Category Archives: Solo

Chords for 29/2

A little idea for this strange day.

eight guts

I’m starting using Soundcloud. I thought this could work as an audio scrapbook where I will make some experiments and store any ideas that will arise. Something to share quicker without having to build a video clip.

The first entry is an improvisation using the Zon Sonus 8-string bass. Just exploring the natural timbre of the bass, without any effects or amp simulators. I just enjoyed the “echoes” that I can hear vibrating inside, enhanced by the long sustain that this bass provides. This can be felt even with the bass unplugged – it would be interesting to hear it acoustic, captured by an external microphone… Hope you enjoy it!

Happy Birthday, Chris!

Here’s a song I made for Chris, called… “For Chris”! Happy Birthday to You!

Video

Practice Versus Perfect

This is an original song I made over the last weeks that I would like to share with you. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for sticking around! Miguel

The idea started while trying to make another (yet unfinished) song. I thought it was getting too complicated and took on some accidental playing on my guitar. I found the riff ok and thought it could be the base for something simpler where I could work out an arrangement with all instruments, as to prepare myself for finishing the first song.
Anyway ideas started flowing and it ended up a bit more extended than I initially wanted. The basslines (intro and pre and post solo) were made up a bit after, while I was having fun experimenting with a demo of the Ampeg SVX plugin.

Then the drums – I wanted to find something that would make it sound simple (in spite of having to deal with some odd meter – a blend of 7/8 with 4/4) – and anyway, something I would be able to play by myself. Then the middle sections came about while I was inspired to write some lyrics.

The choral section is a four-part harmony (2 tracks for each voice) that starts – intentionally – very “Bulgarian” and ends up a bit more CS&N (that’s a nice combination :) as to make a passage to the acoustic guitar section and the main poem that I wrote with my dad’s old Ramirez – still sounds incredible. Some more arrangements were made by then, especially the double-bass parts.

Finally the second harmony part, probably the most difficult bit, because my idea was to link to the finale that was already made. Again a four-part harmony but a different one, that finally melts with the kind of repetitions towards the end. The bass solo was the last thing to be thought of.

Well that’s part of my memory description for this song. Most important is that it’s ready now and I can present it to you!
Thanks for watching!

Miguel

Video

Onward – A “Rickenbacker Kiss”

An idea that was inspired by the story (many of you may know) behind the very end of Safe (Canon Song).

I am playing my 4001 CS bass which is unplugged. Holding it against the back of my (plugged) 360 guitar… a Rickenbacker Kiss.
I experimented with different guitar tunings that would resonate well with the song’s tonalities. Onward is a based one the I, VI, V and vi of C major, and modulated a step higher afterwards.
The guitar tuning I did (eventually using a capo) was selected to accommodate all these chords. Ones sound better than others. B minor was, for example, a bit less successful, as well as all passages with an F sharp.
Then I adapted the whole piece – melody and a sort of accompaniment with the lower register which is not related to the actual bass line. The initial riff is my transformation of the original intro, and the coda.. I came up with a way to modulate back to C major. A bit dangerous too cause B flat (G minor) and A flat (F minor) were used… but then finally I got the best resonance spot to end the piece on an improvised Safe-like finale.

One very interesting thing is that – after tuning both instruments with the tuner, I found the resonance wasn’t happening… so I fine tuned on my bass by ear, and found the resonance spots for each string… maybe a few cents lower than the “right” tuning. I know it’s still not perfect but it’s a fact that it wasn’t working with both guitars tuned by the tuner. I think this has to do with the tempered scale of the fretboard that is “fighting” with the natural harmonics of the guitar’s open strings.

While not optimal, I decided to post it to show you the idea. It has some interesting sounds and with more time I will come again to it!

Tunings (bottom to top)
Bass – E A D G
Guitar (Capo 8th fret) – C F A D G B

Video

Merry Christmas!

This is my Christmas video – Silent Night / Night of Silence, where I perform all instruments and vocals. Wish you a Merry Christmas!

Video

Amazing Grace

While I am preparing myself for what’s next to come, I decided to treat myself with a new effect pedal, which resembles Chris’ legendary fuzz tone of the Gibson Maestro Brassmaster – the Malekko b:assmaster (that’s no typo;). I was so eager to jam along with it that I made this short and quick video to share with you. It’s something that you might consider looking at if you are into this kind of sonic field. The pedal has many other interesting landscapes to explore and I even didn’t quite tweak it so well as to get the tone I wanted. The solo – Amazing Grace (hopefully) as created by our Hero – doesn’t follow any specific version. I played and pumped the pedals freely and it was indeed the only take I did, on the heat of the moment. I did go fingerstyle – which Chris does on his Starlicks video, but not always on some live boots circulating around here and there. For me, it permitted me to have more control on the mad attack response of the fuzz circuitry and also allowed me to muffle the non-played strings which can ressonate and generate frequencies that mess completely the fuzzed-driven sustain of the note I wanted to play (you will notice it anyway). The mighty Moog Taurus sound comes from an incredibly faithful VSTi freeware plugin by kvraudio.com, triggered by my Fatar MP-1. I taylored a bit the settings and off I went… Of course YT audio compression felt a bit dizzy with the earthshaking frequencies… it sounds better than here… but that’s YT. Hope you enjoy the clip. A big warm thank you for all the friends that continue to support and motivate me to carry on with my thing – You’re part of it too! Amazing Grace – Performed by Chris Squire – was recorded at advision studios at November 4, 1976. It was realeased on the Yesyears box-set. It became one of Chris’ main live solo spots, having been released on 90125 Live – The Solos.

Video

Vi (i saw) [improvisation for Fender VI]

This piece of music came along one night after some noodling on my Fender VI. I left the tape rolling just to save some ideas flowing by. I just played what was going on inside me. After I heard it, I thought it made sense to keep it as a solo improvisation. It’s something I enjoy doing once in a while but never had thought to actually record it. The idea for the video was also another sort of improvisation… Obviously I didn’t flim myself playing… you may decide to find a musical connection with the images or simply close your eyes and listen.

Video

New Pictures

“Alternate tune”… I dared to include on my channel this little tune for 8-string bass. This song is still, though vaguely, Yes-related as it was my contribution for the alt.music.yes CD called “Cyberian Khatru”, released in 2000. The bass tuning was inspired by Chris Squire’s Ranney 8-string, with a slight change on the top string: E(e8),A(a8),D(a8),G(e8). I tried to explore the pureness of the instrument’s beautiful sound using open strings and some harmonics and keeping it simple, letting the bass sound freely… the sound is direct with a touch of reverb only. Hope you relax, meditate, but don’t fall asleep ;) Thanks for listening, friends!