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Bass Lines by Jaime Vazquez: The Sixteenth-Note Groove Part I-Jaco’s Style!


Bass Lines by Jaime Vazquez: The Sixteenth-Note Groove Part I-Jaco’s Style!

Hello BMM and Community! Many of my students have been asking me about the sixteenth-note grooves. So, I have decided to give you the tips and techniques from the greats during the next months. This time, we will be studying the Jaco’s style and his approach for the sixteenth notes. For this, you have to get the Jaco Growl sound and it is obtained by using the bridge pickup exclusively, and plucking the strings right above the bridge pickup. Remember, Jaco Pastorius used finger-style playing exclusively, and was not seen using the slap and pop method that dominated the R&B charts. Now that you have the right sound… Let’s groove!

Fig. 1- This is the main groove of the “River People.” A song from the album called Mr.Gone (1978) by Weather Report. Notice the use of rests and octaves. Listen to ‘River People’

Fig. 2- Here we have an excerpt from the verse groove of “Come On, Come Over,” the only song with vocals from Pastorius’ self-titled solo debut album, originally released in 1976. This is a good example of the use of tied notes, chromatism and rests. Listen to ‘Come On Come Over

Fig. 3- One of my favorite grooves from Jaco! Opus Pocus, the fifth song from his debut solo album. Now we have an example using muted notes, hammer-ons, chord tones, tied notes and rests. For Jaco’s playing, rests were important too! Listen to ‘Opus Pocus’

Fig. 4. The last example but not the least important. This is the intro groove from his acclaimed version of “The Chicken.” A memorable finger-style funky groove. Listen to ‘The Chicken’

I want to mention that Jaco used techniques like staccato, grace notes, double stops, slides, string skipping, etc. Until the next issue and Keep grooving!

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