This sequence comes from Muse‘s song Hysteria from their 3rd album, Absolution. Big thanks to Bass Trombone BEAST Brian Hecht for requesting this tune.
Talent and Self Belief
I don’t believe in talent. The idea of Talent conflicts with my world view that refined skills and high achievement are a result of enough time, proper training, and deliberate practice. Some people call this a growth mindset, but no matter what you call it, the belief in your ability to grow is essential for anyone with big dreams that are currently slightly out of reach.
With that said, the level of skill on display in the band Muse is SO HIGH that there has to be some degree of talent involved. Every time I listen to this band, I have to remind myself that there are ONLY THREE MUSICIANS making all of that sound.
When I saw these guys play at Coachella 2010, and I was blown away by Matt Bellamy’s ability to effortlessly belt out the challenging vocal lines while shredding on guitar. The level of skill and multitasking on display is astounding to a simple brass player like me.
Although that level of skill SEEMS out of reach, witnessing someone execute with such fluency gives me faith that I can learn to master my craft as well. If he can, YOU AND I CAN TOO.
This sequence is the intricate bass line that opens up the song. The bass line takes many forms over the course of the tune, but I focused on the solo opening.
Interval jumping between strings is easy on a string bass but provides a great challenge for brass players. Strive to bring out the melodic line in the upper voice as you bounce between melody and the pedal note.
If you are running out of air, replace the 2nd 16th note of bars 2, 3, and 4 with a breath to give yourself a good sound opportunity on the rest of the notes.
Take some time to play this sequence SLOWLY to give your ears, fingers and/or slide arm a chance to really hear and feel these notes. The marked tempo will only be possible if you take the time to lay a foundation at lower speeds.
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