Here’s the third and final instalment of Janek Gwizdala’s bass clinic at ACM Guildford in 2007. For those who missed the first two episodes, you can find them here: –…
Here’s the third and final instalment of Janek Gwizdala’s bass clinic at ACM Guildford in 2007. For those who missed the first two episodes, you can find them here:
– viagra quickfocuses on transcription, including things he stole from George Benson and Allan Holdsworth
– tadalafil on line deals with Janek’s early days playing the bass and how he developed his prodigious technique
Part 3 covers a range of topics, including:
Janek’s philosophy on equipment
Regular viewers of his ‘coffee with Janek’ blog might find it interesting to hear how his views on being a gear head have shifted over the last decade – this masterclass happened before he started hanging out with Juan Alderete and stockpiling Meatboxes and OC-2 pedals.
The value of understanding tradition
While talking about his time playing with the late Hiram Bullock, Janek reveals that he didn’t begin his journey with jazz and started on a solid diet of pop music before moving on to the likes of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.
One of the most important points that Janek makes on this topic is that it’s essential to have a comprehensive knowledge of your chosen musical genre(s) before you can forge your own musical path – if you don’t know what has come before you, then how can know when you’re being original?
(and yes, I was that guy who knew everything about Anthony Jackson. I’m pretty handy at a pub quiz…)
finding your ‘voice’ on your instrument
Closely linked to the idea of understanding your ‘place’ in musical history is the importance of not simply regurgitating things that have happened before – but how do you work out which direction you should go in? Janek discusses some of his own ‘self talk’ that he uses in musical decision making.
A pdf transcription of the video can be downloaded buy viagra india delhi
Damian’s Drum-influenced Double-Stops Following on from last week’s double stop adventures with Hiatus Kaiyote, it’s time for another contemporary chordal groove. This edition of Groove of The Week comes courtesy…
Damian’s Drum-influenced Double-Stops
Following on from last week’s double stop adventures with Hiatus Kaiyote, it’s time for another contemporary chordal groove. This edition of Groove of The Week comes courtesy of modern bass master Damian Erskine (his uncle is the Peter Erskine) and provides one hell of a workout for both hands:
As with many of the grooves that underpin Damian’s debut album (2010’s ‘So To Speak’), the introduction to ‘Kaluanui’ showcases his incredible command of rhythmic ideas and dynamic contrast. In between each chordal flourish is a series of of ghost notes that act as an additional percussion instrument, giving the line a sense of perpetual motion and augmenting the groove without overcrowding the harmonic content.
Speaking of the harmonic content, the groove sits predominantly in F major, using double stop 10ths to imply Bb major, A minor, D minor and C major. On the third iteration of the line there’s a brief departure to a new tonality with the arrival of a D/F# chord.
As far as the left hand is concerned, I fret all the major 10ths with 2nd and 4th fingers, while minor 10ths are covered by 1st and 2nd fingers (or 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers in the case of the D minor chord shape that appears in bars 4 and 16).
10ths are a great way of conveying chordal sounds in a ‘shorthand’ fashion and a useful addition to any bassist’s toolkit as they tend to ‘speak’ more clearly than more densely populated chords. Notice how some of the major chords feature a hammer-on from the 9th into the 10th, which is a great way to add melodic interest to an otherwise chordal line.
As far as the right hand goes, ‘Kaluanui’ is a great groove to use as a developmental tool for your palm muting skills – I’ve used the classical guitar system for naming the plucking fingers (p=thumb, i=index finger, m=middle finger). It might take a while for the p,m,i motion required to execute the ghost notes to feel comfortable, but once you’ve mastered it then it’s great way to add a percolating percussive element to your bass parts where appropriate; it’s no surprise to learn that Damian Erskine started out his musical career as a drummer, switching to bass once he was at the Berklee College of Music – lots of his grooves feel like they were composed from a ‘rhythm first’ perspective.
For a deeper insight into Damian’s highly evolved right hand technique, take a look at his book generic viagra us.
After an extended hiatus (geddit?) the lumbering juggernaut that is Groove of The Week is back (for those who are sick of, fear not – it’ll be over soon). High…
After an extended hiatus (geddit?) the lumbering juggernaut that is Groove of The Week is back (for those who are sick of, fear not – it’ll be over soon).
High Time For Some Odd Time
So far, all of the featured grooves have been relatively conventional single note, 4/4 affairs. Time to change all that.
How about playing a 5/4 groove that uses chordal techniques interspersed with single note 16th lines at 128bpm? Enter Hiatus Kaiyote’s ‘By Fire’:
I first encountered this tune as a commissioned transcription for a client (before you ask, I no longer undertake bespoke transcription work, sorry). Writing out the whole tune was challenging, to say the least. Here’s how the main groove looks on paper:
Hiatus Kaiyote’s bass player Paul Bender casually matches the keyboard’s lines note for note for the entire song, throwing in double stops to provide a more detailed representation of the harmony (the double stops in question start off as major 7ths, with the last two bars using major 10ths to provide variation).
In order to properly execute this line and let the root note of the double stop ring out while articulating the melody we’re going to have to adopt free strokes with the plucking hand – this is where the fingers pluck upwards and away from the bass, as opposed to our normal rest strokes where the plucking fingers play into the bass and come to rest on a lower string.
Free, or not to free? That is the question
Normally, I avoid free strokes because they result in what I’d term as homeopathic bass playing – since most of the energy is directed away from the bass it’s hard to achieve a solid tone and things end up sounding a bit weedy. However, in situations where double stops are required, it’s almost impossible to achieve the correct sound with rest strokes – your thumb is plucking the root note using a free stroke, so trying to make your fingers perform a rest stroke at the same time is somewhat brain-scrambling. Each stroke also requires a slightly different hand position, so changing between the two is physically demanding to coordinate at fast tempos.
So, how best to tackle this difficult line? The answer is the same as this often cited (and rather bizarre) question:
‘How do you eat an elephant?’
The answer? One mouthful at a time – isolate small sections of the line and practise slower than you think you need to until they become second nature and you’re not consciously thinking about the technique or the notes.