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WAKE UP by Dave Weckl, a Bass Transcription by Igor Saavedra

When a melodic line can have as much as a “Bass Taste” than the Bass Line itself…

In my opinion, one of the best albums of the great American fusion drummer Dave Weckl, is without any doubt the album Transition, which was released in 2000. On this album, the drummer takes this style of instrumental music and brings it to unknown perfection levels.

A very important aspect of his composition is the rhythm of the melodic lines, which show very clearly that this music is being composed indeed by a drummer.

A clear example of what I’m saying here is the track Wake Up, which is the first track of the album. On this track the melody stands up by itself… flowing gently at a medium tempo with amazing simplicity.

A wonderful taste for managing the art of the silence and when not to play is another of the characteristics that can be noticed on that track.

Rhythmic melodic patterns move fluently, and also amplification and simplification of the units are expressed in a masterly way. Countless syncopation everywhere show a superb melodic line focused on the use of the sixteenth notes that get to the point of even taking the attention of a bass player out of the electric bass line (it happened to me), even though it’s been played masterly by the great Tom Kennedy.

On the transcription that I prepared here, you’ll find the melody written for the electric bass; the original was written for the tenor sax. I compressed the general idea of the melody so to show as much information as possible, changing some notes so to fit the range of a 4-string electric bass, like in the case of the Db of the bass pattern that was written as a G.

Something very important to do here after learning the chart by heart is to work on the interpretation of the piece, adding nuances like bendings and vibratos, etc., in fact this is what the sax player does on the original recording so as to make it really happen.

I really consider this class an excellent exercise for any bass player that takes the art of grooving seriously… so I hope you like it… dig in!

See you in the next issue!

 

Igor.

 

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Andreas Farmakalidis

    andreas farmakalidis

    July 7, 2011 at 3:04 am

    HI Igor,
    Great subject and transcription.
    It is actually one of my favorite weckl tracks – especially the live version.

    I guess this one will be my practice for tomorrow

  2. Igor Saavedra

    Igor Saavedra

    July 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks Andreas…., yeahh.., the live version is great too..!!…., I love this track…, the melody is such a substancious rhythmic mass…., for the bassists it’s great for practicing and for learning how to play really rhthmic melodies that despite this fact still remain beautiful…!!

    Cheers,

    Igor.

  3. Álvaro de la Barra

    July 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    PLAYING SILENCE!! The aspect of silence and knowing when not to play is very important, as a means to enhance the power of other instruments, and thus the power of the music.

    Cheers

  4. Igor Saavedra

    Igor Saavedra

    July 9, 2011 at 12:09 am

    That’s it Álvaro..!

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