That Riff in Spain [Video]

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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:

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