Just ahead of the release of his 50th guide to playing bass, Bruno Tauzin, the Stakhanov of groove, is taking time out to offer you 3 Funky ideas on his 4-string bass.
We start this series of bass lessons with a funky groove in Drop D. To do this, you will have to drop your E string by one tone to reach the note D. Once your bass is tuned, you can start to hit this D minor groove that is composed of just 5 notes: the root (D), the major second (E), the minor third (F), the fifth (G) and the minor seventh (C).
Be simultaneously vigilant and precise when it comes to the rhythm, because the sixteenth notes are ternary. Also take care to perfectly articulate your notes, in particular for the sixteenth note triplets at the end of the bar. For the sound on the Fender Jazz Bass, I turned up the volume of the bridge pick-up and I turned off the volume of the neck pick-up as well as the tone knob.
This funky groove in G minor is technically very interesting because it uses open strings, hammer-ons, pull-offs and staccatos. Therefore, it should be practised very slowly because, as you know, good rhythmic precision is what is expected from a bass player. Don’t be afraid to start at 40 bpm.
Finally, take the opportunity to learn it by heart so that you can better concentrate on what you have to do. For the sound, I set the volume of the bridge pick-up to high, and I turned off the neck pick-up and the tone.
This funky groove in B minor is based on the B blues scale (B D E F F# A). The rhythm is quite simple, because there are only sixteenth notes, but watch out for the dead notes as there are a lot of them. To make them stand out, favour the bridge pick-up, cut off the trebles and play energetically at the level of the bridge pick-up.
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