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The Right Hand Rasgueo of The Lesson by Rhayn Jooste

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The song/lesson for this month is The Lesson. It’s inspiration is taken from Victor Wooten’s Palmystery album (2008). The key is Bb major; however beginning with G minor, it means we are in Aeolian mode. The technique you are aiming for is to play a percussion accompaniment, taken from flamenco guitar, with your right hand and called rasgueo – while still knocking out a bass line. Your goal is to master the basic pattern and then slowly add in various rhythmic percussive strikes to make it your own. This piece will require a 4 string bass guitar.

DOWNLOAD The Right Hand Rasgueo of The Lesson by Rhayn Jooste

Listen to The Lesson – Backing Track

The main riff is a flamenco style bass line in 6/8 which uses two types of percussive strikes in the right hand. The primer (bar 1) should be used to get yourself acquainted with the off beat rhythmic placement of the double stops and then adding in a descending bass line over a static chord/harmonics in bars 4 -5. Learn to count with the main pattern – master that before moving onto the percussion part. Bar 7 deals with the right hand strike that pushes the strings down into the frets (almost like a slap except it’s with your finger tips). Bar 8 onwards deals with the right hand index (and other fingers) playing across the muted strings in a strumming motion called rasgueo. This may take some time to get right so go slow and concentrate on each part separately. The percussion is open to interpretation.

Things to note off the original are Victor’s strong pocket playing and his use of dynamics. An idea to steal off the record is his perceptive use of right hand slides, string noises and subtle off beat patterns to outline the rhythm in between notes.

Technical bits.

To begin it’s worth saying that to play percussion and still solo a bass line while staying in time is going to be challenging. So a few hints: play the descending bass and double stops while just tapping the rests of the 6/8 beat on the strings. Some of the stretches and finger positions are unorthodox, esp. the arpeggio section at bar 35, which uses barre technique. Make sure your  left hand thumb is directly behind the first finger to execute this properly. This section imitates classical/flamenco guitar where there is a melody with chordal  accompaniment. Aim to get the melody separate and clear. The use of rest strokes in the right hand will aid this. Take this slow and let your left hand get used to the chords, distinction between fatigue and pain is fine so be careful and don’t do permanent damage. The runs are made up of two tetra chords (scale fragments) and are phrased using legato techniques (hammer ons and pull offs) practise these separately and aim for clarity. The tab (and hence the fingering) can be altered. Victor also uses left hand thumb over the top to keep the harmony with these runs. This is not for everybody, hence the reason there are two variations of those runs in the music – the choice is yours.

That aside this technique will not sound authentic without the right sound, think Victor Wooten. His sound is unique and a lot of that is down to his attack on the instrument however the use of active pick ups, and Eq (added treble and bass) will help. For further listening check out Vicente Amigo.

Backing Track.

This is a bass line that grooves and has the possibilities for many extra nuances. The track is made up of Latin percussion stalwarts: claves (sticks), shaker, cajon and udo with claps outlining the full 6/8 beat (with some typical Flamenco off beats added). The primer starts out simply and then adds in more complex right hand movements, listen to the clave to position the 1st right hand strike in time. The main groove starts one bar after the primer and is led in by the claves. Near the end there is an arpeggio section, technically in 2/4, however Victor’s phrasing lends itself to 4/4. Most importantly have fun with the groove and percussion and check out Victor’s Groove Workshop DVD for inspiration.

Bass Videos

Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

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Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

I am sure many of you are very familiar with Mark Egan as we have been following him and his music for many years now. The last time we chatted was in 2020.

Mark teamed up with drummer Shawn Pelton and guitarist Shane Theriot to produce a new album, “Cross Currents” released on March 8th, 2024. I have been listening to this album in its entirety and it is simply superb (See my review).

Now, I am excited to hear about this project from Mark himself and share this conversation with our bass community in Bass Musician Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Mark Egan

Visit Online:

markegan.com
markegan.bandcamp.com
Apple Music
Amazon Music

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Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

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Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB…

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB – Hearing protection has always been front and center on my mind because I love music so much, I cannot imagine my life if I were unable to hear.

You might remember back in 2021, we had a good look at the Minuendo Lossless Earplugs featuring adjustable protection. This system has a lot of very good features but there was always the question of how much sound attenuation to choose.

Now, the great folks at Minuendo have come up with a new version of their earplugs that has a set 17dB noise reduction. You still get a lot of the great features of the adjustables but you just don’t have to think about the specific sound level. In addition, this new version of earplugs comes at a very attractive price point.

For more information, visit online at Minuendo.com

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Review: The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass by Brian F Wright 

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Review: The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass by Brian F Wright 

I was intrigued when The Bastard Instrument showed up on my desk… let’s dig in!

When we dive into the history of our beloved instrument, the bass, we find roots that go back as far as the 15th century. This instrument was a member of the violin family and was for the longest time, an acoustic instrument. As the years passed and music changed, there was a need for the instrument to evolve and the electric bass was born.

Comparatively, the electric bass is a relatively new instrument with its earliest appearances dating back to the 1930s and it is exciting to be an electric bass player while this history unfolds around us. Fortunately for us and future generations to come, Professor Brian F. Wright has taken on the herculean task of documenting the trajectory of the electric bass with this excellent book.

The Bastard Instrument presents an extraordinary amount of fine details about the instrument itself, the development of the amplification to handle its output, the pioneers that dared play it, the rapidly evolving music that flourished because of its presence and so much more. 

When I first started reading this book, I noticed that it felt a tad academic, like a textbook (it might be one someday) or a doctoral thesis, but to present all this information accurately, this approach is more than appropriate. Another detail that might be a bit of a spoiler is that the book only gets us up to the late ’60s. I was left wanting more as we know that so much has happened in the bass world since that time frame; I hope there is another volume in the works to get us up to the present!

All in all, “The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass” is a must-read for all of us who play electric bass and understand its essential place in music.

I found that there was a lot that I already knew but also quite a bit that I was unaware of. I believe that to know and understand where you are, you must know the history of exactly how you got here.

Highly recommended.

The Bastard Instrument is available at Amazon.com (beginning July 2024)

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

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

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @meridian_guitars @adamovicbasses @anacondabasses @mgbassguitars @xylembassguitar @officialspector @edwinpaanakker @alesvychodilbasses @boyarskycg @dmarkguitars

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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
YTB @BytheThousands

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