How To Play – “Higher Ground” (RHCP)

Nate Perry

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A step-by-step tutorial with Nate Perry on how to play Flea’s intro bass line to “Higher Ground”, the 1989 Red Hot Chili Peppers cover of the Stevie Wonder song, from their album “Mother’s Milk”.

Hi there, my name is Nate Perry, this is the first of many more bass tutorials that I will be putting up and I am excited to be a new member of the PlayBassNow community. “Higher Ground” is a good exercise in slap and pop octave execution and one of Flea’s more well known bass lines. Focus on these key elements and the line will come together in no time:

  • Groove and time: Never lose site of the swung 8th/8th note triplet feel of the line. Practice it with a metronome, slowly at first, while gradually increasing the tempo – paying close attention to laying it in there, leaving space in between the notes and focusing on the groove.
  • An aggressive right hand attack. An aggressive slap with the thumb and hard pop/pull with the middle finger is essential to bringing out the tone.
  • Deconstructing the line, isolating each part and looping the most difficult parts until they become smooth. Don’t just play the whole line over and over. When you run into a snag, focus on that snag until you iron it out.

Good luck and thanks for checking it out!

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