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Slap Bass & Beyond


By Ray Riendeau
As Recorded On Arrhythmia

"Sunyata" is a swinging, uptempo "head" that was recorded on my 4th solo project, Arrhythmia. The chord changes are based upon those found in "Countdown," the classic jazz standard by John Coltrane. "Sunyata" was composed utilizing slap arpeggio techniques, and it really came to life when saxophonist Ted Belledin and I created a counterpoint melody to be played alongside the slapped bass melody.

To play "Sunyata," you will need a 5-string bass that is tuned E-A-D-G-C. All of the necessary articulations have been outlined in the transcription. Before beginning on "Sunyata," I would recommend reviewing my lesson on slap arpeggios in order to help you develop the slap arpeggio techniques required to play this composition.

After a short introduction, this transcription begins at nine seconds into the track. Since you will be mostly outlining chord structures, make sure you know which chord you are playing over. This will help you navigate through the composition. "Sunyata" is a very challenging piece of music to play correctly so work through it slowly, maintain a steady swing feel throughout, and always try to remain aware of muting considerations.

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© 2006 Ray Riendeau/The IIB