Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Lick of the month #1

Welcome to the first ever 'Lick of the month'! I'm going to be adding a new lick to my blog every month (as the name suggests...) starting today! This months lick is a ii V I in Bb major. It was played by Miles Davis on 'Autumn Leaves ' from the brilliant album 'Somethin' Else'. 

From a functional point of view I like to know where any licks I'm playing start in relation to the root of the first chord, in this case C minor. The starting note is an F which is the 4th of C minor, or the fret below C! Having this reference point helps me to get the lick out when I need it!

The opening bar Davis is playing up the C Dorian scale ending on an F which could be seen as an 11th but I feel that the way the notes are phrased he is bringing the F7 in a beat early, the same way he did in his solo on So What. He rounds this off by landing on the root of the I chord. 

Another nice feature of this lick is the placement of chord tones. In the first bar leaving an 8th beat rest shifts the Eb (3rd) and G (5th) onto beats 2 and 4, which I think gives it a syncopated feel compared to the straight second bar.

On the video I play the lick at 110 bpm, which is pretty much the original speed. A slowed down version at 80bpm and a faster one at 160bpm. It's always good practice to play any new licks at different tempos as well as taking them through all 12 keys.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Bass Effects

A lot of bassists use effects but not always to good effect! Flea, is not one of these players. I've just uploaded a video of my cover of 'Around The World' where I have tried to get my tones as close to Flea's as I can, check out the photos below to see the settings I used. The Boss ODB3 is my favourite overdrive/distortion pedal , it's not too difficult to control the feedback which has been an issue with a lot of the pedals I've tried, it also works very well used to fatten up any synth sounds you're using. This was used for the intro riff and the SansAmp for the rest of the tune.

More videos on effects coming soon but in the mean time get some more of Flea's tasty effecting, check out the wah solo in Coffee Shop.