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Detachment from the Album Carbonne Di Piazza Manring


Detachment from the Album Carbonne Di Piazza Manring

This is my first column for Bass Musician Magazine, and it’s dedicated to my favorite instrument, fretless bass. I started to play fretless in 1982, influenced by Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report’s “Heavy Weather”) and Alain Caron (Uzeb’s “Fast Emotion”).

My first fretless bass was a Leduc 5 string with a high C. Then, in 1984, I played a Vigier Arpège 5 string with high C, and in 1986 a Jacobacci 5 string (still with high C). From 1987 and until 1997, I played only F Bass 6 string fretless basses.

In 1998 I started to design my own models with Christian Noguera, the Noguera YC basses. I wanted to have my own sound. I still play those Noguera basses, in 6 and 8 string contrabass and sub-bass versions.

Since 2006 I’ve been playing Jerzy Drozd Legend YC 10 and 12 string sub-basses.

Since the beginning, I’ve wanted to play everything: bass lines, ghost notes, harmonics, chords and melodies. I started to transcribe everything I could from Jaco and Alain, but also solos from other instruments, such as John Coltrane’s 1959 “Giant Steps”.

One of the things I enjoy about fretless is that it helps you as far as developing your ear. If you’re not playing in tune, it’s just horrible!

Below is a transcription of one of my songs, Detachment, from the album “Carbonne Di Piazza Manring” (2005). In this piece Michael Manring is playing his Zon Sonus fretless bass, and I play my Noguera YC 6 string fretless contrabass guitar.

This song is a good way to work on different aspects of fretless playing:

During the intro (0:00 to 0:42) I play chords with harmonics and mute the fundamentals. Michael is improvising using ebow.

Then I play the melody, and Michael is playing the chords along with harmonics (0:43 to 1:37).

Michael then plays a solo (1:38 to 2:31) I then play the melody one more time at the end. (2:32 to the end)

The feel is close to an old rhythm and blues 12/8 ballad.

The melody has to be very lyrical, and a little bit retarded.

It’s a simple, but very inspired song.

Click on the three links below to download the transcriptions and to listen to the MP3
Download Detachment-Transcription.jpg
Download Detachment-Transcription_Parts_2-3.jpg
Download Detachment-2.mp3

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