Hubert Eaves IV gives us this week’s free bass transcription from the track “Searching”… a fat line with tons of attitude on Erykah Badu’s “Live” album. Some of my observations…
The bass line plays a big role in driving the song forward… simple, consistent lines with subtle variations throughout. The interaction between Eaves and drummer Poogie Bell is mouth-wateringly tasteful, as in the bass fill at measure 16. Short and simple, it’s as if Bell says to Eaves, “I hear you! I’ll get out of your way,” and the bass line is elevated that much further.
The verse starts in the key of E minor, and modulates to G minor for the chorus.
Though I only transcribed the first half, check out the recording sometime for the last half. Between Eaves’ slap bass line, and Poogie’s shift to the ride cymbal, the song’s intensity goes much higher. Cool stuff.
Also, I remember one of my teachers pointing out the bass note at 3:00. It sounds like a rather shaky A (tonic) played on an E major (dominant), which struck my teacher as a mistake…. maybe a misfire as to where Eaves thought the song was going. Hard to say for sure, but it sure sounds that way. IF it’s a mistake, I like that it’s there. Reminds me that small fries like myself may still have a fighting chance in a world where mistakes are heard on major albums .
This week’s post is an original piece. I wrote it while going through a very difficult situation (happening presently), and actually finished it just last night. I’m hoping to return to transcribing this week.
I spent most of this weekend installing gutters on the house, which may take up a good portion of the coming week as well. Gotta keep the foundation protected from the elements! Anyway, I’d like to use this opportunity to throw a question your way – is there anything in particular you’d love to see transcribed? I might direct you to the transcriptions page to get a sense of what I’m able and willing to do, i.e. Dominique di Piazza, though a ton of fun, wouldn’t be something I could do in a week’s time.
I’ll end with a shameless plug, if you haven’t had a chance to check out my Books, please do! Even before I wrote them, I realized they’d probably appeal most to the bass community (a niche of musicians) who also are into improving sight reading (a niche of the niche), so from one starving musician to another, I hope you’ll consider it.
But regardless, I look forward to hearing your input on future transcriptions. Without further ado, comment away!
Another bass line this week from Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album, Nick Movshon brings the groove in this great bass line. Unlike last week, this one is the whole song. As many of you long-timers know (for a blog less than a year old, anyway), I try to take away one or two memorable points from each transcription. What I like here is the effectiveness of the bass line staying in the lower register. It never goes above the 7th fret on the G string.
My other takeaway is the use of silence. I count five breaks where the bass line doesn’t come in on the downbeat. It’s hard to say for sure whose call it was — Movshon, or the producer, or Winehouse, etc. — but I greatly enjoy these moments of tension. To whatever extent I’m zoning out on the lyrics or groove, these moments reel me firmly back in!
What are your reactions, if any, to the bass line, other instruments, or the song in general?