Learn to Play: Thundercat's Bass Fill in Moses Sumney's "Lonely World"

Thundercat is one of the most talented bassists currently playing the instrument. His resume is as long as it is diverse, from playing with artists like Flying Lotus to his Grammy-winning work on Kendrick Lamar's track "These Walls" off 2015's To Pimp a Butterfly, to Thundercat's own critically acclaimed solo work, like 2017's Drunk.

Today, Jake is breaking down one of Thundercat's signature, lightening-quick runs on Moses Sumney's track "Lonely World" from his 2017 release, Aromanticism. Though Thundercat usually plays a 5- or 6-string bass, Jake will be teaching today's lesson on a Fender American Jazz 4-string.

Jake splits the lesson into two parts. The beginning of the solo takes the shape of a lydian scale on the G string at the eighth fret, so Jake opens the lesson by slowing that scale way down into single-note hits. He demonstrates how the pattern repeats on the D string but with a C minor arpeggio at the end, before transitioning to a quick F and jumping down to the Eb.

The second part of the lesson opens with three beats of 16th notes on that Eb, before hitting a C and walking back down the same C minor arpeggio. From there, you go back up to the Eb and hammer onto the F at the eight fret. Put those parts together, speed them up, and you've nailed Thundercat's solo.

Be sure to grab your bass and follow along with the full lesson above, and stay tuned for another bass lesson next week on Reverb.


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