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Brian Ritchie on “Please Do Not Go” by Jimi Durso

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Brian Ritchie on “Please Do Not Go” by Jimi Durso…  Click to download Brian Ritchie on “Please Do Not Go”

A too often overlooked bassist, Brian Ritchie did same brilliant work with the Violent Femmes, had a signature style and sound, and was one of the first people I know of to do it on the acoustic bass guitar. “Please Do Not Go”, from the Violent Femmes debut album, feature Ritchie with an 8 bar unaccompanied solo in the middle (measures 28-35).

The song is basically a three chord reggae using the I, IV and V chords in G. The progression is a full bar of G and then a half bar each of C and D. Since no one is backing up Ritchie, this gives him both the responsibility of delineating the chords in his solo line, and the freedom to deviate from it without concern for clashing. Ritchie does both Brian Ritchie – masterfully. The first two bar phrase (measures 28 and 29) he puts the root notes on the strong beats, and does so in the low range (the low G that kicks off bar 28 as well as the C on beat one of the next measure and the D that anticipates beat three). We also hear an emphasis on chord tones: measure 28 is almost exclusively notes from the G7 chord, and in measure 29 we hear C and E (the third of C) on strong beats and D on the strong beats in the second half (as well as a low A to make the D sound clearer).

For the next two measures, Ritchie starts out expanding on the idea he set up, playing almost the same line for the G chord (including the hip trill from the major to minor third, which foreshadows the G minor sound to come), and even starts out the next measure with a C major triad. But when the D chord comes up, Ritchie deviates radically from that sound. He does play a low D, and even does so on some stronger beats (the “four” and the “and of two”), but the other notes, G and Bb, spell out a G minor triad, juxtaposing a bluesy sound.

Toward the end of the measure he starts a G mixolydian scale that he continues into bar 32. He doesn’t play the third of the G chord until the end of this measure, and even then it’s a scalar passing tone to the root of the C chord in the next bar. So he doesn’t necessarily take our ear away from the blues he injected before.

And in bar 33, after revisiting the C major lick from measure 29, he again plays G minor where the D chord should be. A fascinating aspect of this measure: he combines the ideas from measure 29 and 31, so that for the listener it’s at that same time familiar and novel. A very clever way of developing a statement.

For the final two bars, he goes back to G, but goes up from a high G (Notice how for the first two measure of G major, he emphasized the low G, but for the second two, he uses the high G. Also very clever.) Then another variation on the C major lick, and for D this time he just pounds out the root note. This not only brings us back to hearing it as the V chord (after all that G minor stuff he did with this chord before) but also creates a sense of finality to his solo (making it clear to the rest of the band that it’s time to come in with the pre-chorus).

Twang!

www.JimiDurso.com

www.CoincidenceMachine.net

Bass Videos

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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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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