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Bass Lines by Jaime Vazquez – Metal Bass Riffs

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Welcome to 2012! This month is for the metalheads! We’re going to study some heavy metal (often referred to simply as metal) basslines. The bass in metal music is frequently supporting and doubling the guitar lines. But there’s some space for bass players to add more notes. There are  bass players that are pushing the boundaries and they’re playing several bass metal licks. 

What is a riff? A riff is an ostinato figure: a repeated chord progression, pattern, refrain or melodic figure, often played by the rhythm section instruments or solo instrument, that forms the basis or accompaniment of a musical composition.

What is a lick? A lick is “a stock pattern or phrase” consisting of a short series of notes that is used in solos and melodic lines.
Fig. 1 – This is the main riff from Iron Maiden’s Wrathchild, the second song from their second album called Killers (released in 1981). Steve Harris is the main writer & composer of the band. Harris played octaves, pull-offs, sixteenth notes and a fill for closing the riff based on E natural minor scale (E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E).

Fig. 2 – Is the opening bass line that could be heard on MTV News broadcasts. Megadeth’s Peace Sells (released in 1986) is a good example of a metal song with a headbanging riff. Dave Ellefson played octaves and syncopation based on the E blues scale (E-G-A-A#-B-D-E). 

Fig. 3 – In 1990, Anthrax released Persistence of Time. Here’s their biggest single off the album, a cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got the Time”. This is an up-tempo song based on a simple but catchy riff. The bass line is a good example of pumpin’ eights (is the use of ostinato in the tonic, a single line, in a rhythmic pattern of eight notes). 

Fig. 4 – Is the title track from Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tears ( the sixth studio album released in 1991). The bass line was recorded by Bob Daisley. Like Fig. 1, there’s the use of pull-offs and octaves, but with syncopation. This addition gives a very interesting sense of groove to the bassline. 

Fig. 5 – This is the bass intro of My Friend of Misery, from Metallica’s self-titled album (also known as The Black Album). Released in 1991. This dark bass riff is based on A natural minor scale (A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A). Let ring every note and get an arpeggiated sound. 

Keep the good practice and learn from all styles. Remember, music is the universal language. Don’t limit yourself and keep growing. Knowledge is power. 

Bass Videos

Working-Class Zeros: Episode #3 – John Patitucci IG Video, The Summer Festival Gig, iPads on Stage

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WORKING-CLASS ZEROS With Steve Rosati and Shawn Cav

In this episode we cover John Patitucci’s IG video about saying ‘no’ to the gig, the Summer Festival gig, and iPads on stage (sure it’s awesome but is it necessary?)

These stories from the front are with real-life, day-to-day musicians who deal with work life and gigging and how they make it work out. Each month, topics may include… the kind of gigs you get, the money, dealing with less-than-ideal rooms, as well as the gear you need to get the job done… and the list goes on from there.” – Steve the Bass Guy and Shawn Cav

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Curly Hendo

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Interview Wity Bassist Curly Hendo

Bassist Curly Hendo…

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, bassist Curly Hendo has been super busy. Starting with dance from a young age, Curly took up bass shortly after and has been going strong ever since. She has collaborated with numerous acts worldwide and is an in-demand session/touring bassist and musical director.

Join me as we learn about Curly’s musical journey, how she gets her sound, and her plans for a very bright future.

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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 @jermsbass @degierguitars @meridian_guitars @xvector_basses @marleaux_bassguitars @mattissonbass @alesvychodilbasses @gvguitars @thebassplace @xylembassguitar

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at danielbenmortiz.com/

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New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Dual Compressor/Effects Loop

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New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Duel Compressor/Effects Loop

Step Into X2C With Phil Jones Bass Dual Compressor/Effects Loop…

Phil Jones Bass latest pedal innovation is the X2C Dual Compressor with Dual Effects Loop for performance and recording. The X2C incorporates advanced compressor circuit technology and provides comprehensive tone control with a dual crossover feature which divides the signal into frequency bands ranging from 100Hz to 500Hz, ensuring exceptional clarity and dynamics in tone refinement. 

With insert jacks on each band, the X2C unlocks limitless creativity, enabling players to use various FX pedals for custom tone sculpting. Additionally, it functions as an electronic crossover, ideal for driving high-performance, 2-way bass rigs.

PJB’s Dual-Band compression design is more flexible than standard single-band compressors and provides a more natural and transparent sound. It also provides greater control over shaping and managing dynamics where standard compressors affect the entire frequency spectrum of an audio signal.  

PJB’s dual compressor enables the player to shape specific frequency ranges of an audio signal which allows for compressing the low frequencies while preserving the high frequencies, or vice-versa. Treating the low-end with a dedicated band also allows for heavy compression without affecting the midrange frequencies, which carry the attack of the sound. 

Effects can be plugged into the insert jacks on the X2C and controlled separately. As an example, the lows can be adjusted separately for an overdrive pedal while the highs can be controlled for a chorus. 

Dividing the audio spectrum into fundamental frequencies and harmonics is also effective in the enrichment of slapping techniques. The low frequencies can be compressed without changing the dynamics of the “slap”. By controlling the low frequencies and focusing the attack on the slap the amplifier will sound louder while avoiding overloading of the amp or speakers. The low band can be compressed without the harmonics being affected. In addition, the send jacks can go to different amplifiers/speakers for a bi-amplification set up.

Compact and potent, the X2C embodies studio-grade excellence, setting a new standard for dynamic processing in an uncompromising, portable pedal. The street price is $359.99.

Visit online at www.pjbworld.com

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