Here are some things people are saying about Mutant Bass. Thank you for taken the time to write and leave kind messages. It means a lot. Please send all questions/comments to: mutantbass [at] yahoo [dot] com
Hi Posido … just wanted to let you know I stumbled on your bass lesson site yesterday and felt like I had hit pay dirt! There is such a wealth of free material, and your explanations are some of the clearest and most concise I’ve seen. Bravo for making the best of your forced time off (I too have been there, having to stop playing due to body issues.) Thank you, and good luck on the journey!
Just wanted to write to say thank you for this article:
I’m trying to digest it right now. It looks/sounds very powerful.
I had been looking for something like that to kick my training wheels off and to start improvising.
Thanks very much.
Love your work man. I really appreciate your unique teaching style on Mutant Bass; its fresh, fun and funky. I picked up the bass guitar a few years ago and its just been a joy to grow with musically. Your teachings on Mutant Bass is by far one of the most inspirational sources of information I’ve come across and it has given me new perspectives on how I play the bass. I’ve always believed in the importance of developing a sound musical concept before anything else, so that you can have a core from which you can experiment with new ideas that can help you with songwriting and music composition. I think by gaining a clear understanding of a certain concept, you’ve instilled in yourself something that you can grow from. Your articles have explained new concepts to me in a matter of minutes; and thats really exciting.
I’d be honoured to take a few lessons from you in person one day.
Much respect, keep up the good work.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write the article on carpal tunnel. I’ve been playing bass for 30 years and apply the anchored thumb technique and was experiencing a tingling in my right hand for a couple of months.
Unfortunately I didn’t attribute it my playing and bang I got it…carpal tunnel…it almost brought a tear to my thinking I couldn’t play the bass anymore… but I am applying the shotgun method…. and floating thumb technique… Without going to much in depth I really want to say thanks and I hope you reach out to other bass players…and by the way your web site is great!
Hope you’re well and are enjoying the holiday season. I recently decided to bite the proverbial bullet, and incorporate your floating thumb technique for my right hand. I played classical piano for years, and one of the things you learn playing the piano is that if you can relax your thumbs, the rest of your hand will follow suit and relax too. Apparently, this is one of the universal principles of technique!
It still feels a little weird, especially when it comes to string crossing and raking – and I must admit that I do prefer the tone I was getting prior to switching to floating thumb. However, my overall speed and endurance nearly doubled, practically overnight…and it only requires about half as much energy to play this way. Plus, my wrist never gets sore or cramped anymore. I’ve had hand problems in the past too, and would definitely like to avoid any more of the same in the future! So I’m just gonna persevere and see where this new right hand approach leads me. Hopefully, my tone and control will improve with time. Wish me luck!…
hi there. first, thank you for this priceless information. with floating thumb and shotgun method i can play effortlessly, relaxed. i used to anchor my thumb to the strings. i had some right hand issues, uneven, inconsistent tone. but with your information it’s gone. not completely gone though. i have slight unevenness (is it a word :)) but i can live with it. it seems every bass player has this uneven tone one way or another. even best players. again thank you very much.
…love the mutant bass website! it’s got some really helpful stuff on it which is nice to see. I practice some of these things already, I’m a pretty decent instrumentalist but there’s people I know and truly admire for their instrumental skills who don’t seem to understand some of these basic musical techniques which can make learning to play/write songs so much faster, easier, and more enjoyable. It’s nice to find any place that emphasizes not only hard work and practice techniques but the importance of open-minded musicality and how to integrate it into your natural routine. Many kudos for that.
Thanks for the hope that I might feel comfortable one day to actually take a solo and be a better all around bassist.
I can’t get over how cool this site is. It parallels some of the lessons I learned at Victor Wooten’s bass/nature camp. I’m looking forward to digging into this material and turning it into musical expression.
Man I’ve been checking out your site and it’s pretty cool! The bass pentatonics section is very interesting. I really enjoyed the “Do you groove with energy?” animation, reminds me a bit of Weird Al.
Hey man, this site is awesome.
I just read your article on creating lines over chord voicings and found it very interesting.You’re right that in the example given that playing those parts can sound good over a C7 voicing, and I find that the lines have to be rythmicaly phrased just right to really sound good. Thanks for the article… I’ve been trying to figure out how to play “out” for about 25 years and practicing this concept can only help…. BTW before I read anything on your site, I checked out the audio samples, and I could tell right away you’re a very solid player. Nice grooves!
…I’m working a lot around the chords passing tones and improvising unusual melodies over usual chords… your site gave me alot of inspirations! Take care!
This site is cool, I think you’ve got the right idea as far as the new fresh and insane bass players are concerned… What you’re doing is great, bass players need to know there is no limit!
I just want to say thanks for sharing all of your knowledge. I’ve spent many hours on your site trying to digest everything and I’m trying to apply some of your concepts on my current gigs.
The things you talk about are fundamental and not necessarily new, but they are the things that make the difference in being an excellent musician or just being mediocre.
I think we all get away from the basics at certain point and get distracted by other musical expectations that we put on ourselves or we feel others put on us.
It’s refreshing to come back to your words and remember that just executing the basic concepts you talk about with a relaxed confidence and clean technique will be perfect for any musical situation.
This site is very helpful i’m going to study your site more. Your fearless flow stuffs great helped me a lot. Thanks!
What a great site. As a professional bass tutor, some of your tutorials are excellent. I will be encouraging some of my guys to sign up. Hopefully they’ll read up on your “practice” articles. Well done and thanks! You’re a credit to bass.
I found your site through the video you have on youtube about the floating thumb technique. I’m really impressed by the info on your site. Some of it is new to me, and some I’ve seen before, but it’s very well presented and laid out. I’ve learned a lot! Keep up the great work! Thanks!
I checked out your website and was pretty impressed! A lot of great insight and information.
I actually suffered some injury myself several years ago in both hands. One time on a gig, several years ago, I hadn’t done a bass gig in a while (I play a lot of guitar as well), and by the end of the gig my middle finger on my plucking hand locked in place, curled up into my palm! I had to stop playing and had pains up my arm into my elbow. I gently unfurled it with my other hand and tried to continue playing and it happened again right away!
For years I stopped using my middle finger completely because of that and adopted James Jamerson’s “hook” technique. I also figured out how to play 16th notes with one finger using a back and forth technique I believe was employed by Chuck Rainey.
Recently, I’ve been using my middle finger more, but still once in a while I can feel it in my wrist and elbow. In my fretting hand, I get this sharp pain in the center of my palm that feels similar to hitting your funny bone. I’ve been trying to adapt my playing around these pains and continue to do so every time I play. Great suggestions though and I intend to try them. I also wanted to share with you my favorite metronome exercises.
My teacher always taught me to develop great timing and feel by setting the metronome beating triplets and playing a 4/4 16th note groove against it. It works the other way around too, a swung groove against the metronome beating 16th notes! Once you lock it in, you really become aware of the polyrhythms it creates and how they resolve.
Anyhow, I intend to check out your page more in depth and see what I can get out of it. Music is a lifelong learning experience, there’s always more to learn, but I’m sure you probably already know that. My teacher at 65 still considered himself a student of music and a disciple of Coltrane! I also enjoyed the musical clips you have posted, interesting and cool, are you mainly a session player? I unfortunately don’t have much of my own music, my talent lies in creating the right parts for other people’s music and helping them realize their visions. Write me back if you feel so inclined.
I just began looking at your articles, man do I recognize the concepts! After getting my music degree and joining the real world, I re-educated myself very much along the lines you speak of. Very impressive!
I did find your articles on time and right hand technique to be extremely insightful and well-explained. If you didn’t live so far away I’d come take a lesson with you! What’s a little ironic about you contacting me last week is that I actually started experimenting with the floating thumb technique myself lately. One of the things I learned from playing piano is that if you totally relax your thumbs, the rest of your hand automatically loosens up.
Technique-wise, I’m totally self-taught on both piano and bass, so I had to figure out all this stuff on my own. I just wanted to be able to not have to think about mechanics, so I could just play whatever I’m hearing. I later discovered that good technique/control also can result in happening time and a good sound. But most of it actually just comes down to logic and common sense, and it’s all universal…relaxation, conservation of motion, etc. But it’s also stuff you can keep learning about and refining for the rest of your life! 🙂
Floating my thumb definitely relaxes it, and I’ve noticed that I experience no right-hand fatigue whatsoever. Low B strings no longer ring out of control when I play on the higher strings! I can also play with my bass pretty high up too now, which is definitely easier on my left hand.
The only drawback for me is that I’m not used to it yet, and my sound is a little less meaty because my fingertips are attacking the string at a shallower angle. Thirty-two years of habit are not broken overnight! But I guess that will come with time. Anyway, please give me a shout sometime, I’d love to talk with you.
I wanted to tell you, I was checking out your website chapter about playing melodies with dynamic direction, or such, and then I practiced an improvised solo with my drum machine and some chords underneath and it was amazing! I feel like the simple concept you stated, when I really took the time to understand it and apply it, just helped me get to a whole new level.
That was exactly the problem I was having for years: playing random crap with no real concept or direction, mostly due to being nervous and feeling scared of empty space when everyone drops out. I’ve been trying to play simpler, shorter phrases lately and it’s made all the difference, but your idea of moving towards certain points in the phrases really helped it all come together, and the idea of building from low to high, and even back down again to end, was paramount in making the solo develop properly.
Again, it’s not like I’ve never heard of melodic development, of course, but you put it in a way where I saw it in a new light and really was able to grasp the nature of the concept.
I look at your page on a daily basses just to find out new ideas for my lines. you are the greatest site for all styles and gendres.
Thanks for creating this. I’m working on getting my application to qualify for Mutant bass status!
I checked out your website. It has awesome tips for playing bass!… Thanks for sharing your knowledge! Cheers from New York…