Mike's Tunes

This is where you can check out some of my bass arrangements and compositions. All the charts are free to download. I recorded these with a great drummer and good friend of mine, Stu Roberts. Several of the tunes are played on a jazz bass with A-C tuning. I find this is a great way of practicing melodic stuff - the higher register makes you think differently. I love Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny and it's nice to move some of the way up into their sonic world when you're working on melodic ideas - there's a lot of good stuff you can take with you when you go back to regular tuning. I hope you enjoy listening to these tunes and maybe working on some of them yourself.

I'm a bass player, I enjoy the role of the bassist in making music, i.e laying down great accompaniment. Doing this stuff is fun for me, and I hope you enjoy it too, but I rarely use any of these melodic and chordal ideas in my 'day job'. So why bother? well,  It's a lot of fun - but it also helps me develop my vocabulary as a musician. It helps me find a great sound here or a tasty bit of phrasing there when I'm laying it down with a band. Even the simplest stuff can sound really cool when played by a master, and that's always what I'm working towards...

You can view the charts for all these tunes by clicking the links, and you can print them in PDF format from the transcriptions page, here

Three wise men.

I’ve tried to combine the styles of three great bass players in this study. The left hand muting and 16th note fingerstyle of Rocco Prestia. The phased picking that is one of Anthony Jackson’s trademark sounds. And the thumb style soloing of Marcus Miller. I had lot of fun playing this.

The chart for this starts where the head comes in at 41 seconds. The intro was just a jam in D minor over some backwards harmonics - a trick I nicked from Bill Frisell.

Another View.

This is a similar tempo and feel to Jaco's masterpiece 'Three Views of a Secret'. The melody is played on my Overwater fretless jazz bass, the bassline was played on my Stingray 5 with a mute.



Pick It Up.

I used my jazz bass tuned A-C to play the melody on this. I was using country style finger picking ideas and adapting them to the bass. The bass line was played on the double bass I use with Joe Brown, strung with a mix of guts and nylons.

This tune got it's name from the very quick changes you have to do between plectrum and fingers, it's quite a challenge!

Free.
Another melodic workout on the jazz bass with A-C tuning. For this one I also used my Hungarian double bass.




It Could Happen To You
My take on this jazz standard. Again using A-C tuning, I played a solo arrangement of the head and brought the rhythm section in for the blowing.



Time Out
Another outing for the Joe Brown double bass, this tune has a kind of 'train' beat with a latin flavour. The electric bass part has an arpeggiated pattern in the crescendo section which is quite tricky to play.

Ionosphere
This tune was named for the fact that it goes about as high as you can get on a bass (at least on a jazz bass with a high C string). I was messing around with some quartal voicings one day and this is what happened...

Ticket to Ride.
 I was messing around with this Beatles song on my jazz bass - F seemed like a nice key, but I was missing an open note on the root, so I tuned the E string up to F and it worked quite nicely.



Three Wise Men


Three Wise Men



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Another View



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Pick It Up



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It Could Happen



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Ionosphere



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Ticket To Ride