Is This The Best Fill In The History Of Bass?

In this lesson, I want to show you my absolute
bar none favourite bass fill of all time. Hi I’m Luke from become a bassist and if
you want to learn an absolutely killer, super impressive fill, I’ll show you that in this
video, but I’ll also show you how you can make the fill your own so you can use in tons
of different places, different keys, and even different styles. Check this one out – it’s going to be
great fun. [Video intro] Welcome to Become A Bassist where it’s all
about insanely practical no B.S. bass playing tips so you can play better bass, and have
more fun. Let’s jump straight in. This bass fill I want to show you is from
a real song – this isn’t just some exercise. So I want to play it for you, and I want you
to tell me what song you think it’s from. The absolute Uber bass nerds will probably
know, but I want to let you have a guess first. So here’s the fill. [CLOSE UP] [Plays fill] let’s go again 1–2
– 3–4 [plays fill] And a bit slower it sounds like this. [plays fill] [LONG SHOT] What do you reckon? Do you recognise it? Know what song it’s from? Press the pause button right now, scroll down
to the comment section and have a guess in there, and while you’re doing that, here’s
that fill one more time. [plays fill] Alright – the answer? This fill was from December 1963. Also known as oh what a night by Frankie Valli. I’ll put a link to it here. This is one of those songs that I heard a
lot of growing up, but kind of dismissed as being cheesy and dated – I wasn’t really
into it at all. But when I had to learn it for a band I was
in, I was forced to really listen to it, and I found myself actually liking it. Like – a lot. WAY more than I expected. Teenaged me was an idiot for not liking it. It’s such a cool song. And that fill – it’s just incredible. It’s not blisteringly fast or anything,
but it’s reasonably choppy and just fits so well with the song! And if you haven’t checked the song out,
I’d really recommend it. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to
play it, then we’ll talk about why it works and how you can take this fill and use it
in other places. [close up] So we start by playing this A-flat
on the 11th fret of the a-string. Right there. Then we play the B-flat – the 13th fret
on the a string and slide up to the C above it on the 15th fret. Then we play this E flat on the D string – the
13th fret. So far we have this [plays fill] you could
also pluck the B-flat and C separately – it’s a little bit unclear exactly what happens
on the recording, but that could work really well too. What comes next though is maybe the coolest
part of the fill. So we stopped on the E flat on the D string
– next we’re going to do this. [Plays example] we are playing the F on the
D string and then pulling off to the E flat – from the 15th fret to the 13th fret, then
going back down to the C on the A-string then straight back up to the E flat and the F above
it. You can either hammer on that last Eb to F,
or you could pluck it as well. So far, we have this [plays example] The last little bit of the fill, it’s also
cool as hell. It sounds like this [plays example] We start
by playing the A-flat on the G string – the 13th fret. What happens next here isn’t 100% clear. I’m hearing a little ghost note after the
A-flat, but you could also leave that A-flat as a longer note. Either way is fine. What happens next though is very clear we
get a little chromatic run from the B-flat – the 15th fret up to the B natural and
C on the 16th and 17th fret. That means the whole fill slowed down sounds
like this [plays fill] Pretty cool, right? By the way, if you want the tabs and notation
for this fill so you can follow along yourself, I’ve got it available as a free download
over at I’ll put a card up here where you can go
and get it for yourself and I’ll put the link in the description of this video as well. Now it’s all very well and good to learn
to play new fills, but what you absolutely DON’T want is to be chained to only playing
that one fill in one place in one song in that one key. Now that you’ve learned that fill, I want
to show you can make it your own so you can play it in other keys, other songs, other
styles. If you can do THAT, then you can really start
to build your arsenal of bass fills, so let’s give it a try. This fill happens over an A-flat chord and
if you look at the notes of the fill, it starts on an Ab and it’s mostly just an A-flat
major pentatonic scale. Makes sense, right? A-flat major chord and we’re using mostly
Ab major pentatonic. All we have to do to make it work for other
chords is start the fill on the root and play the exact same pattern. For example, if you have a D chord, just play
that exact same shape starting on a D. [plays fill] If it’s a Gb chord, just start on
a Gb. [plays fill] If you can wrap your head around this, this
means you can use and adapt this fill to work over tons of other major or even dominant
chords. So let’s try that out. Is there a song you know, or a particular
form you know that uses mostly major or dominant chords? What about a blues? That would be perfect for us – it’s all
dominant chords so the fill will work over every chord. Let’s use a C blues, and play just this
lick over each chord in the progression. We’ll play it over the C chord [plays example]
we’ll play it over the F chord [plays example] and we’ll play it over the G chord as well
[plays example]. Check this out. [Plays example] we had to change things up
over the G cord and the final F cord because those cords only lasted one bar, but do you
see how this works? You’re using that fill in other places and
in new ways. Now I’m just using this as an exercise right
now – I wouldn’t recommend playing this kind of thing on a gig because you’ll end
up sounding very repetitive to the point of being predictable and dull and boring and
you don’t want that. What you can do though is use this fill whenever
you feel the need to play something a bit choppy and to raise the energy level. You could also use it when you’re improvising
and just use it as a piece of language. Check it out. I’ll improvise for a little bit, then throw
in the fill as a solo lick. [plays example] Here that fill in there? Doing this stuff gets you below the surface
level and forces you to understand the music at a deeper level, which, you know, will make
you a better bass player and everything, but it’s also just wicked fun to try these things
out and figure out the puzzle and how you can make things fit. If you did this with every fill, riff or lick
you learned, you’d end up with so much to say on the bass, you’d be unstoppable. How cool is this? We took a fill from a 70’s pop song almost
verging on disco and put it into an old-school Chicago Blues track. Try doing this with songs that you’re playing
yourself – find all the major chords and see if you can inject this fill in there somewhere. It may be a total trainwreck, it might be
OK, or it could end up surprising you and everyone around you with just how cool it
sounds and how well it works. Like I said before, if you want the tabs and
notation for this fill, just head over to You can go there, fill out the form on that
page and I’ll send you the tabs and notation for the lick so you can start playing it,
raising the intensity of whatever music you’re playing and of course impressing the heckin’
heck out of your friends. To recap though you learned what I think is
one of the slickest, coolest, and just all-round bangin’ fills in the history of bass. I showed you how to play it, but more importantly
I showed how to take a fill like this, make it your own and then apply it to other places
so you can use it whenever, wherever and however you want. Thank you so much for watching. I really appreciate the company. If you’re new to Become A Bassist and liked
what you found in this video, make sure you subscribe so you never miss another lesson
from the BAB studio. I’m Luke from become a bassist and hopefully
I will see you in another video soon. Good luck with the lick and keep on rockin.

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