The Monthly Lowdown with Bass Books Kevin Smith – July 2015…
|SCIENCE SHOWS WHY BASS|
CARRIES THE RHYTHM
In case there was any doubt, scientific research has proven that rhythm belongs to the bass. Turns out it’s simple physiology.
“Superior time perception for lower musical pitch explains why bass-ranged instruments lay down musical rhythms.” That’s the key abstract for recent research by Dr. Laurel J. Trainor at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada. “To what extent are musical conventions determined by evolutionarily shaped human physiology? Across cultures, polyphonic music most often conveys melody in higher-pitched sounds and rhythm in lower-pitched sounds.”
Dr. Trainor’s team devised two tests, one using finger-tapping to a beat and the other measuring actual brain activity in the aural region. Listening to high- and low-pitched tones from a speaker one meter in front of their head, test subjects showed clearly greater sensitivity to deviations from a rhythmic pattern in the low notes than they did in the high notes.
So there it is: Our preference for rhythmic content down low is rooted in our biology. Can’t argue with that.
|NEW BOOK: THE JOHN BENÍTEZ BASS METHOD|
Freedom in the Clave: A Rhythmic Approach to Bass Playing
In the world of Latin Jazz/Latin American music, John Benítez is considered to be one of the greatest bassists alive today. With five Grammy awards to his name and performance credits ranging from Tito Puente to Chick Corea, his impact on the music world is unquestionable.
The John Benítez Bass Method Volume 1 is the first in a comprehensive book series forged from unique teaching methods developed over years of private instruction. “Volume 1 • Freedom In The Clave: A Rhythmic Approach To Bass Playing” is a vast collection of rhythmic independence exercises designed to strengthen a student’s overall rhythmic confidence and awareness in regards to the clave, thus facilitating higher degrees of creativity and expression during performance.
Author Ian Stewart includes five note-for-note transcriptions from various albums in Benítez’s discography to demonstrate how this master musician puts his own concepts to work in real time. Volume 1 is a highly useful, one-of-a-kind method for bassists and other inquisitive instrumentalists.
These cool titles are making noise at BassBooks.com. Click on the covers or titles for complete details, sample pages, prices and ordering information.