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Sixth Worldwide Guitar Conference

Jaco Pastorius' bass guitar workshop in Martinique

December 1984

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Monday, December 10, 1984 Day 1 Recordings (28 tracks)

Jaco arrived in the classroom at 9:30 A.M. "This is not my amp. I don't know what this feedback is all about". After adjusting the sound of a Peavey 400 amp connected to a Bose speaker cabinet, Jaco started tuning and warming up with scales, melodies such as Donna Lee and other original bass lines. Jaco played Round Trip/Broadway Blues. "Next... groove stuff. I just got off the plane, you know. The weather, you know. So what's up. Anything? Any questions?

Let's start, you know". Jaco looked very tired. He had the fretless bass that he uses the most. "How many people here are bass players"? There were about 30 students in the small classroom, the majority were bass players.

The morning session covered:

  1. his approach to diatonic vs. chromatic improvisation

  2. Jaco explained and played example that he wrote on blackboard.
  3. vibrato techniques for fretted vs. fretless bass/guitar
  4. E flat harmonic fingering used in Portrait of Tracy
  5. the instrument

  6. strings, fingerboard coating, 1962 Fender Jazz bass and mentioned that his fretted bass neck was broken. He played Donna Lee slowly.
  7. false harmonics technique

  8. He played the beginning of Birdland.
  9. his compositions.

  10. He played Continuum.
Lunch break.

While leaving the building, I asked Jaco if he didn't mind that I recorded the lessons and conversations since my English was limited at the time. He approved. I asked Jaco when he was born. He responded in Spanish, "Diciembre uno" (meaning December first).
We went to a drug store to get toothbrush, etc. I told him that I was very impress with the solo he played in Joni Mitchell's Shadows and Light video. Then we went for a beer.

Angel Vicens trying out Jaco's bass

The afternoon session covered:

  1. modal and atonal improvisation

  2. He played Blackbird.
  3. dead notes technique
  4. conga playing on the bass
  5. Teentown and other melodies
  6. .
  7. how to developed speed keeping the feeling (expression).

  8. "Play a lot. Take your time to articulate every note".
  9. hands position
  10. .
    He played America the Beautiful.
"Bring instruments tomorrow." Students agreed on a later starting time for next days since 9:00 A.M. was too early for Jaco. "Everybody practice diatonic stuff". Jaco talked about transcriptions and creation of his method book. Jaco autograph the back of a picture of him with Tony Williams and John McLaughlin in Havana Jam rehearsal.

Day 1 Recordings

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