A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale

This is great. 😉

I was reading a thread on Talkbass while eating in which the original poster asked for advice on constructing bass lines. He wants to be able to create something that infuses the sounds of Les Claypool and Geddy Lee. He’s gotten a lot of advice so far, but what caught my eye as I was munching is a video from Bobby McFerrin, who back in the 80s released that all-vocal song, Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

I never cared for the song – probably on account of me being in my early teens and not being happy – but I can’t discredit him for being talented and working with a wide range of accomplished musicians. I’m also curious now about how our toddler would take to it – she’s been making a lot of interesting noises and plays a game where we have to imitate her sounds, pretty much every day. Wifey laughed just last night about how much it sounds like Mandarin.

Anyway, here’s a video from McFerrin that illustrates audience participation using the pentatonic scale. Its a scale that’s always intrigued me. I remember reading about how its considered a sort of universal scale. Cultures all over the world make use of its 5 tones, from aboriginal people to Native Americans to various African and European people everywhere.

Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale

The video is a snippet from a longer presentation that I need to see called Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus from World Science Festival.


One response

  1. I saw this a while back. Totally loved it!

    July 28, 2015 at 2:19 pm

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