Tag Archives: rock

Week 29 – TBT 2017 – Feuer Frei

I had to include this track at some point this year. I don’t speak German and haven’t looked up the lyrics, but I love the way the vocals scan, I love the intro (turn it up before you start) and the air raid siren running through the song is awesome! 

The track earns bonus points for being used in the film XXX starring Vin Diesel, which ends up in Prague, one of my favourite cities. Apparently Dee and I had a long chat about the fact this was on the soundtrack when we watched the film some months back, but I’d forgotten that. 

I’ve not listened to much Rammstein, but this track is perfect for blowing the cobwebs away! 

Rammstein – Feuer Frei

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Week 24 – TBT 2017 – In The End


It’s hard to believe that this song is 17 years old! It appears on Linkin Park’s first album, Hybrid Theory, and is a classic of the NuMetal genre, which appears to fuse heavy rock riffs with synth sounds and rap. Linkin Park are probably my favourites from that genre, because their lyrics and musicianship come together beautifully to produce eloquent and melodic songs, some with a real cutting edge. I loved the video for this too. Incredible imagination to come up with flying things that look like whales and ancient statues. Enjoy!

Linkin Park – In The End

Top bass players and bass lines

Dee and I have been making lists of all sorts of things which we’d like to do as a 30 day challenge.  (She’s just coming to the end of a month without refined sugar or sweeteners, and I’m about to embark on a month without coffee.)

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Though not a challenge, I thought I’d list a number of bass players and a separate list of tracks with great bass lines.  This is because, well, I’m a bass player and I like songs with kicking bass lines!  These lists are in no particular order, just go and check them out: at least some will make your hair stand on end if you concentrate on the bass line. Note, most are best played very loud!

Bass players

  • Paul McCartney (The Beatles)
  • John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)
  • John Enwistle (The Who)
  • Tim Commerford (Rage Against The Machine)
  • Geddy Lee (Rush)
  • Donald “Duck” Dunn (Booker T and the MGs, Blues Brothers, Stax house band)
  • James Jamerson (Motown house band)
  • Flea (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)
  • Jack Bruce (Cream)
  • Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix Experience)

Bass lines

  • Ramble On (Led Zeppelin)
  • Sweet Home Chicago (Blues Brothers)
  • I Wish (Stevie Wonder)
  • Crossroads (Cream)
  • Hysteria (Muse)
  • Money (Pink Floyd)
  • Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble)
  • Pump It Up (Elvis Costello and the Attractions)
  • Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick (Ian Dury and the Blockheads)
  • Good Times (Chic)

There are so many to choose from, it’s really hard not to just keep adding players and songs!

 

It’s all about the bass…

I’ve always been “into” music and, despite a brief time in my teens when I wanted to be drummer, bass lines are what really hook me. It’s no coincidence that my favourite playlists include great bass, and even the songs that I want to play in a covers band also feature bass heavily. For years I’d loved the playing of the likes of Ali McMordie from SLF, Tim Commerford from Rage Against the Machine / Audioslave and Donald “Duck” Dunn from Stax records / Blues Brothers, and I wanted to be able to play what they did.

Saying all that, I didn’t actually start learning till I was in my late 30s, so I had a lot of catching up to do. Somehow I managed to find time to practice for 60-90 minutes four or five nights a week, and an hour long lesson every weekend. My practice and lessons always followed the same sort of structure: scales, homework (generally new pieces from various tutorial books) and finally jam / playalong. 

  • Scales etc are boring to do, but so important, as they are the basis for any new lines you want to be able to play
  • Tutorial books – especially those with playalong CDs – are also good, particularly if you want to learn multiple styles eg funk, reggae, rock, jazz etc. I worked through the three books written by David Overthrow – they’re brilliant
  • Jamming to a drumbeat with my teacher – he played guitar – using lines I’d learned in the lesson or improvising new ones, and playing along with music CDs helped build confidence and complemented the styles I’d been learning

One of the brilliant things about this approach was learning about new players too. Jack Bruce from Cream and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin came to my attention, as did TM Stevens. One of my playalong sessions was in the style of TM and, to be honest, I’ve never managed it. Check out this video and you may see why. 

I love the bit around 1:45 in when he’s introducing himself and has to stop talking, just plays then says “I’m back!”. That’s the result of a lot of practice! I’m going to keep trying, though I don’t practice as much as I used to, and one day I hope to be able to play at even 1/10th of the speed he does!