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 78 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 78 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.
As a bass player, finding your voice and place in the band can be a challenge. Do you follow the drummer? Should you lock with the guitar player, keys, or vocalist? How can you be sure to stand out in the band? Should you stand out in the band? How do you play alongside a rippin' guitar solo? How can you improvise on the fly and not miss a beat? Join Alex Scott as he performs a deep dive to unlock the untold secrets of improvisation on the bass guitar to answer these questions and meet the challenge!
Alex Scott introduces his Master Class, 'Conversations: Improvising on the Bass Guitar'
Let's hit the ground running with this first lesson where Alex will cover how the Major Scale relates to the different modes. We'll also discuss how to use triads to build and identify our chord shapes in order to cover most of the changes we'll encounter while improvising.
In this lesson, Alex will cover how to apply the concepts from the previous lesson to his original jam track, 'Enjoy Yourself'.
Being able to identify a chord progression is a key skill when improvising. Here, Alex will discuss his technique for this skill by utilizing the Major Scale, modes, and passing tones.
Ok now let's implement what we learned about transitions and passing tones with Alex's original jam track, 'Ridealong'.
The bass player is the glue that holds the band together. A couple of the most important ingredients in the glue are without a doubt, rhythm and syncopation. In this lesson, Alex will break down these concepts of note division and changing up the rhythm by alternating between the up-beats and down-beats.
Time to put your rhythm and syncopation skills to work with Alex's original jam track, 'Big Cheese'.
Not surprisingly the most overlooked, yet most important skill a bass player can have in their toolbox is listening. In this lesson, Alex will discuss the who, what, where, when, and why of listening to the other member's voices in the band, as well as how this key skill applies directly to improvising.
Now it's time to put the skills from the previous lesson into practice with Alex's original jam track, 'Battleship'.
A truly dynamic band of musicians will have several leaders that step forward to lead the band at different times. How are these decisions made by everyone in the band in a moment of improvisation? In this lesson, Alex discusses the ebb and flow of following and leading.
Alright, now let's apply the following and leading topics discussed in the previous lesson with Alex's original jam track, 'Happiest Monkey'.
Dynamics can help create emotion in a song and can be influenced by many factors such as volume, tempo, and timbre. Here, Alex discusses the subtle nuances that can help create pronounced dynamics in a potentially flat composition.
Now it's time to improvise your own dynamics over Alex's original jam track, 'Tied Down'.
We've all heard a song or player that simply has too much going on. The effects of over-playing are typically the opposite of intention, and many times the most powerful elements of an improv session can actually be the space between the notes. Let's join Alex for a deep dive into the open spaces.
In this lesson, Alex gives us the opportunity to explore the space between the notes with his original jam track, 'Cabin in the Woods'.
The bass player and the drummer are the two sides of the rhythm section coin, and many times these two can be locked into a groove that creates the backbone of improvised composition. Join Alex as he discusses the nuances and importance of playing with drums and percussion.
Now it's time to take your improvisation skills to another world with Alex's original jam track, 'Roswell'.
Sometimes it can be beneficial for the bass player to follow the harmonic instruments in the band in order to create a different timbre or feel. In this lesson, Alex will discuss when and if we should follow along with the harmonic instruments, and the unique atmospheres that can be created.
Now it's time to put the theories discussed in the previous lesson to the test with Alex's original jam track, 'Athena'.
"Wow! That guy shreds!" We've all seen guitar players go to town on their instruments. While it may sound and look impressive, many times if we take the bass out of the equation in these instances suddenly those incredible guitar solos lack form and structure - drastically changing the solo. Join Alex as he discusses how to create and maintain a solid foundation when playing alongside a virtuosic guitar player.
Now it's your turn to jump in and improvise alongside a rippin' guitar solo with Alex's original jam track, 'Whirlwind'.
Let's close out the course with a few words from Alex.
Funk music is one of the wildest and most dynamic forms of music you'll hear and the bass plays a large roll in creating that sound. From complex syncopation to driving rhythms, funk bass takes advantage of a host of techniques to create this genre's signature sound. If you're looking for a primer on the style, this lesson series is for you!
Welcome to Alex Scott's Funk Bass Survival Guide! This course is designed for the bassist that's wanting to get their feet wet in the world of Funk bass. Alex guides you through the core concepts and techniques required for the genre, then gets you playing with a variety of funky tracks.
To get this Funk Bass course started off, Alex will give an overview of the concepts section of the course, then dives into the first concept, essential Theory. Alex will cover the basic theoretical concepts necessary to understand and play in the Funk style.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the theory that underpins the funk genre, let's take a look at the common scale figures and chord voicings that dominate the style.
The first picking hand technique that we dive into is the fingerstyle technique that is a bass staple and integrates well into the funk genre.
Next, we take a look at the slap bass technique. This one is always a favorite and also a must know for the Funk genre.
The ghost note adds a rhythmic push that can be added to either the slap or fingerstyle technique in various different ways. Alex discusses where they should land and the different types of ghost notes available to you.
Syncopation is the displacement of notes played outside of the downbeats. It's an incredibly important aspect of Funk music and Alex will break it down for you!
This concept lesson focuses more on a conceptual idea of groove and feel as opposed to learning a technique. Alex talks about listening and feeling what the entire band is doing to create good musical cohesion.
Building on the groove and feel ideas from the previous lesson, Alex discusses the ways you can put everything you've learned together to improvise for Funk bass.
To start off the performance section of this survival guide, Alex breaks down what you can expect, then jumps into the first tune he calls "Papa's Comin' Home."
Performance 2 is called "Congressional Funk" in the style of the well-known group Parliament Funk. This one will be utilizing the slap technique learned in the concept overview section.
Fingatips is a track in the style of New Orleans funk ground The Meters. This track will feature more complex rhythms with the fingerstyle technique.
The Disco element of Funk is synonymous with straight driving rhythms. You'll be exploring this style through consistency and locking in with the groove.
Destructo is a modern take on Funk bass ideas and is in the style of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. You'll be focusing on the slap technique as well as heavy syncopation.
Pillar of Killer is a track in the style of the group Tower of Power. This one will test most of the different skills talked about in the concepts section. Alex will also close out the course with some final thoughts and ideas.