Embellishing Walking Bass Line

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Mike Goodbar, Jan 25, 2002.


  1. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar

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    Since I was able to do it, I've liked to add "spits" (deadened string sounds) and triplets to my walking lines. I can usually do it without messing up the feel or tempo (too much).

    I've talked to other players who dismiss this as gimmickry and go for the "pure" 4/4.

    Any thoughts about this?
     
  2. Wil Davis

    Wil Davis

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    Like anything else, if it's overdone it will quickly become a cliche, BUT in the right place, at the right time it will sound great. Just when the listener is not quite expecting it usually works the best...

    - Wil
     
  3. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar

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    Yeah.

    I like to think that I do it as the music calls for it -- I certainly do it a lot less now at 40 than I did at 25. As you get older, I guess you tend to play with more self-editing (read: you don't want to work as hard).
     
  4. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

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    I enjoy rhythmic activity. I grew up listening to guys like Stafford James, Ron Carter and Stan Clarke, who all rip and pop lots. For me, it's just part of the conversation . . . as Ed says, you can't force the groove, but I do like to put my two cents in.
     
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  6. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

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    I would say that if there is even the slightest chance of "messing up" the feel or tempo, don't do it! Those are the last thing you want to screw up when playing bass in jazz!

    I guess it depends on what you're playing, too. If you're ripping out all these notes during the trumpet player's solo, he isn't likely to be too impressed.

    Nevertheless, if you can pull it off, it sounds good and doesn't step on any toes, why not?
     
  7. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

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    It's funny how this topic fits properly under the 'Technique' thread instead of 'Music' :)
     
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    In my opinion, the key word in this whole topic is in the thread title: EMBELLISHING. The whole ghost-note issue in bass lines is kind of like the concept of clothes on a model....you can take a beautiful model and dress him/her in ugly assed clothes, and the result looks like a beautiful person wearing the $#!% out of some clothes. By the same token, you can take the world's best looking clothes and put them on an out of shape and not terribly attractive model, and the result will be....well...out of shape and not terribly attractive.

    The point - as Ed and others have mentioned - is that in cases like this, it's better to focus on the figure of the model before worrying about how you're going to dress the model. Michelle Pfeiffer is going to look gorgeous in dirty overalls and rubber wading boots, while Roseanne Barr is going to like like, uh, Roseanne Barr even in Versace.

    Having said that, the best of all possible worlds is having a gorgeous model (i.e. - a solid walking line time feel with only quarter notes) and a closet full of various styles of clothes (i.e. - embellishment techniques) with which to dress it.
     
  9. clarice

    clarice

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    Theres a very useful book on the subject by Mike Richmond, called "Modern Walking Bass Technique".

    After playing through some of these exercises, I realized quickly just how sloppy a player I was.

    --cs
     
  10. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

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    I could not agree more!!!

    I think its really important to develop a "conversation" within the rhythm seciton. For example, if the piano player accents a triplet figure in their playing, try to incorperate that into your playing a few bars later. Its really cool to hear. I recently attended a rhythm section clinic with sherry miracle (the drummer for the big band "DIVA") and she really accented this point while we were playing.
     
  11. Con Trabajo

    Con Trabajo

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    I think that these techniques should be learned and then tucked away like a Swiss Army Knife. They aren't useful everyday, but sometimes there's an occasion when it's just the right tool.


    PS- Ever try this technique? Works real good on the G string, say for the sake of argument at the 5th 'fret'


    O-HO-PU-O-HO-PU

    - that's open string, hammer-on, Pull-off, etc.

    The open string is struck with a hard downard strike that turns into a pluck, the hammer on is done percussively with the left hand and the pull off note is your hammered note pulling into an open string again.

    If you do it fast and strong, it has a cool sound like a basketball being dribbled. it kind of goes paTINka paTINka paTINka. Lots of fun and a neat accent that helps you find your position accurately before a solo, and is loud enough and interesting enough to mark the entrance to the bass solo. I use it rarely, but when I do it ususally works very well. Those little quirks are charming, but needless to say some cats just have nothing but gimmick, and that ain't cool. Heck, some cats just play too many notes because they can. Yuk.


    -Con Trabajo
     
  12. Con Trabajo

    Con Trabajo

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    I should have been more clear. I somewhat botched that technique.


    The open string should just be a sideways pluck, not a strike. The pluck needs to give the string enough energy to make a percussive slap when you do the hammer-on. Then, the Pull-off note is done with the same finger that did the hammer-on.

    Try it three times, and sustain the hammer-on the third time. Makes a nice intro for a solo on that note.

    it sort of goes

    paTINka paTINka paTINGGgggggg
    real fast..... Sounds like crap if it's slow.

    -Con Trabajo
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Supporting Member

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    Isn't this blatant sexism , or agism or shapism - :eek:

    Some people might not be interested in Michelle Pfeiffer and might prefer Sophie Dahl at her most Rubenesque! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and entirely subjective - never mind the argument that true beauty come from within and how about accepting people for themsleves and being who they are......and aren't most models messed up anorexics/bulemics who are mostly into hard drugs, exploited and manipulated by men and the industry and are hardly role models or the "ideal" to which anybody ought to aspire?

    Hmmm....I think this opens up a whole can of worms, while putting your foot in it, with a potential superfluous surfeit of mixed metaphors and erroneous allegories! :D
     
  14. David Kaczorowski

    David Kaczorowski

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    Man that's a terrible analogy. I'd much rather have a closet full of gorgeous chicks with only one outfit to dress them in.
     
  15. Con Trabajo

    Con Trabajo

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    I'd rather have a closet full of gorgeous chicks and no outfits to dress them in.

    -Con Trabajo


    Quote-

    Man that's a terrible analogy. I'd much rather have a closet full of gorgeous chicks with only one outfit to dress them in.
     
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    I would reply to all of this in earnest, but I have the sneaking suspicion that you all knew exactly what I meant with my somewhat whimsical analogy and are now just being a bunch of BUTTHEADS for the fun of it. :mad:

    I think I'll just take my gorgeous model and go home. :)
     
  17. David Kaczorowski

    David Kaczorowski

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    Fine, be that way... but how much fun can you have with a mannequin?:eek:
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Supporting Member

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    Are we talking : the blow-up variety here.....with attachments! :eek:
     
  19. farmerdude

    farmerdude

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    I knew when I read..."O-HO-PU-O-HO-PU" that this thread was going to the gutter.
     
  20. jazzbo

    jazzbo

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    How's the wife gonna feel about that?
     
  21. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    About the fact that I'm taking her home? I imagine it won't be a problem. No complaints about my choice of spouse here. :)
     

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