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Cory Wong's new Great British Bass Off comedy skit is a must-watch for bass players

Sonny T. and Cory Wong
(Image credit: Cory Wong/YouTube)

Last week, Cory Wong announced that a new series of Cory and The Wongnotes – his YouTube-based variety show that debuted last year – was officially on the way.

And, while Wong kept us on tenterhooks by remaining tight-lipped over the first episode’s air date, the funk electric guitar god has further whetted our appetites by dropping a five-minute segment from the upcoming season.

Titled The Great British Bass Off, the new comedy skit is perhaps one of The Wongnotes' finest, arguably surpassing even the lofty comedic standards set by the first season. A riff on British series The Great British Bake Off, the clip sees Wong take on Sonny T. and Annie, a “retired music teacher," in a battle of the bass guitar chops.

Those familiar with the original show will no doubt be impressed by the level of detail the Wongnotes production team has achieved with its script and setting, from the picturesque rural B-Roll right down to the regimented orders issued by the competition’s judges.

Kitted out in matching aprons – which serve no purpose other than to tie in with the culinary theme – each bassist is tasked with composing a “classic” eight bar riff in a funk groove at 116bpm over a Gm7 chord.

“Timing, composition and taste” are all paramount to the challenge and, just like the show, each individual’s low-end effort is explained by a narrator and visualized by way of a charming illustration. Again, the highest of marks have to be awarded for authenticity.

Wong – who flexes his caricature-like British accent to add even more humor into the mix – devises “a riff that’s totally British: a nice little jammy riff from my Grandma," which goes up against Sonny T.’s stomping, slightly more impressive soundbite.

It’s Annie, though, who steals the show, with her “ostinato-based line, accented by a number of double-stops and a chromatically ascending turnaround." Seriously, it’s as if Wong has recruited the Bake Off script writers themselves.

Alas, despite Annie’s winning performance, she clearly isn’t playing the bass at all. Still, that’s just a minor technicality in the grand scheme of things – Wong and Sonny eventually get handed an effective disqualification based on the fact that they aren’t even British.

Bake Off tropes aside, there’s still an abundance of uber-sweet bass playing to sink your teeth into. Wong, Sonny T. and Annie’s entries are expertly executed, offering up an array of fingerpicking grooves, scintillating slap motifs and percussive muted plucks.

All we know now is we can’t wait for Cory and The Wongnotes season 2. Head over to Cory Wong’s YouTube channel (opens in new tab) to stay up to date with the show’s upcoming release.

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Matt is a News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.