Snarky Puppy are a fusion band from Brooklyn that are steadily gaining a reputation as one of the most influential and exciting current modern jazz groups around. Michael League, who is a prolific composer, producer and bassist, leads them. This month’s transcription focuses on Thing of Gold, the opening number from their 2012 album GroundUP. As with all of their releases, this is recorded live and includes no overdubs or ‘studio magic’ to polish it up. It’s exactly as the audience heard it performed.
This track is one of their more concise numbers, with shorter solo sections and repeated chord changes that move around keys. League demonstrates here why his bass playing is so respected; the line is consistently groovy with many interesting melodic fills.
My personal favorites appear in bars 92-93 and 124-125, which both contain the magic formula of being technically tricky but rewardingly cool-sounding. There’s a lot to digest here with so many key changes. As ever, keep it slow to start with and approach it each section at a time, keeping an eye on the syncopation (examples can be found in bars 62, and section G). Try to learn the chord progression, as it’ll help you to keep on top of moving round the fretboard so quickly.
And some news to share…
I have just released 2 new books – The Best of Pink Floyd and Dire Straits for Bass. Both contain bass transcriptions for their songs for the first time ever, so if you’re a fan of the bands check out the collection at aidanhampson.co.uk