A comprehensive ‘Essentials’ course, from legendary jazz bassist and five-time Grammy award winner.


Scales, rhythmic development, melodic concepts, upper structure harmony - all of these concepts are examined and demonstrated brilliantly by Christian. Whether you've been playing jazz for 2 months or 2 decades - players of all levels can benefit from learning and applying the concepts Christian puts forth.



Don’t just study Christian's concepts. Experience the blues, phrasing, bebop, feel, solo and thematic development first hand with our Living Notation video player. Follow Christian's solos in real time with our interactive notation system. It's never been easier to get inside the mind of a bass master.


There's plenty of charts and notation to help you along the way, as well as multiple viewing angles for you to just watch and imitate. If things are moving too fast, slow down a section with the speed control - the pitch always stays the same and you can digest at an easier pace if needed. Or, loop a section with our easy drag and loop system.


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01. Building a Bassline
Legendary bassist Christian McBride welcomes you to Fundamentals of Jazz Bass and Beyond and then jumps right into the music with his techniques for building basslines.
(Running time 23:30)

02. Developing Your Sound
Christian has one of the most recognizable bass sounds in jazz. Learn his methods to develop your own unique sound.
(Running time 17:21)

03. Intonation
A crucial step in your musical progress, Christian explains his thoughts on developing good intonation on the bass.
(Running time 8:15)

04. Body Control
The bass is such a physically demanding instrument. Watch as Christian demonstrates proper control and relaxation on the instrument.
(Running time 9:17)

05. Bass Influences
Christian takes you through the players that influenced him as a young musician, and demonstrates how they contributed to his musical development.
(Running time 17:58)

06. Constructing a Solo
A well built solo has become part of the modern bassists arsenal. Watch Christian break down how he constructs a bass solo.
(Running time 10:34)

07. Practice Routine
Christian demonstrates a great practice session for maintaining your technique and musicality.
(Running time 4:41)

08. Piano for Non-Pianists
Learn how to build chords and melodies at the piano to unlock some useful harmonic and melodic possibilities.
(Running time 13:10)

09. "Lullaby for a Ladybug"
Christian breaks down his beautiful composition and talks about his composing process.
(Running time 12:39)

10. The 2 Feel
One of the most important feels in jazz, explained by the master.
(Running time 4:49)

11. Rhythm Changes
Christian invites pianist Peter Martin to join him as he demonstrates how to tackle the changes to “I Got Rhythm”.
(Running time 8:20)

12. Different Grooves
Not every song calls for a swing fell. Christian breaks down some important other grooves.
(Running time 4:57)

13. Leading a Band
Learn how to lead the band from the bottom.
(Running time 3:20)

14. Learning a Solo
Or learning a few solos from the classic Miles Davis Quintet recording of “Pfrancing”.
(Running time 10:54)

15. Bebop - "Cherokee"
A bebop staple, played and analyzed by Christian with accompaniment by pianist Peter Martin.
(Running time 7:49)

16. Playing Fast
Christian demonstrates how to stay relaxed and musical at fast tempos.
(Running time 5:25)

17. Soloing with a Bow
Bring a whole new texture to the music by incorporating the bow in your solos.
(Running time 8:02)

18. Setup
Christian explains his instrument and stage setup.
(Running time 5:48)

19. Ron, Ray, and Paul
Christian teaches us the key elements of each of these three bass masters and demonstrated how to work them into our own playing.
(Running time 10:30)

20. Ballads
Learn the art of accompanying and soloing on ballads.
(Running time 7:54)

21. Inteview
Pianist Peter Martin talks with Christian McBride about bass, career, and his musical influences growing up in Philadelphia.
(Running time 40:26)


Five-time GRAMMY®-winning jazz bassist Christian McBride can be likened to a force of nature, fusing the fire and fury of a virtuoso with the depth and grounding of a seasoned journeyman. Powered by a relentless energy and a boundless love of swing, McBride’s path has described a continuous positive arc since his arrival on the scene. With a career now blazing into its third decade, the Philadelphia native has become one of the most requested, most recorded, and most respected figures in the music world today.

Raised in a city steeped in soul, McBride moved to New York in 1989 to pursue classical studies at the Juilliard School. There he was promptly recruited to the road by saxophonist Bobby Watson. Call it a change in curriculum: a decade’s worth of study through hundreds of recording sessions and countless gigs with an ever-expanding circle of musicians. He was finding his voice, and others were learning to listen for it.

McBride is a respected educator and advocate, first noted in 1997 when he spoke on former President Bill Clinton’s town hall meeting “Racism in the Performing Arts.” He has since been named Artistic Director of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions (2000), co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (2005), and the Second Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (2005).

In 1998 he combined roles, composing “The Movement, Revisited,” a four-movement suite dedicated to four of the major figures of the civil rights movement: Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The piece was commissioned by the Portland (ME) Arts Society and the National Endowment for the Arts, and performed throughout New England in the fall of 1998 with McBride’s quartet and a 30-piece gospel choir. For its tenth anniversary, “The Movement, Revisited” was expanded, rewritten, and revamped to feature an 18-piece big band and four actors/speakers in addition to the gospel choir. It was performed in Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and praised by the Los Angeles Times as “a work that was admirable—to paraphrase Dr. King—for both the content of its music and the character of its message.”

Currently he hosts and produces “The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian” on SiriusXM satellite radio and National Public Radio’s “Jazz Night in America,” a weekly radio show and multimedia collaboration between WBGO, NPR and Jazz at Lincoln Center, showcasing outstanding live jazz from across the country. With his staggering body of work, McBride is the ideal host, drawing on history, experience, and a gift for storytelling to bridge the gap between artist, music, and audience. He brings that same breadth of experience to bear as Artistic Advisor for Jazz Programming at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).

Whether behind the bass or away from it, Christian McBride is always of the music. From jazz (Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, to R&B (Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, and the one and only Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown) to pop/rock (Sting, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Don Henley, Bruce Hornsby) to hip-hop/neo-soul (The Roots, D’Angelo, Queen Latifah) to classical (Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer, Shanghai Quartet, Sonus Quartet), he is a luminary with one hand ever reaching for new heights, and the other extended in fellowship—and perhaps the hint of a challenge—inviting us to join him.

In 2016 Christian was appointed as the Artistic Director of the Newport Jazz Festival.


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