Bass Lick of the Week #27

This exercise is a percussive line that’s played with the palm muting technique and unusually, includes some fretting hand slaps.

One of the most important parts of this line to master is the percussive element. A strong backbeat is required, so you’ll need to accent beats two and four of each bar. When playing beat four (as in the anacrusis bar at the beginning of the line), you’ll need to ‘pat’ the E-string with your thumb to create a ghost note - you can afford to do this quite firmly. On the second beat of the bar, the first note is going to be played with the fretting hand. In order for this to work, you’ll need to follow the recommended fingerings written across the top of the notation. In the first bar, use the first finger to fret the F# and slide upwards to the G. Doing so will leave the remaining fingers free to perform the percussive fretting hand slap. This approach must be taken to all of the chord changes: the first of the fretting hand is used for the pitched notes, allowing the other fingers to perform the percussive note. Once you have mastered this basic figure you should find that the rest of the exercise falls into place relatively easily.

This line is intended to be played with the palm muting technique, so your thumb will be plucking the E-string and your first and second fingers can pluck the upper strings as needed. You can lightly mute the notes on the E-string with the edge of the palm if desired - this is what I did on the recording and it suits the line well.

To download the backing track and PDF worksheet for this exercise, please visit the Free Stuff section of the website.