Tag Archives: bass guitar
1) Jaco was hired by Joe Zawinul of Weather Report to play bass on the award winning jazz record Heavy Weather as a session bassist. Jaco ended up contributing as a composer with two of the most iconic tunes in jazz fusion history- Teen Town and Havona.
2) Jaco’s musical personality connected in such a deep way with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter that he ended up getting credited as co-producer for Heavy Weather and Mr. Gone.
What is wrong with this picture?
Bad bass guitar technique? You got it in one and this unfortunately is subscribed by many as being current, young and/or hip. There are a deluge of music educational programs that – in an attempt to attract more bass guitar students – use these very same pictures in their advertisements; buyer beware!
I never got to say goodbye. Somewhat like a respected father figure or friendly military drill sergeant, the profound effect that he had on me was unparalleled. It was a year ago today that my jazz improvisation teacher – Charlie Banacos – passed away after a brutal battle with cancer. Charlie was only 63 when he died. His influence on modern music as one of the major jazz educators and improvisation experts of our time is prolific to say the least.
This illustrates what I call “The Chain of Sound.” When somebody plays their bass, this is the way the chain of sound occurs in order of importance:
1) Spirit, Soul- YOU!
This is where the feel, heart and emotions of your sound come from. Everybody is different and we all come from a variety of backgrounds which contributes significantly in creating the individually of sound and personality on the bass. There will only ever be one Anthony Jackson, one Marcus Miller. When Jaco passed away, that was it; nobody will ever replace him. Because it’s not about notes on the paper, it’s all about the vibe, spirit and soul.
As bass playing continues to evolve, the more confusion there seems to be about how to develop the ability to actually getting the job done. Many principles are highly debated- theory vs. functionality; whether to play a 4, 5 or 6-string bass; fretless vs. fretted; electric vs. acoustic; vertical vs. horizontal positions; tablature vs. reading; how to develop the proper technical ability all the way to up to what kind of practice yields the best results.