New Link to Autumn Leaves Transcription

Looks like the site I was hosting the PDF file on has died, as things do on the internet, so here is a new location where you can download the transcription of the bass line to Autumn Leaves, as played by Sam Jones.


Marcus Miller on "Night Rhythms"

Here is a little thumb stuff, which has been scarce on the blog, but when you have someone like Marcus Miller doing it, you can't really go wrong.

Below is the main groove from a Lee Ritenour tune called "Night Rhythms" written out.  I don't know of any videos that show Marcus actually playing the line as he recorded it, but there is a version with Melvin Lee Davis (another very scary thumb player) playing the same line, more or less.

Here is the original studio recording with Marcus on it.

And here is a full band version with Melvin adding an intro out front and then playing his take on the line.

There is a LOT of syncopation in this one, and a lot of anticipation. A lot of what makes the line stand out is what 16th notes are accented. Here is the line from the melody section:

bass lick tempo 100 4/4 | Cmin c16 c c c+ r8 r16 c16 f#- g bb8 eb-4 | Cmin c16 r c c+ r c f#- g~ g8 eb16 f eb4 | Abmin ab-16 r ab ab+ r8 r16 ab16 d- eb gb8 b-4 | Fmin f16 r f f+ r f f- f# Gmin g8 g~ g g

This thing is a 16th note work out, you really have to be able to put each one exactly where it goes or the line falls apart really fast. So practice it slow, and for even more licks, check out the variations both Marcus and Melvin add to the line when they play it, there are lots of great licks in there, on both versions.


Victor Wooten Dual Music Release

Looks like Mr. Wooten is going to drop a double album next month, one all instrumental and one with words/vocals. I am sure it will have the requisite amazing bass playing, but also just some great tunes and music as well. From the sample, it sounds quite eclectic.


A Bass Lesson with Oteil Burbridge

Otiel has some great things to say about music, not just scales and chords, but the bigger picture stuff that every musician has to deal with, things like fear, being self critical, practicing, and life as a musician. He seems like a pretty deep guy and he nails it as far as how the things that hold us back have nothing to do with not knowing a scale or chord, but we become our own enemies. Good stuff.

And oh yea, he sounds great on his six string. Otiel has his own band called the Peacemakers, and he also plays with The Allman Brothers.


R.I.P. Bob Babbit

Bob was a bass player at Motown who had to be the "other" bass player besides James Jamerson. No pressure or anything...geez. But no worries, Bob was a monster player who put his own stamp on a lot of classic Motown grooves. Here he is with Marvin Gaye, probably one of his most famous tracks.

R.I.P. Bob, and thanks for all the great music.


YouTube Backing Tracks

Here are the search results from the YouTubes with pages and pages of backing tracks, meaning tracks with no bass on them for us to play along with.

The styles vary from gospel to funk to blues to jazz so it is pretty good sampling of styles. And, lets face it, sometimes practicing bass without a band around sounds pretty empty. It makes practicing a lot more fun if you can hear what things sound like against chords and grooves.

And if you find one you like and want to keep it, check out http://keepvid.com/ (there are others like this too out there and plug-ins and browser extensions and stuff too). They will download any YouTube clip you want, and they have a little bookmarklet thingy that if you drag it to your browser bar, when you are on a YouTube page it figures out the video and downloads it for you. So you can harvest these things and play them on your 'puter whenever you want. Enjoy.


YouTube Bass Backing Track List


Stuart Zender (jamiroquai) REALLY likes Bananas

He likes them so much, he played bass to "The Banana Song" on TV show we definitely are not hip to over here in the colonies.


Kai Eckhardt Zeitgeist

Looks Like Kai Eckhardt has a new group that is playing out and it is funky, a little hip-hoppy and a little latin all rolled into one. Sounds nice.

If you are not hip to Kai, he is one of those under-the-radar guys, but is one of the best players around. He has played with McLaughlin and founded another band called Garaj Mahal that is almost constantly on tour. Check out what he can do with his thumb...


Bill Evans Trio - The Jazz Set 1972

The world was a different place in 1972. They had talk shows that took place in a bar, where the host wore sunglasses indoors and smoked during the entire show, all while wearing clothes that would get you banned from any course if you even tried to wear them golfing today. The v-neck sweater look died. For a reason.

But they also had people like Bill Evans, Eddie Gomez and Marty Morrel. Here they go through 4 tunes,  How My Heart Sings, Gloria's Step (!), Time Remembered and My Romance. There is enough hair on all these cats to cover a city block.


Damian Erskine Live

This venue looks like it has a really nice streaming/recording set up going. Check out Damian Erskine playing with George Colligan, great tone and crazy tunes. The really scary thing is that it kinda looks like Damian is reading this chart. Yow.


Things Boy Bass Players Like

I guess its Rickenbachers and girls in bikinis?

Probably not in that order either.

Not sure quite what to make of this.


Esperanza Spalding on The Daily Show Last Night

Esperanza brought her 20-something-year-old-'fro and her 12 piece band to the Daily Show last night and it was pretty awesome. Those arrangements are lush and complex, that is some really sophisticated stuff. Check out the harmonies on her singing! All while she is playing fretless too. Dang.

The Look

Here is the full track of "Crowned and Kissed" from Comedy Central

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Esperanza Spalding - "Crowned & Kissed"
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook


Sulu Must Play Have Played Bass

Hey, it is Leonard Nimoy's birthday today (81) and apparently he was laying down some sick beats during his travels through space that entire time.

Someone on board also packed their Jazz Bass  and was practicing their slapping at warp 8 in between shifts on the bridge of The Enterprise. Now thats a Prime Directive on the ONE baby!


Janek Gwizdala's New Album Launch - It Only Happens Once

Janek is releasing a new album today, and continuing in his tradition of using social media and the web in aggressive ways to promote his music, he is giving the thing away for free. It is part of the pay-what-you-think-it-is-worth model a lot of people are adopting these days. Check it out below, its funky, and has folks like Tim Miller and JoJo Meyer on it, so it is gonna be insane.

He also is touring through Europe over the next few weeks so head out and check him out. His band will be sick, guaranteed. 


Dean Schmidt Live with Kelly Ash

I have posted some clips of Seattle bassist Dean Schmidt before, and here is a new recording from a club in Seattle called Lucid, that records every show and then posts them to Bandcamp. Living in the future is so cool. Check out some of the other sessions they have posted for some of the other acts in Seattle.

This recording is a quartet that has New York (ex-seattle) vocalist Kelly Ash and includes Eric Verlinde on piano, and Jose Martinez on drums. These guys are all some of the top players in Seattle and gig a lot. Like every night a lot. This entire band is sick. This gig was last week so this is fresh stuff.


Seattle Bassist Tim Carey's New Album - Online Tracks Today only

Seattle bassist Tim Carey is about to drop his debut album, "Room 114" and so he has posted half of the tracks on Bandcamp for us to hear. Check out this track called "Ohio Beach":

Tim is an adjunct faculty member of Cornish College here in Seattle and a busy dude, which says a lot about what people think about his playing. He is in several different projects including Hardcoretet, Pocky, Reptet and Sambatuque. That is some pretty wide range of styles right there.

Hardcoretet - Yeti from Hardcoretet on Vimeo.

So if you dig original compositions that aren't in 4/4 with a whole lotta bass soloing and great playing, go check out these tracks and pick up Tim's CD when it hits in the next week or so.


New Gary Willis Tune, "Change Agent" Live

From Gary's upcoming CD, he tears through a tune called "Change Agent" with his new trio consisting of Albert Bover on keyboards and Gergo Borlai on drums. A serious solo in there, folks.

Another sale at Lulu - 20% off

They are having another 20% off sale. And no, that doesn't mean they delete the last 15 pages of the books, it means now that the Book of Triad ebooks are only $7.99 and the Book of Chord Tones print books are only 15.99. Thats cheap.


John Patitucci Master Class at UW - Part 1

Mr. Patitucci gave a free public master class yesterday at University of Washington. John studied with the chair of the bass department before and they go way back, so Patatucci was an artists in residence for this week. He is giving a master class for jazz players, (thats what is below) and then for classical players later this week, and finally a concert.

Take a listen below to the class, recorded on my Ipod with an mic attached, just sitting in the room. But the quality is still fine, it will be just like you are there through the magic of technology.

Here is more info on the week with Patitucci:


John Patitucci Master Class Part 01


Seattle Bassist Dean Schmidt with Byron Vannoy

Dean Schmidt is pretty much the busiest electric bass player in town. Jazz, funk, latin, soundtracks, he does 'em all. Here are couple of videos of him out and about and laying it down. He is The Phrase Master.

Here is Dean with a standard quartet of keytar and vibes, drums percussion and electric bass, you know, the same old thing we always see. Oh yea, if anyone can count this tune out, please let me know what time signature it is in. This was filmed with drummer Byron Vannoy's Thread project at a club called SeaMonster in Seattle last year.

Here he is taking a solo on a very serious latin groove last week.

Dean also has played on hundreds of different kinds of records, pop, jazz, latin, a movie soundtrack some chick won an oscar for called "The Blindside", and his own solo record on OA2 Records called "I Know Nothing". You can pick it up on Itunes here.

If you are out in Seattle and checking out live jazz or latin music, you should be on the look out for Dean.


Thanks for 100,000 page views on Basso Ridiculoso

Well, sometime in the last week this blog crossed the 100,000 page views mark.

It took about 12 months to reach that level, which is kinda amazing. I never thought there would be enough of you mooks to ever get even close to that number, so I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has read, commented, downloaded, clicked, or forwarded any of the posts from up here. Thanks for reading!

I have learned so much, got a few books published, and added many bass player friends from around the world in the last year, so thank you!

This next year will bring more transcriptions, articles, and maybe even another book or two, who knows.

Nosso Trio - Mônica (Ney Conceição)

Youtube gives forth another amazing player I have never heard of. It seems like an unending supply out there.

Here is a really pretty solo bass piece with some mixed time signatures, harmonics, and some definite groove-age. From Brazil.


Jamerson's Part on "Can't Help Myself" by the Four Tops

Since it was Mr. Jamerson's birthday recently, I thought it would be befitting to put up one of his famous bass lines. This is what he plays on "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)".

Surprisingly, this song is not in the "Standing In The Shadow Of Motown" book of transcriptions, which is a little weird, but hey, that means I can put it up here.

The song is very simple. It is an 8 measure long repeating phrase, and it just loops. No B section or bridge really, there are 8 measures out front with bass, and then after they go through the progression 7 times, they do 8 measures of bass and drums and then they start the 8 measure phrase over again and fade out after a few more.

The progression:
C | C | G | G | Dmin | Dmin | Fmaj | G maj |
Thats it. Over and over.

The bass line is simple, but very sly and drives the entire song along. Notice how he puts a little marker at the last measure by changing the rhythm there, its like a little period at the end of a sentence.

Here is a recording posted by Rick Suckow that is supposedly the master tracks from the original recording:
And here it is written out:

bass lick tempo 125 4/4 | C c8 g a c8~ c g8 a c8 | c8 g a c8~ c g8 a c8 | G g+ d e g~ g d e g | g d e g~ g d e g | Dmin d a b d~ d a b d | d a b d~ d~ d e4 | F f8 c d f~ f c d f | G g d e8 r g8 a8~ a8 g |

So just put on a drum loop (at about 125 bpm )and practice playing this line evenly, steadily, and let every note get that thud. Even though this might be considered an easy song, making it sound great and groove is never easy and takes concentration.

Sometimes that last measure could be notated even more syncopated like this:

bass lick tempo 125 4/4 | G g+ d e8 r g8. a16~ a8 g |

He really anticipates some of them, but they are not that syncopated, it just feels like they are. He is grooving but kinda floating at the same time. Listen to the track to get into his feel, that is the most important thing for a track like this.



Happy Birthday to James Jamerson

To the man who kinda started it all. There would have not been the Beatles, Zeppelin, or Jaco without him first. Thanks, man.

Here is a link to just his isolated bass track from "Heard It Through The Grapevine" with Marvin Gaye.

Jamerson's Isolated Bass on Grapevine.


Johann Sebastian Bach - Suite Nº2 - 6 Gigue

A gent on YouTube whose very appropriate name is "DoubleBassScore" has exactly that - images of scores and the accompanying audio played by some very heavy duty classical cats like Edgar Meyer and Gary Karr.

For all those electric players who chase tone, check these guys out. What they can do with a bow and a giant ol' double bass is amazing. That thing ain't small, ya know.

If you are looking for some challenging sight reading and classical parts to work up, check out some of his videos and then track down a copy of the scores for some finger twisting.


Fibonacci Scales

Okay, I am into patterns and sequences and stuff...but seriously, this is kinda ridiculous.

Cool, but ridiculous.

Fibonacci Scales


Soloing Using Chord Tones from LA Music Academy

Here is a video from LA Music Academy, one of probably a thousand music schools in LA I would imagine. I think that Alphonso Johnson is the dean of either the bass department or the entire school if I remember correctly, but I am too damn lazy to google that. But I am pretty sure.

This guy takes the first 8 bars of the "Take the A Train" progression and talks about how to work out the chord tones. Good stuff for bass lines or solos.

They have a bunch of other bass videos posted as well a couple about double thumbs and some other solo videos. Check 'em out.



New Garrison model Fodera announced

Matt Garrison has a new signature Fodera that has been released at NAMM, and while it is not exactly an affordable, (MSRP is $5800+) every-man instrument, it does have some cool features for people who can swing that kind of cash for an instrument. Meaning..not me.

In this video, Matt and the guys from Fodera talk about the bass and explain all the features.

You do need to register at Matt's site to view the videos, but it is free.


Line6 StageScape M20d

I don't know...does my mixer REALLY need a touch screen and a visual interface?

So now I have to worry that my mixer has crashed, or needs an OS update?

I dunno about this. I guess listening to it would be the final verdict.


Marcus Miller Is In The Studio

Here he is listening back to a new track with some very maceo-like horn playing and Marcus being Marcus all underneath that groove. Nasty.