Teach Me Bass Guitar Review - Roy Vogt Fretboard

Lesson 5:

This one starts with a warm up exercise with a quick arpeggio study and then introduces the concept of dominant seventh, major seventh, minor seventh, full diminished and half diminished and also the augmented seventh. The third and seventh notes are magical notes capable of changing the entire texture of the music without straying very far away from the root scale. The seventh and also the third note (in sharp and flat variations) contribute to the “tension and resolve” theory. The fifth module of Teach Me Bass guitar packs in a lot of information in a very short span of time, but the practical examples along with information from Roy Vogt’s previous modules make things easily understandable.

The fifth lesson also introduces the concept of syncopations. Roy Vogt demonstrates the foot tap technique and also how basslines can feel  incorporating upbeats and syncopated rhythms into the music. While a lot of popular western music emphasizes downbeat heavy bass playing, with a little bit of practice you can learn to feel different rhythms which opens you up to all sorts of different feels and styles from around the world. This one undoubtedly requires a bit more focus, but the trick lies in listening properly.

Just like the previous lessons, the fifth lesson also comes with practice playing along with two songs – the first one is called “Gettin’ on the Good Foot” that has a more funky bass line and the second one is called California Pop Tune with a Carol Kane kind of bass line. Here also, it is recommended that you keep playing with the loop until you feel ready for the next lesson.

Lesson 6:

The sixth lesson isbass10 a long one and lasts over an hour. The concepts of swing, jazz and funk bass are already discussed in the previous lessons; the sixth digs deeper into swing style, shuffle style and also jazz style. Roy Vogt clearly demonstrates in this lesson how each one of these music styles differ from each other based on time signatures. He starts out by talking about how the 12/8 rhythm creates the swing style and also goes on to demonstrate that theory through the practical example of the first shuffle style tune “Shufflin’ Along”. The talking point of this lesson is definitely time signatures, but in this song, Roy also demonstrates how each of the notes relate to specific chords and how those chords relate to specific progressions.

The lesson gradually starts revealing the secrets of the Jazz Swing Style and Jazz licks. For non-Jazz players, it is definitely going to take some time for the entire concept to sink in, but the theory is laid out in an easy-to-understand fashion with six different examples of different songs that revolve around Jazz vocabulary and are fairly easy to understand when broken down into individual bars. The tunes are definitely a bit tough to play along with, but Roy helps all the way and the focus is always on implementing the theory into practical playing.

Lesson 7:

The 7th Teach Me Bass Guitar lesson takes you further down the fret board into the ninth and 13th frets. This lesson is just a bit over 45 minutes and basically introduces a couple of more practical aspects into the theory from lesson six. In this lesson, the 16th notes and the so-called “upper deck” notes from the ninth and 13th frets are explored. It is actually not very difficult to play in these positions, it’s just that these are rare positions and it takes a bit of time to get familiarized with the note positions and short fret distances. In this lesson, Roy Vogt presents some really useful exercises to help the fingers move around easily between the ninth and 13th frets and once you are comfortable with this new position, the first song called The One Spot comes in. As expected, this one has a funky bass line and also introduces the concept of octaves and 10ths.

All the contents of the seventh lesson are for advanced bass players and since a lot of advanced theory is involved, things could look a bit overwhelming at times. You’ll need to go over the lesson couple of times to fully understand everything and then have to keep practicing until you are ready for more.

Lesson 8:

The eighth lesson is more about mixing together all the contents of the previous lessons and implementing them into real life playing. This one starts with a finger exercise which even though looks simple is completely related to the contents of this lesson and demands a bit more focus. The interesting “L Shape” concept is introduced here that basically connects all notes from the first to the harmonics fret using triads, octaves and L Shapes. There is also the concept of “weight lifting” which basically focuses on increasing finger speed. At the end of the day, music is all about being able to incorporate everything into playing in such a way that the listener feels he’s being dished out only the stuff he wants! In a way, this is a very complex theory, but if mastered, sounds very clear and musical.

The practical examples in this lesson contain Stanley Clark inspired numbers that are full of double stops, power chords, the minor pentatonic scale and also involves incredibly fast playing. The second part of practical playing has a song called Mountain Goat Blues. This lesson definitely has enough fodder for at least a week and with lots of practice one should be able to master high-speed playing with fluent theory implementation.

Lesson 9:

This lesson focuses on a completely different style of playing the instrument – slapping and popping. Unless you have mastered everything from the previous lessons, you would have a hard time understanding and implementing things that are described in this one. Slapping and popping creates an entirely different sound out of the instrument and is a totally unique approach physically compared to finger style. If you become fluent with it however, it will open you up to a lot of different styles of music and give you a whole new range of sounds to work with. This lesson starts with the basics of slap and pop and gradually gets deeper into how to master this difficult technique. This one is time-consuming and it’s going to take a lot of practice before you are ready for the next level.