Example 2
r.f# rvv
the new phrase has clim bed the scale and som e vibrato is em ployed to ratchet up the tension. In bar 13 w e se e
a continuation o f this p ro ce ss w hich not only incorporates a 16th note flourish but is topped off w ith the m o st
disson ant interval in the W estern tuning syste m , the b9, in harm onics. Th is is rendered by lightly touching the
strings, not pressin g them dow n, at the fourth fret of the D string and at the fifth fret of the G string. To get
th ese harm onics to ring out clearly, I pluck the strin gs fairly hard using m y right hand index and m iddle fingers
sim ultaneously, rather than raking dow n the strings.
Th is section appears to end after the next phrase, which se e m s to draw it to a conclusion in bar 14 and on
the first beat of bar 15 by stating the open A and its higher octave. However, the fun isn't com pletely over yet,
and one m ore phrase appears like a lightning bolt out of the blue, spanning bars 15 to 17 and is topped off by the
m eat of an A dim inished 7th chord using not only the root but also its minor 3rd and dim inished 7th intervals.
After a breather for a m easure, so m e sp iky quaver triplets are em ployed from bars 18 to 20. I say sp iky not
only b ecau se each note has a staccato indication to m ake it short, but also b ecau se of the root, dim inished
5th and octave pattern em ployed
w hich m oves up and dow n in
minor 3rds. Th is type of angular
sound w ouldn't be out of place
in an epic prog-rock track: for
exam ple, think of Rush's 'C ygn u s
X-1' tune from their
A Farewell To
album . To m ake this section
even m ore effective and to give
it contrast with the previous one,
the drum m er could leave m ore
sp ace and highlight the triplets.
In the next bar w e se e a break
from the triplets but not from the
disson ant m elodic pattern, which
is now rendered in 16th notes,
creating a rhythm ic modulation
from the m enacing build-up in
the previous three bars to the
rollercoaster of bar 21.
A s w e head tow ard the finale,
bar 22 is tim e to rock out again,
only this tim e w ith the drum m er
not ju st 'lum ping it', but lum ping
it large, w ith the ride cym bal
in tow. H ere the low A string
cre ates a pum ping pedal point
that c ro s s e s the beat, w ith
higher no tes gradually asce n d in g
a natural m inor sca le on the D
string. Th e pattern sta rts out
w ith an 8th note rhythm , but by
bar 26 there is a m odulation to
quaver triplets, w hile bar 27 s e e s
a further rhythm ic m odulation to
16th notes.
Bar 28 bu ild s the excitem en t
further w ith a repeating
sym m etrical dim inished scale
m otif that is repeated up a m inor
3rd in bar 29. The solo has now
reached its clim a x and is topped
off w ith a fast sem iq uaver triplet
lick in bar 30 that eventually runs
dow n the bo nes of a m inor blues
sca le , om itting the perfect 5th
and adding in a m ajor 7th, before
the low A string is accen ted and
left to ring out defiantly at the
end in bar 31.
By studying a solo such as
this one, you will be able to gain
insights in how to use dynam ics
and both rhythm ic and intervallic
tension to create a dram atic effect.
Next month I will start looking at
how you can create an effective
solo in the funk genre. Until then,
'get your rocks o ff.
Strings for Bass
Driven by Perfection.
Developed by Bassists.
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