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Latin Bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Marty Forrer, Feb 9, 2001.

  1. I play primarily in a latin-american band, and I know Gard and Bruce Linfield do also. Anyone else out there play 50% or more of their gigs in this genre? My band is called "Santiago-Latin Grooves", and we play mainly salsa, guajira, samba, cumbia, and the odd bolero, merengue and flamenco.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    When I lived in Hawaii, I did 60-70% of my gigs in a Salsa band. Now it's about 20%, but the bandleaders keep begging me to do more....if the gigs didn't go till 3am, I'd probably be more open to it!
  3. Hey Marty, thanks for the nod, but to be honest, I don't really consider myself to be a "true" Latin bassist :).

    My primary gig is with a Latin/Rock band (think Santana, and you'll be close), which is really more of a rock band with some latin musical influences.

    That same band, with a 4 man horn section added, is also now the Tito Puente, Jr. Band (the New Year's Eve gig I posted about has now become at least semi-permanent for us :D). Now while this does afford me the opportunity to play some REAL Latin music, as we do a good bit of Tito Sr.'s wonderful music, Tito Jr.'s stuff would be more accurately described as Latin/Pop/Dance (think Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, some of the less cheesy Ricky Martin stuff).

    I'm hoping to get more educated in this style (which is more honestly a huge encyclopedia of forms!! :eek: ) as I go. I intend to get the Linclon Goines/Robby Ameen book "Funkifying The Clave" and Ray Ramirez's "The Swing of the Latin Bass Part 1" soon and start to really study this stuff seriously instead of just stealing ideas off other guy's records, or doing what our conga and timbale guys tell me to do ;)!! That coupled with the imminent arrival of my NS Design CR5M Double Bass may make a Latin bassist out of me one day.

    The positive thing is that a lot of times working on a tune that we're writing, one of them will look at me, smile and tell me I'm playing a particular type/form, so I must be doing something right, even though I don't know what to call it usually!!! :D

    We're going in to a studio here in central FL next Friday to record a release quality CD. (I just hope that NS bass gets here before we finish the CD!!! There are several tunes SCREAMING for that "Baby Bass" tone! :) ). Once that is finished, I'll post here about it, and anyone that's interested in hearing my stumbling attempts at Latin bassplaying can buy a copy for the comedy content (only comedic on the bass stuff, the rest of the band is SMOKIN'!!!!!) ;). You can hear some of the demo quality stuff the band has done in the past (prior to my arrival) at our website:


    I'm sure that information about getting copies of the new CD will also be there when it is finally complete (we're figuring 2-3 months until it's ready for sale).

    Oh, and Marty, Bruce spells his last name with a "D", as in LinDfield ;)
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I love Latin bass playing...period. I love the space, the upbeats, the 2-bar phraseology(new word of the day), the 6 over 4 feels, etc. My advice to anybody at this site complaining of being bored with what they're playing/practicing-CHECK OUT SOME LATIN MUSIC!

    When I was actually gigging/writing, my originals were usually in some sorta stew of R&B/Funk/Latin/Swing vibe.
    Believe me, I am content to play the figures that a bassist is expected to lay down, though, I really like taking percussion/drum figures & making up my own lines.
    Also, Rebeca Mauleon's 101 PIANO MONTUNOS is a happenin' book to cop the pianist's RIGHT-HAND lines; I then transfer those lines to bass. Being in an original band/workshop environment allowed me to try such stuff.

    ...and I like taking tunes & "Latin-izing" them; here's an example of "Come Together" by The Beatles-
    /1..&...&/...&.&.&/ etc + embellishments
    /D..A...F/...A.Ab.A/ etc + embellishments
    (Play it at the same fret position as the original).
  5. XavierG, "One More Once" by Michel Camillo is a totally awesome album, Anthony Jackson playing unison lines with a crack horn section is a near-religious experience.
    Gard, dont be so modest, I've heard your samples! We play quite a bit of Santana and Gypsy Kings, in addition to the more traditional stuff. It keeps the first-time latin listeners involved. I just got a new Sher Publications book called "The Latin Bass Book" by Oscar Stagnaro. I'm finding it a little more useful than Funkify The Clave and El Sabor de Bajo Latino, but they are still good books. Another good one I have is True Cuban Bass by Carlos Del Puerto.
    I was bored and totally disinterested in playing in rock bands, and I dislike most of the snobby up-themselves jazz people(at least in my city), so was ready to give the whole biz away when an opportunity to join a latin band came up. I thought, OK, one last try. Boy, am I glad I did! It has reawakened my interest in music generally, and made me a better player in all styles. IMO, there is no other music to make you keenly aware of time and groove and note placement as latin. Not Brazilian, that is fairly mundane stuff, but the rest is hot, hot, hot!
  6. Marty -

    Thanks for the kind words, but I really don't deserve them...YET! As I said in my earlier post, the demos on the band's website were done PRIOR to my joining (well, REjoining as I was the original bassist) the band. Hopefully I'll live up to the stuff you heard :D.

    I've got the Carlos Del Puerto book, and you're right, it's very good. But, I really want to get the Goines/Ameen book as it's more of a rhythm section thing, both for bass and drum kit. I'll look into the Stagnaro book, he is a monster player, no doubt. Hopefully his book reflects that.

    Apparantly, I'm gonna have to keep an eye out for that Michel Camillo stuff....
  7. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    My gigs are 95% latin music. I play with a local band conformed by two trumpets, one trombone, two saxes, four percussionists, piano, bass and three singers. We play salsa, dominican merengue and colombian rhythms (porro, cumbia, merecumbé, etc.). I pick up my Carvin mainly to play merengue and any stuff that sounds "modern", and my electric upright for most of salsa tunes (not all) and colombian songs. Latin music is fun to play when you have a dynamic rhythm section. It is not a hard music to play technically, but you must have a well developed sense of groove. In other words, PLAY WITH AUTHORITY. I recommend to listen to bassists like Bobby Valentín, Sal Cuevas or Mike Viñas (Fania All Stars, Willie Colón, Rubén Blades) for great examples of tasty salsa basslines, and any of modern merengue bands' bassists. Merengue basslines may seem simple (very short low register notes, some double or triple stops, random glissandos), but acquiring the feeling for this is not an overnight task. I'm not into the mp3 thing, so i don't know anything about the sound quality of these files or how easiliy can be heard through the net, but if it works, check this mp3 for a cool example:


    I don't know if the song is full length here (i couldn't connect to the server), but if you can listen to this tune in its entirety (4'28), post your comments! :)
  8. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    i posted his name in a lenghthier reply on another latin thread, but my fave is Roberto Riveron from a Cuban band named Klimax. the stuff is recorded in cuba and the cd's are hard to find. But descarga.com has them, my fave is Juego de Manos, but they all smoke. Check this guy out, though, he's off the hook!!!- peace, Adrian

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