Which CD's to buy?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Ruud Das, Sep 28, 2000.

  1. I'm looking for good CD's to practice finger style bass playing. No fancy stuff (no weird slap parts or such), just interesing lines to improve my finger style (fast, tricky, maybe with some harmonics, double stops etc.). I recently bought a 5 string so anything which is played on a four or five-string will do.

    Any suggestions? Let me know!

    P.S. I'm not so good at figuring out bass parts so it would help if there were tabs for the songs.


    [Edited by Ruud Das on 09-28-2000 at 05:48 AM]
  2. Prashant


    Feb 29, 2000
    Hi Greetz,

    Since you would like CDs for which there are easily obtainable tabs, here's a few that I can think of off the top of my head. Word to the wise, 'though: this is mainly for rock/pop and some R&B...I'm not going to touch jazz - there are many more people who are a lot more qualified on this BB.

    Led Zeppelin (Any of them, really, but Led Zeppelin II, Houses of the Holy, and Physical Graffiti stand out for me)

    James Brown - 20 All-Time Greatest Hits. (Not a comprehensive James Brown collection by any means, but a good, cheap, available overview of different funky stuff).

    James Brown - 1970: A Brand New Bag (I think that's the name)

    Lots of stuff with Jaco on it, but among the more practicable recordings: Pat Metheny's "Bright Size Life" and Joni Mitchell's "Hejira". These recordings display some really tasty and tasteful use of harmonics; the others that I mentioned are pretty much straight-up in terms of types of technique employed.

    Also, an album that I've been checking out a lot lately: Jackson Browne's "Saturate Before Using" (I think that the offical title may be eponymous). Lee Sklar is on bass, and plays some really mellow, tasty, and very pretty, voice-like lines and fills. Not technically as tricky as other stuff, but difficult in a very different manner. The songs are hit or miss, 'though - sometimes a little cheesy.

    There's a LOT more out there, but these are the ones that came to my mind immediately.

    Happy hunting!


  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...the book/cds of some classic Jamerson lines; will definitely improve your playing. You may even find yourself buying the various Motown arists' recordings after sampling enough of this book/cds.

    The James Brown stuff w/ Boosty is happenin'(as mentioned by Pras).
    I've always thought The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" was a decent warm-up for the plucking hand.
    Steely Dan's THE ROYAL SCAM & AJA both have some nice Chuck Rainey finger funk...as does most Aretha Franklin recordings(YOUNG, GIFTED, & BLACK comes to mind).
    Tower Of Power? Rocco's muted 1/16 note grooves are good practice(stamina & endurance required).

    More current stuff I like practicing to-
    Liquid Soul(any of their 3 major releases)
    Groove Collective(any...)
    Brand New Heavies(any...)
  4. Prashant


    Feb 29, 2000
    Oops! Forgot about Steely Dan and TOP. (Told you my suggestions were far from complete...)

    "The Royal Scam" isn't talked about as much as it should be, I think. I heard from someone that Fagen & Becker don't care for the album that much themselves - anyone else heard that?

    Probably should start a Steely Dan thread for that question...

    TOP...now there's a REAL workout for your right hand, and right-left hand coordination! Right on.

    And as always, I'll back up anyone who recommends Paul McCartney...maybe not the most technical stuff, but invaluable for learning how to write a bass line. Plus, he has that "bounce" to his sound...something I've been trying to master forever (and not nearly as good as I want to be).

    As for more modern stuff, one guy in the rock world who's really been doing it for me in the '90s is Robert DeLeo from Stone Temple Pilots.

    And as much as the thought of their music makes me cringe...Chris Squire's stuff with Yes is quite demanding (and has a fair amount of harmonics and muting thrown in). Sure, he plays with a pick, but I've never really seen that as a bass playing problem in and of itself. (Think of Carol Kaye...)

    Perhaps Geddy Lee from Rush as well...again,not the biggest fan (reminds me of my dorkier side, particularly in high school), but he is quite a good bassist.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I'll probably get lots of criticism for this, but I would suggest the CDs of Shakatak and FourPlay. The basslines are not "out there" in terms of advanced technique and the music is melodic and not plagued with tricky progressions or complex poly rhythms. I know some people, especially Bass Player critics have criticized the music of these two bands for being too pop oriented, but it is what I would consider accessable for someone who is just starting to attempt learning basslines. The part about finding tabs for this music or sheet music for it is another matter. I am not sure such tabs exist.

    Jason Oldsted
  6. Thanks, I guess I'll pack a S**tload of cash a go CD hunting! :)

    [Edited by Ruud Das on 10-03-2000 at 03:07 AM]
  7. Maybe, "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" and "Californication" By Red hot Chili Peppers?

    I like them, very nice bassplaying. Maybe Im all wrong..
  8. pgrannas


    Dec 15, 1999
    What about Sir Paul´s great basslines? Especially the stuff from 1967-70.
  9. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Most anything by The WHO or Cream.
  10. I might get slack for this, but I love playing along with Extreme's 3 Sides to Every Story album. It's got some great lines and phrases in it, and is pretty diverse.

    Also, anything by Ray Charles. Yeah baby.