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Norm Stockton: The Art Of Groove
Taking Your Bass/Drum Relationship To the Next Level - 03/07/04 Sushi Cover

Art of Groove DVDIn Volume 3 of his highly-acclaimed Grooving For Heaven bass instructional video series, bassist Norm Stockton demonstrates how to take the bass/drum relationship to the next level through a comprehensive analysis of the interaction between the bassist and drummer in a contemporary ensemble setting.

The Art Of Groove begins with a duo performance of "Blessed" from Stockton's very popular debut solo project, Pondering The Sushi. After a brief introduction and overview of the course, Stockton defines groove and discusses the role of a bassist as the bridge between the harmonic and rhythmic elements of the band. Stockton then addresses fundamental relative pitch ear training exercises using scales, intervals, and arpeggios.

Utilizing the skills of David Owens on drum set, Stockton provides some very useful insight to rhythmic ear training through drum beat placement and variations on typical pop grooves. Within the Groove 101 chapter, Stockton explains groove concepts and approaches. With assistance from Owens and guitarist Joel Whitley, Stockton delivers example after example of what to do and more importantly what not to do in various situations and then how to subtly adjust your bass line accordingly to avoid rhythmic redundancy and salvage the overall feel of the music looking at the big picture.

Stockton and Owens work through a multitude of must-know grooves exhibiting the nuances of what bassists and drummers typically play in a number of styles including rock, funk, fusion, r&b, reggae, hip hop, gospel, western african, south african, and ska genres. Stockton and Owens then take odd time signatures into consideration and reveal how to count their subdivisions in an easy-to-understand fashion.

In the Critical Subtleties chapter, Stockton and Owens analyze the hard-to-define aspects of music which separate great musicians from the average. During a discussion of tempo versus feel, Stockton and Owens manipulate tempos and play various rhythmic anticipations and fills.

Before closing the program with a performance of "Veggie Soup", the bonus track on his debut recording, Stockton and Owens guide you through spontaneous bass and drum musical dialogues by introducing variations in a call and response type of format and demonstrate rhythmic consistency using different technical aspects on their respective instruments. As a special dvd addition, Stockton performs an original composition in a live performance music video with a featured "Norm Cam" perspective.

Bottom Line: Norm Stockton is one of the finest bass educators in the world today. Packed with all the essential grooves of the vocabulary and a total running time of almost 2 hours, The Art Of Groove is the first bass instructional method of its kind that delves so deeply into the analysis of the interaction between the roles of a bassist and drummer. Every bassist should force their time-keeping counterparts to watch this dvd. This video is an indispensable resource for any aspiring bassist looking to take their grooving ability to the next level.

To learn more about Norm Stockton and The Art Of Groove, go to: NormStockton.com.

C. Engel

This page reproduced by the kind permission of International Institute of Bassists.

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