Spain Chick Corea fingerings

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Les Fret, Sep 13, 2015.


  1. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I am playing this piece right now. The B section is a good exercise. I have two fingerings: the one in the attachment. This involves a lot of shifting. Hope you can read my scribbling. The brackets mean I play that part in the same position. You will know which strings I use. The other fingering is to play it in the TP (thumb on the octave). You stay in that same same TP until the last two bars then you have to shift. I have seen a video of Stanley Clarke where he play all the notes in the TP but I am not sure what his fingering is.

    Just curious how you guys play this part.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  2. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I'm actually working on this right now. I've always played this song on electric bass, but now I am being asked to play it on gigs where I play upright. I will write out my fingerings and post them here, but two things I do differently right off the bat is play the first two notes with my 1st finger and play the G in bar four as an open string to eliminate a shift.

    - Steve
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  3. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
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  4. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Ok thanks. Some good things there. Like the open g string. It sounds a bit better without the open string but the open string is easier. The hardest part is the transition from bar 4 to 5 (f# d b). Will try out your fingerings.
     
  5. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Yeah, it's not ideal having a shift in the space of an 8th note, but I actually play that D as a harmonic and at tempo its almost a ghost note.

    - Steve
     
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  6. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Yes. No matter how you play it it is not easy. This is a good example of how more difficult the fingering is on double bass than on electric bass. On EB this theme is fairly easy. Especially around TP and a little below the fingering on double bass can be a bit awkward.

    Here you see Stanley Clarke play it all in TP. I think he skips the low C#'s in the last two bars so he doesn't have to go out of TP. Skip the singing part (which somehow annoys me :)) and go to 2:50

     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  7. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Yeah, that singing is annoying. I'm glad you told me when to tune in :thumbsup:

    Stanley obviously has that melody under his fingers and he makes it look quite effortless. I've going to spend some more time trying play this in thumb position...maybe I can eventually incorporate some vibrato like he does.

    - Steve
     
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  8. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    well he is playing that since 1973. So he had lots of time to practice that theme :)
    It's a good exercise for TP. Although it sounds better when not played in TP I think.
     
  9. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Slightly off topic, I love Chick's arrangement and reharmonization on the Akoustic Band record:

     
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  10. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    You're correct, in that video he does leave out the low C#'s in measure nine. It sounds like he might have done that on the original recording too. Interesting.

    I'm finding it pretty tricky to play in thumb position.

    - Steve
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
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  11. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    ok, here is how I play it now. All in TP position with thumb on the octave. Omitting the C#s like Stanley is doing. In the end this is faster I think with less shifting and therefor better intonation and speed.

    a863da38-1aa6-4a7a-a138-83fdfb0187ef.
     
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  12. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I thought I'd revisit this thread as I've changed my approach to this song. I've always noticed that on the Al Jarreau recording of "Spain" bassist Abe Laboriel plays the first eight measure of this section an octave lower. He's playing it on electric bass, but this makes it a lot easier to play on double bass as you can remain in first position by utilizing open strings, shifting into half position momentarily to grab the A# in measure eight. The last two measures still require some quick shifts though.

    - Steve
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  13. Jmilitsc

    Jmilitsc Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2013
    Fairfield County, CT
    Saw Chick with Christian McBride and Brian Blade last summer - amazing show. Christian played the B section lick for like 10 minutes straight while Chick had the crowd sing along to it.

    He also used TP - just as effortless looking.
     
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  14. I've always just played three As instead of C#s there, keeping the entire 8-note phrase on the A string, with the last F# just a hop over to the 1st string.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  15. image. image. image. What a great piece!

    As a kid in the '70s I listened to the 'Light as a Feather' album. Was playing it on 5 string electric bass and upright just the other day. Still seems musical and fresh today.

    Here is a copy in Chick's own hand of his piece. He was inspired by Mile's "Sketch's of Spain" with Gil Evan's, who was inspired by Joaquin Rodrigo. Chick always plays Joaquin Rodrigo's 2nd movement of "Concierto de Aranjuez" as a keyboard intro. That was written in 1939 and I wonder if Rodrigo was influenced by music from the cafes and bars of Madrid. I've read Rodrigo was inspired by the 'royal palace gardens' of Aranjuez. Aranjuez is an area in the south part of Madrid.

    Chick recorded "Spain" in 1972 in a NY studio with Stanley Clarke on upright, it took 3 hours.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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