Saturday, May 22, 2010

Some Latin stuff you might find interesting

Hi again.

Here's my video and transcription of "La Candelosa", a great song from the Vallenato genre. For those of you who are unfamiliar, here's some info as I put it in the video description:

Hi again.

First off, here's the translation of the text at the beginning of the video: "La Candelosa" (That's hard to translate. It refers to a woman who's so hot that burns). "Musical piece written by Israel Romero and recorded by El Binomio De Oro in 1986. Bass cover by Alvabass, just to show an (improvable) demonstration of an extraordinary bassline recorded by Rangel Torres (R.I.P.). Audiovisual material created with no profit intention and without claiming any kind of intellectual property".

This is an example of a Colombian music genre called Vallenato. Originated in the Caribbean coast area, it's basically music for party created with the accordion as the most prominent instrument. A percussion instrument called caja vallenata ( is used exclusively in this kind of music. Further reading about Vallenato can be found at

The basslines are anything but pedestrian. Melodies and chords while supporting the rhythm section at the same time make this style a very challenging one for any bass player. Dedicated Vallenato players use their thumb along with index, middle and sometimes ring finger for plucking the strings (that's why I'm not a dedicated Vallenato player: I use I-M strictly, and only use my thumb for some chords). "La Candelosa" is an example of an uptempo Vallenato tune, but there are slow-paced ones as well. For those ones, an electric guitar is added for accompaniment, duets with accordion and (less common) solo parts. You'll hardly hear an electric guitar on songs like "La Candelosa". Also, there are two basses in some sections of this song (shown on split-screen). In my opinion (as I say in the video title), this is one of the best (if not THE best) Latin (tropical) basslines ever created.

The bass part for this song, as lots others from "El Binomio De Oro" during most of its existence with the original singer, Rafael Orozco (who was killed in 1992), was recorded with a Kramer Stagemaster Imperial bass ( ) which featured an aluminum neck. You can see it in live action, along with the late Rangel Torres at (Rangel Torres died on a plane crash in 1994)

La Candelosa