Dynamics, Articulation, Simplicity

I going to drop another Eric Haugen video on y’all. Yes, it’s guitar oriented, but the principles absolutely apply to bass.
In fact, I was struck by how closely this parallels Victor Wooten’s book, “The Music Lesson.” I’m listening to the audio book now. Victor goes into new-age metaphysics to cover the same ground on dynamics, articulation, simplicity, groove, and grace notes. I’m enjoying it, but Eric covers it in 15 minutes with a groovy backing track :sunglasses:. Can’t beat that for economy of motion.


Thanks. I will watch this video. I too am listening to Victor’s audio book. I feel like a heretic saying this, but to be honest I am struggling with it a bit - I’m finding it a bit too ‘woo woo’. I’m trying to have an open mind about it because he is such a legendary player. Perhaps watching this video will give me a re-set.


I’ve only seen one VW video, but I definitely came away with the feeling that his advice was not relevant at my level. He was basically explaining that you should not consciously think about music theory concepts (keys, intervals, progressions, whatnot), and that you should do it by feel instead, and play what feels right and sounds right in the musical context you’re in. I was like yeah dude I wish I could do that…



When you have all the theory etc embedded in your soul, brain, fingers, etc….that’s when his words come into play. What he is trying to counteract is all the university graduate musicians coming out of school and playing in a very cookie cutter fashion, not feeling the music through their own personality, or soul. Instead, a lot of younger musicians come out of school regurgitating what they learned without using their own personality or thoughts.
The one thing they don’t teach in university is how to speak your own musical language the way many of the greats can/do. You are asked to emulate them all but are to learn from them to develop your own voice, but the emphasis is not always on developing their own voice.

To be fair, a lot of musicians don’t have a lot to say. Sadly, I am one of them. I really struggle with this concept but am also happy playing other’s music very well.


Hardest part for me too. Sit down to work on something original, and often, the music just isn’t there. Hate that.

But it’s not always. And bandmates help here a lot.


In my case the issue (I think) is the disconnect between my fingers and the notes in my head. All my improvised bass lines suck, because I am unable to translate the notes in my head into notes on the fingerboard. So I end up doing it the other way round: noodling on the fingerboard and see what happens. The end result sounds like a 3 year old trying to play bass for the first time… So I prefer playing other people’s bass lines instead.


I feel the same way. I was expecting Victor Wooten but got Carlos Casteneda.
I’ll stick with it, because it’s Victor Wooten and I may glean something from it, but that’s why I posted Eric’s guitar video here. Same concepts, same principles, more solid grounding. And no added woo woo


Link to the backing track:
Gm backing track for groove, articulation, simplicity lesson

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I enjoyed the video and see how the concepts related to chapters in Victor’s book. I get what Victor is saying, it’s just all the ‘moving the rock with your mind’ stuff in between that loses me. I’ve seen him give a lesson on basically the same stuff (articulation, timing, space, groove etc) without the filler and it was pretty good. I really like Eric’s teaching style - I wish he did more bass stuff actually.

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