Bass Lines by Jaime Vazquez – Adventurous Bass Playing Part I… Hello bass players and fans of bass playing! This month we’re going to start a whole a new series of articles about adventurous bass playing! What is adventurous bass playing? Simple. Playing with no limits and always open to new possibilities. It’s about exploring new horizons and stretching the boundaries. Sounds COOL? Yes it is! But remember, you’ve got to know the rules before you break them.
When we’re grooving, we’re playing for the song. Our main goal is to make people move! But if we’re practicing, playing at home, jamming, etc., it’s the perfect moment to push the limits and a good way to expand your ideas and vocabulary. We all know that in the studio or while we’re playing for someone else we have to be prudence and play what we have to play, and this is serious. You’re there for that!
Fig. 1 is a good example of a common bass groove based on Dm7 (D-F-A-C). Notice the use of space, the sense of repetition, etc. We can call it a perfect groove! Right? Now, let’s try:
Fig. 2. This is the same groove but with a take no prisoners attitude! We’re still playing the same first beat at every bar to keep consistence, but now we’re adding a lot of colors by mixing notes and techniques. Curious, it will work for some music styles. This is a nice chance to study the groove and the instrument in a very different way. So, for your next gig or studio session, please, as we have learned in life, keep it simple! Less is more!