OK – here’s day 2 of this cool guitarist and bassist conference, hosted by Jamiroquai’s own Paul Turner and Rob Harris! It’s worth mentioning – I was so absorbed in the weekend I didn’t shoot much video, or take many pictures – but there are plenty who did, so I’ll be rounding those up from various social media sites in another post. I’ve made some great new friends here – and some are guitarists!
Boom n Twang Day 2
Breakfast: Another full English! And good too. Yesterday’s hobgoblin IPA didn’t leave me feeling rough this morning – it’s a great session ale, I suspect!
Morning: 10am start
A great group session this morning. We talked about baseline construction, and some tips and tricks for getting funky – working with 16th notes before and after the 1 for added pizzazz, some ideas around using blues pentatonics – that flat 5th, and the tritones you can make with it for slide-fills – slide up to the flat 5th/root, then slide up again for the other way around! Using 6ths (which are fun) and the bass from All Right Now as an inspiration for use of 3rds high up. We have the tunes we can choose for tomorrow’s performance with Derrick(!) – I think I may choose space cowboy, but I’m going to need to work on it a little, it’s been quite a while since I did some serious shedding to that track.
Lunch: beef pastie – YUM!
Afternoon – 1-2-1 lessons, mine was at 5 – and it was so cool. I literally played maybe 30 notes the whole time: I’ve chosen to play Space Cowboy tomorrow when Derrick backs up groups made up from the guitarists and bassists here, which meant this afternoon I revisited the track for the first time in a few years. When it came out, I was all over it – I spent a long time working on that album, and I spent a long time on that track, trying to cop the style – which is really busy. I still love it, but I found the current Apple Music release of the album has a demo version as a bonus track, which has Stu Zender on it. I asked Paul how he plays the track, and got some really cool insights into it – it’s a lot less busy, particularly in the verse, which is stripped back and mellow – apparently how Jay likes it! So I’m going to take some time to listen to those versions more – the single, and that demo, and enjoy those, but Paul still digs in a bit and gets to have fun on the chorus, bridge and outro, where things get busier. Particularly interesting is he actually plays over the front pickup on the verses, and he dials both pickups up to get a round tone overall: when the chorus comes around, he actually reaches down and backs off the front pickup and little and gets that Stenback to honk a little! He also moves back to the back pickup, and the tonal difference is immediate – short notes, too, much funkier, and octaves which aren’t in the album version too.
It was fascinating to run through these – Paul hadn’t heard the demo version(!) so both of us got to listen to it at the same time and break down some of the nice little bass figures – particularly on the chorus, which are really pretty in that “Bendy Sender” style (which I love) – he gets his filter pedal on for the chorus end / bridge to verse part too.
The group chat afterwards lasted just over an hour, and it was a lovely affair – a listen to a new track (which is really, really funky – amazing strings on it!) and a wonderful track which was never officially released from over a decade ago – smile (find it on YouTube here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS_mmz1W8RY – put through the lovely QSC PA system in the room, this sounded just huge: gorgeously wide, those Rhodes piano / string arrangements and the lovely chord sequence giving a lovely, wistful track which just floats like a hot summer evening.
What a weekend this is!