Blog Archives

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#playforChris6

Finally, #playforChris6 – is ready! Feel free to share it with your friends or communities.

It was a long journey. Thank you to all participants for the sounds and images you have given me to play with. You don’t know… but I have developed a relationship with each one of you by seeing you and listening to you every day in the past 2 months. You were my band mates, my friends. I felt the love that you have put in your recordings, even those who, previously, were not so emotionally connected to Chris’ music.

Thank you to my Patrons for supporting me financially, for believing that what I do is worth it. Thank you to all my friends who encouraged me and shown me excitement in seeing the final result, as I was describing what I wanted to do.

This is was huge task, something hard to top, as some friends told me. I would like to say that the purpose wasn’t ever to do better than previous editions. It never is about outdoing myself. The only important purpose is to gather Chris’ fans and celebrate his music together, whether we do another one like this or we get back to the original format… or.. who know what might happen… as long as we Play for Chris!

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Onward – A “Rickenbacker Kiss” Remaster

Here is the remaster of my 2010 arrangement of Onward. The picture quality hasn’t improved but hopefully the sound is much better and you will hear the effect of the resounding guitar harmonics.

Below I have copied the commentary of the original post from 2010.

Thanks for watching!

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

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Roundabout HD Remaster

Here is an update and remaster of my 2008 cover of Roundabout, including new guitar overdubs and a some corrected notes on the secondary bassline, at the “Drifting Cloud” middle section.

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And You And I

Here is the video I have made to celebrate the 72nd birthday of Chris Squire. It’s “And You and I” and I have tried to go through the various possible overdubs in the recording, while also adding some of the live features, such as the inclusion of bass pedals.

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Duo Falcão/Reis

Last December I had the pleasure to perform a free improvisation session with Marcelo dos Reis, on the occasion of the anniversary of Marcelo’s own label Cipsela Records.

Free improvisation is a completely musical ground for me, although I have been regularly participating in some improvised music events, but the challenge is always renewed, especially because this was the first time I ever played with Marcelo – hopefully there will be more!

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Happy 2020!

I announce to my dear friends in the channel that this year I leave my regular job, and dedicate myself to Music in full-time. Therefore I am at your disposal for musical services and of course continuing with the online lessons.

In 2020, the fee for online lessons will drop from 20 Euro (one hour). This will also apply to the current students, of course! Please do check all information at the Online Lessons page. I will be glad to answer your questions by email and help you to accomplish your goals learning the bass.

online20202

Thank you and Happy New Year “Hopefully, Eventually”.

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In The Bleak Midwinter

Wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Manouchka – live in Coimbra

Earlier this month, I guested at a live performance with Manouchka, a gipsy jazz/manouche band composed by my old friend Nuno Marinho (Guitar) and Marian Yanchyk (Violin), also guesting Bruno Neves (Guitar).

It was the second time we played together as a quartet and there was a great atmosphere at the venue, a bar named Liquidâmbar, right in the center of my city, Coimbra.

A very special occasion also to play my grandfather’s double-bass, which is now in great shape thanks to the work of luthier Catarina Torres at Torres & Dase Luthiers. The instrument plays now very comfortably, and has completely opened its sound.

I made a small montage of some parts of the show – hope you like it!

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More transcriptions by Simon Gilman

This week I received news from our friend Simon Gilman, who contributed 9 years ago (tempus fugit!) with his own bass transcriptions of Yes and Chris’ songs, in which I had played the (audio) bassline.

Those were Astral Traveler, Starship Trooper and Hold Out Your Hand.

This time, Simon has written another set of transcriptions using my videos as reference, and was kind enough to share them again with us, this time in pdf format! So, without further ado, here they are!

A Venture_Bass score by Simon Gilman

Awaken_Bass score by Simon Gilman

Does It Really Happen_Bass score by Simon Gilman

Looking Around_Bass score by Simon Gilman

On the Silent Wings of Freedom_Bass score by Simon Gilman

You can also visit Simon’s YouTube channel and watch some more of his work and bass playing!

Thank you very much, Simon!

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Ensemble Trakia 45-Year Concert

This summer, at Plovdiv’s Ancient Theatre, I attended Ensemble Trakia‘s 45th anniversary concert. Once again, a fabulous show with Bulgarian traditional dances and music. In my recording you will have the chance to hear very well the double-bass of my good friend Stela Petrova, who has featured on a special video generously recorded for me, demonstrating some applications of the double-bass in Bulgarian folk. One great opportunity to know how the bass works in this unique kind of music, with several meter changes and complex arrangements, but always with a genuine essential soul.