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Flea Lesson – RHCP – By the Way (Main Riff)

Flea Lesson - RHCP - By the Way

Flea Lesson – RHCP – By the Way (Main Riff)

Hi everyone, this lesson turns in a slightly different musical direction than usual on digthatbass. RHCP was my first favorite band – as a teenager when I picked up the bass, all I wanted to play was RHCP and I was playing to their records and DVDs all the time. Their passion, soul, energy and intensity struck me. They seemed like guys who have enormous talents and BIG personalities – yet they were paying attention to each other while playing and they played from their hearts and guts – they improvised, they gave it all, they dared to make mistakes in the process…and it felt true. Yep, it was entertainment too but it was a good one and I have always felt really joyful and energized when I was listening to them. Recently, I have been listening to the Chili Peppers a lot again and I feel the same things and it’s great 🙂 So, thanks for that feeling guys, luckily, these things you never forget – seeing and hearing the joy of playing is always very inspirational to me.

My previous lessons mostly focus jazz or jazz-related stuff, so this lesson might be a surprise to some of you but I encourage you to explore and play different styles and make excursions into different areas – you might get inspired or find the music that you really love playing. Sometimes, a little change can refresh your music and your angle – when you are working to better yourself on the instrument you might get lost accumulating knowledge and practicing difficult stuff – you might be playing theoretically complicated things that impress musicians but you might miss to put your heart in it. Also, getting a taste of something completely different can give you new motivation and drive – so all in all, I encourage you to take a look on this lesson, and notice that sometimes “simple” is not that simple.

By the Way is a great song and it is driven by the pumping bassline of master Flea himself – someone who I don’t have to introduce to anybody. The riff itself is technically not that complicated but the feel and little nuances make it really special and hard to emulate. I have been checking on YouTube but I haven’t really seen guys playing it correctly and that’s why I made this lesson which is also a sort of tribute to Flea and his bass playing. I am 99% sure that this is how he plays it – if not, I hope Flea himself will show me how to do it correctly 🙂

That special feel comes from the low open D ghost notes played throughout the line – in the first bar, the 5th, 7th and 11th note. Basically, those notes are soul of this line – these are the most important when you want to learn this. In the video I talk about the variations (where I hear them on the record and on live versions), so check that out. The sound definitely comes from Flea’s Modulus Bass but you can add compression and a drive/booster to your signal chain and set your bass tone controls to full treble to achieve a similar sound. Also, you have to play as hard as you can this time – dig in, have fun with it and rock that bass!

The video does not intend to violate any laws or copyright, it is to be used for educational purposes (fair use). The original song can be purchased at Amazon and iTunes!

Support Flea and his music and buy the original Red Hot Chili Peppers records.

After a short registration on digthatbass.comyou can download a free GuitarPro5 file and a free PDF as well!

Cheers,

Rajoe

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