How hard would you say the bass line in Donny Hathaway's live version of 'What's Going On' is to pla

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by kaleel2g, Mar 9, 2022.

  1. kaleel2g

    kaleel2g

    Jan 30, 2019
    Asking for a friend
     
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  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    to save others a few clicks:
     
  3. kaleel2g

    kaleel2g

    Jan 30, 2019
    On a scale of 1-10
     
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  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Nice line, really nice feel. Mostly easy enough there's some fast fills that would give me trouble. Really good groove though, thanks,
     
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  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    MAybe 5-6 out of 10 difficulty. Just my take on it.
     
  6. kaleel2g

    kaleel2g

    Jan 30, 2019
    What's a 10 to you?
     
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  7. WrapRough

    WrapRough

    Jan 26, 2021
    London
    with a pick or with fingers? :D
     
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  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    YYZ by Rush, for example. Just about anything by MonoNeon. :) I tend toward rock, so the names in my Pantheon include Jack Casady, Jack Bruce, John Entwhistle, Tim Bogart, and so on.

    Here's a bassline by Bruce Thomas that's pretty darn hard, especially picking with fingers like he does:
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
  9. WrapRough

    WrapRough

    Jan 26, 2021
    London
    I think the challenge with a piece like this is feeling. And they're probably just making it all up they go along, too.
     
  10. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, staying in the groove properly while doing free improv like that certainly isn't easy. It would be easier to learn that line and play it as is, than it was to create it initially, thats a whole 'nother kind of gift.
     
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    It's almost a straight copy from the original, which makes it a monument of groove, good taste and yeah, quite challenging.
    At first listening the bridge part sounds a bit simpler than Jamerson's and it was the hardest thing to hold.
    The difficulty os such a line isn't in the notes as much as finding a groove and tone that perfectly fit the band and set a mood for the song.
    It can sound bland if played lightly and obnoxious if too much emphasis is put on it .Finger and speed wise it isn't very hard though.
    Approach it with dedication and humility then everything will be fine.
     
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  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    He also breezes through the key changes, which is added difficulty, I'll raise my number to 7. :D
     
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  13. chris_b

    chris_b

    Jun 2, 2007
    Willie Weeks bass lines are very easy to play, but it's the way he plays them, his groove and melodic note choices, that makes them and him great.

    Have a listen to the original, you can see where Willie's inspiration comes from. It's a great example of making a cover yours and not copying note for note.
     
  14. Give it a 8 for improvisation and technique. Think about it he was probably in the studio with charts in front of him and laying it down cold not to mention maintaining the groove of the original piece while making it his own not and easy task.
     
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  15. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    That whole album is awesome. And live, I think.
     
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  16. chris_b

    chris_b

    Jun 2, 2007
    Err! It's a track on a live album.

    Marvin Gay's version is more formal. This is the DH band jamming, stretching out and having fun in front of an audience and feeding off the energy.

    If you know your scales, chord tones and passing notes this is a very straightforward line to play. Willie Weeks knows his stuff which is how he makes it sound so effortless.
     
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  17. H K

    H K Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2021
    Norway
    To copy and learn this, a 5. The skill it takes to make it? Different story.
     
  18. It has a swung 16th feel aka Funk Shuffle, Half-Time Shuffle, Purdie Shuffle ….which you’ll have to practice a lot if you’re not used to it.

    Other songs with swung 16th feel…

    Superstition - Stevie Wonder.
    Fool in the Rain - Led Zeppelin.
    Rosanna - Toto.
    The girl is mine - McCartney & Michael Jackson.
    Sunday Morning - Maroon 5.
    I’m Yours - Jason Mraz.

    It really helps if you understand what the drummer is doing for you to really lock in with their feel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
  19. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1

    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    One of my all time favorite tunes. I played the Marvin Gaye version yeas ago. Great groove. You need a great rake and fluidity crossing strings with your plucking hand. A rock solid drummer helps as any variation in tempo will destroy that feel. Sounds like this version has a few more figures in it to work out than the Gaye version.

    To your question, with enough time I could do pretty good job on it, but more than likely not a dead on note for note cover. I play and have played a lot of Jamerson parts over the last 50 years which helps with development of my technique.
     
  20. I’m in a band playing the Marvin Gaye version. I don’t try to play it note for note, but I’m going to check out this other version for more ideas!
     
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