This is a public version of the members-only Jazz Bass with John Patitucci, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Jazz Bass with John Patitucci.
Join Now

Beginner Upright Bass
Intermediate Upright Bass
Advanced Upright Bass
Music Theory
Beginner Electric Bass
Intermediate Electric Bass
Advanced Electric Bass
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Jazz Bass Lessons: Electric Bass: Basic Sound Production 1

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Beginner Upright Bass

+Intermediate Upright Bass

+Advanced Upright Bass

+Beginner Electric Bass

+Intermediate Electric Bass

+Advanced Electric Bass

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Jazz Bass

This video lesson is available only to members of
Jazz Bass with John Patitucci.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Jazz Bass with John Patitucci. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Jazz Bass Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
Now, I'd like to show you some left hand
exercises for coordination and
independence that
also help us develop a sound
to where we're pulling
a sound out of the instrument
by strengthening our hands and
using them in a connected way with
each other, to produce a sound.
Let's start first with building some
strength in the left hand fingers.
We're gonna use the one finger per
fret system and right now we're not
gonna get into the whole division
of the positions of the neck.
That's gonna be coming soon,
in the next lessons.
But right now let's just stay down
here in the bottom of the bass and
start on the A note on the G string.
Here's the second fret.
We're going to play A, B flat, C.
A, B flat, B natural and C.
Okay, we're going to play A, B flat,
B natural and C in different combinations.
So the fingerings are one,
two, three, four.
One, four, three, four.
One, four, two, four,
one, two, four, three.
So that's A, B flat, B, C, A, C, B, C,
A, C, B flat, C.
A, B flat, C, B natural.
So having to have the coordination and
the muscle memory to know
which finger goes down when and
also the synchronized motion of
the rest stroke happening and
pulling a tone without noise.
So that means you have to relax
the weight of your left hand.
You're not pressing the thumb
into the back of the neck, but
you are holding the notes down right
at the edge of the fret there.
And I'm using a rest stroke and
I'm playing up by the finger board.
And you notice my attacks are even.
So that's the first bar.
This is all written out for
you too in the sheet.
Now the second bar.
Notice how the left hand.
Here's the first two bars.
Two, three, four, one, four, three, four.
I'm calling out the fingerings.
One, two, three, four,
one, four, three, four.
Then the second two bars.
One, four, two, four,
one, two, four, three.
So everything is lined up in a row.
My thumb's not over the top of the neck,
and I'm not clinching.
I'm approaching the instrument.
My forearm, straight,
there's not a lot of bending,
there's not a little weird
breaking of the wrist,
which would limit the blood flow and
cause problems like tendonitis and things.
So you wanna just come at it like this,
have the hand curled.
Now, the thing is, you can play them
separate picking like I did, or
you can do what is called hammer on,
pull off techniques.
So, here's the first bar.
One, two, three, four is the fingering.
We're gonna go one,
hammer on the second fingering.
One, hammer on.
Let's try hammer on the third two.
So I'm taking each note, and
I'm pressing the note with my
left hand right into the neck.
Make sure you don't tense up your hand to
do it, just use the motion of each finger.
I'm not picking anything,
this is left hand only and now we're
going to pull off with the pinky.
And I pull them off, each one.
Notice how you pull straight down?
And it produces another sound.
So now we're gonna do the whole first
line there of the exercise, which is.
Hammer, pull, hammer.
Now it might take
you awhile to get this and
then you have to take frequent breaks.
You don't want to burn out your fingers,
but it's gonna help your sound.
Then maybe do it like this,
where it's kind of all hammered.
See, it's a good tone.
And I'm using some vibrato too.
[SOUND] Vibrato is when you put
some weight on the note and
you shake, you press into the neck and
you move the note.
You're actually moving the pitch flat and
It's another expressive device.
So this is the way you
build tone using technique.
The reason why we want technique is so we
can sound more musical and build tone and
flexibility and expression.
So that's why we do these exercises.
So then the whole exercise,
say we pick some and we slur some and
hammer whenever we feel.
So we say, there's picked, that's slurred.
And hammered, picked, slurred.
Now we're gonna go backwards.
Four, three, two, one,
two, one, four, three,
three, two, four, one,
two, one, three, two.
So it's kind of a finger buster.
And so, you can do the same thing.
You can say, let's hammer it.
Pull off, and hammer.
We have to go.
Play the first note with your right hand,
don't play any more.
then you're gonna have to pick it again.
So it's not the most melodic thing but
it's gonna help you to line up and
start pulling a sound.
So, here's the backwards motion.
I did it all with just picking one note.
I've practiced this a lot.
You can get there.
At first it's a little weird
to try to pull off and
get those sounds with just your left hand.
But you'll get there and it'll help you.
So then you do it on the other strings.
I have it all written out for
the other strings.
I'll just briefly show
you what it looks like.
Some hammer, some straight.
There's many different ways you can do it,
you can pick two, hammer two, pick two,
hammer two, you get the idea.
Then you do it on the A string.
All picked, hammered.
Then the low string.
So in another words,
I'm thinking about trying
to build some strength.
Take a rest.
You can feel it in your forearm sometimes,
it's stretching your tendons.
Because you haven't probably tried to
do these hammers and pulls before,
in this way.
It's a new thing.
So that's the first exercise.