Fretless Bass Cover: Dance With Me, by Peter Brown

I was searching on YouTube for songs from the 1970s that were good for playing on bass. That’s an era where orchestras had job security, hi-hat manufactureres could barely keep up, and the bass reigned supreme.

Almost like throwing a dart while blindfolded, I found this song. “Dance With Me” by Peter Brown is a good song to cover, because the bass is so prominent. The bass player cannot hide. Plus, I think it’s funky azz stuff.

Here’s the video, and below are some production notes and a word to critics. To everyone who doesn’t go below the video, and that’s cool, thank you for watching!

This is not a song that I have played previously at any time in the past. In the span of about 30 minutes, I heard the song, picked up the bass, figured out the song by ear, ran through it a handful of times. Made mental notes of special one-off flourishes that happen. Shot a dozen videos or so, until I got this one.

I’m playing an Ibanez GWB35 5-string fretless bass, through a Fender Rumble 40. Direct line out, to the BOSS BR-800 interface, and into the Windows 10 machine with REAPER as the DAW.

I’m using BOSS WL-20 wireless pods. At one point in the song, the bass loses volume for a few measures. I suspect that some interference with the pods may have caused this.

I learned the song and made the video within the course of 30 minutes. Because of this speed, I had not yet perfected my hand positions on the fretless bass.

The fretless bass requires precision because you put your fingers where the frets should be. You can slide around a little to adjust. That’s easier to do with a song that I know better.

There are a few spots where there are plucks, and they are a bit louder than the other parts. I need to work on that, as I’ve not yet added plucks to my rehearsal schedule. It’s there now.

There are also some notes that are either sharp or [mostly] flat. That’s due to only spending a short time with the song and probably being a bit tired from working on the song so much.

It is not perfect. Nowhere close, and I know what’s wrong with it. If I wanted it perfect, then I would have spent a few more days with it and done several takes in video before I got one that was absolutel spot-on.

I wasn’t shooting for that. Music these days is too perfect. I want to allow some imperfections into my playing on things like this. This isn’t about trying to win a contest, or impress anyone, or to win bragging rights.

It’s about fun. It was also a personal challenge.

People have forgotten how to have fun. Try to remember. You’ll be glad you did.

Relax and have fun.

Published by DrumWild

Writing about drums, music, and philosophy.

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