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My First Real Bass Solo Live(video)

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by canteenboy, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. canteenboy


    Jan 30, 2007

    I Joined a Salsa band about 8 months ago. I'm new to playing this style of music. I was and am really into learning as much as I can about how to play it.

    The band members are used to taking solos a few times a set, so I've been rehearsing with them to prepare the occasional bass solo. I'm new at expressing myself this way, especially in this genre.

    What do some of you veteran or novice players have to say advice wise? Any feedback is welcome. Hopefully It will be a learning experience for me.

    The vid is the first link on my facebook page.

    Thanks for taking the time.

  2. canteenboy


    Jan 30, 2007
    Feedback would be very appreciated. Approach, phrasing, patience, etc... Any discussion on how to do better would be awesome.
  3. canteenboy


    Jan 30, 2007
    Is there a better section to post this kind of question on talkbass?
  4. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    To be honest, it's a little hard for me to hear. Then again, I'm not going to crank the speakers here at the office. But kudos to you for taking the step forward.

    This would more typically be posted in the "Recordings" forum.
  5. canteenboy


    Jan 30, 2007
    Thanks for the heads up. The audio isn't great. There's was a legit video/audio that I'm waiting to get my hands on though. I think this was an iPhone.
  6. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    wishing you had built more on the idea at 2:06 : a distinct and appealing melodic phrase with sensitive dynamics and some emotion behind it.
    the rest sounded more clanky / thwacky / all-the-notes-that-fit-y by contrast.

    don't be afraid to restate the ponche and bombo mid solo.
    Capt.Obvious likes this.
  7. canteenboy


    Jan 30, 2007
    Hmmm. You sound like you know what's up. I agree with things sounding clanky. I don't love that aspect of my approach. I wonder if I can sound better playing more patiently. I feel a bit frantic while jamming.

    What do you mean by ponche and bombo?

    Thanks for the feedback. I need to think about these kind of things.
    Capt.Obvious likes this.
  8. I'm a fan, straight up. Love the salsa band experience. So much fun for pocket players, all about the groove. You're good man and you have the right idea when bass soloing in that setting. bass solos in those kinds of bands are like drum solo's. The rythym section is GONE(usually the drummer even takes a break to watch the bass man flounder heh), so go off and do whatever the hell you want rhythmically.

    I also agree with Mambo4, you began exploring a very delicious melodic phrase briefly and seemed to give up on it. It seemed like you felt like you felt a need to reestablish the groove or original feel. Just want to impress that you should have stuck with it, the groove will come back when you put that hat back on, for your solo time, go frickin wild and don't be afraid to take the tune in a completely different direction. Remember, the groove is usually gone and you'll be truly solo. Sure, the congos guy is accompanying you, like a champ, but the salsa feel is gone because, well, bass solo time. heh

    One thing I might critique about your groove, is it seems to me that you're almost playing too in the pocket. Like too right on the beat. Listen to Chuck Mangione's bass man and how ahead of the beat he is. The tempo is faster than your tune, but the principles are the same. You really want to anticipate the bass line in mambo especially, but also salsa's.

    canteenboy likes this.
  9. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    the ponche and the bombo are the Latin names for specific beats that underly the music
    ponche =the "and" of 2 , bombo = the 4 (particularly when it's anticipating and repalcing the next 1)
    These always match match up with the last 2 beats on the 3 side of the clave.
    this is what is meant when it is said that the bass must be 'correct with the clave'.
    together they form the backbone of the cuban bass tumbao (although many variations occur)
    if you add in the 1 you get what is called the tresillo pattern (all of the 3 side of the clave.) which is typically the first "Salsa" bass rhythm one learns.

    The wikipedia link has notation for the whole rhythm section.
    The importance of knowing all the rhythm sections parts cannot be understated.
    I played salsa for around 5 years (hence my user name). My experience was that the apparent simplicity was deceptive.
    I thought I "got" it early on but then about 2 years in , after familiarizing myself with the whole ensemble's parts, a light bulb went off and I really started to "get" it.
    Hearing the other parts as you solo helps keep your place in the tumbao.
    In addition to the clave, you should know the basic 2 bar conga, timba, and piano rhythms,
    because they all interlock and weave in and out of each other.

    You should get Oscar Stangoro's book and listen to Cahcao.

    Abandoning the groove entirely is a weakness unique to bass solos. This is not a Tumbao, but notice how Cachao manages to solo and lay down the basic groove in equal measure. He's never very far from that intial backbone he lays down. That is what I mean by restating the ponche and bombo mid-solo.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  10. Spot on Mambo4. You're clearly our Tumbao guru.

    *hats off*
  11. canteenboy


    Jan 30, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback. This thread has been really informative for me. Thanks for posting those fundamentals Mambo. I'll need to study what you posted. I appreciate that.

    I agree that I'm soloing in the pocket too much. I hadn't noticed that till now.

    Lots of work to keep doing. Thanks for the feedback so far.
  12. canteenboy


    Jan 30, 2007
    Oh and on an unrelated note. Since we are in here with some fans of Latin music, have you guys checked out the Pedrito Martinez Group? Awesome stuff IMO.

    Great bass solo.
    Capt.Obvious likes this.
  13. That bass player makes me want to take a can gasoline and lighter to my axe. AND he can sing. :(
    canteenboy likes this.
  14. canteenboy


    Jan 30, 2007
    Everyone in that group sings and plays masterfully IMO. They have played with a few different keys players over the years. This new lady is amazing. She's been with them for a few years.

    The bass player really started shining more in the last few years. Here's them a few years ago.

    Capt.Obvious likes this.
  15. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Just buy a Sadowsky! :thumbsup:

    My instructor has me working out of the Oscar Stagnaro Latin Bass Book as part of my lesson plan. Not something I ever would've considered doing on my own, but it's a blast!
    Capt.Obvious likes this.
  16. Those guys are some serious monsters. Wow!

    Bueno bueno!
    canteenboy likes this.
  17. KingKrabb


    May 9, 2014
    Puerto Rico
    Salsa Bass? Check out Bobby Valentín from La Fania Allstars (And, like... 60-thousand other groups, haha)

    One of my favorite bassists in salsa. I had the pleasure to jam with him once, and the guy is a machine. No wonder they call him "El Rey Del Bajo". (King of the bass).
  18. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    If you are a beginner at reading notation, Latin music is an excellent place to launch into "intermediate."
    While I am still no fluent sight reader, my reading took a huge leap going over Stangoro's book and others.

    Latin rhythm makes for goods reading practice beacuse it had a good blend of simplicity and variation:
    It's a lot of roots, octaves 4ths and 5ths so you get really good at spotting them quickly, strengthening your mental 'map' of the staff.
    It's syncopated, forcing you to think about the rhythm more accurately instead of auto piloting your way through.
    You get really good at hearing the pulse while the notes fall all over the place.
    It's rarely more granular than eighth notes, making the rhtyhms easier to decode than some 16th note funk math puzzle.
  19. +1, they're the real deal, outstanding musicians. Something(for me at least) to shoot for. Wish there was a scene for that around here. Would love to dive into it.
  20. I got a small taste of the salsa band experience when I got to play with Bobby Medina's band in Seattle for a year or so. Pure happy fun times for pocket players. He taught me to mambo and briefly touched on terms like Tumbao and bombo, but I was probably too young to really absorb it. Mambo4 knows what's up no doubt.

    Wanted to add that location really is critical, especially for peeps in our line of work. Really should consider relocation if you want to make it a career.

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