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Bass Transcription: Dominique di Piazza’s Bass Solo on John McLaughlin’s “Belo Horizonte”

Dominique di Piazza

This month, the transcription is dedicated to French bass virtuoso Dominique di Piazza.

I think Dominique deserves more recognition in the bass world. Ask any bassist today – Hadrien Feraud, Matthew Garrison, Adam Nitti, and many more – and they will swear that di Piazza has had a profound influence on their bass playing.

His solo piece “Marie,” has opened a new door for a new generation of bass players who look for a different approach to the instrument. It’s like the “Portrait of Tracy” of the ’90s.

Musical Analysis

In the first part of the solo (the A and B sections in 3/4), di Piazza uses a lot of diatonic material, resolving in the third of the chord as a chord tone. He also uses the harmonic minor scale and the 3-♭9 resolution that we found in the bebop era. For the dominant chords, he often he uses some diminished arpeggios with the ♯9, ♭9, and ♯5 as tensions for his lines.

Letter C turns to 4/4. In this long E mixolydian section, he uses the E half step/whole step diminished scale mixed with the E mixolydian scale. He plays some superimposed arpeggios over E, like D♭, B♭ (♭9), G (♭9), and E (♭9), which are all from the diminished scale a little bit like Jaco Pastorius’s “Opus Pocus”.

Definitely, Di Piazza is one of the greatest.

Follow along with the transcription and the video below.

Marcelo Cordova is an electric and acoustic bass player from Chile. He has released five solo albums. Check out his website, where you can download his transcriptions and listen his music. Marcelo endorsers EBS amps and play Pavel Basses.

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