11/17/2013

Weekly Basslines #129: Don't Blame Yourself (The New Deal)

The New Deal was a three-piece electronic acid jazz band formed in Toronto 1998 and disbanded in 2011.
"Don't blame yourself" can be found on the 2003 release "Gone Gone Gone".
Cory from Massachusetts sent me this request and really made me work hard again on transcribing  ;-)
But don't mind, because it definitely was worth it. The song starts with a 16-bar Bass-Solo and this solo is a wonderful addition to my Pentatonic Workshop I posted a few month ago. Bassist Dan Kurtz intensively uses the A minor Pentatonic scale during his solo and moves around with it all over the fretboard.


Let's take a look at the A minor pentatonic scale:


As you can see the A minor pentatonic scale is derived fom the A minor scale by ommitting notes at the half steps (B-C & E-F). C and E are part of the A minor tonic chord (A-C-E) and hence the "B" and "F" are removed. The remaining five notes form the A minor pentatonic scale (A-C-D-E-G).

Let's continue with a short analysis of the different "pentatonic shapes" Dan Kurtz uses during his solo:
(If you're not familiar with the concept of the pentatonic shapes take a look at my Pentatonic Workshop Part 1 + 2)




You can see how all the different shapes of the pentatonic scale are connected to each other like the pieces of a jigsaw and thus you can play the scale all over the fretboard. You only have to memorize the different shapes and their order on the fretboard. And I bet that's excactly what Dan Kurtz did, when he played this solo. Sometimes he's approaching single notes by using chromatic passing tones, but in large parts he limits his tone-choice to the five notes of the pentatonic scale.

Here's the complete bassline to "Don't Blame Yourself":



Thanks to Cory for the donation and this nice bassline!