God Bless The (un)broken scale fill

Up until last week I’d never listened to Rascal Flatts, having long dismissed them as some Disney-related country-pop crossover nonsense. ‘Bless The Broken Road’ appeared on a set list for a band that I’d never worked with before, so I thought I’d do my homework and learn it properly.

Rascal Flatts – ‘Bless The Broken Road’ Bass Transcription pdf

I was enjoying the smooth production, perfect vocal harmonies and restrained-yet-supportive bass playing right up to the outro of the song, where I heard this:

I had to rewind the phrase several times to make sure that my ears weren’t deceiving me… Did he really just play an entire C major scale in 8th notes as a fill? Really? Really?

For my money this is the WORST bass fill of all time. Zero imagination, zero melody, zero musicality.

Someone lock the offender in a room with Pino Palladino’s back catalogue, quick.

Let this be a lesson to all of us: never, ever, under any circumstances play a scale and try to pass it off as a musical idea – you wouldn’t get yourself booked for a public speaking engagement and then proceed to recite the alphabet, so don’t make your listeners endure what you’ve been woodshedding this week.