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The 5 Levels of Smells Like Teen Spirit - For Bass

Fix your flubs on this Nirvana bass rocker + take it from n00b level to Krist Novoselic beast mode. What level can you make it to?

0:00 - It Smells Like Teen Spirit In Here
0:34 - Level 1: n00b
2:19 - Level 2: Spicy n00b
4:11 - Level 3: Legit
6:32 - Level 4: Tone Snob
9:02 - Level 5: Krist Novoselic

Get this full Nirvana bass tab + sheet music here.

Yes! We’re tackling “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” from Nirvana’s legendary 1991 “Nevermind” record, which features Krist Novoselic’s creative melodic bass playing.

In Level 1, the n00b level, I’ll you started with a super simple version of this bass line that you can play with your friends in a garage of your choice. I’ll also break down the “Caveman Method” you can use to come up with n00b level bass lines on your own.

Then, we’ll get a little spicier in Level 2 and add some of the cool slides Krist does between notes to give this bass line more character. I’ll show you the basic technique for nailing these slides so you can spice up your bass lines too.

In Level 3, we’ll get legit and start playing the rhythm Krist actually plays - which probably isn’t what you think it is. (hint: it doesn’t match the guitar) I’ll show you a breakdown of how all the rhythms interact in the song, so you have some fresh ideas on how to approach bass rhythms on your own.

Alright, time to get controversial - in Level 4 we’re gonna try to match Krist’s bass tone a little better by using a… let’s call it an “interactive tone modification device.” We’ll also add some cool little ghost notes to glue the rhythm together.

Finally, we’ll wrap up this Nirvana bass lesson and add the final quirks that bring it to Level 5: Krist Level, including the big nasty bass slide at the very beginning.

And wait… is there a secret Level 6 hiding at the end?

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Thanks for watching my weekly lesson here at Musicians Unite, check back next week for another lesson.

-Josh Fossgreen



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