Alex Scott is a professional freelance bassist, drummer and recording engineer based out of Denver, CO. He has had the honor of sharing the stage with such artists as John Popper (Blues Traveler), Stanton Moore, Robert Randolph, DJ Logic, and many others. As a producer and engineer, he has 12 albums to his credit, as well as work in television and online content creation. He tours nationally with Fox Street, 40 Oz to Freedom, and performs and records all around Colorado wi... (more)
Alex currently offers 41 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 41 intermediate lessons.
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One of the most critical skills of any musician is to keep good, solid time - especially bass players. But it doesn’t just end with a metronome. In this in-depth course, we take you through the many faces and facets of groove.
Alex kicks off the series with a methodical approach to getting in the groove. We will practice simple patterns with a metronome, beginning at uncomfortably slow tempos and increasing gradually. We connect this critical exercise to the idea of natural time and playing perfectly on the beat, and lay the groundwork for the idea of ‘feel’.
Building from lesson 1, we take the patterns learned and play over a straight-on-the-beat pop groove. We translate the metronome into programmed drums, and get a bearing on the ‘feel’ of rigidly playing exactly on the beat.
We move from on the beat to the back end - where the funk lives. We play over a hip-hop track with a relaxed pocket, and notice the difference that it makes from the previous example. We focus on playing the groove right with the drums for a relaxed, behind-the-groove vibe.
In this lesson, we switch sides for a taste of the front of the beat. We riff over a hard-rock influenced track, noticing how we’ve moved the feel from relaxed to up-front and angsty.
We discuss how songs can utilize mixed feels and tempos to create dramatic results. We learn a modern rock track that moves from slow and relaxed, to fast and rushed, and back again. This demonstrates the truly epic effect that feel and tempo has on music.
In this lesson, we dig deeper into a rock feel over a Hendrix-inspired track. We are going to work on locking with the drummer and learn some fun bass riffs.
Leaning back on the beat is the name of the game for this lesson. We play a groovy, laid-back funk track and focus on kick drum and bass interplay.
In this lesson, we play some rippin’ bluegrass and learn about the idea of double-time. The backing track illustrates how fast tempos can be played with a relaxed feel.
A whole new aspect of groove comes into play when we learn about the idea of ostinatos - a fancy name for repeating rhythmic motifs. The ‘drop 2’ feel of reggae lends to interesting new bass line ideas.
We round the course out with a deep, funky jazz/electronica track. This serves to exemplify the power and importance of feel. We recap all of the ideas we’ve discussed so far, and end with a conversation about the broad applications of feel as a bass player. Congratulations - you’ve got that deep pocket!
Want to play bass like a pro? In this series, Alex Scott breaks it down in bite-sized chunks!
To get this lesson series started off, Alex discusses the aim of his new series and some of the pre-requisite knowledge you should have to successfully complete the course. Designed around the concept of being a well rounded player, this course is designed to give you the tools necessary to gig with anybody without having to have tab, notation or charts in front of you.
To get the learning started in this series, Alex has a quick recap lesson designed to make sure you already have the theoretical knowledge you'll be using in this course, or provide it if you don't.
The next step in being able to grab your base and play with anybody, or along with any track is being able to hear the intervals between chords that create the harmonies we hear as listeners. Your job as a bassist will be to support or augment what you're playing along with.
Lesson 4 in his Play Like a Pro series, is all about the concept of voice leading. This is the idea that notes should lead in to each other to help smooth out your line of playing.
One of the major components to being able to effectively play with others, on the spot, is the ability to hear intervals. Alex provides several exercises meant to help develop your ear for hearing not only single note intervals, but intervals within chords.
Now that you've got a basic understanding of the theoretical piece to playing like a pro, it's start to look at practical application. In lesson 6, Alex discusses and demonstrates how the bassist can use the different drum instruments to help lock to the drummer.
Lesson 7 is a continuation from lesson 6 and adds to complexity through some simplistic styles and an open drum groove. Because locking in to the drummer is often times the go to action for a bassist, knowing how to cope with several variations will add to your bag of tricks while jamming with others.
In lessons six and seven you approached playing the bass from a standpoint of locking in with the drummer. In lesson eight, the concept is the same, but this time you're locking to a rhythm guitarist.
Like the previous lesson where you practiced playing bass locked to a guitarist, this lesson moves on to another common band instrument, the piano.
Lesson 10 is all about taking the knowledge you've gained over the past several lessons and combining it with the initial ear and interval training done at the beginning of the course. You'll use the concepts of rhythmically locking with another instrument and start thinking about harmonic accompaniment along with it.
Before moving on to the next section of the series, Alex takes one more look at building bass lines utilizing all of the techniques you've been focusing on in the previous 10 lessons. Not only will you be using interval and ear training to decide bass motion, but you'll be building it's rhythm based on multiple instruments instead of just one.
Now that you've completed the first phase of this three part lesson series, it's time to get up to speed with some genre specific chops. Over the next 10 lessons you'll cover tendencies of specific genre's you might encounter when playing out. To get us started off, Alex takes a look at the golden oldies.
Moving along in section two of this series, it's time to take a look at what is today considered Classic Rock. This track will be in a Led Zeppelin type of style and look at how bassist would comp this type of song in an improvisation setting.
In lesson 14 you move to a style study on more modern forms of rock. Like previous lessons, Alex will discuss the tendencies of a bassist in this style of music and provide two distinct bass lines to try out.
Lesson 15 is all about Funk. This genre may be the loosest and most experimental of genre's the bassist takes part in. Alex discusses tonal differences and looks at ways that this genre can really let you, the bassist, be the star.
It's time to move on to what Alex refers to as "straight ahead jazz." This is an essential genre for any musician and as a bassist you help underpin the frequent chord changes.
In a large style departure, lesson 17 moves away from Jazz and into the realm of Country and Bluegrass. Although stylistically this is very different, many of the same leading concepts discussed in the Jazz genre study still apply.
In the genre study section of this series, you're now moving to the Pop genre, but more specifically stylized from the 80's. Much of what is taught here can be incorporated in to almost any type of modern pop music. Alex discusses the sparse laid back approach to many Pop style bass sections due to the genre's focus more on lyric content. You'll then move to a more melodic type of pedaling line.
It's on to another core genre in part 2 of Play Like a Pro. This time you'll be looking at playing bass in the Blues category. Much like Jazz, you'll look at walking lines that favor outlining chord changes. In Scene two, Alex discusses 12/8 time and how it helps to create the famed blues shuffle.
Nearing the end of the genre study section of this series, it's time to look at the rhythmic stylings of R&B, the Motown sound and specifically James Jamerson.
To round out the genre study portion of this series, your last stop is the world of Hip Hop. Dominated by samples and repeating patterns, Alex discusses the nuance necessary to make those parts shine without creating undue repetitiveness.
Now that you've taken an extensive look at the vocabulary for most popular genre's you'd be asked to play, it's time to go deeper into creating the methods for which you can create lines and improvise on the fly. In the first lesson of the final section of this series, Alex teaches you how to chart any song you hear.
Now that you know how to chart like a pro, this is your first crack at improvising bass lines for the rockabilly genre. Alex will guide you through the charting process, then give you time to come up with bass lines yourself. Once you've done that, return to scene two and Alex will give you an example of what he'd play based on the chart.
Now it's time to take a look at the modern rock staple of music. Like you've already been doing, Alex will help you chart the backing track, then it's your turn to improvise a bass line. Come back in scene 2 where Alex will give an example of what he would play.
Next in line for your improvising practice and study is the Funk Genre. Like previous lessons, you'll chart the track with Alex, then you'll have time to improvise a bass line yourself before Alex comes back and offers up his example.
Now it's your turn to start improvising over what Alex calls "straight ahead jazz." Things start getting more technical in this genre. As usual, you'll chart the track with Alex, then he'll return to give you an example of what he's play.
As you continue on your journey through charting and improvising bass lines, we find ourselves now at Country. Like the previous lessons, Alex will help you chart the backing track, give you time to create your own improvisations and then will give you an example that he might play.
Back for lesson 28 is an 80's dance pop inspired track to try your improvisation hand at. Although this track has an 80's dance vibe, the improvisation techniques here would be well suited for modern varieties of pop, dance and scores of electronica. Like previous lessons, you'll chart the track with Alex and then he'll give you an example of what he might play.
In lesson 29 of Play Like a Pro, you're going to be charting and improvising the blues. Specifically, the track is a Blues/Rock number, but the essential skills and concepts here will work over all blues types. You'll chart the track with Alex, then he'll play an example based on that chart.
In lesson 30 of his Play Like a Pro series, Alex takes you on a journey through R&B and the MoTown sound. In this one, just like the previous lessons, you'll spend time charting a R&B track. Alex will then provide an example of how he's play an improvised bass line over it.
To end his series on playing bass like a pro, Alex offers up advise and another charting session on the hip hop genre. Just like before you'll chart a track with Alex, then he'll provide an example of what he might play in an improvised bass line for this genre.