Darkglass Electronics are a company from Helsinki, Finland who specialize in making bass equipment. A week ago, they shared an interview from their new podcast with Alex Webster, one of my favorite bassists (Cannibal Corpse, Blotted Science, Conquering Dystopia). During the interview, Alex talked about many things including jujitsu and philosophy – but he also spoke more in-depth about practice, his bass gear, influences, seeing several renown bassists during his youth, and more. Its a fantastic interview!
So, this weekend brought some interesting bass-related activities that I haven’t gotten to write about until now. Chief amongst these is that I played with someone else – namely, my wife, on piano, and I tried to apply some of what I was practicing from the Building Rock Bass Lines book to a guitar & voice-driven song from Shelby over at Sound Waves & Spray Paint (formerly Grrl + Guitar).
I didn’t do anything fancy. With wifey, we’ve always talked about learning instruments and trying to write something together – we’re hoping for doom metal or post-metal once I know which is the pointy end of my bass. She took piano lessons when she was a little girl, but stopped when she was still small. So, its been more than 20 years since she’s really played anything.
I showed her what a chord progression is. We actually just used the one I’ve been doing exercises with from BRBL. Its [Am-C-G-D] [Am-C-G-E]. I tried to come up with something simple, on the fly, which ended up being primarily root notes, and at some point, an approach tone, as I’m trying to use them to kind of walk to the next chord, since reading more about them in that book by Joe Riposo. If I remember right, I started with the notes from an Am triad, and the rest is mostly roots.
What I found interesting, since chord progressions are new to her (I think she was learning more about reading music when she was small, than theoretical stuff like progressions) is that she seemed to also play single notes and root notes on the piano. I think that once we make time, and she gets to brush up more, it’ll be fun to see what she can do with piano chords with me supporting on bass. I’m also curious about moving away from roots and playing more 3rds and 5ths later on… but that’s for another time, and also, only if I can make it fit and sound decent.
I saw an abridged version of this 2 years ago with poor sound quality. This is considerably better and shows Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse) holding down the groove with Victor Wooten & Steve Bailey noodling around on top – all on bass. I love all 3 players, but Alex is one of my personal favorites.
For the most part though, it doesn’t look like Victor & Steve enjoy the type of groove that Alex lays down. I think they’re used to jazzier stuff, which is interesting for me to see because I always hear that if you learn jazz, you can play just about anything, but I didn’t see them really get into it like I’d have hoped that they would.