Groove Of The Week #21: Maxwell – ‘Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)’

This edition of Groove Of The Week focuses on the power of simplicity. The bassline that anchors Maxwell’s smooth soul ballad ‘Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)’ contains only 5 different pitches and is largely played on a single string, yet it still provides the song with a powerful hook.

Jonathan Maron has already been featured in the Groove Of The Week series, but his smooth groove on ‘Ascension’ stands in stark contrast to his busy 16th note line that propels Groove Collective’s ‘Everything Is Changing’:

GOTW Ascension Don t Ever Wonder copy

Playing the line on a single string rather than staying in one position keeps things sounding even, as we don’t encounter the tonal change that occurs when changing between strings. As always, pay close attention to the grace notes and staccato markings in the transcription as these will help to keep the line smooth and swinging.

Groove Of The Week #10: Groove Collective – ‘Everything Is Changing’

For our 10th week of groove we’re investigating Jonathan Maron’s amazing bass line on Groove Collective’s ‘Everything Is Changing’. If you’re not familiar with Jonathan’s playing then this is a great introduction to his propulsive playing style (you can check out his extensive discography here).

The line outlines an E minor tonality, focusing predominantly on the E minor pentatonic scale with the addition of the 9th (F#) to add some colour to the part. This groove can be quite challenging to play at tempo if you’re not used to raking the strings with your right hand (playing consecutive notes on adjacent strings with the same right hand finger rather than strictly alternating) so start off slow and focus on getting every note in the part to ‘speak’ clearly.

Groove Collective - Everything Is Changing copy

Got A Groove Request? Let Me Know!

If there’s a bass line that you love but have never got round to learning then let me know by commenting on this post – it could be a classic groove or a song that you feel deserves wider recognition from the bass playing world.