TrueFire’s FOCUS ON courses are fast-track learning programs for specific styles. Designed for intermediate and advanced students with limited practice time, the courses ‘focus’ on the most essential concepts and techniques bypassing detailed background, lengthy theoretical explanations and skill-building exercises.
Reggae originated in Jamaica in the late 60’s and was strongly influenced by traditional Mento (Jamaican folk music), Calypso music, American Jazz and Rhythm and Blues, and also evolved out of the earlier genres of SKA and Rocksteady. Today, Reggae influences popular music in such significant ways, and across such a wide variety of styles, that bass players MUST have a solid Reggae bag that they can call on at the gig.
Andrew Ford’s Focus On: Reggae Bass will fill up your Reggae bag in a hurry as he guides you through the various techniques and harmonic approaches that comprise the contemporary Reggae genre.
“Using space, rhythm and melody Reggae bass offers a unique freedom of expression. There are no hard and fast rules for playing Reggae bass, as a matter of fact, it’s probably the one instrument in Reggae that has the most freedom from rules. You can play on beat one or avoid it, use a chordal based line, scale-based, root-fifth or just one note. You can be sparse, a bit more notey, swing, play straight, or any number of other combinations.”
Andrew organized his Focus On curriculum into three sections. In the first section, Andrew takes you to school with a little history on Reggae Bass, a rundown of the style’s most influential players and sound advise on gear and tone. Before taking on any new style or technique, its important to appreciate the background of that style or technique — Andrew delivers just that in this first section.
Strap on your bass for Section 2, as Andrew guides you through 10 essential Concepts and Techniques that comprise the foundation of Reggae Bass. You’ll play your way through these 10 key lessons: Early Ska Style, Rock Steady Style, Modern Reggae Triads, The Root-5th Concept, Using Melodicism, Minor Chords in Reggae, British Ska Style, Pop-Reggae Hybrids, Jazz-Reggae Hybrids, R&B-Reggae Hybrids
It all gets put into play with the 4 Performance Studies in Section 3. Andrew specifically designed these studies to apply all 10 essential Concepts and Techniques in a musical context:
Study #1: Simmerin’ —This is a SKA groove inspired by the Wailers song Simmer Down. You’ll learn a walking bass line played over a 1-6-2-5 progression in Bb with a bridge that goes to the iii chord and then ii chord for 8 bars, where the walking breaks up slightly.
Study #2: Don't Shoot — Bob Marley was one of the pioneers of Reggae music and this Study features a bass line inspired by the performance of Family Man on Bob’s version of I Shot The Sheriff. You’ll learn and play melodic slurs and unison lines with space and syncopation.
Study #3: Loved Ones — This Study features a Reggae bass groove based on Bob Marley's song, One Love. The bass line is melodic, swings in sections, has some root fifth movement, with triad and chordal movement. You’ll learn how certain motifs don't have to start on the root.
Study #4: So Rude - This study song features a SKA-Punk Rock approach inspired by The Specials, who were on 2 Tone Records. You’ll learn how to play SKA walking bass with Rock 8th notes and a unison line to produce an authentic British SKA feel.
Andrew demonstrates all of the performance studies over rhythm tracks and then breaks them down measure-by-measure, technique-by-technique.
All of the key demonstrations, performances and examples are tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes.
You’ll also get Guitar Pro files so that you can loop and/or slow any section down as you work through the lessons. Plus, Andrew generously includes all of the rhythm tracks for you to work with on your own.
Grab your bass and let’s lay down some bashy grooves!