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Soulive Left Hand Bass


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Does anyone have any tips for nailing down a left hand bassline like Neil Evans from Soulive? What are some good ways to practice seperating the left and right hands. I have no problem if the left hand is doing straight eighths but as soon as I get funky with the left i lose it with the right. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Practice slowly, with a metronome, and hands separately at first. Slowly increase tempo, and put hands together.

 

When playing funk, you gotta feel sixteenth notes ticking. Also, when putting the hands together it's extremely important to accent what falls on the beat and kind of let the off beat notes play themselves as if they weren't there. Do this by practicing VERY slowly and really exaggerating the accents on the beats and playing other notes extremely softly. This excercise will ground you onto the beat, so that when you play the figure in tempo you're thinking and feeling the beats as opposed to fast individual notes.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

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... another approach could be to simply write both hands out, turn off your brain, and just read the parts as slowly as possible while still being able to play them correctly.

 

I'm reasonably sure if you play the left hand part a few thousand times you'll be able to put part of your brain on automatic and just have fun playing what you want with your right hand.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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You received (imo) some good ideas to increase your "hand independence vocabulary". Nobody has complete independence ...just different levels of facility. The guy with lots of patterns "sounds independent". You got the straight 8ths down, now time to add more tricks.

 

Working the same issue ...

 

Jerry

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I hadn't heard the guy from Soulive...until tonight. They were on a TV from last year's Newport Festival with Fred Wessley. OMFG!! His left hand is amazing! That's the result of serious shedding time.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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Try spending some time learning some of Bach's 2 part inventions. Not very funky, but a good way to help develop left hand independence. For me, learning each part separately, then slowly working them together, measure by measure is a good approach.
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I just checked out a bunch of Soulive vids on Youtube, hadn't really checked them out before. Couple of things I noticed.

 

I really like their setup! My band, in which I play LH bass, sets up the same way, me on one end, the drummer on the other, facing each other, with sax, gtr and vocals in between. I really like this, it lets me have constant visual contact with the drummer, and everyone else.

 

One of the tricks to playing LH bass is that you are constantly shifting focus between the R and L hands. I noticed that Neal Evans, when he's playing complicated, syncopated bass lines, is often just holding a note on the hammond with the right. First of all, it's a really effective arrangement move. Secondly, it lets him focus, for that moment, on the left hand. My teacher in college, who was a great hammond player, even though I was taking piano lessons from him, used to solo like mad while playing complicated bass lines, but he said that his focus was mainly on the bass, and his right hand was just taking care of itself. It's takem me 20 years, mostly of playing bass guitar in bands, to get around to applying this information on the gig.

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Nice tips. :thu:

 

I've been enjoying Stanton Moore (a NOLA funk Drummer) on Pandora recently. The keyboard player for Greyboy Allstars, Robert Walter, frequently plays with him. Very tight two handed playing, LH bass rocking the drums, RH sustained, melodic, or filling out the para-diddle type (clav-style) patterns. Worth checking out.

 

Jerry

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