As the August issue is dedicated to female bassists, I prepared a lesson from Meshell Ndegeocello, my favorite woman bassist!
Laid back, tasty, nasty 😉 That’s what I can say about Meshell Ndegeocello and her music.
I am continously amazed by bass players whose voice and personality is so unique that you can recognize their music from basically one note… and Meshell is such a great person and artist. She is actually way more than a bassist – give a listen to any of her albums: she is THE soul, the feel – you can hear the depth, her whole path, every ounce of her pain, experience and love in every note she sings or plays. It is simply beautiful – somehow when I listen to her music, I always get the the feeling that Meshell amalgamates some sort of ancient feminine wisdom with the character and charisma of a masculine energies. (I guess adjectives could be exchanged in place of each other as well…)
But, she is also a hell of a bassplayer. It is always funny when I learn something new and realize that in a given piece of music, you not only learn some notes using some techniques – you always get a peek into a lifetime, into personal experience and thus, a little bit of the person herself as well.
So, this time, I can say that besides this SEEMS a simple laid back groove in G minor, it is way much more 😉 It is the last song from her album “Peace beyond Passion” called “Make Me Wanne Holler”. I have picked two fills I really liked, one is from 0:40 and the second can be heard around 5:40. The timing and the feel of the notes is sick, and the way it sounds is just amazing. I won’t come near imitating Meshell but she uses feather-light and smooth slides and / or hammer-on-pull-offs, experiment with it which way it works better for you. When i play it faster, i tend to use sliding, and then some notes are somewhat choked or a tiny-tiny bit delayed (as if you would hold your breath 🙂 but in the slow version I mainly used quick hammer-on-pull-offs. I have to say it is more of a feel exercise, but rather a challenging one – and i still have to practise it till I reach her level of wisdom 🙂
The video does not intend to violate any laws or copyrights, it is to be used for educational purposes (fair use). The original song is available for purchase and listening at:
Visit Meshell’s site and support her! meshell.com
For members, the GuitarPro 5 file is available at digthatbass.com