The major part of the orchestration was created with three, 8-string fretless sub-bass guitars:
– 1 is playing the melodic line
– Another one is playing the chords
So studying this song is a good way to approach the several aspects of the music (melody, harmony & rhythm) on a bass guitar, and more particularly on an 8-string fretless sub-bass guitar with a range of 5 octaves.
The first idea for this song was the chords part. I play it alone with the drums at the beginning. You have to listen to the song to understand what I do. It’s a mix of bass notes, harmonics and open strings, all in the same time. I had to practice it a lot to find the good equilibrium.
The melody was first an improvisation… something very simple but played spontaneously with a correct feeling, so I decided to keep that as the melody of the song. Since then, each time I play it, I find that it’s more difficult to be lyrical and simple with a good intonation than playing to much, I mean playing a lot of notes. Giving a great attention to the way I control my vibrato also helps my to find a right interpretation. Staying in tune, especially when the melody goes very high (example: bar 13), is very difficult. So basically I try to play simple things and I focus on emotions. Then I record my work, and I listen to the result to hear if I have something decent!
The bass part can be played on a 5 or 6 string, but some notes can be below the standard range (example: bar 10, played 1 octave lower than written). It’s a deep bass part with a strong groove, again something simple but requiring time to have the right play.
Please listen to this song several times, and try to hear distinctly each of the 3 parts. Then start to learn each part separately. Please work at your own rhythm, some details can be vey difficult.
Enjoy the song and when you feel comfortable with it, try to record your own version.
Have fun; music should always be used to give good emotions and pleasure!
Thank you for reading and enjoying this article.
Please click on the first link below to listen to “Sweet Passion”
Next click on the 2nd link to start downloading the transcription…