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EBS Songbook Level One  Sunset – Reggae

Songbook Level One

Understanding the chart

Download and print out the score so that you can refer to it as you follow the bass chart.


Start by going through the chart, step by step, looking at each section and understanding what the chart is asking you to do.

Step One

The first thing you will see is the name of the tune, ‘Sunset’, and the name of the composer. The title is the important one as, if you had a number of songs to play, it is essential that you play the correct one!

Step Two

At the top left hand side before the tune starts you will see the note '4 Clicks'. This means that you will hear four clicks before the tune starts. This will help count you into the song.

Step Three

Next is the time signature ‘C’ which is the sign for ‘common time’ and means there are four beats in each bar. This is familiar territory for you.

Step Four

The beginning of the tune starts with the Introduction, which you can see is a short four bar section. You are playing with the rhythm of the Introduction and you need to play a quarter note, two eighth notes and a half note in the first three bars. The final bar takes you into the opening Vamp by having two quarter notes at the end of the bar to move the rhythm into the groove section.

Step Five

The Vamp section is where the groove is introduced before the melody is brought in. There are four bars of the Vamp to play, which then leads you into the first Verse.

Step Six

The song is rhythmically quite straight forward, being largely made up of quarter notes and eighth notes. However, you do need to look carefully at the small variations of mixtures between quarter and eighth notes.

One big thing to notice is that the Verse is a seven bar section, rather than a slightly more common eight bar section. Make sure you count carefully, although you will probably hear the Verse section quite naturally.

Step Seven

The Verse moves into the first Chorus, which is a variation of the rhythm, but has very similar notes.

Step Eight

A good thing to look out for when reading a chart is the song structure. You have played: an Introduction, Vamp, Verse, then a Chorus. The next section is Vamp, Verse, Chorus. So you can see the structure of the song. Note, though, that the second Chorus is four bars long, as from there the song moves into a new section.

Step Nine

The middle section of the tune is called the ‘Middle Eight’ and is a very common feature of popular songs. It is called a middle eight because it is often in the middle of the song and eight bars long. However, middle eights can on occasions be of varying lengths!

In the Middle Eight you will see that the rhythm has changed. There are just two notes per bar which gives a consistent half note feel. This supports this section of the tune; as it is a dynamic section that builds the track rhythmically and dramatically.

Step Ten

After the middle section there is another introduction (Intro Vamp) section. The track breaks down to just the bass, drums and keyboard to provide a drop in intensity. This provides some dynamics in the tune, before it moves into the end section of the song.

Step Eleven

Looking ahead to the remainder of the structure of the song, you can see that there is a four bar Vamp, seven bar Verse, and then an eight bar Chorus. The song finishes on a single whole note.

Step Twelve

Now, listen to the multimedia files, and follow the bass chart through a couple of times.

Once you have done that, have a go yourself. You can play with the bass, or mute the bassist on the track so that you can play on your own. Remember to:

  1. Concentrate.
  2. Count.
  3. Look at the chart as you play.
  4. Cycle the difficult bits and practise them.
  5. Slow it down to a tempo at which you can read and play.
  6. Have fun.

Next: Sunset bass score