Saturday, February 07, 2009

One man, one bass, one mind.

Nah, not a slogan - although it could be. This morning we had a really nice lazy lie-in (believe it or not, I’m sat here in a dressing gown playing bass) watching and laughing at Saturday Kitchen as usual (call that an omelette?). I trolled through to the studio, thinking I’d like to have a bit of a scroff around on a bass, and picked up the fretless, taking it back through to the bedroom and watching a little more TV (“meteor” starring Sean Connery – argh, that doom tritone noise for the approaching rock makes me cringe!) and I trilled way merrily for about 15 minutes before coming  back to the studio as I wanted to plug in and hear myself properly.

So the sound of the Warwick wood mellows me out, and I decide to change basses for my trusty fave, the 4-string Aria Integra which has been with me for 18 years now. I don’t play it as much as I used to (not least as it would need refretting if I did – talk about jumbo profile at the moment!) and I keep it strung with very very light 35s (blue label elites seem to suit this bass best).

Then I dug out a Jaco book I haven’t looked at for about a year, and actually got stuck into what might be termed “proper practise”, working on Chromatic Fantasy phrases which were rusty (i.e. all of em). This piece is a tour de force, it’s magnificent for getting your hands stretched out and flying.

There’s some great footage of Jaco playing a solo with the piece in at about 4:00.

As ever, there’s loads of guys who’ve posted attempts to play it – I’ve seen some great ones, but they all mask the hard transitions with a rubato approach to timing :)

I doubt I’ll ever post my attempts online! I’m definitely not up to speed on it. It’s more of an exercise piece for me.

On with it!

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