Free Bass Transcriptions

Free Bass Transcriptions

Here come the dots

Tag: jazz

Janek Gwizdala Masterclass 2007, Part 2: Early Days/Practice Methods

Here’s part 2 of Janek Gwizdala’s masterclass at ACM Guildford in March 2007 (in case you missed Part 1, you can find the video and the pdf transcription here). In…

Here’s part 2 of Janek Gwizdala’s masterclass at ACM Guildford in March 2007 (in case you missed Part 1, you can find the video and the pdf transcription here). In this video, Janek discusses how he came to playing the bass, his early mentorship with Laurence Cottle*, how he got his ferocious level of technique together and how he practices (or, at least, how he practiced circa 2007).

*If you’re not familiar with who Laurence Cottle is or just how insane his playing is then stop right now. Laurence is, for my money, the finest electric bass player in the UK today by a significant margin and, in my opinion, doesn’t get nearly enough recognition in the mainstream bass world. Check out this live album, his big band arrangements of classic Jaco tunes, and him casually keeping up with Jeff Berlin at a trade show.

Back on topic. It took a while to write out what Janek played in this section of the clinic, mainly because he has a habit of casually reeling off 16th notes at 150bpm; I’ve recently put on my Big Girl Pants and transcribe everything at tempo, rather than using slow-down software to ‘cheat’.

As noted in part 1, Janek favours a 5-string bass tuned E-C, so many of the examples are notated one or two octaves lower than played to save using hundreds of ledger lines or resorting to the dreaded treble clef.

All of the words and most of the notes can be seen here: Janek Gwizdala Clinic 2007 Part 2

What’s especially revealing in this clinic is that it shows ‘how the leopard got his spots’, so to speak. Janek’s skills have been forged through an incredible number of hours spent on just two things:

▪ Hanon exercises for technique
▪ Transcribing and learning solos from other instruments

In other words, using exercises derived from scales and arpeggios in different permutations to cover many musical possibilities and develop fluency on your instrument and then using that technical facility to help assimilate language taken from masters of improvisation.

Or, put it another way… Use music to get better at music.

Simple, right?

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Groove Of The Week #6: Me’Shell Ndegéocello – ‘The Way’

This groove easily makes it into my top 10 bass lines of all time. If you’re a bassist who wants to groove and you haven’t checked out Me’shell’s records then…

This groove easily makes it into my top 10 bass lines of all time. If you’re a bassist who wants to groove and you haven’t checked out Me’shell’s records then you’re missing out.

In fact, stop reading this right now and treat yourself to Plantation Lullabies and Peace Beyond Passion. You can thank me later.

Here’s how it looks written out:

 

I’ve spent a lot of time transcribing Me’shell’s lines – almost every song from her first 2 albums has at least one groove that I just had to learn. ‘The Way’ is a good introduction to Me’shell’s playing, featuring sixteenth note syncopation and a range of articulations – many of her lines are all about the feel, and luckily this one sits right on the beat (skip ahead to GOTW 50 if you want to attempt a Me’shell line with a more challenging time feel…).

 

 

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Uncle Oswald – 'Dear John'

The blog has been alarmingly quiet over the last 6 months. Sorry. Must try harder in future. Here’s something to tide you over until the next post. I made a…

The blog has been alarmingly quiet over the last 6 months. Sorry. Must try harder in future.

Here’s something to tide you over until the next post. I made a resolution in 2013 to start writing my own music as the bulk of my work as a bassist involves interpreting other peoples’ songs and I wanted to start a creative project without any commercial concerns whatsoever. This is the result.

The ending contains a little bass feature which is a nod to one of the ‘Johns’ who influenced the tune, John Francis Pastorius (aka ‘Jaco’). I remember spending a long time as a teenager trying to get ‘Portrait Of Tracy’ together, and once I’d written this tune I was curious to see if I could emulate Jaco’s approach, playing the melody using harmonics while still outlining the harmony.

New articles, transcriptions and videos on the way soon. I promise.

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