting point)
Option #3 - let my 30 Day (Plus) Challenge do the heavy lifting for you. It's already been used by over 200 students with highly positive results - and YOU could have the same results for yourself.
Of these three options, ask yourself this question: What's Going To Be Easiest For You?
In my experience there are two types of students....those who dream about playing to a higher level without taking the required action to make it happen.
And those who are ready to take action when the opportunity presents itself to them.
Which one are you: the dreamer (who in 30 days time will be in EXACTLY the same place you are now) or the action taker (who in 30 days will be finishing up the Blues Rock 30 Day (Plus) Challenge and be armed with a ton of ideas to put into your bass playing in the coming months)?
One Final Thing To Note
Although this Challenge is called "Blues Rock" it's very much built around the playing of Tommy Shannon because I needed a way of focusing the material..... but the Challenge is (counter-intuitively) NOT about trying to sound like Tommy Shannon.
The Challenge is about learning the core devices found in blues rock and learning how to put them together to create your own bass lines.
I'm so sure of this program that there's not one but TWO guarantees!
Guarantee 1 - Day 10 100% Money Back Guarantee: I know that you'll find the unique tutorial combination of video, notation/tab and backing tracks in the CTBRC 30 Day (plus) Challenge will help you step up your bass playing, understanding of bass line creation AND putting your own bass lines together.
If for whatever reason you're not satisfied by Day 10 of the challenge all you have to do is drop me an email and let me know. I'll refund your purchase ASAP with no hassles and no hoops to jump through, and we can part as friends.
TO BE CLEAR: if you've been through the 5 Day Challenge then you've already been through approximately the first 6 Days of the 30 Day Challenge. .
Guarantee 2 - "End Of Challenge/ Made No Progress"100% Money Back Guarantee
This is what's known as a conditional guarantee. Here's the condition to trigger this one: if at the end of the Challenge you did everything that was asked but made no progress in your playing or understanding of how great bass lines are created then all you need to do is drop me an email to let me know and enclose all the deliberate composition exercises - completed by you - from the Challenge and I'll refund your enrollment fee with the same lack of drama as described above.
- Hit the bit yellow JOIN NOW button below. That will take you to the offical enrollment page on my 80-20 Site.
- Log onto your account using the same email/password combination that you used for the 5 day Challenge.
- You can now proceed and enroll securely using Paypal or Credit Card.
- Dive into the pre-training lessons and the bonuses that are waiting for you in the members area!
When you go to a gig, a jam or a rehearsal or play with other musicians no-one will care whether you can play diminished scale licks or machine gun triplets or non-muddy chords.
Instead they'll ONLY care about you filling your role as a bass player. You can learn the core ideas and devices from Blues Rock Bass in this Challenge - as well as some advanced ideas too - and more importantly, you'll learn how to put these core devices and ideas together.
Taking this 30 Day (Plus) Challenge will start you on the process of incorporating some of his foundational playing devices into your toolbox plus you'll learn how to start developing original bass lines using the foundational devices and ideas of Blues Rock bass.
P.S. In case you're one of those people like me who likes to skip to the end...here's the deal:
When you join the CTBRC 30 Day (Plus) Challenge (for just $127 - ) you're going to get access to a unique 30 Day Challenge that will improve your bass playing, improve your understanding of constructing bass lines and kick start the process of confidently creating your own interesting bass lines modelled on the core devices and ideas from the Blues Rock repertoire. Plus there's several hundred dollars of bonuses....so you've got multiples in terms of value for money BEFORE you even go to the first pre-training day in the Challenge!
Q.Do I Have Access To The Lessons For Just The 30 Days Of The Challenge?
The Lessons appear on a daily basis….once the Challenge is complete and all the lesson have been published, you will retain unlimited access to the Lessons.
Q.What Level Of Theory Do I Need To Have?
A.Required theory level is pretty basic – you need to know what root notes and thirds and fifths and sixths and so on are. And how to find them in specific keys or chord centres.
More Testimonials And Comments
Over 400 students have already been through the 30 Day Challenges I run and I've taken screenshots of emails and facebook comments about the Challenge that you can look through and have a slew of others to add as well!