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Progressive Bass Concepts - John Myung

John Myung, the bassist for the progressive heavy metal band Dream Theater, discusses and demonstrates the techniques that placed him in the forefront of progressive bass playing. Topics include: chord tones, patterns and chord applications, scales, harmonics, left- and right-hand techniques, tapping and more. Features various examples of Dream Theater songs, with...

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Comments Unfortunately with bass playing, there is a huge gap between great bass players, passable players, and ones that the rest of the band turns way down so they don't ruin the live shows. This video will help you be the kind that is on par with the guitarist and be one of the better kinds of bass players. It will make the difference.

The video starts off with a series of scales (14 each) such as the Major 7th, minor 7th, Dominant 7th and diminished 7th. While this doesn't make for a very exciting section of the video, it's NECESSARY! The difference between a great bassist and a poor bassist is the willingness to do exercises that will dramatically improve your playing.

After all those boring scales, John Myung moves on to a groove where you use the scales in a musical context. The fun really begins with Solar Groove, which uses a variety of techniques and has two parts playing in harmony only using the bass.

Then more theory with all seven modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, etc.) followed by a natural harmonics. Then he shows a really fun groove using natural harmonics as arpeggios. It's actually one of the reasons why I got the tape. After that, he shows a couple of excerpts from "Lifting Shadows off a Dream" and "A Change of Seasons".

In the final round, there's a segment on improving your pentatonics. My second favorite section of the DVD is the tapping solo from "Metropolis", which is shortly followed by "Scarred". The DVD finishes with a freestyle jam with drummer Mike Portnoy and former keyboardist Derik Sherinian (1995-98). Then the credits roll with that really cool natural harmonic groove.

One of my main gripes about this video is some parts can't be played without a 6 string bass. Luckily, some of my favorite parts can be played or adapted to a four string with the exception of the "Solar Groove" and some of the exercises in their entirety. If you have a 6 string great, I didn't so I had to omit sections or use a detuned guitar which isn't the same.

john myung solar groove (video)

Liked about it +John Myung actually speaks (many of you DT fans will appreciate that)
+Solar Groove, The Harmonic Solo, Metropolis solo
+The wealth of ideas that really add to one's bass playing

Didn't like +It's in VHS!?
+The booklet has really small font
+Some parts require a 6 string bass

Overall satisfaction:

By psychokannibal
Apr 28, 2011
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