Talking Technique: Black Velvet – Nail That Fill

“Black Velvet,” if you please! Alannah Myles’ iconic tune features a fill that is pretty challenging. Originally played with synth bass, we might be tasked to play that line.

What flows nicely on the keys makes for a lot of string crossing. Inspired by this fill, I created a few exercises that are great finger strengtheners as well as target practice for the left and right.

Can you keep a calm hand while playing this fill and its variations? We are in the world of Dorian and a lot of fourths are involved!

Download the PDF for this episode and follow along with the video:

Backing Tracks:

Abmin / 92 BPM:

Cmin / 75 BPM:

Cmin / 92 BPM:

Austrian-gone-Californian Ariane Cap is a bassist, educator, blogger and author. In her book Music Theory for the Bass Player and corresponding 20-week online course, she teaches music theory, bass technique, bass line creation and fretboard fitness in a systematic, practical and experiential way. She just released a brand new course on ear training for the bass player: Ear Confidence - 6 Paths to Fearless Ears. Contact her via her blog or website.

Get Talking Technique in your inbox.

Don’t miss an episode of Talking Technique. Sign up for email alerts (about once a month).

Leave a Reply to David Desmond Cancel reply

  1. David Desmond

    Ariane Cap is great and she is playing the right notes but if you listen to the record it sounds like a fretless bass so the tone is not on target. Still a very good lesson and I always liked the song and a cool bass lick .I had heard original recording was done on a synth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT4d1LQy4es

    • bassflower

      Cheers David, check out what I say at 0:36 seconds in.
      My series is “Talking Technique” not how to originally re-produce the tone (unless that is technique related, which it often is). Just a different topic. This would totally work on fretless to emulate the tone more, but I was interested in the technical aspects of the fill and how to practice it.
      Thanks for commenting and approving of the lesson regardless :)
      Ari

  2. Israel Cedeno

    Black Velvet was not recorded with Synth Bass …. Very wrong .. it was recorded on a Fretless Bass … listen carefully… it sounds like a Synth Bass … But is not …

  3. Lenny Mo

    Thanks ARI, you are such a monster on bass.

  4. Greg

    I worked this out and played it on my AE bass, it sounded good and I didn’t like continuously tuning my go to down to transcribe and/or play. I never considered my fretless (no clue why) as David Desmond suggest, would have been gorgeous. 1st world problems have me down to 4 from 1. Absolutely great bass line stomping on you.