Hi everyone, this lesson turns in a slightly different musical direction than usual on digthatbass. RHCP was my first favorite band – as a teenager when I picked up the bass, all I wanted to play was RHCP and I was playing to their records and DVDs all the time. Their passion, soul, energy and intensity struck me. They seemed like guys who have enormous talents and BIG personalities – yet they were paying attention to each other while playing and they played from their hearts and guts – they improvised, they gave it all, they dared to make mistakes in the process…and it felt true. Yep, it was entertainment too but it was a good one and I have always felt really joyful and energized when I was listening to them. Recently, I have been listening to the Chili Peppers a lot again and I feel the same things and it’s great 🙂 So, thanks for that feeling guys, luckily, these things you never forget – seeing and hearing the joy of playing is always very inspirational to me.
My previous lessons mostly focus jazz or jazz-related stuff, so this lesson might be a surprise to some of you but I encourage you to explore and play different styles and make excursions into different areas – you might get inspired or find the music that you really love playing. Sometimes, a little change can refresh your music and your angle – when you are working to better yourself on the instrument you might get lost accumulating knowledge and practicing difficult stuff – you might be playing theoretically complicated things that impress musicians but you might miss to put your heart in it. Also, getting a taste of something completely different can give you new motivation and drive – so all in all, I encourage you to take a look on this lesson, and notice that sometimes “simple” is not that simple.
By the Way is a great song and it is driven by the pumping bassline of master Flea himself – someone who I don’t have to introduce to anybody. The riff itself is technically not that complicated but the feel and little nuances make it really special and hard to emulate. I have been checking on YouTube but I haven’t really seen guys playing it correctly and that’s why I made this lesson which is also a sort of tribute to Flea and his bass playing. I am 99% sure that this is how he plays it – if not, I hope Flea himself will show me how to do it correctly 🙂
That special feel comes from the low open D ghost notes played throughout the line – in the first bar, the 5th, 7th and 11th note. Basically, those notes are soul of this line – these are the most important when you want to learn this. In the video I talk about the variations (where I hear them on the record and on live versions), so check that out. The sound definitely comes from Flea’s Modulus Bass but you can add compression and a drive/booster to your signal chain and set your bass tone controls to full treble to achieve a similar sound. Also, you have to play as hard as you can this time – dig in, have fun with it and rock that bass!