Bass icon Thundercat broke down his favourite bass lines for Pitchfork including D’Angelo’s Lady and Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon.
Who better to talk about bass lines and why they’re awesome than an awesome bass line creator like Thundercat? The musician sat down with Pitchfork as part of their Under The Influences series and discussed their genius.
Once you choose the bass then it’s like the bass chooses you. The bass plays the role somewhere between melodic and harmonic and rhythmic. When you think of rhythm you think of drums. And you think about harmonic and melodic you think of piano. But it’s the in between of that and it creates a bit of its own rhythm and it carries its own melody. If you know a bit about it then it becomes a lot of harmony.Thundercat on the function of the bass
Featured bass lines
- D’Angelo – Lady
- The System – You Are in My System
- Bernard Wright – Haboglabotribin
- Cream – Sunshine of Your Love
- Graham Central Station – Hair
- Herbie Hancock – Chameleon
- Jaco Pastorius – Portrait of Tracy
It’s been a dream of mine to learn bass so I love videos like this. Thundercat is one of my favourite bassists (and my #1 is in the list above—leave a guess in the comments)
Stream it below.