Every day, musicians across the globe continue to impress us with brand new versions of older songs that they’ve made their own. Following the recent anniversary of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication album, virtuoso bassist Mike Hall released a solo bass rendition of the song that has completely turned it on its head, transforming the title track into an eerie, technical masterpiece.
Hall begins the video performance with a prelude that perfectly sets the ambience for the rest of the song, filled with aggressive slapping, soft harmonics, and a flurry of tapped notes. He then ends the introduction with soft fingerstyle bass playing, and proceeds to go into the iconic melody of the song.
The rhythm guitar and bass parts are performed simultaneously through a sequence of techniques that involves a combination of two handed tapping, and the assistance of what Hall has described in the past as the use of a “drone harmonic”. The vocal melody of Anthony Kiedis is heard almost note-for-note as it’s emulated across the fretboard while being complimented with percussive muting, and lingering echoes of sustained chords.
The rest of the video includes a large display of flashy techniques, reinterpretations of the main melody, and periodic fluctuations of the time signature that keeps your attention from start to finish. It’s a performance that is very much in line with his previously released solo bass renditions, which include “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, and “Fireflies” by Owl City, which have garnered hundreds of thousands of total views across every major social media platform.