11/15/2017

Weekly basslines #231: Crime Of Passion (Uriah Heep)

What a fantastic bassline! Trevor Bolder's stunning debut with Uriah Heep.


The 1977 album "Fire Fly" was the first album with Trevor Bolder on bass, replacing John Wetton, who played on the two previous albums "Return To Fantasy" and "High and Mighty".
From 1971 until 1973 Trevor played with "The Spiders from Mars", David Bowie's Backing-Band. After joining Uriah Heep in 1977 he remained wih the group until his death in 2013.

The song "Crime Of Passion" wasn't on the actual "Firefly" album, as it it was used as B-side to the first single "Wise Man".


11/07/2017

Weekly Basslines #230: Amárrame (Mon Laferte feat. Juanes)

Here's the second episode of the south american and caribbean style transcriptions. 


Norma Monserrat Bastamante Laferte, better known as Mon Laferte is a chilean singer-songwriter. She plays several instruments like guitar, piano, drums and harmonica and although her influences are mainly rock, blues and pop she frequently uses traditional elements in her music. The song "Amárrame" is from her fifth album "La Trenza" and features the Colombian singer "Juanes" who had a big success here in Europe with his song "La camisa negra" in 2004. 

"Amárrame" like "La Camisa negra" is based on the Cumbia rhythm.

Cumbia is amusical style and a traditional dance from Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, although it has been adapted in other latin american countries like Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina among others.

The “tambora” (a two headed drum) and other African percussion instruments make up the original Cumbia instrumentation.


Here’s the signature two bar tambora rhythm for the Cumbia:


Here’s the Cumbia-Rhythm played on drumset with a charateristic bass pattern:


And here's the bass transcription to "Amárrame":



See also episode 1 of the south american and caribbean style transcriptions:

Weekly Basslines #225: La Sitiera (Oscar D'Leon y su Orquestra)

10/30/2017

Weekly Basslines #229: Words (Between The Lines Of Age) (Neil Young)

The final song from Neil Youngs 1972 masterpiece album "Harvest" has some interesting time signature changes from 6/8 to 5/8 (also could be notated as 11/8) in the intro and interludes and 4/4 in the verses and chorus.


To play along with the recording I recommend counting in eighths notes:


Here's the complete transcription:



I also recorded a PlayAlong-Video with counting advice for this tune:



10/23/2017

Weekly Basslines #228: Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne)

Isolated tracks are a real blessing when it comes to accurately transcribing a bassline. Often the individual notes played by the bass are burried deep in the mix of a recording and you can't do nothing else but guess what's actually been played. Ok, with the time you get a little routine of what the bass is likely to play on a certain progression/groove situation, but you're never 100% sure.
Fortunately I found an isolated track to this weeks bassline on the website of the orginal player himeself: Bob Daisley:


....and here's the complete song:



9/26/2017

Weekly Basslines #225: La Sitiera (Oscar D'Leon y su Orquestra)

One of my students recently joined a band that plays latin music. He gave me a list of songs and now we're exploring the wonderful world of south american and caribbean styles.


Here’s the first song we did:


La Sitiera” is basically a “bolero”, a cuban style which features a slow 2/4 rhythm and must be clearly distinguished by the spanish "Bolero" which is in 3/4 time.

The main rhythmic elements of cuban bolero are played on shaker (maracas) and congas:


A basic bolero bass pattern is played like this:


I described "La Sitiera" as basically bolero because in some parts of the song the rhythm changes to a Cha-Cha, for example in bars 33 – 36 (1:28min.), bars 41 – 44 (1:44min.) and from bar 61 until the end.

Charateristic elements of the Cha Cha groove are;
  • -          the cowbell plays on every quarter note
  • -          the guiro plays a pattern alternating between quarter and eighth notes 

  • Guiro
  • -          the characteristic conga rhythm has two distinct open hits on the high conga on beats 4 & 4+



As you can see the Cha Cha is notated in 4/4 (that's the reason why I notated the whole song in 4/4).

Here’s the bars 33-36 with a characteristic Cha Cha bassline:


Here's the complete transcription of "La Sitiera" by Oscar D'Leon y su Orquestra:



Last year I did another transcription of a cuban bolero: