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TIMBA BASS: Part 2 – Analysis of clave-based bass movement on “Con La Conciencia Tranquila” (audio + transcriptions)

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by Michael Lazarus


In Part 1 of this series I outlined the mayor trends in the bass
movement for the title track of Paulito F.G.’s classic timba album Con La Conciencia Tranquila. Now we’ll see how these trends permeate throughout the record and also discuss some variations.


Mi Tentación – BASS – Audio track 7


Tune your bass to an A 440Hz with Audio Track 1.

Listen to the bass & piano montuno with Audio Track 7.


Here we see further use of the emphasis on the backbeat, accentuated by
the space left on the fourth beat of each 2-side. It’s really nice how
the bass movement mimics the coro melody. Note how it links to the
clave.


Llamada Anónima – BASS – Audio track 7


Listen to the bass & piano montuno with Audio Track 8.

In a similar manner as with Mi
Tentación -where the same rhythmic figure is employed on every 2-side-
Llamada Anónima uses the “leading up to the ponche” on every 3-side.
Also notice the big fat low B on the one (1) of the last measure in
this coro chord progression. Note that the open space (no music) during
both strokes of each 2-side makes for extremely funky,
call-and-response, bass movement in relation to the clave.


Para Volver – BASS – Audio track 9 & 10


Listen to the bass & piano montuno with Audio Track 9.

Listen to the bass & piano montuno variation with Audio Track 10.


Further proof in my proposition that the bass movement in timba music
seeks to reinforce clave, the bass rhythm in Para Volver simply mimics
the clave, albeit in a very tasteful way. Notice how the clave is
emphasized by NOT playing on beat 1 of each 2-side -letting the note
carry over the bar from the previous measure. These spaces are
indicated below with a small red arrow.


De La Habana – BASS – Audio track 13 & 14


Listen to the bass & piano montuno with Audio Track 13.

Listen to the bass & piano montuno variation with Audio Track 14.

Akin to Llamada Anónima, the bass
movement in the main coro and mambo sections of Paulito’s anthemic hit
De La Habana make excellent use of space over the 2-side to reinforce
the “leading up to the ponche” trend over the 3-side. These key spaces
in the first and third 2-sides of the 8 bar phrase are noted by the red
arrows below. The red box indicated 2-side alignment with heavy
emphasis on the backbeat stroke.

Con La Conciencia Traquila was
selected for this analysis 1 because it was the earliest
chronologically released album, within my collection, where several key
trends in Timba were easily recognized as a collective -the presence of
the gears, the song by song micro-composing of percussion parts, the
reinforcement of clave by the bass, the classically and jazz influenced
piano parts, the mid-mambo conga fill, etc. After further
transcriptions and analysis of numerous albums within the genre, it
became clear that the relation between the bass movement and clave was
a consistent and marked general trend. Clearly different bands and
players had idiosyncratic variations and touches, but the main idea
remained throughout. .


My next article will kick-off reviews and analysis of the bass movement within other timba bands. Stay tuned mi gente.


credits:

– Audio tracks used by permission from Pyrale Music.
– Transcriptions used by permission from Kevin Moore, editor-in-chief of http://www.TIMBA.com

– Article excerpts from TIMBA Style Bass Vol.1, an eBook I published on www.latinpulsemusic.com

– All content ©2009 Michael P. Lazarus




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Bass Videos

Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

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Interview With By the Thousands Bassist Adam Sullivan

Bassist Adam Sullivan…

Hailing from Minnesota since 2012, By the Thousands has produced some serious Technical Metal/Deathcore music. Following their recent EP “The Decent”s release, I have the great opportunity to chat with bassist Adam Sullivan.

Join me as we hear about Adam’s musical Journey, his Influences, how he gets his sound, and the band’s plans for the future

Photo, Laura Baker

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IG &FB @bythethousands
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Bass CDs

Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

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Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Mark Egan, Cross Currents…

It is exciting every time I get a new album from Mark Egan as he is such an amazingly versatile player and I never know what to expect (except for excellent artistry!) In his latest release, Mark has teamed up with Shawn Peyton on drums and Shane Theriot on guitar to bring us “Cross Currents”.

This collection of eleven tracks transports me to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans specifically). Mark’s fretless basses lay down a solid groove and lots of juicy solo work for this rootsy collection of funk, ambient, swamp-rock, second line, ballads, Cajun and even Indian Raga.

This trio is super-tight and the musicianship is flawless as each member has ample opportunity to shine. Even though each player is very talented in their own right, I feel that the collective energy is greater than just the sum of the players on this album. Each musician contributed to composing music for this project but the lion’s share are Mark’s original pieces.

I spent the summer of 1981 in New Orleans and this wonderful music takes me back to those fond memories. I participated in a wacky raft race on Lake Ponchatrain and this opening track elicits images of fun, sunshine, music, and great food.

This is another superb album that everyone will enjoy. Get your copy today! Cross Currents is available online at Amazon.com. Visit Mark online at markegan.com.

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Gear Reviews

Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp

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Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp

Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp: A Tribute to 90’s Iconic Sounds

Disclaimer: This pedal was kindly provided by Joyo for the purpose of this review. However, this does not influence our opinion or the content of our review. We strive to provide honest, unbiased, and accurate assessments to ensure that our readers receive truthful and helpful information.

In the realm of bass preamp/DI pedals, capturing the essence of iconic tones from the 90s can often feel like an elusive pursuit. However, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp emerges as a great option for bass players seeking to replicate the signature sounds of that era, particularly the revered tech21 SansAmp. With its robust feature set and compact design, the Tidal Wave offers a faithful homage to classic rock tones and low-gain distortions, all while providing modern conveniences for today’s bassist. Let’s delve into why the Joyo Tidal Wave stands out as a versatile and budget-friendly tool for both stage and studio.

Specs:

Measuring at 130 * 110 * 50 mm and weighing 442g, the Joyo Tidal Wave strikes a balance between portability and durability, making it ideal for gigging musicians and studio enthusiasts alike. With a power consumption of just 100 mA and a working voltage of DC 9V, the Tidal Wave ensures reliable performance in a variety of settings.

Controls:

At the heart of the Tidal Wave’s versatility lies its comprehensive control set, allowing bass players to sculpt their tone with precision. Key features include:

– Level: Sets the overall output volume of the pedal.

– Blend: Blends the dry signal with the cab-emulated signal, offering seamless integration of the pedal into any setup.

– Presence: Controls the dynamics of the high upper-mids, crucial for shaping drive tones.

– Drive: Introduces low-gain distortions and classic rock sounds into the clean tone.

– Treble, Middle, and Bass: Provides a 3-band EQ with frequency selectors for bass (40Hz – 80Hz) and mids (500Hz – 1KHz), offering ample control over tonal shaping.

– Middle Shift and Bass Shift: Allows for further fine-tuning of midrange and bass frequencies.

– Ground Lift: Helps eliminate ground loop noise in certain setups.

– DI Attenuation Switch: Adjusts the level of the DI output signal.

– LED Light Switch Control: Allows users to customize the ambient lighting of the pedal.

Performance:

True to its inspiration, the Joyo Tidal Wave excels in delivering classic rock tones and low-gain distortions reminiscent of the tech21 SansAmp. Whether you’re seeking gritty overdriven sounds or pristine clean tones, the Tidal Wave offers unparalleled flexibility and sonic versatility. The inclusion of a headphone out, XLR DI out with cab simulation, and throughout for the original bass sound make the Tidal Wave a versatile tool for both stage and studio applications. From practicing silently with headphones to crafting quality recordings in an ampless setup, the Tidal Wave delivers on all fronts with clarity, definition, and unmistakable character.

Pros:

The Tidal Wave boasts an array of advantages that set it apart from its direct competitors:

– Headphone Out: Transforms the pedal into a convenient practice tool.

– Size and Weight: Compact and lightweight design for easy transportation and setup.

– Rugged Construction: Durable build quality ensures longevity and reliability.

– DI and CabSim: Offers professional-grade direct recording capabilities with authentic cab simulation.

– Familiar Tones: Faithfully replicates the classic rock sounds of the tech21 SansAmp.

Cons:

While the Tidal Wave excels in many aspects, it does have a few drawbacks:

– Plastic Knobs: Knobs may feel less premium compared to pedals with metal controls.

– Cab Simulation Only on XLR Output: Limited cab simulation functionality may require additional routing for certain setups.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of classic rock tones from the 90s. With its faithful homage to the tech21 SansAmp, comprehensive control set, and modern conveniences like headphone out and XLR DI with cab simulation, the Tidal Wave offers bassists a versatile  tool for sculpting their sound with precision and finesse. Whether you’re seeking to replicate iconic tones from the past or forge new sonic territories, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp is sure to inspire creativity and elevate your playing to new heights.

Available online at Amazon.com

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @cb_basses @alesvychodilbasses @odiengcustom @ramabass.ok @mauriziouberbasses @mgbassguitars @capursoguitars @thebassplace @adamovicbasses @ishguitars

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