And now – something for the bassists

Here are two very basic but nonetheless useful lessons for beginning bass players. The first one talks about the two most common mistakes done by slap players, the second deals with the single most important thing to learn. Oh, and the example music is great as well; in the second it’s “Autumn Leaves” again. Look and listen if you’re interested:

Scott is doing this for a living, apart from being a session musician – so if you need that kind of advice from a real working pro, consider to join (and pay) him for what he does.

Oh, and his mentioning of “scales and arpeggios” reminded me of a must-see movie especially for musicians. So the following two are from Aristocats, and remember: you have to practise your scales and you arpeggios before you can even try thinking about performing the second one:

Yeah. Cool cats they are. Enjoy.

Thanks to Paul Davis, and to others

Just listened to a very interesting talk of about an hour or so from Paul Davis, (co-) founder and inventor of programs like Jack and Ardour.

Found the report and the video on the Libre Music Production site, here. The video is also available on Youtube, and Paul’s keynote speech starts at about 2:22:32 into the video below:

So thanks for everyone involved, and to Paul again for the tools he’s working on since so many years. And thanks also for pointing me to such interesting and exciting things like Faust, or the Sonic Visualizer (parts of which you might have seen in Ardour as well).

What makes this talk so interesting is also that you see this presentation of about an hour to understand the state of audio on all systems, not just Linux.

Oh, and thanks also for letting us know that even products like a Behringer X32 console are plug & play not only on a Mac with its Core Audio, but on Linux as well. Long live class-compliance!

Merçi encore to the Université as well.


Some links, mostly for Zuleikha

One song, so many different interpretations. I showed this one already:

Which is from this album:

Here are just a few more:

The original, in French:

Which is from this movie, also in French:

There are so many more versions. Find out more about it on: (English) (French) (German)

or here:


Update from Sat, May 20th, 2017): Here’s another one, played beautifully on a solo Godin guitar by Walter Rodrigues Jr.:

You don’t need much…

No sir.

1. The first piece you can see here proves that you don’t need 4 strings – 3 are enough, if you open and end a piece on a gimbri.

2. You also don’t need a lot of chords – sometimes one chord is enough to totally rock da house. Hear the second one, which Marcus announced in perfect French.

3. and 4. They continue with Miles’ “Tutu“. Marcus, who is about two and a half years younger than me played that in 1986 with Miles, and here (at around the 33 minute mark) they swing like the devils, and play some really nice hard bop and cool jazz lines, just as if Miles would be present. And during the bass solo they switch to Marcus’ own “Blast”, the opening track from his 2008 album “Marcus” (and also on his 2007 album “Free“).

No, you don’t need much. Just keep practising for some 40+ years, and play as much as you can. See his discography.


Many thanks, Prof. Dr. Andreas Kissenbeck!

I’m following Andreas’ Youtube channel ‘creating your own music‘ since a while, and I can really recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about music theory. He explains it so that you can really understand the stuff, no matter what previous knowledge you might have.

But there’s more. The professor seems to be a really really nice guy as well. Yesterday I was watching his talk on ‘Exploring Harmony for Jazz Improvisation‘, and all of a sudden he made a remark like:

“I transcribed Cory Henry’s solo from the Snarky Puppy video ‘We like it here’…”

– and that stopped my right there. Couldn’t believe it; that solo starts at around 4:20 minutes in the following video, and lasts pretty much to the end of the song, which is at 10:44 or so. Wow. Look and listen:

So on Andreas’ channel I wrote how amazing that is – just imagine the amount of work he did, with transcribing each single note of what Cory played there! And, curiously, I asked if I could have that transcription.

And guess what Andreas replied, in German? Something like “sure, drop me an email and I’ll send it”.


Thanks Andreas! As a kind of reward, I’ve put your first two books on my wishlist, and I’m pretty sure that once I have these, I want the next ones as well!

Andreas’ homepage is here; go have a look if you’re interested in a good and nice music teacher.

So, thanks again, Prof. Dr. Andreas Kissenbeck!

P.S. (Update from Wednesday, 3rd of May, 2017):

Andreas sent me an email with the transcriptions – and after reading this blog entry, he wants to emphasize that he didn’t do the work all alone – but he corrected a single-note transcription of Cory’s solo, and added the chords which were played. So double kudos to Andreas for being nice and honest. Cannot wait to hear him play with his own band


(ka)-chun-ka-chun-ka-chun-ka-chun-ka-… (Americans: say this with a looong letter “u”, like in “choon”)

If you listen to modern music, you won’t hear much of that rhythm anymore, and maybe that’s why most people now have a horrible rhythmic feeling. They count the ones and the threes, and all they can do is stomp and clap their hands in absolutely the wrong moments. Don’t. Just don’t be that guy (or girl) who claps on the 1s and 3s. There’s so much more.

And hey, before you can even start dreaming of doing the bop like Bird or Diz or Monk, or of being cool like Miles, you have to go way back in history, and re-learn how to swing. That’s how you’ll become one of the cool cats, and that’s promised.

Just saw a short and sweet intro into this from Aimee Nolte. Look, listen, and feel:

Now the first piece she mentions – “April in Paris” from the Count Basie Orchestra – is a nice piece – if you’re able to even hear those small little accents on 2 and 4, and hear that “ka-chun-ka-chun” from the rhythm section (guitar, bass, drums) – which you probably don’t. I’ll show you anyway, just for reference and because Aimee mentioned it:

Nice. But much stronger than that is the one from Nina Simone which Aimee mentioned, and it’s called “My baby just cares for me”. Now these are the really cool cats, and maybe you’ll hear (and feel) it in that one:

But the one where you should really get it is the “C Jam Blues” from the Oscar Peterson Trio – those 2s and 4s are so strong, and after these 9 minutes you should recognize that your right foot hurts from just lifting on those last 8th triplets before the following (downbeat) quarter notes – and remember and listen what you can do with a main melody of just two notes!

Yeah. Aimee’s right. Train that for 10 minutes each day. Listen to many more swing titles, saying “(ka)-chun-ka-chun-ka-chun-ka-chun-” – and after a while, you might feel the swing.

Then take your instrument, whatever it might be, and start using that rhythm. Or if you don’t have an instrument (yet), play it with your spoon on your cup of coffee, whatever. These guys could do it. They had that rhythm in their blood.

It’s a totally different experience especially for the young ones which maybe never heard something like that.


Take Five backing track, version 3

Thanks to some help from finotti in the LinuxMusicians forum (and I didn’t even really ask for it, so I’m extra thankful), I’ve got my commercial xln audio Addictive Keys grand piano working in Ardour as well. And while Zuleikha was testing the sounds with my midi keyboard, I made a screenshot:

Screenshot from 2017-04-28 18:49:12

I’ve loaded the virtual instrument into Carla Patchbay, and after some manual configuration to hear the output, I could use the combination as an instrument within Ardour (which is still my favourite DAW (digital audio workstation) on Linux).

In the screenshot you see Ardour with the loaded “Take Five” song again, and I mixed that via Jamin into Audacity. The acoustic bass and the drum tracks both come via the Calf Fluidsynth and its included GM (general midi) soundfont. In the master track I also used a Calf Limiter; EQ and a bit of compression came from Jamin. The .wav file was then leveled to -23dB LUFS in Ardour, and with Audacity I converted it to an MP3 file again which you can listen to here:

This time I wanted a somewhat more warm and intimate sound, and the “Jazzish” preset of xln’s Studio Grand gave me exactly that.

That Steinway really sounds good, it’s the best piano we have in the house. But the Salamander Grand Piano V3, a Yamaha C5 recorded by Alexander Holm isn’t too far off – and it’s free.

Find many more tools for Linux music production on LibreMusicProduction if you like.

And like always, thanks for reading.

See what you can do with Ardour

Saw that cool video:

And remember, this orchestral sample library is loaded to the free Kontakt player for Windows, but together with Wine and Carla, it obviously works very nice within a free DAW in Linux as well.

Not everything will work tho – forget anything with dongles or other “security” hindrances. In that case, take really free (as in speech) things instead.

See also the German Howto about using Carla here. Thanks Felipe for this wonderful tool!

Take Five backing track, version2

I’ve made this today:


Done with a nice commercial sample package from XLN audio called “Addictive Keys Studio Grand” – but on Linux (it’s a Windows version, you can also get it for Macs).

And this is how it sounds:

I wanted it to sound like recorded in some cellar hall, but didn’t use fancy stuff like a Klangfalter reverb yet. Just a Limiter on the master bus, and leveled to -23LUFS.

Anyway – I like the piano. It’s a Steinway Grand, recorded somewhere in Sweden.

Thanks for reading (and listening).