Beyond the BassiKs 1

CFH is pleased to present a new line of bass (yes, bass) columns by bassist extraordinaire, Scott Hubbell. Scott's the dude in the "Scarified" cover video that you may have caught here at the site a few months ago. Where's Ed Sullivan when you need him...

Growing up in the 80s', I was very intrigued with the guitar-shred revolution that was going on. Because there wasn't very many “soloistic” bass players at that time, I transcribed a lot of gitter players. One of the techniques that caught my ear (besides tapping, but that is another story) was sweep picking. Since I don't play with a pick, I figured out several different ways to achieve similar results using my fingers. In the next series of columns, we'll look at how I “sweep” and how a couple of name players do it also. The first technique is more of a rasqueodo or rake technique base on the familiar triad shapes as shown on the fretboard diagram. In the audio example, I am playing out of the A Harmonic Minor scale. Plucking hand technique is very important. Finger alternation is 2-1-2-1-1-2-2 or if you start with the index: 1-2-1-2-2-1-1. An alternative would be to hammer on the 5th of each triad as I'm doing in the audio example. For the fretting hand, it's easy to do minor and majors, 'cause you can bar across the 5th and octave with your pinky. The dim. And aug. are a little more difficult, but will come with practice. Start out slowly and try to make each note distinct. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at: and I'll answer you ASAP.

S. Hubbell

Be sure to check out Scott's 2nd column at Chops from Hell...