Blues and Jazz

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by taoist, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. taoist


    Dec 23, 2002
    mcallen tx
    Hi :)
    I am going to be living in Nashville Tennessee ( that how you spell tennessee...?)

    uh, anyways...I am really digging getting to hang around blues and jazz clubs. I want to be able to play well enough to maybe play some gigs. (but just my 1st week with my bass and 1st week learning theory)..

    So can anyone help me out, show me some good blues/jazz songs to learn, and the theories behind them. It almost seems as if there are basic jazz/blues tunes that every bassist should know..

    OH, and can someone give me some DAMN good bass solo's to learn? preferably long and nice-sounding without other instruments..? I am new to the bass, but played guitar for a long time (fingerpicking mostly), so I can pretty much handle the most complicated tabs anyone can throw at me.
    (god, thought I'd never say that)

    hey thanks alot for any help! I'm really digging these forums, I LOVE YOU ALL.
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Ed offers good advice. And since you asked about theory, and theory is what you need in this case, off to General Instruction this goes.
  3. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Man I wish I could find a teacher like you down here in the D.C. area. You wouldn't be thinking about moving down here would you? Everytime I read your posts I'm like man you nailed it. Anyway at least I have access to you here.
  4. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Sorry man, but what you're asking is not something achieved overnight or something like that.

    If you want to be a jazz player you should listen to what Ed Fuqua wrote, and remember that jazz is a damn pain in the ass style to play in because there are no limits. By no limits I mean there are no way you can't improve your playing (improvising) above where you're currently at. John Coltrane was one of the greatest improvisers of all time.. so was Bill Evans. They both thought they could learn just such incredible amounts more than what they knew at the peak of their career.

    If you wanna get serious... or atleast at a level where you can play jazz gigs at your local club you will have to study IMO :
    - Theory (Chords, scales, rhythm, reading, functional harmony etc. etc.)
    - Ear training (Transcribing lines from records, naming intervals and chords...singin lines as well)
    - Technique (Scales and patterns..speed..time..timbre... and putting the fingers on your bass utilizing all the **** you've learnt in the other departments into music)

    This is something that will take a long time and can be quite demanding.. but fun...

    and "The more you know the less you think you know" really applies here..,.

    good luck,
  5. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    That would be fantastic. Thank you.
  6. taoist


    Dec 23, 2002
    mcallen tx
    whoaaaa, ok. sounds good.

    but what about solo's? I want to be able to play one or three or a dozen, even if I'm just playing off tab, while I'm learning to improv.

    becuase basically it would suck to not be able to play anything until I get all this theory and stuff down. I like to split my time learning bass-- 1/2 playing music, the other half learning theory so I can eventually play all my own music.

    friend just called gonna go jam >:) thanks for the help please post more ! :p
  7. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Hmmm.. well what kind of solos do you want to learn? Want to post an example?. The best way to learn it would be to learn it by ear and play it, if you can read anything, look for a transcription...and in the worst case get the tabs of whatever you wanna learn (which is better than not playing it at all). I can guarantee you you will find no tabs of older jazz solo stuff... maybe notation if you're lucky...

  8. taoist


    Dec 23, 2002
    mcallen tx
    well, I know you guys suggest I play things by ear...but come on this is my first week with bass and theory...give me a break huh? :p

    I'd like to learn any bass solo you can throw at me. if you post it here I will learn it.
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    dont take this the wrong way, but if this is only your 1st week playing a bass, then you should be learning the theory and technique that goes into playing a bass and basslines/solos. This way you'll be able to create one at will without having others show you one.
  10. Benbass


    Jan 28, 2002
    Bass solos don't seem to get requested as much as we'd like. To me it seems so much more important to learn to groove first. I've seen guys in the music store who really tear it up but being able to lay the foundation for a song is what gets a bass payer a gig. Most of the time we hold the groove for others to solo over.
  11. taoist


    Dec 23, 2002
    mcallen tx
    I want to learn bass solo's for my entertainment. the theory and **** is primary, yes, but I want to have fun while I'm learning.
    there's nothing wrong with learning a bass solo off tab to pass your time and enjoy yourself.

    So if anyone *does* know decent bass solo's worth learning please do post them. I'm anxious =o!

    Thank you for all the help!! :D
  12. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    i have to agree that there is no real point in playing other people's soli. i believe someone pointed out already that a solo is nothing more but a personal statement you make in a certain musical context.

    but of course while i don't see any sense in replicating soli there is nothing that can stop you from doing that. that said, take a look
    for some transcriptions. please note that everything you will find there is written in standard notation, which means you'll have to be able to "read".
  13. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Actually, I would disagree with that statement. And remember Taoist, patience is virtue.

    "He who fusses over anything spoils it.
    He who grasps anything loses it.
    The Sage fusses over nothing and therefore spoils nothing.
    He grips at nothing and therefore loses nothing."
    - Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching
  14. taoist


    Dec 23, 2002
    mcallen tx
    "i have to agree that there is no real point in playing other people's soli. i believe someone pointed out already that a solo is nothing more but a personal statement you make in a certain musical context."

    I was thinking that this was only really pertaining to jazz, maybe blues. I'm thinking solo's along the lines of the gratefuldead or something like that. I'm sure most solo's in most forms of music dont come from the soul quite like they do in jazz. And even if they do play a solo from the soul, I'm sure they dont mind if I try and play their song.

    Jazzbo- ah yes, I've read it before...but it's going to be forever before I can come up with my solo's at a moments notice...and until I do it would be a shame to not have anything to play.
    Some people learn everything off tab, some people shun it. I prefer the middle path ;)

    Acoustic-- is 16 too young to go bar-hopping? ;) maybe if I wear some shades.. :D but hell yes as soon as I get an ID man, I'm touring all the good spots!

    Well, I guess if anyone isnt really interested in posting a good solo I'll look through the net a bit more thuroughly. thanks for all your help! :)
  15. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Actually, a good portion of getting a good solo vocuabulary IS learning other players solos, note-by-note and copping their feel to the point where you sound as close to the original as possible.

    ALL good jazz soloists.. I repeat..ALL Good jazz soloists have copied stuff by their influences. Bird trranscribed Pres... Herbie Hancock transcribed horace silver and bill evans etc.

    The point of learning solos is obviously NOT so you can play them note-by-note when playing in a band! It's about getting into the swing/groove and analyzing what's going on theoretically etc..

    Of course, you SHOULDN'T use tab for taking stuff out of records.... even standard notation isn't as good as using your ear.....

  16. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    when i wrote my reply i knew someone would come and say something like this. but i was too lazy to "prepare an answer in advance".

    so now i can say that i agree with you: when i say there is no point in playing other person's soli i of course meant doing this while you are performing the song with a band. it was also my intention to discourage people from purely learning those things by tab "just for fun". as you already mentioned it is a good idea to analyze the solo, the theoretical background, harmonic structure, etc.. combine this with the added benefit of training your ear while transcribing the thing on your own and you can learn a lot from other people's musical ideas.

    again, i must admit that i was too lazy to point this out, so i completely understand your "strongly disagreeing" reply.

    but i will state again, there is no "educational" point in learning the soli when you're just playing it for fun, without paying any attention besides "where do i have to put my finger?", completely ignoring the "why" and "how".
  17. taoist


    Dec 23, 2002
    mcallen tx
    "but i will state again, there is no "educational" point in learning the soli when you're just playing it for fun, without paying any attention besides "where do i have to put my finger?", completely ignoring the "why" and "how"."

    Yes, god forbid we play the bass for fun ;)
    I understand where you are coming from, but why are you so sure that I am going to completely ignore the "why" and "how"? I did say quite a few times that I am studying theory and am very passionate about learning.
    I dont want to make learning the bass a chore, like I did the guitar. forcing myself to play or learn. more for the sake of getting better than having a better time. I got pretty good, even if all I could do was play off tab, but it really sucked becuase by then my soul wasnt in it as much.

    Having a good time is always the primary goal, learning and improving is secondary.
  18. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Taoist, I no longer live in Nashville, but you might be interested to know there is actually a jazz school there near Vanderbilt University. I believ they are located on or near Music Row.They advertise in the classified section of "The Tennessean" daily newspaper.

    You will be most likely to find their ads on Thursdays when the neswpaper dedicates a portion of the classifieds to musician' wanted ads, music equipment, recording and rehearsal studios, etc.

    If I were you, I'd read this section every week because often bands needing bassists have bassist wanted ads. Also music instructors often advertise there. Check out Denny Bixby. He is a studio and band bassist who has offered classes in the past. I don't know if he still does. He is a stickler for detail and demands a professional and serious attitude about bass playing. He drops students who do not meet his expectations or ones whom he believes do not have the aptitude or talent to progress.

    I feel it is only fair to warn you that getting a playing gig in Nashville is extremely competitive. Practically every waiter and waitress there is really a musician or singer hoping to make it big in music. I finally gave up calling "bassist wanted" ads because not one band ever called me back...NOT ONE.

    (I loved Nashville and hope you will enjoy the city as much as I did.)

    Lastly, we recently had a thread or two that is similar in nature to what you are saying about "enjoying" playing and not wanting to make learning a chore. Let me see if I can find the name of the thread for you. It turned out to be quite lengthy. You might find the opinions expressed interesting.
  19. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    why do you think that i am sure? i believe noone here really said "you musn't do it". of course i am not qualified to speak for the others, but i think that most people sort of tried to warn you, maybe because their experience with the approach you're going to take has been a negative one.

    sometimes the middle path leads nowhere.
    do it right from the beginning, and after you take the initial hurdle you'll end up more satisfied.

    i may be wrong, but i believe that is what jazzbo meant when saying:

    also try the search function. boplicity is right, there has been an interesting discussion about this already. i am not sure whether it was the same one, but in one thread a person asked about playing jaco pastorius "donna lee". some people replied that they found it useless to learn jaco's solo over the charlie parker tune when they could just work on playing their own solo while performing the song. those comments spawned a discussion similar to this one.

    to finish this off, i want to say that you're free to do what you want, just make sure that your idea of "immediate fun" doesn't hinder you reaching your long term goals.
  20. Keter Betts lives in Silver Spring, MD. He's in the phone book.