Download the FREE TAB, notation and backing track here:

For this “Bass Riff of the Week” I wanted to cover a basic riff, but spice it up by giving it a 6 over 4 feel. Essentially this means although the riff itself isn’t overly complex or tough to play, getting the timing and feel correct can be a bit of a pain especially if you haven’t played in a 6 over 4 feel before.

The first time I heard this type of feel was while listening to “African Skies” by the late great saxophone player Michael Brecker. The track has Dave Holland on upright, Jack Dejonette on drums, and simply blew my mind when I heard it for the first time! I just couldn’t understand why I could count 4, but also count 6 at the same time… this is the first time this concept entered my life, and ever since that moment i’ve had a deep interest and relationship with it in all it’s different forms and permutations.

The gag is, once you start being able to hear this super imposition of 6 over 4 you’re going to start hearing everywhere. It’s one of the most common time super impositions there is, and by getting it into your toolkit it’s really going to give you a deeper and fatter groove across all different time feels – not just 6 over 4.

Oh… and drummers LOVE it too, so whenever they start hinting at it within their groove you can jump on it with them.

To go even further with these types of feels I recommend actually putting your bass down and concentrating on multiple clapping exercises – this gives you the chance to forget about notes for a while and concentrate purely on rhythm. This was HUGE for me. I can’t put into words how much this changed my playing…

In fact a few weeks ago in one of the SBL Academy LIVE Q&A sessions I talked about how I discovered this by pure accident and also showed the different clapping exercises I used. That particular Q&A session was over 2 hours long and is in the “bass hang” archive within the Academy. If you haven’t checked the SBL Academy out yet… it’s here:

As always, see you in the shed…

Scott 🙂





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