Master the Bass – Face to Face

Focus Sessions via Skype

Working out playing challenges through layered etudes
1. E-mail the area in your playing you’d like to enhance
2. Narrow the focus by responding to questions (via e-mail/phone)
3. Set up Skype Focus Session (30 minutes @ $75)

At the Skype Focus Session:
1. Playing is analyzed
2. Special etude is taught and demonstrated addressing specific challenge/subject

After the Session:
1. PDF file is sent via e-mail (etude)
2. MP3 file is sent via e-mail (etude)

You now have the exact etude that will eradicate any problem areas you may face. Once you practice it a few times and you’d like to enhance this particular subject, taking it further, you schedule a follow-up and repeat the process.

Contact me at and let me know how I can help you.

Partial Subject List:

Technique Drills
Left Hand (Fretting)
Right Hand (Striking)
String Noise Elimination
Embellishments/Vibrato/Grace Notes
Efficient Practicing
Intonation (Fretless)

Groove Skeleton
Groove Apex
Groove Tail
Groove Anchor
Groove Creativity
Jaco Grooves
Rhythmic Integrity
Beatles Styles
Latin Grooves
African Grooves
Dead Notes/Ghost Notes

Pentatonic Inversions
Chord Inversions
Secondary Dominant Scales
Connecting Phrases

Note Name Recognition
Ear Training

…and also…


Bass Mini-clinics are based on Patrick Pfeiffer’s Bass Immersion Day Clinics, but in a more intimate setting and with more hands-on interaction. Bass Mini-Clinics are limited to four bass players per class. Everyone is under headphones and with a bass in hand at all times. Individual questions are answered, problems are worked out and playing skills are elevated.

The subjects include:

GROOVE: Utilize the crucial elements to create kick-ass grooves…

-       8th note grooves

-       16th note grooves

-       triplet grooves

-       groove skeleton

-       groove apex

-       groove tail


GENRE GROOVE: What to play when in whichever style you’re playing…

-       country

-       pop/rock

-       funk

-       prog rock/metal

-       shuffle

-       swunk


WORLD BEAT GROOVES: Exotic grooves from around the world to spice up your groove…

-       latin

-       afro-cuban

-       reggae

-       soca

-       ska

-       african

-       world beat

-       three against four


ODD-TIME GROOVES: Anything but 4/4…discover the universal count to create smooth and effective grooves in all meters…

-       3/4

-       5/4 & 5/8

-       7/4 & 7/8

-       11/8


JACO GROOVES: What makes his busy grooves so smooth and funky, yet so melodic and uncrowded…

-       harmonic semi-ambiguity

-       timing

-       rhythmic accents

-       dynamic emphasis and de-emphasis


RHYTHMIC INTEGRITY: Making it rock-solid (and Funk solid, R&B solid, etc)…

-       16th note combinations

-       8th note combinations

-       triplet combinations

-       moving the click


DYNAMICS: Putting the “art” into articulation…

-       emphasis and de-emphasis

-       rhythmic dynamic placement

-       accents, ghost notes and dead notes

-       hammer-on/pull-off as a dynamic tool


STATIC HARMONY GROOVES: Give the illusion of harmonic motion when there is none…

-       implying harmonically

-       implying rhythmically


BASS & DRUM INTERACTION: It’s well beyond just locking in with the bass drum…

-       playing with/against bass drum

-       playing with/against snare drum

-       locking in with the hihat

-       structuring with the sonic shape of the drum set


EFFICIENT PRACTICING: Getting the most out of the time you’re putting into perfecting your bass playing…

-       right hand

-       left hand

-       touch/tone

-       time

-       scales/modes

-       arpeggios

-       speed

-       repertoire


SOLOING: Solo like a horn player, think like a bass player and never lose the groove…

-       diatonic modes

-       pentatonic scales

-       super-impositions

-       rhythmic resolution

-       fills


BASS THEORY: Also called trench theory…the stuff you actually need to be a working musician, but without the useless fat…

-       scales/modes

-       chords

-       rhythm

-       diatonic structures

-       intervals

-       chord symbols


READING: Demystifying this most elusive of arts…if you read words, you can read music…

-       rhythmic reading

-       harmonic reading

-       chord reading


BEATLES STYLES: Explore the eight most commonly used bass styles…not just for Beatles, but for everything

-       root/5th style

-       syncopation style (singer/songwriter)

-       pop/rock walking style

-       driving 8th note style

-       groove style

-       unison style

-       counter melody style

-       inversion style


TRANSCRIBING SONGS: How to break down a song, learn the accompaniment style and still be creative with your bass part…

-       finding the notes

-       reconstructing the harmony

-       hearing inversions

-       identifying the style


WALKING BASS: Discover the template for every walking bass line…

-       elements of a walking line

-       root/5th style

-       chordal style

-       modal style

-       leading tone types

-       rhythmic skips


TECHNIQUE DRILLS: What to do when your right hand/left hand/shifting/string crossing/tone/fill-in-the-blank gives you trouble…

-       string crossing

-       shifting

-       endurance

-       speed

-       dynamics

-       physical stretching


FEEL: Oh yes, it can be learned and perfected with the appropriate exercises…

-       16th note feels

-       8th note feels

-       triplet feels

-       between triplets and 16th notes

-       dynamics 


CREATIVITY: Unleashing your inner (bass-)beast and getting out of that rut…

-       practicing out of the “box”

-       creating with ease  (groove/melody/harmony)

-       breathe and listen to your biorhythm

-       the drama of dynamics

-       establishing the theme

-       connecting…the “music store” piece


AUDITIONING: Discover what is expected, what each situation calls for, how to prepare, and how to stay in control…

-       cover band audition

-       original band audition

-       college/conservatory audition

-       cruise ship audition

-       “name” audition


FRETLESS BASS: Using this most expressive instrument to its fullest potential…

-       intonation

-       vibrato and slide as rhythmic tools

-       note duration

-       touch

-       playing different genres on fretless


SING & PLAY: Coordinating your voice with your bass…

-       interval training

-       rhythmic training

-       weaving


The duration of each Bass Mini-Clinic is 90 minutes and the tuition is $55 to $65 per person (payable at the time of booking and non-refundable). You need to bring:


-       Bass

-       Headphones

-       Cable

-       Pen and paper for personal notes

-       A desire to maximize your bass playing…that’s it!


The Bass Mini-Clinics are either held at Bass Specialties about once a month on a Saturday or at AM Studios in New York City on a Saturday or Sunday.


Please contact Patrick Pfeiffer at 917-679-3135 to find out more and to sign up.


Peace, love & low frequencies

Pfeiffer also teaches bass guitar one-on-one in New York City and gives clinics on rhythm section playing for bassists and drummers throughout the US. He is co-founder of Bass Immersion Day, conducting bass clinics and performing alongside such luminaries as Will Lee, John Patitucci, Gerald Veasley, Bakithi Kumalo, Adam Nitti and many more. Pfeiffer is a member of the featured performers/educators of Gerald Veasley’s Bass Boot Camp. 


New York City Gift
Testimonial: Bill Evans, New York, NY

“Just play anything” was the first thing Patrick Pfeiffer said to me after our introduction in my first lesson. This type of statement is somewhat unnerving and the next few minutes that followed felt a little like a dental exam when the doctor is poking around but not necessarily saying anything. When I was done, Patrick’s diagnosis was complete. I had been playing bass guitar for about 25 years and was primarily self-taught. Patrick immediately noted my strengths and my weaknesses — weaknesses that had eluded improvement for my entire playing career.

With great confidence, Patrick assured me that there were specific exercises that could cure my problems while enhancing my strengths. I was a little skeptical but Patrick was absolutely correct. What I found most interesting about Patrick’s teaching methodology was his stealth. He is a monster bass player and could easily intimidate almost anyone with his prowess. Intimidation is, however, not his approach. For all his musical genius, Patrick is one of the most humble and approachable people I have ever met (read here great teacher potential).

Over the following several weeks, Patrick honed in even more precisely on my weaknesses and designed his own “compound exercises” to address them. These exercises were, for me, amazing: each exercise was targeted at developing one specific skill — but — each exercise taught multiple concepts simultaneously. For example, he might prescribe a right-hand string crossing exercise (aimed principally at correct two-finger technique) that embedded alternative scale patterns and root note location on the fingerboard — very subtle. The funny thing is that I would stay so focused on the main goal of the exercise, I would not even notice the other major ideas that I was digesting.

I am happy to say that after about one year with Patrick I am a completely new (and vastly improved) bass player. Much like someone who has gone to a good college, I now also feel much more empowered to know how to learn on my own. With Patrick’s guidance, I now easily play things that I could not have conceived of just a year ago and I truly believe that there is no limit to how far he can take me (or anyone).

If you live in New York City or its environs, then consider yourself fortunate to have the opportunity to study bass guitar with Patrick Pfeiffer and, by all means, do so. If you do not take advantage of this rare New York City gift, then you may never fully appreciate just how good a bass player you could become (and how much you might enjoy it!).

Contact Patrick Pfeiffer at

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on Reddit