Bass solo with no chordal background info

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by pocket_groover, May 9, 2005.

  1. I'm soliciting opinions/ideas about bass solos with only either no drums/just drums in the background ie, with no chordal information like a guitar or keyboard going on. Is it preferrable to emphasize the root on the beginning of each measure or are there ideas about how to imply the root in the solo? In a blues scenario for instance when the chords are just I-IV-V, can you safely stray away from the basic blues progression during your solo? In the blues scenario, I've found that it's easier for the rest of the band to come back in when I'm playing the root note at the beginning of each measure, then everyone knows where the turnarounds are. Comments?

  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    That gives you mucho freedom.
  3. also when your soloing without any chordal inst. try playing rhythmic phrases of the melody as when the drummer solo's you could actually hear parts of it in his solos.
    Another is what JMX said by playing phrases which are 2 bars or 4 bars or whatever is good especially when there's like II-V-I 's all over ala Joyspring
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    There's a version of "Mr. PC" on one of Derek Trucks' early albums(his 1st or 2nd)...when the drummer solos, you can actually hear him "playing" the melody, you know exactly where he is. Pretty cool.

    BTW, I ain't no JMX!
  5. I realized I made a mistake in my description. I meant hitting the root at the beginning of each chord change. I agree, the root on the beginning of each measure seems "lame" as JimK says. Given this situation, any comments?

    The rhythmic melody idea seems interesting...gotta try it sometime; also the "complete freedom" idea seems good too.... I"ll have to listen to "Mr PC" as well.

    Thanks for the comments, guys!
  6. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    If you are soloing w/in the tune w/ no chordal instrument I would keep your solo around the key or harmony/melody of the tune.

    if not, explore all you want. Try to avoid roots all the time. If the group doesnt know where you are it is always good to count them back in.

    Also, it is good to let the drummer know what your up to solo wise so he can get outta the way if he needs too.

  7. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    You don't have to emphasize the roots all the time because there are others notes as important as root. The third and the seven of each chords are very important as melody and harmony. Use those instead as target notes,your solos are gonna be much more melodic.