Advice on donnalee (audio of me playing inside!)

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by MonKey-TurD, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. MonKey-TurD


    Oct 10, 2003
    hey there, i gotta play donna lee for bass tech at school (its basically a scales/technique class) and im just wondering if you would have a listen to a recording of me playing it and give me some advice

    just remember that the recording quality isnt perfect, it only works in the left speaker, and there is a high pitch squeal in the background, but you can still hear it well!

    next time i will use better recording software, but this is all i have for now!

    anyway enjoy:

    also you will notice that some of it is from the jaco version and other parts from the charlie parker version, the reason for this is i learnt half of it from the jaco version, then my teacher said i had to learn the charlie version, so i changed as much as i could, but some of the parts i just couldnt re-learn cos they were too different
  2. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    You’ve done a nice job. My advice is that you focus on pitch and time. “Donna Lee” has some tricky rhythms, so I recommend practicing with a metronome to make sure you’re staying in the groove. Try several tempos from painfully slow to as fast as you can comfortably play and always listen deeply and critically. The fingerings are also challenging and tend to be hard to play in tune so as a separate exercise try working on them slowly, out of time, using a tuner to check your intonation. Good luck!
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Sounds pretty good to me!!

    I think all recordings should be made with taht high pitched squeal, it cancels out my tinatus :D
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Just a thought - maybe your teacher, by saying the Charlie Parker version, means that you should be playing it like a Jazz performance - which is essentially what Jaco did.

    But the point there is - you play the head - the "tune", once - then you play your own improvised solo over the same chord changes, for maybe two or three "choruses" (times round the changes) - then head again and out- finish!

    But maybe the point is that you should be improvising your own solo and not just copying what Jaco did on a record?
  5. MonKey-TurD


    Oct 10, 2003
    actually we are instructed just to learn the head

    but im not sure if i could solo over the chords if i wanted to, im not to good at figuring what scales go over what chords, what jazz soloing in general, like there is some people in my year that sound just like jaco, and i got no idea how they do it! just isnt my style i guess :meh:
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    better to sound like you than jaco. don't worry about it.
  7. JRB

    JRB Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    I like all the previous advice, I just wanted to add that it is better to be accurate and in the pocket then fast. I would suggest slowing it down untill you can play it perfectly, then if you still have time before you class you can try raising the temp back up. Good luck, Donna Lee is something I go back to every few months and find something new in it and some way I can play it better.
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I want to echo what Michael Said, You should really focus on the pitch and rhythm, you have all the notes, but there are many quirks here and there that detract from the song.

    Definitely take another look at the rhythms, also try and get every note to be clear, you flubbed through a couple passages that I think should have been more defined.

    Also, the ending! I'm sure you don't want to end it like that, throw a little something something on the end ya know :)

    it did sound pretty good though, not a bad start, but I wouldn't call it a finished product.
  9. Sounds like you've got a great start on it. Like the others have said just focus on keeping things clean. Personally, I don't play the written slurs as I find it works better on bass with everything seperate. Also, does your teacher want you to swing it? I find it much easier to lay in the pocket when it's swung relatively hard, even at faster tempii.
  10. MonKey-TurD


    Oct 10, 2003
    i think my teacher wants me to swing it, something i gotta work on, i got 2 more weeks till i gotta play it so i should be fine

    i think i got a bad habit of practicing things too fast! like im playing chromatic fantasy for the exam and my teacher told me to slow it down and build it up, and it really did improve the song, so i will definatly do that will donna lee too