This is Anthony here and I teach guitar and bass at Sessions Music. For my first blog post I’m actually going to take the low road and share two clips that are amazing in regards to bass.
This isn’t the era of your mom and dad’s bass player. The bass, as an instrument, has changed forever and there is no looking back. It’s more important than ever!
First is an instructional clip of the legendary Victor Wooten showing how to play slap bass using the UP THUMB technique. I love to play slap but am still currently trying to get this technique down so don’t get discouraged that you can’t execute this after a couple days of practice. Victor makes it look deceivingly easy
This next clip is just some dude down in South America playing a filthy solo bass song. He uses some advanced techniques such as tapping, ghost muting, and some tasteful higher neck bass chords. What I really like about this vid is that he has written a bass solo song that showcases all these different techniques but also has structure to it as if there were an intro, verse, chorus, and bridge. This is just my personal opinion but I believe soloing on any instrument should always have an underlying groove(especially drums and bass). I can appreciate the technicality it takes to pull of some ridiculous solos but if you lose the groove than it just sounds like a bunch of notes stringed together real fast. Another thing I would like to point out is how smooth his playing is. You can hear all of the melody, percussion, and harmonics very clearly while maintaining the groove throughout the whole song. That smoothness really shows how great of a musician this guy is. Enjoy
Finally I would like to share with you a friend of mine whom I was lucky enough to share a stage with while on tour. His name is Quintin Berry and he is the best bassist I have ever met. He also is quite unique in the fact that he plays the bass upside down. I asked him why he plays the bass this way and he said it is because he played the violin when he was younger and tried to play the bass in the same way to see what would happen and it just took for him. As you will see in the video he can kill it whether it’s over or under.
The performance that this clip was taking from is from NAMM a couple years back. In case you are not familiar with NAMM it is the National Association of Music Merchants. Essentially it is where all the different companies that make music related items such as instruments, music software, Audio equipment, music accessories, etc get together and showcase all their new gear for the upcoming year. Not only do all the companies debut their new products but this is where you will see all of the endorsed artists demoing them. What I think is really cool about NAMM is that you can see the best of the best at their respective instruments tearing it up in person. Many times you will never have heard of the musician playing because they are not a mainstream artist. I find it incredible how talented and creative human beings can be. Some of these musicians are the best of the best at very popular instruments like guitar or drums but then you have others that have ventured over to the freaky side and have figured out how to make music with a 9 string bass or a chapman stick(which is essentially a huge fretboard with strings that you tap with both hands to make music) or even using pedals and computers to enhance their instrument. I have recently seen a new craze that a lot of working musicians are using. It is called looping and they do it using looper pedals. All they do is play a riff and the pedal will record and loop it so that you can layer more tracks over it in a live setting. For the solo artist this is a game changer. Now you can be a one man(or woman) band because you can loop the rhythm guitar, bass, percussion, and even backing vocals and then sing and/or solo over the loop. Granted this style of playing isn’t as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of practice and planning to play a song looped that is entertaining and doesn’t take too much time to build.
Here’s a good example of a perfectly executed loop song
This isn’t the era of your mom and dad’s bass player. The bass, as an instrument, has changed forever and there is no looking back. It’s more important than ever! I hope you enjoyed the vids and stay tuned from more blogs 😉