Andy Irvine’s Bass Mechanics: Crucial Groove
Essential Approaches for Constructing Commanding Bass Grooves
Whatever style of music you play and whatever the setting — original band, covers, recording session, or just jamming with your buds — establishing the perfect groove is crucial. And behind every perfect groove is a framework of technical and harmonic mechanics.
In this edition of Bass Mechanics, Andy Irvine shows you how to construct and play 12 of what he considers to be the most versatile and crucial grooves that you must have full command of to succeed on stage or in the studio. We’re very proud to welcome Andy to the family with his first TrueFire course, Bass Mechanics: Crucial Groove.
Andy is an internationally known bassist, author, educator and band leader. His playing is recognized by driving bass grooves, a huge tone, ferocious soloing, diverse song writing and producing skills. Andy has been featured in UK’s Bass Guitar Magazine, Top Bass Magazine and Bass Player Magazine who heralds Andy as a “soloist sensation.”
Andy organized his Bass Mechanics curriculum into two sections. In the first section, Andy guides you through 12 crucial concepts and techniques designed to help you develop a well-rounded playing vocabulary for the stage, studio, and creative process: Palm Muting, Soft Touch, Note Duration, Adding Expression & Emotion, The Dog House Technique, Dead Notes, Double Thumb Technique, Leaving Space: Using Restraint, Slap Bass Basics, Glissando Approaches, The Funky Grease, and Vocalizing Your Bass Lines.
In the second section, Andy guides you through 12 Groove Applications, organized into 7 groups, where you’ll dive into practical applications of all the techniques and concepts discussed and demonstrated in the first section of the course. All of the Groove Applications are demonstrated over rhythm tracks, which Andy recorded with his band so that you can explore a variety of crucial grooves, song styles, and bass line characteristics.
GROUP 1: The Round Soul Tones – The Funky Boogaloo, Rumba and The Jump Shuffle. ”In this group, I’ll describe and demonstrate three examples of grooves and styles which I use often. They each offer a warm full foundation and groove bedrock to any track. Producers love them, and they go “to tape” perfectly, supporting the pulse and sonic space where the bass effectively drives the song.”
GROUP 2: Soft Touch & Note Duration – Slow Blues & Soul Ballad. ”In this group, I’ll demonstrate and describe two highly functional methods of playing harmonically supportive bass lines which also fill in the track with longer notes and introduce tasteful melodic counter melody.”
GROUP 3: Fingerstyle – Slow Finger Funk & Funky Fingerstyle, and Fast Finger Funk/Bubbling. ”In this group, I’ll demonstrate and describe my own approach to funky right hand muting as well as the use of dead notes, muting, and the necessary left hand techniques to create a bouncy percussive groove. We’ll be working at both medium and fast tempos.”
GROUP 4: Box Pattern Blues – The Chicago Shuffle. ”Here, I’ll describe and demonstrate methods of deliberately establishing time and feel with aggressive right hand finger style playing.”
GROUP 5: Funk Era Bass – Old School Octave Fingers and Super Fly Slap. ”In this section, we’ll explore different styles of slap bass, from old school methods to the more modern approaches for soloing.
GROUP 6: Double Thumb Picking – Driving Rock Groove – Double Thumb Groove. ”I’ll give a description and example of my double thumb picking technique, which emulates the attack and driving force of playing with a pick.”
GROUP 7: The Country Train – Bouncing Double Time. ”I’ll describe and demonstrate the driving 2 beat feel that supports typical country train grooves and up tempo chicken pickin’ song styles.”
Andy demonstrates over rhythm tracks and then breaks all of the Groove Applications down by stepping you through the key concepts, techniques and creative approaches that he used to perform the bass parts he demonstrates.
All of the performances are tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. You’ll also get Guitar Pro files so that you can play, loop and/or slow down the tab and notation as you work through the lessons. Plus, Andy generously includes all of the rhythm tracks for you to work with on your own.
Grab your bass and lets get into a few crucial grooves with Andy Irvine!
Bass Mechanics: crucial groove with Andy Irvine
Truefire courses speak for themselves. The standard is always high, the production is great and the software is impressive. Bass players, however, are generally left with their noses pressed against the glass looking at the range of choice that guitarists have been afforded. This seems to be changing at the TFHQ recently though. With recent acquisitions tutor-wise, TrueFire will soon pop up on your online, bass-tutorial-website radar if it hasn’t already. The above accolades all apply to one of the newest release in their bass artillery ‘Bass Mechanics: Crucial Groove’ with Andy Irvine of Warwick/ YouTube fame.
What does it boast?
The course is aimed at intermediate players and promises to help you hone your ability to groove, regardless of the style you play. It offers to guide you through twelve “crucial” concepts and techniques that will help you build a diverse vocabulary to use when playing with others. The course is divided into two sections. First, the areas being focused on, e.g. palm muting, double thumbing, ghost notes, slapping, glissando, the list goes on. The second boasts twelve applications for you to put these techniques into real music and, hopefully, get them under your fingers. There is the usual addition of music notation, tablature and backing tracks. This is standard with TrueFire courses.
Does it deliver?
This course really does what it says on the tin and more. Andy delivers a really personable course with solid, enjoyable lessons, clear instruction and lots of personality. He never gets too technical, which is ideal for the intermediate player. You shouldn’t have to worry about rewinding (do people still say rewind in this day and age?) to follow the lessons. There is a little terminology but it’s all quite easy to follow. The techniques are all very useful and there’s a nice range of them. The funky slapping and double thumbing sections are sure to be more popular than the likes of ‘leaving space’ and ‘using restraint’ but any seasoned player will tell you that these are areas that most players don’t pay enough attention to. I’m happy to recommend this course to any intermediate (or thereabouts) players. Special tip, when viewed with the app (Windows, Mac or iOS), this course becomes a thoroughly enjoyable, seamless experience. You’ll have the video lessons, music notation/ tab and backing tracks all in the same screen – no need to fumble back and forth through computer files. Also, this course can be streamed via the TF website, downloaded to your computer or via the app, which makes for easy repeat viewing on your daily commute via iPad. It’s a thumbs up for me.Your Review