That Riff in Spain [Video]

Chick Corea’s Spain and the tough Riff…

I collect challenging bass lines by way of asking for them in bass groups: What tune is technically hard for you? One that is requested over and over is the iconic riff in “Spain” by Chick Corea. And I’m happy to oblige in this Talking Technique.

My hope is that you don’t just view this episode as a “how-to-play-that-line” tutorial but rather as something much more useful: a tutorial on how to get a challenging rhythm under your fingers, and to do so with precision. In this tutorial I give you several ideas on how to approach such a line. And of course there are plenty of technique tips for the challenging string-crossing maneuvers in Spain.

I take you through the elements of the riff – shining a light on how hidden repetitions create some of that awesome coolness factor. I break it down into bite-sized segments, note by note, at full tempo and then slowed down to allow you to catch all the nuances. Before long, you are ready to put it all together and have some fun with it!

Included is a PDF transcription to help you navigate the riff.

Watch here:

Here are a few related posts to check out:

Sweet Emotion Intro Lick

Shedding the “Thunder” AC-DC Style!

Alberti Bass

Learn Technique in our Flagship Course – Music Theory for the Bass Player

New Year – New Cohort!


New Year – New Cohort!

Is Improving Your Bass Playing on Your To-do List for 2021?

If you have dropped off online courses before, you may be an excellent candidate for peer support, accountability and coaching!

Don’t take it from me…. listen to what 2020 graduates are saying…

Check out our New Year’s Cohort

My Cohort takes you through my highly successful and effective “Music Theory for the Bass Player” online course with the additional layer of support and accountability that can make all the difference:

Coach Support

Participants are assigned a coach who will provide encouragement every step of the way: If you are struggling with an issue with the recording process, they will help you figure it out. If you are having difficulty with a particular exercise, they will help you work it out. If you are late with an assignment, they will send you a reminder to help keep you on track.


The Cohort is designed to challenge you but you are in charge. If you reserve 45 minutes/day, five days/week, you can do it. Assignments include posting short videos of yourself performing chosen exercises. By posting publicly (every other week), we’ve found it results in you taking practicing more seriously.


Recording yourself has proven to be an incredibly powerful tool in the learning process. As you progress through the course, you will find yourself identifying areas of opportunity as well as reinforcing areas of strength in your playing.

Community of Peers

Your assigned coach (and other participants) will view and provide positive and encouraging feedback on these video submissions.

Learning is more fun with a group and coach support!

My name is Fred and I have been the head coach of the Cohorts since 2019. My experience coaching two cohorts has been that participants really benefit by learning with a buddy group- and it’s so much easier to stay on track when you have a dedicated coach in your corner cheering you on! So many of our graduates have told me that they never would have completed the course without the coach and peer support, and regular assignments.

Personally, I have been through the course (twice) and it has plugged so many “holes” in my playing as a result of being mostly self-taught. I am so much more comfortable moving around the fretboard; my technique is vastly improved; and my “ears” are so much better now that I am recognizing familiar progressions based on the diatonic cycle much more easily.

I put together this video to give bass players like yourself an overview of our Cohort. It features the candid commentary and feedback from four of our most recent Cohort graduates. So, take a listen, see if this Cohort thing is right for you. But do hurry, the Cohort starts on January 15th, and only a few seats remain! 

Sign up here  (We recommend the Accountability tier)

More information about the Cohort

More information about the (self-study) online Course

In Their Own Words (Cohort Graduates Reflect on Their Experience)

Related Cohort Videos:

2020 Cohort Coaches’ Medley

2020 Cohort Participants’ Group Jam