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Pick’s Transcription Workshop: Dominique Di Piazza Bass Solo on Que Alegria

Meet Lucas Pickford –

This CD of the John McLaughlin Trio is from 1992 and it was the first time most bass players ever heard the incredible french bassist Dominique Di Piazza. Di Piazza joined the band when bassist Kai Eckhardt departed to pursue other musical directions. Although Di Piazza’s style was clearly deeply rooted in Jaco’s , Di Piazza displayed a level of virtuosity not heard at the time. Di Piazza, having never studied music formally, played the bass with primarily just his right hand thumb and first finger. The speed and fluidity that he was able to get using that rather unorthodox picking technique was nothing short of amazing. Di Piazza does not read music at all and to play in McLaughlin’s trio without being able to read a note is another incredible feat of musical mastery. This tune, the title cut from the CD, features Di Piazza playing the melody and taking the first solo. The chord progression is challenging and moves by at a pretty fast clip. I highly recommend analyzing Di Piazza’s choice of notes and chord scales, especially his use of the Melodic Minor Scale. Also, go back and search my archive for the transcription of the lead sheet of this tune which has the melody written out. This is an excellent tune to learn to really bring your chord scale chops up to the next level.


See you in the next issue.

Lucas Pickford


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