It’s Got a Backbeat

I have ordered an acoustic electric bass. It is made by Taylor and is a marvel of engineering. They have managed to make a bass guitar that is the size of it’s six string counterpart, the GS-mini. In fact it is called the GS-mini bass. They also had to work with string manufacturer D’Addario to build a string that would work both acoustically and mechanically as bass strings on a neck that was substantially shorter than usual.

I am so excited. I have always loved playing other people’s basses. It is going to be great to have one that fits my apartment lifestyle. Since I placed my down payment on the bass, I have found myself paying closer attention to the bass lines of songs that I an listening to. I have always loved Paul McCartney’s bass lines but they often fade into the background behind the guitars and vocals.

I love walking bass lines. The song Step Right Up by Tom Waits that I blogged about the other day is a good example of walking bass. There are a number of Joni Mitchell’s songs from the era when Jaco Pastorius was playing bass with her that are worthy of study. Jaco used to call frets speed bumps. I think I probably need to learn to play bass with speed bumps before I give it a try without them. I love the glissandos that you can do on a fretless bass though.

A good bass line provides a foundation upon which great songs can be built. It is often overlooked but is conspicuous by its absence when it is not present in a song. It is said to provide the backbone of the music. Listen for the base line the next time you listen to music. I bet you’ll be surprised at how much it adds to the song.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.