disco octave songs

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Play Less Cool, Jan 27, 2013.


  1. Play Less Cool

    Play Less Cool

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    hi everyone. i have dedicated myself to learning the awesome technique of string skipping (disco octaves) and i am finally pretty good at it. i can play 'monarchy of roses' chorus, 'right on time' chorus, 'da ya think im sexy', 'YMCA' and other songs that arent purely octaves but still do a lot of string skipping such as 'bombtrack'

    but i am only 17 years old so i dont know many others songs with that sort of bassline. does anybody want to suggest some more songs with disco octaves, please and thankyo :) :bassist:
  2. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2000
    Location:
    Bucaramanga, Colombia, South A
    Aside from "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?", which you already mentioned, Chic's "Everybody Dance" is the first one that comes to mind. Not that it has "Disco octaves" throughout the whole song, but it has some challenging parts.
  3. gene beauchamp

    gene beauchamp Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Location:
    Laurel,DE.
    boogie oogie oogie
  4. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    My recommendation would be to check out some disco compilations. "Everybody Dance" is a great track but it's very difficult to pull off properly without employing Bernard Edwards' "chucking" technique (whereby he uses his finger like a pick).
  5. JimK

    JimK

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 1999
    Chic's "Dance, Dance, Dance" is 'Disco octaves' throughout the whole song...
  6. JimK

    JimK

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 1999
    I assuming "Disco octaves" = something like "YMCA" & "Macho Man"...ocatves with this rhythm:
    l1_&a2_&a3_&a4_&al

    Something with a "simpler" rhythm with octaves-
    "I'll Be Good To You"- The Brothers Johnson
    "Love Rollercoaster"- The Ohio Players

    ...if you like something "Boogie Oogie Oogie"...check out AWB's "Cut The Cake".
  7. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    N.H.
    I Will Survive
    Nice going.
    That is a tough technique to learn at first.
  8. Tupac

    Tupac

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    The king of all octave songs is probably Right on Time by RHCP. Nonstop shifting octaves at 130 BPM. It's an extremely good metronome exercise for learning to play octaves. If you can't play it, I'd recommend working up to it on a metronome.
  9. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Duck Dunn does a really nice disco octive thing in She Caught the Katie from the Blues Brothers sound track album.

    It's an asending disco octave line to the next chord change and done very nicely.

    It took me a long, long time to figure out that the difficult stretch from root to octave is best done by me if I break the rules and use my index finger for the root and pinky for the octave while asending. The middle finger/pinky is a difficult stretch.

    Also, the rapid plucking of root and octave is best for me using only the index finger instead of plucking with index and middle.

    Personally, I never liked disco music but I always loved disco bass lines. A guilty pleasure. Don't tell anyone.
  10. bearhart74

    bearhart74

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Greg Philinganes's keyboard bass on Chaka Khan's Ain't Nobody is a study in octaves.
  11. DSR24718

    DSR24718

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Location:
    Saginaw, MI
    "American Boy" by Estelle (Ft. Kanye West). Pretty simple, but pretty fun!
  12. bassfran

    bassfran

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    "Miss You" by The Stones.
  13. Blaine

    Blaine

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Location:
    new york area
    I have to play Boogie Oogie Oogie and I Will Survive pretty much every friday,,,,,,,,on upright bass( and gut strings), ouch.
  14. ahc

    ahc

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    No. Virginia
    Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" and "She Works Hard For The Money"
  15. Strat Hater

    Strat Hater

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Location:
    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    I was made for loving you - discoish kiss tune
  16. gandsfjord

    gandsfjord

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    Heart of Glass (Blondie) has a signature octave walk-up from...hmmm let's see....E to A (had to pick up the bass and watch my fingers :) ) Plenty of octave chords in the rest of the song too.
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    Amongst other missions for which I was self-asigned, one is to post this video in every disco octave thread I shall encounter.
  18. Russell L

    Russell L

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Location:
    Cayce, SC
    Never liked disco, myownself, but I have played it often as a working musician. The octave thing, to me, was a bit too much of one kind of lick. But I like octaves, including octave runs. I find uses for them even in my blues playing. If you took the lines out of context, you could very well insert them into any diso tune, and they would fit right in. I guess I've played more octaves as straight eighth notes than any other way. Sometimes like the above desription. Sometimes I have found some interesting licks that go along with the style, especially during changing positions. You just naturally do some things as you move around , as with any lick or style.

    I'll give disco a tip o' the hat, though, for being a true genre of music, unto itself. I always think of octaves when I see a disco song title.
  19. Play Less Cool

    Play Less Cool

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    damn right. it is the toughest one i have come across aswell. but i played through the song yesterday and found had to slow my right hand down because i could go faster than the recording. (i can even sing the backing vocals during that part - just some off topic bragging :smug: )

    thanks to everyone elses suggestions i have youtube'd about half of them so far and i really like disco music :bassist:

    i have watched that Guy Pratt video heaps and i can play the bassline to good times by Chic
  20. Tupac

    Tupac

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Awesome video! I was happy he knew about I Shoulda Loved Ya (even if he played it wrong ;))

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