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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.

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)…

Flemish Master Pieter Bruegel the Elder probably had many things in mind when painting his Hunters in the Snow in oil on oak wood in 1565. This masterpiece tells plenty of little stories about winterly pastimes and precarious livelihoods in the Early Modern Age. What Bruegel presumably did not have in mind was that this painting would, several centuries later, become one of the most popular ones in fine arts globally, displayed in a permanent exhibition at Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) Vienna. The painting’s popularity was lately taken to a different level as it was replicated by hand to design an exclusive BITE bass.

An international art collector and bass player who regularly visits Vienna to immerse himself in the wonderworld of Kunsthistorisches’ Bruegel Hall asked BITE to replicate the painting on a bass body. BITE Guitars, an Austrian premium manufacturer exporting most of their basses to the US, has become renowned for colorful artwork basses, offering a range of manual and digital techniques. The firm’s art director Peter, a trained scenic painter of Oscar and Palme d’Or rank, specializes in photo-realistic reproductions. He also painted the bass for Robbie Williams’ 2023 world tour by faithfully replicating Robbie’s own stage design onto the tour bass.

Peter copied the Bruegel motif onto the bass body in minute detail, little twigs even by one-hair-brush. Positioning the rectangular image section on the body shape proved to be a special challege that he met by repositioning little elements, a bird here, a horse and cart there.

It all came together in a memorable video shooting in front of the original painting in the Museum’s Bruegel Hall: venerable fine arts, premium handicraft and groovy jazz tunes.

View video at the museum: www.youtube.com/shorts/2evdqfR6gUE

What’s the conclusion of BITE’s client, our Vienna, art and bass lover? “It’s a magical bass! When I touch the strings, I feel warm inside.”

Specs highlights:
Bass model: BITE Evening Star, the proprietary BITE premium model with inward curved horns
Pickups: 2 x BITE 1000 millivolt passive split-coils (PP)
Neck: roasted maple neck and roasted flamed maple fretboard

Price tag incl. insured door-to-door express shipping:
New York: 4726 USD
London: 3645 GBP
Berlin: 4965 EUR

Full specs available at bite.guitars/old-master-bass/

Bruegel Hall at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna: 
khm.at/en/visit/collections/picture-gallery/the-best-of-bruegel-only-in-vienna/

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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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 @loritabassworks @meridian_guitars @alpherinstruments @phdbassguitars @mgbassguitars @mauriziouberbasses @utreraguitars @sugi_guitars @branco_luthier @blasiusguitars

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

D’Addario’s New Humidipak Absorb Protects Instruments Against Excess Moisture…

Utilizing two-way humidity control technology, D’Addario’s new Humidipak Absorb protects against damage to wooden instruments in environments with too much humidity. 

Humidipak Absorb allows players to safely return an instrument and case to the ideal relative humidity level. Using Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control technology, Absorb automatically soaks up excess moisture at a safe rate, re-establishing the right humidity level and eliminating the guesswork of revitalizing your instrument. 

Like all the Humidipaks before, using Humidipak Absorb is easy—there’s no dripping sponges or manual adjustments. All players need to do is put the humidification packets in the included pouches and place them in the instrument case, close the lid, and relax. The instrument and case will remain at the optimal 45-50% relative humidity level for 2-6 months. 

D’Addario’s other Humidipaks, Restore and Maintain, are still available for those who need to increase and sustain the humidity around their instrument. 

To learn more about Humidipak Absorb, visit ddar.io/absorb-pr 

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