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Bass soloing (Jazz)

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MaddMann274, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. MaddMann274


    Jul 18, 2012
    I've been getting into jazz a lot recently, and I want to learn how to solo in that style. Any lessons/videos/songs I should check out?

    Jazz as in stuff like this...

    Thanks :)
  2. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Anything with Paul Chambers.
  3. Get familiar with diatonic harmony / chord scales if you're not already. When I'm practicing with a big band, I also find it useful to run the chart on my own using chord tones only, just in case i'm called on to solo. Then I have some ideas up my sleeve rather than just jumping into my trick bag!!

    I also like to practice horn lines - especially Charlie Parker - to get phrasing ideas. I got this idea years ago from John Patitucci, who offered that advice in all his interviews

    There are a lot of good books on improvising, check out Ed Friedland's Bass Improvisation or http://www.shermusic.com/new/0961470100.shtml

    I've recently got some great ideas from this guy:

    Good luck!!
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Transcribe, transcribe, transcribe.

    Start with something easy-ish. One of the first things I transcribed was Hank Mobley's solo on "Remember" from Soul Station. It's very clear language being used, and a great starting point. Paul Chambers is another great suggestion - especially his arco solos since it's easy to hear, and again very clear language.

    Understand that Pat clip is a master at work. Get a solid understanding of functional harmony before you undertake something like that.

    Oh, and yes - write it down. It will allow you to see and analyze what's being done against the harmony.
  5. Definitely look through the Jazz Technique threads over in the DB side of Talkbass - there's a ton of great information over there, along with a good amount of players who know what they're talking about.

    That being said, as someone who's been a working jazz player for a while, my personal advice would be to get a teacher. Jazz is a pretty deep music, and beginners can often get overwhelmed with approaching it. There's nothing like learning one-on-one with someone who understands the music and also understands the way to teach it to others. If you're already fairly proficient as a bass player, you don't even need a teacher who's also a bassist - you can learn jazz from a pianist, sax player, etc... - if that person can explain the music.

    Oh yeah - listen to as much jazz music as possible. Search around (here and the rest of the internet) for "important jazz albums" or something like that as a starting point. Each list will ultimately be a little different, but there's a lot of albums in the jazz cannon that are considered cornerstones of the music (like "Kind of Blue"), and will appear on just about every list you find.
  6. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Giant Steps is a tough piece to solo over to start with.

    But one very interesting aspect of that performance is the fact that JP is soloing without any harmonic comping!

    You should try to solo over a Major or Minor Blues for instance without backing or just the 2 & 4 on a click and keep your place in the form and the changes in your head while soloing.

    Good luck

  7. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    If your looking for some free lessons. Scott Devine has some excellent lessons online for jazz.