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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 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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Bass Edu

BASS LINES – The Blue Notes (Minor Blues Scale)

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jaime Vazquez

Hello bass players and bass fans! Happy New Year 2024!

In this issue, we are going to study the blue notes.

In blues, jazz, and rock, a blue note is a note that (for expressive purposes) is sung or played at a slightly different pitch from standard. Typically the alteration is between a quartertone and a semitone, but this varies depending on the musical context.

The blue notes are usually said to be the lowered third(b3), lowered fifth(b5) and lowered seventh(b7) scale degrees. The lowered fifth(b5) is also known as the raised fourth(#4). Though the blues scale has “an inherent minor tonality, it is commonly ‘forced’ over major-key chord changes, resulting in a distinctively dissonant conflict of tonalities”.

Blue notes are used in many blues songs, in jazz, rock and in conventional popular songs with a “blue” feeling.

Formula:

The A Minor Blues Scale

1 – b3 – 4 – (#4/b5) – 5 – b7

A – C – D – (D#/Eb) – E – Bb

The grades(blue notes):

b3, (#4/b5), b7

C, (D#/Eb), Bb

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thebluenotes, #minorbluesscale & #bluesscale

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Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Staccato for Bass

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jaime David

Staccato for Bass…

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue, we are going to study the technique known as staccato.

When we talk about the staccato technique, we are referring to a form of musical articulation.

In modern notation, it signifies a note of shortened duration, separated from the note that may follow by silence.

* In 20th-century music, a dot placed above or below a note indicates that it should be played staccato.

* The opposite musical articulation of staccato is legato, signifying long and continuous notes.

Fig. 1 – An example of a normal notation.

Fig. 2 – Is the same example but now with the staccato articulation

Fig. 3 – A basic groove played and written in a normal notation.

Fig. 4 – The same basic groove using the staccato technique.

So, at the end of the day, you as a bassist will decide what type of technique you will use depending on the effect you want in your performance.

See you next year for more full bass attack!!! Happy Holidays & New Year 2024!!! Groove On!!!

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Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Legato Slide vs Shift Slide

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jaime Vazquez

Legato Slide vs Shift Slide…

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue we are going to study how to read the swing eighths.

When we talk about slide techniques, we are referring to what is known in classical music as the glissando.

• Glissando = a continuous slide upward or downward between two notes.

There are two types of slides, legato and shift.

Legato Slide = strike the first note and then slide the same fret-hand finger up or down to the second note. The second note is not struck.

Fig. 1 – Legato Slide – Upward

Fig. 2 – Legato Slide – Downward

Shift Slide = Same as Legato Slide, except the second note is struck.

Fig. 3 – Shift Slide – Upward

Fig. 4 – Shift Slide – Downward

So, at the end of the day, you as a bassist will decide what type of Slide you will use depending on the effect you want in your performance.

See you next month for more full bass attack!!! Groove On!!!

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Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 4

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James Rosocha

Bass Lesson: Part 4 of Approach Notes…

My previous lessons on the topic of approach notes covered approach notes from above, approach notes from below, and approach notes from below and above. This lesson flips the concept around to approach notes from above and below. Don’t make the mistake of only learning this material in the major keys. As a starting point, these exercises should be applied to major 7, minor 7, dominant 7, minor 7 b5, and diminished 7 in all 12 keys for all inversions. If you are just starting this lesson, I recommend you go back to my first lesson on approach notes and follow them in sequence. My lesson on arpeggio inversions lays the groundwork for the approach note concept to be applied. 

The first examples approach the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a double chromatic from above and below- before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, double chromatic from above and 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 and below approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, double chromatic from above and 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 and below approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, double chromatic from above and 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.

These lessons take a very long time to complete so pace yourself and don’t give up. Good luck!

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