This song is a traditional folk tune from Gotland, Sweden. Eva and I started playing it as a duo on our trip to Brazil back in 2015. We wanted to bring some examples of traditional Swedish folk music on our trip. To make it work in a ubass and vocals setting I played the bass part through a delay pedal. I thought the extra rhythmic motion we got using this technique really helped us capture and deliver the haunting melody in a great way. I use a combination of arpeggios, chords and regular bass lines in my bass part.
In the trio version Daniel Björnmo adds an extra layer of color with his world class guitar playing. The added grit with close cluster like harmony through distortion pedals makes the song even more ethereal and haunting, I think. The ubass have some added modulation and octave up effects blended together with the delay.
This is a live in studio recording but we also added some percussion parts. I played some suspended cymbal swells.
You can also hear what we call ”the submersed gong”. This is a gong gong that we recorded as it is put under water after it is played. This bends the sound in a very nice way. I first heard this on records and live with one of my musician heroes, Indian percussionist, Trilok Gurtu.
We really hope you will enjoy our version of this Swedish’s folk song!
For the best listening experience please listen to this song with good headphones or speakers that can reproduce a wide frequency spectrum!
This is a little tribute to one of my musical heroes: Mr Steve Swallow. I have listened to his Music for quite some time and have always admired his unique approach to playing bass. In my version I play fingerstyle although Mr Swallow uses a pick. One of his most famous compositions are Falling Grace. You can find out more about him here!
There are videos on youtube with bass players playing solos performed by Swallow but not many (if any) playing one of his chord-bass parts. This one is transcribed from a John Scofield Trio version of the evergreen ”Someone to watch over me” (George and Ira Gershwin) from the musical ”Oh, Kay!”.
I heard this performance last year and decided to transcribe the part when he comps behind John Scofield during the the melody. I wanted to explore the voicings he used with his 5-sting bass tuned EADGC.
In the video I’m using my Kala California Custom Flame Maple solid body ubass. One of the first made using the ”exotic tops” back in 2012-2013. Please check out the new updated ones!
I decided to add the melody singing the Frank Sinatra version of the lyrics. I got some nice help with a great brushes and cymbals part too.
Magnus Sjöquist, kala solid body ubass (EADGC-tuning) and vocals
Mats Nyström, brushes and cymbals
I’m working on more ebooks in my Learn to play the ubass series and one of these will focus on playing chords on a ubass/bass.
The ubass was recorded through my RMI Basswitch IQ/DI and then re-amped using a Radial X-amp. Se pic below. I used a combination of mics to capture the sound of the Phil Jones Double Four combo amp. Read more about the amp in my review.
D minor 7 chord
Please check out my review of the PJB Double Four!
Mats Nyström, brushes and cymbals
Carla Bley, Daniel Björnmo, Steve Swallow and me Sweden, 2009
Still from video
Re-amping my Phil Jones Bass Double Four
Steve Swallow and Billy Drummond live in Sweden 2009
Its Christmas and time to release the third track from the first ”Speaking UBass” album!
This time it’s a track that I started working on quite sometime back! I have always loved the classic song from The Wizard of Oz, ”Over The Rainbow”. I love to sing it and thought I should do something with my voice and the ubass. I decided to start with the lesser known verse and wrote a ubass chord arrangement using mostly arpeggios but also some ”regular” chords. Playing this in tune was quite a challenge and took a while to learn and record.
Anyway, I hope you have a great Holiday and that you will enjoy my ubass version of this classic song!
In the end of May 2015 I did my first ever trip to Brazil! I have been listening to Brazilian music since the early 90’s and have played Brazilian music for quite some time too. See previous posts with a Brazilian content: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 | Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 7 |
Finally being able to travel to Brazil was a very big thing for me!
The main reason for this trip was to visit schools and find out ways to set up some kind of exchange program between the school where I work in Sweden and schools in the capital city of Brazil, Brasilia.
I had a really busy travel plan with several visits booked for almost everyday of the eight-day trip. These visits were to different schools with arts and music focus. I’ll try to write more about this later. We’ll see what happens with these ”might-be” exchanges. It’s interesting to see how it unfolds and evolves.
Besides these visits I also got to play some Music! With me on this trip was my colleague, Eva Stenström. We had prepared some songs we could perform on only bass and vocals. To make the travel easy I brought my spruce Kala Ubass and the new Phil Jones Bass ”Double Four” amp I just bought just before the trip. Traveling with this setup was very nice and I was able to get both the UBass and the amp into the cabin of each flight we did.
Me and Eva did a few workshops involving playing, different vocal techniques and I also did a short live looping workshop featuring the TC Electronic Ditto looper. If someone is interested in knowing more about live looping with the ubass (and other instruments) please let me know and I could make a series of posts on the subject! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org [Older post featuring Ubass and the ditto looper!]
We met a lot of really great musicians and teachers and students at all three schools we visited. A very big thanks for taking such good care of us. Extra big thanks to: Lucas at Escola de Musica, Henrique at Escola de Choro, Antenor and Alexei at University of Brasilia, William and Barbara for giving us a great tour of Brasilia!
Besides playing as a duo we also got joined bit different Brazilian musicians and also got the change to sit in on a concert and also do a ”club” gig with two great Brazilian musicians that will come to Sweden this fall. I hope we will be able make some more music together. Stay tuned!
There isn’t that many recorded videos from this trip but I will let you hear some music bits and pieces. See this video! There is also a gallery of photos from our workshops, concerts and some scenic ones too!
It was a great trip with lots of interesting meets with universal language of music as a great common ground! Thanks to everyone that made our first trip so fantastic!
Some links you check out!
Lucas de Campos, guitarist and professor at Escola de Musica One of his projects (Text in Portuguese)
A couple of weeks ago I did a so called pechakucha. Don’t know what it is? Well, it’s a kind of lecture that architects in Japan started using in 2003. You tell a story about a subject using 20 pictures/slides. You’re allowed to talk for 20 seconds per picture. This makes the presentations nice and short!
I was invited to do a presentation on the first pechakucha night in Vasteras (…yes it’s almost the same name as in Game of thrones but spelled with an a with a two dots and an a with a ring 🙂
I wanted to tell my playubass story with this headline; Social branding in the music business. A short presentation of my background and how I’ve used social media to tell my story and interact with other musicians and ubassists across the globe!
Swedish TV did a short interview/segment with me for the news channel with and you can see this below. Since this is in Swedish I have made English ”subtitles”. Please use the caption feature in YouTube to see this!