Improvising bass solo over chord changes on Summertime ?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bass Baron, Nov 30, 2013.


  1. Bass Baron

    Bass Baron

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    Improvising bass solo on Summertime what modes could i use on it? It goes on Dminor right? Sorry if the question is confusing i'm a bit new to analyzing chord changes to improvising.

    Thanks!
     
  2. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

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    I'm curious as to why you ask what modes you could use. I generally play Summertime in A minor, and with the prominence of the E7, that strongly suggests A harmonic minor. Of course, as with many jazz standards, there are changes that are outside of the home key, so keep that in mind. It's not all A harmonic minor.

    No need to think about modes here, even if it seems cool to mention them.
     
  3. Bass Baron

    Bass Baron

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    Yeah well like i said i'm kinda new in analyzing this stuff. Thanks a lot! I was thinking modes way too much :D
     
  4. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

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    Why analyze? Don't over think it. Listen to the changes, and sing a melody that you feel fits the harmony. Play what you're singing. Trust your ear and your inner sense of music.
     
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  6. Bass Baron

    Bass Baron

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    Yeah i over thinked it a little thanks for the reply!
     
  7. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

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    You can use the modes sure but i'd try to experiment with Chord tones first, then Chord tones plus extensions which for a minor chord (without using alterations etc) would be 9th and 11th.

    So it'd be:

    R = D
    3rd = F
    5th = A
    7th = C
    9th = E
    11th = G

    You could also go up a Minor 3rd and play over the major pentatonic. That gives you the "cool" extensions.

    Unless you have a great sense of the fretboard and good relative pitch then it's a little difficult to "play what you sing" without it sounding like a garbled mess.
     
  8. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

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    Yes, you over thunked it.

    Since you are wanting to play in D Minor, use a D Minor Pentatonic for your collection of notes to use - D, F, G, A, C.

    Don't bother with D Harmonic Minor. This tune is BLUESY!
     
  9. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

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    Start with working out the melody on the bass. Then look at how the melody lies in the chords- like the first three notes are the fifth and third if the first chord. Then to start improvising play the melody and add or subtract notes, embellish how you get from note to note, etc.

    The best way though is to record the changes, SING what sounds like a good solo, record that sung solo, then learn it. This removes physical patterns from your solo and gets straight to the music.

    John
     
  10. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

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    Summertime is a classic. Therefore you will be able to find sheet music. Google got this in less than a minute.
    http://www.simon-harris-projects.co...ummertime/70-summertime-lead-sheet-in-a-minor

    Like JTE said start with the melody. Something we miss - there is an established tune for this song, why not let that guide your bass solo?

    Yes most of the lead sheets will be in standard notation and you will have to transpose treble to bass clef, but, again it's a starting place. I always look for sheet music, even if it is not exact it's probably closer than my ear would pick out. Plus it's always good to have the melody poke it's head through in there somewhere.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=lea...yBM76oASn2oKgBw&ved=0CCkQsAQ&biw=1067&bih=503
     
  11. Bass Baron

    Bass Baron

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    Thanks for all the replies huge help!I have one question left. Is it possible to use for example Lydian mode from A to solo on this? Like Tony Grey is doing in this lesson from C. http://youtu.be/HfsCJ20nmcM
     
  12. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

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    :eek:

    DROP the Mode thing. It's very misused. And is steering you WAY off course!

    A-Lydian (A, B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A)?

    A-Lydian is more major than the Major scale!

    I thought you were playing in D Minor. Start with the D Minor Pentatonic. 95% of the tune is using a Minor Pentatonic.
     
  13. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

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    Totally. That's why I suggested learning the melody. That'll give a framework for note choices. See for yourself if any mode stands out. But the starting point is KNOWING the melody and the chords.

    Can you name the notes of each chord? Do you understand how each chord relates to the chord before it AND the one after it? Do you understand how each melody note relates to the chord that supports it. If not, that's where to start before trying to create your own melodies, which, after all is what improvising is.

    John
     
  14. Bass Baron

    Bass Baron

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    Yeah i was thinking of getting around with the modes but yeah i know the notes of the chords. Learning the song's melody seems like a great way to start this. Thanks!
     
  15. tomshad

    tomshad

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    And from there taking fragments of the melody and transposing it all around the bass . Smaller ideas rather than large .
     
  16. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

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    Remove modes from your thoughts. Completely. There is nothing "modal" about this piece.
     
  17. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

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    I totally agree with what is being said about modes.

    IMO - Only place they fit with the bass is for a solo, or melodic fill. And then 90% of the time the tune would be a better choice than running up and down a mode.
     
  18. narud

    narud Supporting Member

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    I'm all for analyzation and education, but to say you have to go to all that trouble before you start taking a solo is as over reaching as trying to find what other tonalities to use to solo over this tune before trying to use a pentatonic scale imo.
     
  19. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U Supporting Member

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    If you can't clearly hear and play the melody to this tune, I don't think you're going to be in a position to play an effective solo over it. You can get much mileage out of the melody fragments and chord arpeggios if you play them in the right place.
     
  20. markjsmithbass

    markjsmithbass Supporting Member

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    +1 to everyone mentioning the melody. Bass players often jump the gun when it comes to soloing. Nearly every other type of instrumentalist learns melody from day one. They learn how to phrase melodies, embellish melodies, analyse melodies. We, as bass players, do so much support work that soloing can often seem like a completely unrelated skill that has to be practiced from a chord tone/theory/harmony standpoint before any quality music can be created. It's always a case of learn this scale or this mode or this bunch of arpeggios and you'll be able to make music over the changes. Ironically, the most relevant musical statement is staring you right in the face in the shape of the head. I can't keep count of the number of times I've seen soloing/improvisation guides that just list a bunch of scales, modes and arpeggios. And that's it.

    From a bandleader perspective, if I'm ever on a gig and find I've somehow hired a substandard soloist and they're making a mess of an otherwise good piece of music, I often hint at just playing around the melody and it usually cleans things right up.

    In terms of a dedicated study of jazz and improvisation it's incredibly important to learn chord construction, scale/mode application, functional harmony etc. etc. but a basic grasp of general melodic playing is the foundation on which all other soloing ventures are based. IMHO.

    Mark
     
  21. Bass Baron

    Bass Baron

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    Great advice! Thanks!
     

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