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Old 01-01-2014, 01:28 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Bluesette - Solo Bass - Seeking Critique

Hey all,

Picked up an upright rental in October and have been playing my butt off ever since. Seeking some critique and tips on the following solo recording of Bluesette. Areas of concern:

-Sense of rhythm without metronome
-Outlining of changes during solo

I play the head through sans melody, then solo through the head, then play the head again sans melody with more rhythmic variation. Thanks for listening!

Old 01-02-2014, 12:03 PM
hdiddy's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
Supporting Member
Sense of time is pretty good overall. You need to keep it going, even all the way through the tune and don't make it a habit of playing a ritard at the end. Time starts to waver a little bit during the solo section. Tap out the waltz and listen to your recording and you can find exactly where it started to waver. Go back into the shed and fix that particular line you were working on and eliminate that wavering.

Something to think about: your walking part sounded a lot like your soloing part. Why is that? Maybe you need to consider finding out a way to making it clear by playing things differently during your solo section. Use a break? Dynamics? Phrasing? Quoting the melody a little bit will certainly go a long way.

Not bad for just a couple of months work tho.
====== Huy Nguyen =====
Simple isn't easy it's the hardest thing
If you're simple people think you're lazy...
-Red Mitchell
Old 01-02-2014, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Thanks for the feedback hdiddy. You gave me the type of advice i need by pointing out the "irregularities" of what i had done here. Gives me a few places to focus on regarding my playing and thought process.

Totally agree about better distinguishing the rhythm part from the solo part. My solo here sounds more like an overly busy bassline.

After a few more comments i may record another take, trying to implement some of these suggestions from you all.
Old 01-02-2014, 03:50 PM
Michael Glynn's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Seattle
Supporting Member
Sounds really nice for only playing double bass since October!

One thing I noticed is that sometimes when you subdivide the bar into 4 your tempo gets a little loose, especially the dotted quarter plus 2 dotted 8th notes figure in the bass lines. When you simply play 2 dotted quarters it usually feels more steady. Also, during the solo, your time seemed a little less secure when you didn't play the root on the downbeat. That's a common thing for bassists as we are used to hearing and playing the root on 1, so it can take some getting used to to be able to leave that out. We have a tendency to want to be both the bassist and the soloist when we solo, instead of letting the bassist role be totally internal and only playing the soloist stuff.

It sounded like you were making the changes pretty well on the blowing, I was able to follow along just fine.
Old 01-02-2014, 04:07 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Good work, but technically you didn't play the head, you played the changes. The head, as far as I've always known, is the melody. I would add to hdiddy's comments about soloing to consider a change in register during your solo. Also learning the melody is very important, it will open your soloing.

Very nice for a short time on the bass.
Pedulla Club #3, Ibanez club #323

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