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Avant funk fusion bassist and popular clinician JAUQO III-X has created an instructional program to help bassists improve their ability to groove. The program, entitled "The Essence of the Groove," ($15) consists of 70 individual practice tracks created by III-X and a live drummer along with transcriptions of all bass lines. The program is available exclusively through the JAUQO III-X website.

Helping bassists to evolve is a natural next step in III-X's mission to help evolve the bass. He says that he created this program to help bassists expand their ability to express themselves musically and to help them learn to groove more freely. III-X hopes that by helping bassists expand their ability - and thinking - more will become interested in exploring the different and evolving aspects of the bass, including multi-string basses.

According to III-X, the best way to use the program is to listen through all of the tracks until one catches your attention. He says players should then focus on that track and absorb as much of the essence of the groove as possible - without playing along at first. Once the spirit of the melodic idea is understood, he says, then begin working on it and continue working on it until it's familiar and automatic to play.

The lesson doesn't end there, however. Once familiar with the track the student is asked to consider (among other things), what characteristics of their playing sets them apart from others, their ability to control note length and tone/volume production and to note the current and desired level of physical endurance.

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