A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Posts tagged “Obituary

Weekend antics

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).

Beethoven can't hear youI 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.

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Steve DiGiorgio (fretless metal bassist)

Death. Testament. Autopsy.  These are bands that rose to prominence in the 80s and 90s in thrash and death metal. Do you know what they all had in common? Steve DiGiorgio on bass. Steve is a whirlwind of a player. He’s known for blazing speed and fretless playing. I’ve combed the internet, and I can’t find video interviews with him anywhere. However, his playing has become an important part of the fabric of metal history. When I think of heavy metal bass, the first person who comes to mind is Steve Harris. However, when I think extreme metal bass, the two players who always top the list for me are Alex Webster and DiGiorgio.

Steve is a blend of schooled and self-taught bassist. Interviews on the internet state that he played different instruments in school, including woodwind and brass, before moving on to stringed instruments. He learned to read standard notation in school as well. He says that when it comes to metal, however, he learned by ear, sitting by the radio and playing to albums.

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