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A move towards playing jazz...but a bit puzzled.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Rockin John, Mar 14, 2004.


  1. Until recently I've never had the technical ability to play the fancier stuff jazz bassists seem to do (OK, still work to do but am getting closer) even though I love jazz and always wanted to have a go.

    So I put on a Thelonious Monk CD (= firm favorite) and attempted to see if I could get an idea of what jazz bassing is about. I couldn't, really. Strapping on the bass, I constantly played little riffs that come from the mode of thinking as a rock player. In the main, these riffs didn't fit at all, even though I was in the correct key as determined by ear from the CD.

    So I thought that the notes used in a jazz scale must be different to the notes a rock bassist would use from that same scale.

    As a complete and utter novice @ music theory and can't read notation, I wonder if there's wisdom / comment / help for me with this.

    Thanks guys.

    John
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Notes are the same regardless of the music being played.

    The issue isn't technical so much as mental. Jazz doesn't require amazing technique (though that helps) so much as a solid knowledge of theory. The notes you play should match the chords dictated by the song. Learning the basics of chord construction would be a good start to learning how to play jazz.
     
  3. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Here is what jazz seems like to me...

    "You gotta know this, that, and this over here... but you have to totally disregard it... oh, but you can't do that because this says that you are supposed to voice it like that...."


    Poppycock.
     
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Learn the rules so that you can break them properly
     
  5. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Great advice.

    Or, forget the rules, and just play whatever the heck you want. And when someone tries to tell you that you are wrong, punch him in the face.

    Punk Jazz.
     
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    It's no so much that the notes in a 'jazz scale' are any different from any other notes. It's really just that a VAST majority of rock music, and rock riffs, are based around the minor pentatonic scale. So you have jazz music, where the bass plays any and all scales while walking a bass line, supposing it's appropriate of course.

    A big part of jazz, is voice leading harmony, basically what that entails is, making things sound smooth and conjoined. One of your major goals as a bassist playing jazz music, is to tie the chord changes and melody together smoothly, while providing a solid foundation in time.

    A great book to read is 'the jazz theory book' by mark levine It starts with the basics, and covers pretty much everything you could need to know. And it's written very well, and it has lots of examples.

    another good resource
    http://www.outsideshore.com/primer/primer/index.html

    it's not as well written, but it covers loads of important jazz theory and history.

    hope that helps


     
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    poser
     
  8. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

    Puaxzeur
     
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    trend whore.
     
  10. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Mike, when was the last time you had anything remotely intelligent to say?

    Theory is the cornerstone of jazz. Learn it well (even a little bit will get you started on seeing what these people are doing).
     
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
  12. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

    I've noticed that the more theory I fill my head with, the less creative I become... so I no longer feel the need to learn it, since it seems to be more confining than helpful.
     
  13. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The goal with theory is not to dictate what you play(loss in creativity) but it's to give you an 'available pool of notes' to use in any situation to keep things sounding smooth.

    music theory is just a set of guidelines, not actual set in stone rules. And if you think for a second that any of the jazz musicians you listen to don't know their theory, you are kidding yourself.

    If you think jazz theory is strict(which it isn't very) then check out classical theory, it's strict as hell, to get some perspective.
     
  14. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I guess I'm just more of a "feel" player than a "know" player... Like, i know the major/minor pentatonics or whatever... but i never use that knowledge unless I want to construct some weird sounding chord.
     
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    the other part of theory, for me at least, is that it's a really amazing and awe inspiring thing to watch the pieces come together, as I learn theory, I realize why certain things sound good, what makes some things work together, why scales are formed the way they are...etc. it's good stuff.
     
  16. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    True, but do we really need the "why" part of music?
     
  17. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    why not?
     
  18. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Now you are just being difficult.
     
  19. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    While there is something to be said about the amount of whatever you can do without knowing how or why you do it, ultimately, you are limiting yourself greatly by dismissing that vital part. Aside from that, it IS very cool to learn the 'why' it's satisfying and fulfilling, for me at least, maybe you are not the same, or maybe you just don't want to apply yourself.

    personally, something that I love, I want to learn what I can about it, understand it, so that that I can appreciate it even more.
     
  20. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Here is the answer to the why...

    "Because it just is."