Cracking The McCartney Code 30 Day Challenge
There are only two ways to improve your bass playing:
- Improve the technical/physical side of what you play - either improve plucking hand speeds or fretting hand facility or work on improved plucking hand or fretting hand system. This is a long term play.
- Improve the mental side of what you play - this is working on 'what you play' and improving it by increasing your vocabulary or learning how to connect the vocabulary you know better and so on. This is Bass IQ. And growth from improving your Bass IQ works by compounding. And leads to exponential growth.
This is what we'll be focusing on in the Cracking The McCartney Code 30 Day Challenge.
As a side effect, what we're going to be learning and practicing will also improve the physical aspect of your playing.
I've analyzed literally hundreds of McCartney's performances looking for the commonly repeated ideas and devices.
And I turned this into a sequential learning system that bass players of even relatively moderate abilities can benefit from and improve with .
Summarized, this process (which took several years) reduces down to 4 lines:
- Identifying the core ideas McCartney used in his bass playing with the Beatles.
- Put those ideas into a sequential learning system
- Add in the secret sauce - a technique I developed called “deliberat composition” helps students put McCartney's ideas together to create interesting bass lines.
- All combined and packaged in 30 days of hyper focused learning.
Your Chance To Learn From One Of The Pioneers Of Bass!
Two bass players in the 60s created the language of electric bass. Those bass players were James Jamerson and of course...Paul McCartney. Between them they influenced just about every bass player who came afterwards from John Paul Jones to Mike Mills to Geddy Lee and more.
Most bass lines on the pop records of the early 60s were essentially simplistic - mostly roots and 5ths.
The ‘language’ of the bass didn’t exist.
That language was created by Jamerson and McCartney - often cross influencing each other as they went.
And this is your chance to learn directly from McCartney's work.
McCartney's bass playing tends to be more accessible than Jamerson's but that doesn't diminish either the quality of his bass playing or its releavance.
This is your chance to learn directly from McCartney's body of work.
It's also a chance to learn more in a condensed period of time than most people learn in 6 months, 9 months, or longer.
By the end of the Challenge you’ll have leapfrogged your contemporaries in terms of the devices and ideas that you know and, much more importantly, you'll know how to put those ideas together to create compelling bass lines.
How The Cracking The McCartney 30 Day Challenge Works
Here's How The Challenge (CTMC for short) Works...
Focusing on something for 30 days is a proven way to acquire new skills, take existing skills to a new level...basically to get shit done.
When you enroll there are 5 pre-training days already in your Account plus Day 1 of the Challenge. (As well as some of the bonuses - see below).
Every day a new 'day' will go live in your Account and you'll get an email letting you know that the next day is now available.
Each new lesson either layers directly on top of a previous lesson or introduces a new device or concept for you to add to your toolbox of ideas. Each lesson has suggested practice exercises to work on assimilating new devices and from Day 7 onwards we'll go through putting those devices and ideas into bass lines that work.
Daily Lesson Format
Each 'day' of the Challenge has a similar format:
- there is a PDF of the lesson to download that you can either print out or add to a device like an iPad so you can read when not connected to the internet
- the text is on the web page along with the music graphics AND the videos demonstrating each example
I took Day 1 - which is waiting for you right now in the Challenge! - and resized it a little and took screen shots of about 2/3rds of the lesson to give you an idea of how it looks like in the Challenge. Obviously when YOU access it, it will be much more legible!
Depending on your current ability level each lesson takes about 30-45 minutes to read, watch the examples and anything from 30 to 120 minutes to put into practice. (These are approximations - like just about everything the more you put in, the more you'll get out.)
Here are some of the things we're going to be working on to improve Bass IQ in this 30 Day Challenge:
- McCartney's rock and roll devices (Days 10 and 11)
- a simple device fragment to add movement to consistent root notes (Day 21)
- anticipations (Day 12 ) and overlapping (day 13) - two sophisticated but simple techniques to create unpredictability in your lines
- the 16th note rhythms used by McCartney - Rubber Soul and onwards (Days 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22)
- the three different types of approach notes - and how these notes push the listener's ear through the chord progression (Day 5)
- adding colour to the devices you play by using "modifying devices" (Days 9,11, and 24)
- practice devices to improve your technical facility (Day 28)
- making practice do double duty (Day 2)
- practicing in the learning zone (Day 18)
- how to move linearly through chord progressions that don't move linearly (Days17 and 27)
- how to create your own "sound" (Day 30)
- how to practice a device to the nth degree (Day 25)
- the three types of Double Stops that McCartney used in his lines (Day 16)
- practicing devices at quarter note level and how to gain technical fluency in preparation for playing at 8th note level (Days 1 to 4)
- practicing devices at an 8th note level (Day 13)
- the sophisticated device few bass players use - Jamerson, Stevie Wonder's keyboard bass lines, Dee Murray and Flea are the only guys I've seen use this (Day 20)
- bass line modelling - how to 'lift' the skeleton of a bass line and use it to create your own line with no-one (including your band mates) being any the wiser (Day 22)
- detailed instruction to use deliberate composition (Days 6 to 9)
- 80-20 analysis of one of McCartney's finest bass lines (Day 23)
- a practice progression using devices that ensures you are consistently getting better on the bass (Day 15)
- the three types of guitaristic hammer-ons McCartney used...and how you can use them (Days 19 and 21)
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 this 30 Day Challenge was deliberate composition you'd still be on track to make big improvements in your bass playing.)
I've run the live version of The 30 Day Challenge several times and had several hundred students study with me. I've taken screenshots from the Accountability Group for you to check out below...here's the first screenshot:
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:
(If you need to see more testimonials and comments I've added a bunch at the bottom of the page.)
So How Much Is The Investment In The CTMC 30 Day 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 McCartney Code 30 Day 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. 30 Lessons with such a teacher requires an investment of $1500.
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).
Not to mention the bonus lessons and the critique library.
So let's say that's the equivalent of around another 10 lessons worth that would take your investment to $2000.
If you enroll on the Self Study version of the Jamerson 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 that McCartney used and put them to use in your own playing is just...
*** this is the launch period price....it will be going up to $127 in approx 7 days)
On It's Own That Represents A Great Investment...
But If You Enroll Today...Here's What You're Going To Get
The previous versions of Cracking The McCartney 30 Day Challenge were 'live' versions.
Which meant that the students submitted their compositions (daily from Day 9) to the Private Accountability Group where I would critique them.
And so they got direct feedback on things that they could improve.
But they could also see compositions by their fellow students AND my critiques of those compositions. Which is a great learning opportunity.
However the private accountability group was hosted on Facebook. That puts some students off - because they have concerns about privacy and the like. (Concerns that I share btw and I'll not be using Facebook much more.)
For the self study course I can't replicate that direct experience with direct critiques but what I have done is create a 'critique library' for the corresponding 'Days' in the Challenge where some of the Student's Compositions are copied over along with my critiques.
Some of the students submitted their compositions by printing out blank chord charts provided in the lesson PDFs and writing them in by hand. Some of them composed into software. And some even exported their composition as a midi file and turned it into an audio file.
Here's an example of a student composition:
And here's one where the student created sound files of his compositions so I could listen to them as I followed along with the notation.
Here's the audio file to listen to on Soundsloud (by clicking):
And here's a photo of his composition - and so you know this composition which is sophisticated and complex is wayyyyyy beyond his current level of playing. But by learning about the different foundational devices that McCartney used and how they go together he was able to create a bass line like this (though there are a couple of note choices later on in the piece that I told him were questionable in my critique!):
Need More Information Before You Make Your Decision?
Bonus 1 - 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 2 - Analyzing Bass Lines (value $47)
This is a collection of columns that I wrote several years ago and compiled into a PDF eBook. Analyzing bass lines will allow you to discover your own patterns and ideas - this eBook will teach you the process of going through this and being able to do it.
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 - McCartney Isolated Bass Lines (value $30)
The game 'Beatles Rock Band' used authentic Beatles tracks - and these leaked out on the internet. If you don't know where to find them - or don't want to risk downloading from strange websites in the darker regions of the Web - then I've taken a bunch of these and screen captured them so you can listen to the isolated bass lines. (Sometimes I captured bass and vocals). These are really inspirational.
Bonus 5 - McCartney 'Time And Groove' Class (value $30)
There's a great book for Drummers called It's About Time - I lifted two types of exercises from that book that bass players can use to work on their sense of internal time. Using three McCartney style bass lines of different complexity we'll work through these exercises so you can see how to add these practice exercises to your toolbox of ideas to improve your bass playing. This Bonus will go live at the end of the Challenge (and there will be practice tracks for you to download to practice the exercises I demonstrate with).
You've seen the examples above from students who are already putting McCartney's foundational devices to work and creating their own bass lines using his ideas....
There's not one but TWO guarantees that fully covers the cost of enrollment so all the risk is on me (see below).
So 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 McCartney. You can analyze all of the published transcription of McCartney's work with the Beatles as a start. Once you've analyzed between 50 and 100 of McCartney's perfromances you should start to have a good idea on which devices and ideas he used (and re-used) in his career with The Beatles.
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 system do the heavy lifting for you. It's already been used by over 200 students with highly positive results that YOU could have 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 high 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 McCartney 30 Day 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 McCartney is the bass player that we're learning from in this 30 Day Challenge..... the Challenge is (counter-intuitively) NOT about trying to sound like Paul McCartney.
McCartney is rightly considered an influential bass player who produced great bass lines like Something, Come Together, Rain, Hey Bulldog, I Saw Her Standing There and a string of others that are loved and admired in equal measure by the majority of the bass community.
All of those lines incorporate the foundational devices we're going to study, so that they become part of your vocabulary and we're going to learn how to put those devices together to create YOUR bass lines. And we'll get to some advanced rhythms and materials in the last few days of the Challenge.
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 CTMC 30 Day 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.
Guarantee 2 - "End Of Challenge/ Made No Progress"100% Money Back Guarantee
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.
- If you've never enrolled on a course there before then set up an account using your best email address and a password (so you can access the Challenge information and receive the Challenge emails) and then proceed and do your Paypal Thang. (You can also enroll using credit card).
- Dive into the pre-training lessons, the bonuses and Day 1 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. McCartney showed how to fill that role and be creative whilst doing that...and here's your chance to access a lot of that core material in the next few weeks.
Taking this 30 Day 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 McCartney's foundational devices and ideas.
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 CTMC 30 Day 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 devices and ideas that McCartney used throughout his bass playing stint with the Beatles! 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
As I said in the body of this page, over 200 students have already been through the Jamerson 30 Day Challenge 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!