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Bass Line From Jaco Pastorius’ Okonkole Y Trompa

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Bass Line From Jaco Pastorius' Okonkole Y Trompa

Bass Line From Jaco Pastorius’ Okonkole Y Trompa

Despite Jaco having left innumerable mind-blowing and beautiful pieces of music as a legacy – including Donna Lee, Continuum, Portrait of Tracy, Havona, Chromatic Fantasy, Birdland to name a few – my all time favorite Jaco tune remains Okonkole Y Trompa. It’s mesmerizing and airy atmosphere breathes and ambigious serenity into the listener. The bass provides the setting by a simple pattern which sounds like an endless spiral – the natural harmonics make this line special and outstanding, yet it just flows under the floating french horn melody like a calm river. The congas are more in an accompanying role – they are the ripples of that river which provides the foundation – it feels like there is no meter, it much more feels like a free meditation which also has a enigmatic and mysterious order.

The reason why I am comparing this to a meditation is because the the groove itself is ‘simple’ compared to other Jaco songs, yet, playing these simple notes focused with control and evenness for four minutes takes some mastery and a meditative sort of concentration.Even though the meter of the song could be possibly interpreted in several different ways I prefer to simply think about it as straight 4/4. As you will see in the notation, Jaco is playing groups of five – quintuplets – with the first of the quintuplets accented. Basically, this simple pattern of five is just repeated over and over again. I’ve notated this as sixteenth quintuplets – which equal the length of one quarter note (that equals 4 sixteenth notes): that means you are actually playing 5 sixteenth notes over the time of 4 sixteenths(=1 quarter) – I know that sounds complicated but it is actually not 🙂 Very simply put, you just have to keep counting 1-2-3-4-5 quickly over what Jaco plays and you’ll get it!

The notes are natural harmonics which means your fretting hand fingers do not actually push down the notes, they just barely touch the string right above the frets. The ringing of these notes are controlled by your left hand curvature – when your fingers are less curved and more flattened, the ring is controlled, the notes are shorter, but if you curve your left hand fingers more, there will be space for notes to ring out. Towards the end of the tune, you can hear that the groove sounds more ‘open’: some tones are left to ring out more – on the tab I marked these ones red. That ringing-out is achieved by this left hand curvature – as you curve your fingers, they will not come in contact with the G string while you play the next notes on the D and the A string and that way that note marked red on the G string will ring out while you are playing the other notes (see pictures in video!)

Well, that’s about it! I am planning to do two more Jaco snippets soon (erm, or at least, this semester :P) – one will be a short unison which I haven’t really seen transcribed in any Jaco books, and the other one is a classic but I will have it present with an extra 😉 stay tuned.

The video does not intend to violate any laws or copyrights, it is to be used for educational purposes (fair use). The original song can be purchased at Amazon and iTunes!

I guess as a bass player, you alread knew Jaco, but keep supporting the Jaco legacy, listen to his, buy his records, check out Jacopastorius.com or check out his amazing son, Felix Pastorius!

After a free registration on digthatbass.com, there is the GuitarPro5 file available!

Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 6 

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James Rosocha

Approach Notes – Part 6 

As we move into lesson six of approach notes applied to chord tones, it’s important to go back and review the previous approaches. The constant review and application of these concepts will add a layer of chromaticism to both your bass lines and solos. The approaches need to be burned into your long term/ permanent memory for them to come out in your playing. 

This first example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio. 

A single chromatic approach from below and a double chromatic approach from above approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, single from below and double chromatic from above to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down. 

The next example approaches the G major arpeggio in root position.

The next example approaches the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a single chromatic from below and a double chromatic approach from above -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, single chromatic from below/ double from above to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down. 

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio. 

A single chromatic from below/ double from above approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, single chromatic from below/ double from above to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down. 

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio

A single chromatic from below/ double from above approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, single from above/ double from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down.

After studying these various approach notes, you will begin to recognize the concepts utilized in your favorite solos. Continue the journey and good luck! 

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Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I

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Jaime David Vazquez - Lessons For Bass Guitar

Triads & Inversions Part I

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue, we are going to study the triads and their inversions.

It is very important for all bassists to understand and master the triads, but it is even more important to understand their different inversions.

In Part I, we are going to learn what the triad is in fundamental position.

The Formula consists of root, third and fifth.

Degrees of the Triad

Major Triad: 1 – 3 – 5
Minor Triad: 1 – b3 – 5
Diminished Triad: 1 – b3 – b5
Augmented Triad: 1 – 3 – #5

Fig.1 – The C, Cm, Cdim & Caug triads
(Fundamental Position)

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I
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Bass Edu

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

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Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice's Bassist Lewis Bridges - From the Album, Grotesque

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

Bassist Lewis Bridges Shares…

“Gruesome’s sparse intro marks a stark contrast from the intensity of the rest of the album.  The original intention was to keep the bass simple but colourful, however as I worked on it, the lines grew more expressive and the more striking flourishes began to emerge.  The intensity builds into a harmonic minor passage that takes us into the drop — a signature death grind cacophony.  This is where Foetal Juice thrives.  You’re getting a full-on right-hand barrage to in the face to take you into a groove-laden mulch-fest.

I owe my throbbing bass tone to the Darkglass Alpha Omega pedal borrowed from our sound engineer, Chris Fielding (ex-Conan), mixed with the clarity of the tried and true Ampeg SVT CL.

As mentioned earlier, colourful basslines are important, especially in a one-guitar band. Chucking some funny intervals and odd flourishes here and there brings life into the brutality. There’s no point sounding brutal if it’s not gonna be fucking evil too!

Recording this playthrough was hard work. This was not the fault of James Goodwin (Necronautical), who was kindly filming and is ace to work with, but because in true Foetal fashion, we had stinking hangovers — and that jam room was hot!”

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Foetaljuice.bandcamp.com

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Bass Edu

Bass Lines: The Circle

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jaime Vazquez

Bass Lines: The Circle…

Hello bass players and fans of bass! This month we’re going to study “The Circle.”

The Circle of Fourths can also be called “The Circle of Fifths or just The Circle.

Practicing the scales, chords, and ideas in general via the circle has been a common practice routine for jazz musicians and highly recommended.

It is a disciplined way of working through all twelve keys.

Plus, many bass root movements to jazz and pop songs move through sections of the circle.

Fig. 1 – “The Circle”

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thecircle, #thecircleoffourths, #thecircleoffifths,#scales & #chords.

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Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 5

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James Rosocha

Continuing our lesson of Approach Notes, Part 5…

In continuing with the concept of approach notes being applied to chord tones, this lesson approaches the root, third, fifth, and seventh degree of each arpeggio inversion by incorporating a double chromatic approach from above, and a single chromatic approach from below. 

The first examples approach the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a double chromatic from above and a single chromatic approach from below -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down.

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, double chromatic from above/ single below to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down.

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down. 

This final example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above and below approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, double chromatic from above and below to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down.

Be sure to pace yourself with these lessons to avoid burning out.

Being overly ambitious with your practice schedule can lead to unrealistic expectations. Try learning one approach note concept and one chord type a week. Change your practice routine as necessary and tailor it to your needs as a musician. Good luck!

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