What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

DVD's, Books, Websites, Music Courses etc - Anything to help learn
MesaMan
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:06 pm
Skype Address: doubleflatwhite
Bands / Groups: Madlight, Fragile, Urban Heat, Suspended Animation, Tackleboxxx.
Most recent and current band is: Lounge Act
Location: Upper Hutt, Wellington
Contact:

What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by MesaMan » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:39 am

Hi fellow Bassplayers,
Driving home yesterday listening to some original music I started thinking about some of the more challenging musical pieces I've learned over the years.
I'm keen to hear what other people have found challenging and why. I think it should provide interesting reading for all.

I have a passion for rock music so most of my learning has been around that but for a couple of year I played in a covers band doing soul/funk stuff. Everything I learned was done from either cassette tapes or MP3's. During that time I had the pleasure of learning Kid Charlemagne by Steely Dan which I found challenging. But one of the most challenging would have to be What is Hip? by Tower of Power - what a fantastic piece of music. Its years since I played it but I'm going to 're-learn' it as a practice exercise. One of the most satisfying pieces I learned was Rio De Janeiro Blue by Randy Crawford.

What have you all found challenging/most satisfying to play?
ChrisE
Mesa Impulse 600, 2x12, 1x15 and 4x10 Powerhouse cabinets, ESP Horizon Custom 5 string, Warwick Limited Edition FNA Jazzman 5 string, Ibanez SDGR 4 string, Fender American Jazz Deluxe 5...and now a Mesa Strategy Eight:88

User avatar
pins
Gold Member
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:43 pm
Bands / Groups: Naked Gun (Covers),still just filling in on bass after 26 years.
Butt Scratch (Bus Crash) originals band.
Location: Napier

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by pins » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:19 am

Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder.
I am not as skilled as some here and certainly not the fastest player by any means,but I found this song to be a real challenge and really enjoyed learning it.
It also gave me a huge boost of renewed enthusiasm which was really lacking at that point of my career.
Must have a look at the songs you mentioned.

User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by Mr Bass Man » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:59 pm

pins wrote:Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder.
I am not as skilled as some here and certainly not the fastest player by any means,but I found this song to be a real challenge and really enjoyed learning it.
It also gave me a huge boost of renewed enthusiasm which was really lacking at that point of my career.
Must have a look at the songs you mentioned.
x2 - My band decided we were going to learn that track and it was very hard to learn, but I did it...... we rehearsed it but never did play it live.....

Phantom of the Opera by Iron Maiden was another hard one to try and learn.... most Maidens stuff is - Steve Harris is a phenominal bass player!
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

User avatar
pins
Gold Member
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:43 pm
Bands / Groups: Naked Gun (Covers),still just filling in on bass after 26 years.
Butt Scratch (Bus Crash) originals band.
Location: Napier

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by pins » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:12 pm

Mr Bass Man wrote:x2 - My band decided we were going to learn that track and it was very hard to learn, but I did it...... we rehearsed it but never did play it live.....
Ha ha ! yes,yes....as a fellow covers player you and I can relate to that I'm sure,there must be hundreds of songs by now I have learnt,rehearsed with the band but never played live as well :? what gives with that ?

foal30
Gold Member
Posts: 1746
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:36 pm
MySpace Page: myspace is owned by Lucifer himself
Bands / Groups: Pony Jones
Location: Chch

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by foal30 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:53 pm

I'd say "What is Hip" is challenging in a "technical" sense, as opposed to a "musical" one.

If 16th notes are Musically good sense for you then it's just repetitive practice to build the speed level.
Slave to the Rhythm Changes

User avatar
john
Gold Member
Posts: 2307
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: wellington

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by john » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:54 am

I had a lot of trouble with "where the streets have no name" by U2

User avatar
joppo
Moderator
Posts: 714
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:11 pm
Location: Dunedin

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by joppo » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:20 am

Most challenging? Whatever I'm learning now :lol:

Most rewarding? Probably It's my life by Talk Talk and The man who sold the world by Bowie. Both were songs I worked really hard on when I started playing bass. I could play the notes a long time before I got the feel.

User avatar
Harley
Gold Member
Posts: 373
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:54 pm
Location: Christchurch, N.Z.

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by Harley » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:32 pm

One I have struggled with for over 30 years and still can't nail right is the start of Bowie's Jean Jeanie - 4 sets of triplets, you think I;d be able to play those after all that time, but no, I stuff the timing up every single time! :oops: The rest of the song which has much more complicated bass, I nail bang on. Go figure!

Challenging songs - Nikita and Lady in red. Mind bogglers. Also Footloose and Walk this way.
Retired authorised builder of Bill Fitzmaurice Design Speaker cabs for New Zealand - http://www.billfitzmaurice.info

MesaMan
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:06 pm
Skype Address: doubleflatwhite
Bands / Groups: Madlight, Fragile, Urban Heat, Suspended Animation, Tackleboxxx.
Most recent and current band is: Lounge Act
Location: Upper Hutt, Wellington
Contact:

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by MesaMan » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:07 pm

pins wrote:Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder.
I am not as skilled as some here and certainly not the fastest player by any means,but I found this song to be a real challenge and really enjoyed learning it.
It also gave me a huge boost of renewed enthusiasm which was really lacking at that point of my career.
Must have a look at the songs you mentioned.
Just listened to this. I see what you mean and a very nice piece.
ChrisE
Mesa Impulse 600, 2x12, 1x15 and 4x10 Powerhouse cabinets, ESP Horizon Custom 5 string, Warwick Limited Edition FNA Jazzman 5 string, Ibanez SDGR 4 string, Fender American Jazz Deluxe 5...and now a Mesa Strategy Eight:88

foal30
Gold Member
Posts: 1746
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:36 pm
MySpace Page: myspace is owned by Lucifer himself
Bands / Groups: Pony Jones
Location: Chch

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by foal30 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:47 pm

Giant Steps - there is no other piece of music I've attempted that has it's form.

All The Things You Are - great chord progression, difficult to play well and do justice to what is a beautiful piece of music.

Get Up (I feel like being a Sex Machine) - 16th note finger twister. Key does no favors either.

Aint No Stopping Us Now - both the greasy slide and the use of the E natural

Aint Nothing Like the Real Thing - Bridge trips me up plus the 2/4 bar
Slave to the Rhythm Changes

User avatar
Mr Bass Man
Silver Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:10 pm
Bands / Groups: splt-second top Auckland covers band
Location: North Shore, Auckland
Contact:

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by Mr Bass Man » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:21 am

john wrote:I had a lot of trouble with "where the streets have no name" by U2
I don’t find U2 stuff that hard to learn, but that track requires using a pick and playing the notes very fast, and I prefer to use my fingers
Actually "New Years Day" from U2 was one of the first things I learnt on the bass (self taught)

I've been listening to a bit of Iron Maiden and Rush recently - damn I'd hate to have to learn some of that stuff.... would be nearly impossible to play!
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

User avatar
john
Gold Member
Posts: 2307
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: wellington

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by john » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:18 pm

It wasn't the pace that I found hard I just always messed up the changes and I'm not really sure why, because it is such a simple structure.

User avatar
pins
Gold Member
Posts: 810
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:43 pm
Bands / Groups: Naked Gun (Covers),still just filling in on bass after 26 years.
Butt Scratch (Bus Crash) originals band.
Location: Napier

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by pins » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:04 pm

Just had a listen to some songs mentioned...this sticks out for notes played "What is Hip by Tower of Power" cool 8) ,dig the bass line .... but jeeze..... I think my fingers would melt before the song ended :lol:

foal30
Gold Member
Posts: 1746
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:36 pm
MySpace Page: myspace is owned by Lucifer himself
Bands / Groups: Pony Jones
Location: Chch

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by foal30 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:11 pm

[quote="Mr Bass Man"][quote="john"]I had a lot of trouble with "where the streets have no name" by U2[/quote]

I don’t find U2 stuff that hard to learn, but that track requires using a pick and playing the notes very fast, and I prefer to use my fingers
Actually "New Years Day" from U2 was one of the first things I learnt on the bass (self taught)

I've been listening to a bit of Iron Maiden and Rush recently - damn I'd hate to have to learn some of that stuff.... would be nearly impossible to play![/quote]

see I read John's line as a pisstake
It's funny how different readers get a different message eh.
Slave to the Rhythm Changes

User avatar
john
Gold Member
Posts: 2307
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 5:10 pm
Location: wellington

Re: What is the most challenging piece you've had to learn

Post by john » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:18 pm

Yeah I did mention that one because it is an odd one to find hard. I sometimes get lost on simple 12 bar blues tunes too :oops: But I am generally pretty good with complicated structures

Post Reply