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A really simple dinner jazz book

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Pbassred, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Watching a Jazz jam night, I occurred to me that a lot of the "dinner Jazz" tunes are/can be quite simple to play. mostly whole & half notes following the chords. Simple economical stuff.

    Does anyone remember the Janet and John kids books? The whole book would be at one standard. When you finished book 8 you were given book 9, and so on.

    I need a simple - play through "baby book" to help me practice sight reading. I would like one which stays at that level rather than progressing to scary heights. Yes, I have the funk books and the Motown books and the How to play bass tutorials. The problem for me is that I've been playing for so long that I go into autopilot instead of reading.

    Can anyone recommend a simple "Janet and John play dinner Jazz" book?
  2. bassalo


    Jan 23, 2008
    Subscribed. I'm interested too.
  3. I would say don't worry so much about sight reading jazz tunes. Most of the time when you see people playing they are reading a lead sheet. A lead sheet contains the melody in standard notation and has the chord names written above the measure. You should learn how to play an improvised walking bass line through the chord changes. A good book for this is the Ed Freidland (SP?) book "The Jazz Bass Book." It starts you out with the basic concepts and teaches you how to build bass lines. Another good book is "The Evolving Bassist" by Rufus Reid, it takes you through all the things you need to know in order to be a functional jazz bassist.
  4. Yes, I'll give those a look but you missed my point. It was to find easy sight reading songs rather than "excercises". Jazz seemed to fit the bill.

  5. Let me make myself clear. LEARNING HOW TO PLAY JAZZ IS BEST DONE BY LEARNING HOW TO PLAY JAZZ. I know what "dinner jazz" is I spent plenty of time playing it.

    Good luck.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yeuuch.."dinner Jazz" sounds disgusting!! :confused:

    Take the intensity out of Jazz and you have nothing but a thin gruel!! :p
  7. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    Maybe I'm missing something, but if you have a lead sheet, and want to play whole or half notes, you can just play the root of each chord change. I like the books published by Sher.
  8. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    Make up your on lists of tunes, off various fake books or lead sheets.
    What is 'easy' to you really depends.

    You can put One note Samba at the top of your list. It starts off easy enough. But as with all music, it is not the published note value, it is in the interpretation of the note.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes, I think that what Michael was saying is that in 99.9% of cases in Jazz you will not be given a written bassline and the idea is that you improvise your own line from a chord chart (sequence)... that's a big part of what makes it Jazz!!

    Jazz is improvised music or it is nothing really...?

    But anyway - there is really no such thing as books of written bass lines for Jazz - unless you are looking at method books giving you examples - like the Ed Friedland, Rufus Reid ones mentioned before.
  10. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    Ah, I see that now. I often just reply after reading the first post. Hopefully the original question has been answered.
  11. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Since standards make up a good portion of "dinner jazz", you might want to consider some Aebersold "play-a-longs". Several of the cd's have books available with the transcribed bass part, including a few from Ron Carter. In essence, it's a book of jazz bass lines.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    No - you are talking about a book of transciptions of what one great player played at one particular time - Jazz bass lines are improvised, or they are not Jazz bass lines! :p
  13. (Sighs......)
    I almost wish that I hadn't used the "J" word. I wanted sight readng excercises that didn't advance too quickly. I DO undestand that the art of jazz is improvisation, but jazz wasn't the point on the excercise. Learning songs of ANY particular genre wasn't the point. Lookng at lead sheets isn't the point either.
    The points are:-"SIMPLE". and "sight reading" .
    I mentioned dinner Jazz standards because they sounded like a useful vehicle. I could have said "Beatle songs" but they aren't usually simple. Neither is Motown. Playable yes, but not easy to read.
  14. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Doesn't exist. Sorry, its just not the nature of the genre.
  15. progrmr


    Sep 3, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    well, I'm going with Mel Bay's Modern Electric Bass Method Grade 1 for sight reading training. Not genre specific, and pretty much the bottom of the sight reading totem pole!

    I am liking it better than Hal Leonard complete bass method. The first string (Mel Bay starts on the G string) covers 4 notes and there are seemingly endless exercises for these first 4 notes - IE by the time you move up to the 2nd string you WILL know G, A, B, C on the first string and which notes they are on the clef.

    Also that bass clef tester on studybass.com is a great way to start sight reading the root notes.

  16. guizzy


    Nov 17, 2008
    What everyone else said, and I wouldn't say jazz would be any easier than any other style to sight-read. It would be simpler rythmically, but would seem all over the place in pitch (until you have the theory to make sense of it).

    But it you must have bass clef sheet music of jazz standards, you can get the Real Book 6th edition in bass clef. It's not going to be basslines, though, but rough estimations of the melody written in bass clef. It's also, for the most part, not going to be simple or stay to one level. It's all over the place.
  17. rditmars


    Aug 7, 2002
    Boulder, CO
  18. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    :meh: I know exactly what I'm talking about, so I'll skip the semantics debate for today, thank you.
  19. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    Rufus Reid The Evolving Bassist helped me.

    Also, just writing out lines and playing them. Although I'm still a crappy reader :meh:
  20. Kimpini


    May 14, 2008
    Here is a nice book that comes with a play along CD. It is all about improving your reading. It is for someone who CAN read, but wants to work at it more.


    I am using the 1st edition right now and I really like it.

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