Connect with us

Latest

Theory and Technique Three by Rhayn Jooste

Published

on

Theory and Technique Three by Rhayn Jooste…

Chord : a unit of two or more sounds Harmonic: overtone/s above a fundamental note
Theory
This month we are going to looking into harmony and how to produce harmonics. Harmony or Chords are produced by simultaneously sounding two or more intervals or notes. In our western scale these are generally intervals of a third stacked on top of each other and when played together they fall into the basic categories of: major, minor and dominant. So, where do we get all those cool sounding jazz chords? Well we continue adding thirds on top until we reach the sound pallet we desire. Of course its all but impossible for a bass player to play a full maj 9th chord on the fretboard as this is 5 notes played together. So the trick is to select the best tones out of the chord to imply or nail the tonality desired. A good rule of thumb is the 3rd and 7th notes plus the extra tone, in this case a 9th.
When we play two or more chords in a row in a music we are playing a chord progression. Music is magical because of this. Its the the way chords are placed next too each other in a progression that keeps producing the endless amount of ear catching sounds we have. Also the fact that any note of the chord can be a root, thereby creating inversions and different sounds. The variety of melody that can be produced over any on progression is staggering which is why we have a lot of repetition of certain chordal combinations. Some progressions are firmly ingrained in the landscape, such as the Blues ( I – IV – V) or Jazz’s (ii – V – I). Other are waiting to be discovered or more likely rediscovered. The bottom line is chords have functions and a job to do, learn as many as you can.
Technique
Harmonics are around us as string players all the time, when you pluck a string it sets the fundamental note vibrating along with its natural overtone series. Yes, that means when you play the A string you are not actually playing just an A, but a combination of A and its octave, octave + 5th, 2nd octave, 2nd octave + a 3rd and so on. (see music for example) This series is available as fundamental notes when you start dividing the string by playing harmonics – technically called non vibrating dead points or nodes. These nodes are available when plucking a string with a left hand finger directly above the fret wire. As bass players we are lucky that our strings and instruments and the sound wave they produce are bigger and badder than the rest. So our ability to access these harmonics is increased, which means notes that are fuller in tone and volume. Size sometimes does matter!
To produce a natural harmonic, place the finger directly above the fret wire of the desired position, lightly touching the string and avoiding all contact with the fretboard, in other words – float. Pluck the string and almost simultaneously remove the finger. The quicker its removed the better the tone and sound of the harmonic. This action will divide the string into vibrating sections, of which each portion will determine the harmonic produced. Play the 12th fret and you divide the string in half and get an octave.The fun for bass players is that when you combine two or more harmonics with fret notes you are able to produce awesome sounding chords. Any one that has played Jaco’s Portrait of Tracy will know what I am talking about. Included is a chart of chords used or could be used in the study – by no means exhaustive.
I have written a study that is loosely based on Jose Feliciano’s Affirmation chord changes. The use of notes ringing over one another to produce chords – accamponellas, is utilised a lot. Just remember when you play a harmonic at the 12th fret its an octave, at 7th its a fifth, at the 5th its the second octave and at the 4th its a major third. Armed with that knowledge you should be able to create your own chords. The knowledge and clever use of chord inversions will aid creating more complex sound textures. Theimportant thing to take away is that the more you experiment with the harmonic chords the more you will find and create new sounds – especially on a bass. (Harmonics have been brought down the octaves for ease of reading and writing on the stave)

Bass Videos

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

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Curly Hendo

Published

on

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.

Follow Online

Continue Reading

Latest

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

Published

on

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

View More Bass Gear News

Continue Reading

Bass CDs

New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

Published

on

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/

Continue Reading

Gear News

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

Published

on

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

Continue Reading