Scott's Bass Lessons

The Motown Masters Bootcamp
(AKA Mo’s Muted Mashup!)

An 8 week in depth program looking at constructing Soul/R&B bass lines with Berklee professor of nearly 3 decades Danny “Mo” Morris.

Course Overview:

Danny’s Motown Masters Bootcamp will explore creating bass lines in a Soul/R&B/Motown setting by building on the fundamentals of bass playing: harmony and rhythm. In each lesson Danny will use backing tracks to demonstrate new concepts and how to apply them in the context of a chord progression.

From the start of the course you’ll be looking at Danny’s signature left hand muting technique, which will aid you in achieving that muted Motown tone made famous by James Jamerson and his peers. From there you’ll be taken through new concepts in each session, starting with fundamental rhythmic and harmonic ideas, slowly building towards the use of more complex harmonic and rhythmic devices.

Each session moves on directly from the previous and includes playalong exercises, suggested practice methods and much more.

The goal of this course is to give you a solid understanding of how to approach constructing bass lines in a Soul/R&B setting. The course also aims to give you the tools you need practice in a musical way and to build your own stylistically appropriate musical vocabulary.

Danny Mo Morris
Course Instructor:
Danny Mo Morris

From Beginner to Advanced

Start Date:
October 10th

8 weeks

Your Professor:

Known for his warm muted tone, Professor Danny “Mo” Morris has been playing bass for most of his life and has been an educator at the prestigious Berklee College of Music since 1988. He has taught thousands of students, many of whom have gone on to successful careers and perform around the globe. Danny has taught players of all levels and his mission as an educator is for his students to develop a solid rhythmic groove with their own distinct timbre, solidify their understanding of harmony, and discover the “art of playing bass on a song.”

Upon successful completion of the course, you'll be able to:

1 Play bass lines with a fluid muted Motown tone

2 Understand how to approach practicing in a musical way

3 Understand fundamental and advanced harmonic approaches

4 Construct stylistically appropriate bass lines

5 Approach creating bass lines from a rhythmic standpoint

Here’s a birds eye view of what you’ll be learning:

Session 1

  • Playing with a muted timbre (Danny’s left hand muting technique)
  • Chromatic warm-ups
  • Rhythmic grids
  • Anticipations
  • Constructing lines over a 2 bar I-IV-V progression

Session 2

  • Creating your own kick patterns
  • Improvisational practicing
  • Chromatic approach & fifths
  • Anticipations
  • Incorporating arpeggios

Session 3

  • Leaving room for the drums
  • Creating chromatic fills
  • Giving pitch to the kick
  • Fretboard geography
  • The number system

Session 4

  • Arpeggios & triads
  • Arpeggios over two octaves
  • Playing with a Mambo/Afro-Cuban feel
  • Suspended chords
  • Incorporating the 9th

Session 5

  • Using pentatonics
  • Constructing lines over a 12 bar progression
  • Scales & modes
  • Incorporating 10ths
  • The importance of self analysis

Session 6

  • Playing a slow blues
  • Supporting the song
  • Understanding the harmony
  • Diminished chords
  • Playing in 6/8

Session 7

  • Locking in with the kick
  • Creating movement in the bass line
  • Hooks & melody
  • Note consistency

Session 8

  • Note placement
  • Groove
  • The modes
  • Inversions

3 Live Events

  • Welcome Party
  • Mid-Term Check In
  • End of Term Wrap Up

Can’t attend live? No problem, all live events will be recorded and available within 24 hours.