Thursday, July 21, 2005

I Got Rhythm! 

Looks simple, doesn’t it? But those few dots have had me baffled for days. Walking around, distractedly humming the tune of the song whilst my fingers search out but repeatedly fail to tap the rhythm of the accompanying bass line.

It’s from Jesus Christ Superstar. A local group is putting on an amateur production later this year and I’ll be playing bass guitar in the band. Hiring the score for these shows is expensive, so the musicians wont be getting the music until a few weeks before the show; for now I make do with playing along to the CD, picking out the bass line as best I can.

This song, The Temple, is tricky. It’s in 7/4 time and in this section the bass plays a fast syncopated beat against the pounding drive of the vocal line. It skips around on its own, sometimes ahead, sometimes behind what the singers are doing, but the details are hidden under the dense mass of sound. So when I finally figured out what it was doing and could write it down, I was distinctly pleased with myself. I’ll still be walking around humming distractedly, but now the fingers will be determinedly tapping their own rhythm.

Of course, having figured it out, it now looks easy and obvious. Ain’t that always the way?

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