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"Purple Haze"

By Michael Manring
As Recorded On Drastic Measures
Transcribed By Cliff Engel

Since the early 1980's, Michael Manring has completely redefined the role of bass guitar as a solo instrument. During his pioneering performances on unaccompanied bass guitar, Manring has seamlessly merged all of the contemporary bass techniques including traditional fingerstyle playing, slapping, plucking, chord strumming, and two-handed tapping techniques on fretted and fretless instruments with groundbreaking utilization of altered tunings and unparalleled use of the EBow.

Manring's six recordings as a solo artist, Unusual Weather, Toward The Center Of The Night, Drastic Measures, Thonk, The Book Of Flame, and Soliloquy, have earned him international critical acclaim from both music critics and listeners alike. Even though solo projects released by bassists have been traditionally regarded as music strictly targeted for bass enthusiasts, Manring's recordings have consistently captivated audiences with their compositional depth and beauty.

In 1991, Manring released, Drastic Measures, his third recording as a leader. This is a complete transcription of Manring's solo arrangement of "Purple Haze" as recorded on Drastic Measures.

Although this transcription features tablature to indicate the positions on the fingerboard where the notes are to be played and most of the articulation markings such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides, I would like to include a few additional comments to guide you through the performance of this solo bass arrangement. This transcription has been notated using two bass clefs along with two associated tablature staves. The notes in the top bass clef are to be played one octave higher than indicated.

"Purple Haze" requires the use of a variety of techniques including slapping, plucking, and two-handed tapping. With the exceptions of sections B and F along with a few other measures in the transcription, the notes located in the top bass clef are to be tapped with the traditional picking hand, and the lines notated in the bottom bass clef will be tapped with the standard fretting hand. In the bottom bass clef of sections B and F, the double-stop containing notes D and G is tapped at the twenty-second fret on the E and A strings with the first and second fingers of the picking hand while the melody is tapped simultaneously with the fretting hand.

The octaves starting on beat three of measures 24, 37, and 66 are produced by plucking the A and G strings with the thumb and index fingers, respectively. In measures 25, 38, and 67, the open G-string on beats two and four is sounded with the fourth finger of the fretting hand by quickly pulling the string away from the fingerboard and releasing it after fretting the D at the twelfth fret of the D-string.

The extended slides sounded in measure 33 are performed by crossing the picking hand over the fretting hand. First, the fretting hand slides up the E-string starting on the third beat. As the fretting hand ascends, the picking hand crosses over, and as soon as the fretting hand completes the slide, the picking hand taps the G at the third fret and slides up the E-string.

The power chords heard on the second and fourth beats of measures 47 and 49 are sounded by striking all four strings towards the end of the fingerboard with a flattened middle finger. In measures 48 and 50, the fretting hand taps the power chords that are notated in the top bass clef on the A, D, and G strings while the picking hand crosses over and taps on the E-string. The power chord in the final measure is articulated by simply strumming downward across all four strings with the thumb.


"Purple Haze" (2001)







This lesson has been excerpted from Contemporary Techniques - The Basics And Beyond For Bass Guitar. If you would like to learn more about solo bass guitar, ENROLL TODAY!

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© 2014 Cliff Engel