Weekly Basslines #169: Holy Diver (Ronnie James Dio)

Can you remember when you were first discovering Rock music as a kid?
In my case it was around the years 1976/77 when I was 11 years old. I had no older siblings and so I was introduced to rock music by an older cousin of mine.
And can you remember when you bought your first records from your pocket money and then playing them over and over again, driving your parents nuts?
One of these albums I bought in that time was "On Stage" by Rainbow. Oh I really loved that album and listened to it several times a day, looking at the pictures on the cover, reading through everything written on the backside and dreaming of being a rockstar myself.
And this is were I first read the name Jimmy Bain, as the personnel on that record was:

Ronnie James Dio - Vocals
Ritchie Blackmore - Guitar
Cozy Powell - Drums
Tony Carey - Keyboards
Jimmy Bain - Bass

And all those childhood memories came back to me, when I read about Jimmy Bain's dead two days ago.
So I decided to transcribe one of his basslines, not with Rainbow - he only happened to be on two albums with them ("On Stage" and "Rising"), but rather with Ronnie James Dio with whom he recorded 7 albums.

R.I.P. Jimmy Bain


Weekly Basslines #168: Life In The Fast Lane (The Eagles)

Oh no, not again.
That's what I thought this morning when I heard the news of Glenn Freys passing. Another music legend I grew up with has gone.

Just recently I started the Eagles transcriptions project, where I transcribe a whole Eagles tribute show for one of my students, who's planning a big charity event in summer this year.

Here's a song Glenn co-wrote with Don Henley and Joe Walsh that fit's perfectly to this sad moment: Thinking about what's important in life.

In a 1981 interview with the BBC, Frey explained:  
"Life In The Fast Lane' kind of expressed the stereotyped LA 'run around in your Porsche' 24 hour boogie mode that unfortunately is too true for a lot of people. It wasn't really a statement about the guys in the band, or about anybody in particular – just it's kind of disturbing to see the extremes that the bourgeois jet set will involve themselves in. For instance, disco almost turned into a lifestyle, and it's such a non-meaningful thing on which to base one's life."

And Joe Walsh added
"Yeah, that's probably true, and I think it was healthy, though, that we realized that running around and parties and fast cars are really not the answer – it's kind of a shallow way to approach why we're on this planet, and it probably came as a band consciousness."

Here's the isolated bassline to study the transcription:

R.I.P. Glenn Frey

More from the "Eagles transcriptions project":


Weekly Basslines #167: Heroes, Let's Dance (David Bowie)

Yesterday morning, when I turned on my computer, equipped with a big mug of coffee, scrolling through facebook & co. to see what's happening in the world, I was really struck hard by the news of David Bowie's unexpected death. Battling cancer in secret for about 18 months he put all his remaining force and energy in recording his final record and last week he released a video of himself in a hospital bed. Somehow scary but it clearly shows us how a real artist deal's with life and destiny. Bowie's long-time friend and producer Tony Visconti put it in a nutshell as he wrote on Facebook: "His death was no different from his life - a work of art." A real icon has passed away!

My personal David Bowie story began in 1980 when I was 15 years old and bought the single "Ashes To Ashes" in a local music store. I was immediately fascinated by the mysterious and odd sound and atmosphere of the song and from this moment on I was infected with the Bowie virus.
For the "Weekly Basslines" I chose the only two songs of Bowie's great heritage which I ever played live with one of my bands. I always wanted to do more, but unfortunately my band companions weren't as passionate about Bowie as I was. Maybe they will be less reluctant now!

R.I.P. David Bowie

Recently I found a cool video from BBC, where producer Toni Visconti is using the original master tapes from sessions at Hansa Studios in Berlin to break down "Heroes" track-by-track. Take a look, very interesting. Here's the link:

Here's a clip with me and the staff of my music school paying a humble tribute to the great David Bowie. His music will live on forever!


VIDEO Basslesson # 5 - Einführung ins Notenlesen

Hallo ihr "bässten" Menschen,

nach der kleinen Weihnachts- und Neujahrspause geht es im neuen Jahr mit großer Motivation weiter mit den Videobasslessons.
Diesmal habe ich mir das Thema "Notenlesen lernen" vorgenommen. In dem fast 50 min. langen Video erkläre ich Euch meine ultimative Methode, mit der alle meine Schüler (und in 25 Jahren Unterrichtspraxis kommen da schon eine ganze Menge zusammen) das Notenlesen gelernt haben und ich weiß: Ihr könnt es auch! :-)

Ich hoffe diese Lektion gibt Euch den Antrieb im Jahr 2016 endlich das Notenlesen zu lernen. Ich werde Euch mit weiteren Übungen zu diesem Thema dabei unterstützen. Ihr könnt das Video, die Arbeitsblätter und die einzelnen Übungsvideos als Download bekommen. Schickt mir dazu einfach eine Mail an tom@four-strings.de und ich sende Euch den entsprechenden Dropbox-Link zu.
Dies ist die letzte kostenlose Videobasslesson. Ab der nächsten Woche könnt ihr die weiteren Videobasslessons bei mir gegen eine kleine Gebühr käuflich erwerben. Nach Bezahlung (Payal) erhaltet ihr von mir den jeweiligen Dropbox-Link zugesendet, um Euch die Inhalte downzuloaden. 

Ich wünsche Euch viel sBASS beim Üben und freue mich auf Eure Fragen, Anregungen, Kritik etc.


Weekly Basslines #166: New Year's Day (Karen Souza)

While preparing the "Walking Bass Workshop" I'm giving at my music school at the end of this month, I accidentally stumbled across this very cool swing version of U2's song "New Year's Day" and since I love to "kill two birds with one stone" I decided to start the new year with the transcription of this tune to wish you all the best and especially peace for 2016 in a musical way.

The key of "New Year's Day" is an unusual G sharp minor (G#m). In order to play that song on a four string bass I suggest to tune down half step and play in A minor.

5 years ago I posted the transcription of the original U2 song. Take a look:


Happy New Year!

2015 was a pretty busy year for me: playing over 50 Live-Shows with different bands, working hard at my music school STAGE AHEAD in Wiesbaden and doing a lot of workshops, clinics and teaching throughout the year. But on the other hand I did less posts here on my bassblog compared to the years before, what I regret, but 2016 will be more again, promised!

To start the new year, let's have a look at the Top 10 most viewed posts of 2015:

1. Weekly Basslines #152: (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay (Otis Redding) 

2. Weekly Basslines #148: Spooky (Atlanta Rhythm Section)

3. Weekly Basslines #151: Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)

4. Weekly Basslines #149: Return To Sender (Elvis Presley)

5. Weekly Basslines #150: (Don't Fear) The Reaper (Blue Öyster Cult)

6. Weekly Basslines #156 - Through Before We Started (Soulsister)

7. Weekly Basslines #154: The Thrill Is Gone (B.B. King)

8. Weekly Basslines #153: Paying The Cost To Be The Boss (B.B. King)

9. Weekly Basslines #155 - Witchy Woman (The Eagles)

10. Weekly Basslines #157: Two Tickets To Paradise (Eddie Money)

So have a great and grooving 2016!