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Book or method for jazz licks and grooves

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Michal Herman, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Michal Herman

    Michal Herman

    May 31, 2013
    I already incorporated some orchestral technique exercises into my practice routine using "Tao of bass" and "Tango bass fundamentals".
    I am looking for something jazz-oriented which will help build and sustain the technique and agility required for playing licks and grooves. Preferably sets of exercises that can be used for long term training.
    I am not looking for walking bass practice resources, because I already have a few.
    Any recommendations? :)
  2. tinyd


    Mar 11, 2003
    Michal Herman likes this.
  3. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings

    Aug 3, 2019
    John Goldsby is the man! I’m working through the Jazz Bass Book now and I’m going to give his jazz arco book a go afterwards. He even appears on here occasionally to help people who have questions about his techniques.

    The Jazz Bass Book: Technique and Tradition (Bass Player Musician's Library) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0879307161/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_S41bGb84H0W8N

    Jazz Bowing Techniques For The Improvising Bassist (Book & CD Set) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1562240447/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_R61bGbP9F3M73
    jheise and Tom Lane like this.
  4. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    Check out Mike Longo's The Improvised Melodic Line. The idea is to come up with your own stuff within the jazz tradition. IMO this is what makes the great players great. For example, you can imitate Charlie Parker. That's because he developed his own ways of solving the problems, and used them over and over. Of course his language was informed by the jazz tradition. This is true of most of the masters. I can imitate Ron Carter. You would have difficulty imitating me, or most of today's "jazz college" grads for that matter, because I don't have a unique personal language like he does. Getting a book of licks is not going to be the answer you seek.
    Sithian and tlhettema like this.
  5. Michal Herman

    Michal Herman

    May 31, 2013
    Actually... it is. As I am now looking for materials purely to build and sustain the technique and agility.
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  6. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Sounds like you want technical exercises and not to expand jazz vocabulary, correct? My suggestion is to practice classical music, as well as jazz standard melodies, both arco and pizz. Simandl Etudes are challenging and will keep you in shape, no doubt, but there are also more progressive books out there too i am sure.
    Michal Herman likes this.
  7. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    i would actually recommend a lick book. most of that stuff doesnt lay very easily on the bass, so its challenging, and if it does lay well then put it in all 12 keys. some of them will be very challenging. play everthing in the low and in the high octave. you'll be working on very difficult technique stuff and building vocabulary at the same time. play everything as slow and as fast as possible. sing everything you play to work on intonation and to get this new vocabulary in your head. dont really need more than this. let the music be your exercise. i wish someone told me this years ago. i can spend a month or more on one phrase this way
  8. I would recommend getting them from tunes by jazz composers. The Parker Omni book in bass clef is helpful as well.
    That material will come out best the less forced it is. Close your eyes and try to play like any jazz musician you like from memory - you will probably get the best results there.
  9. Escucha


    Jan 21, 2021
    Lima, Peru
    “Jazz grooves and licks”? What does that even mean?

    bass clef Omnibook. #1 recommendation

    also, listening to jazz usually helps.

    Jazz is not an amalgamation or “grooves and licks”. Why is this idea so prevalent these days?

    Everything you need is in the literature.

    P.S the literature means the recordings of the great masters. Go turn the first 8 bars of a solo into a “groove” you can loop and transpose or whatever. How bout some of the great horn back ups on “Walkin’” or the older Benny Goodman stuff with Christian on guitar, or is that stuff lame? How bout “starless” by King Crimson? That’s a good liccc!

    licc books are crap and utterly useless please don’t buy them nor endorse them.

    P.P.S Gran combo de Puerto Rico, go grab any one of those fantastic tumbaos (liccc bassist plays during the solo) start with “azuquita pa’l café” or “la muerte”. If you can lock into that stuff and keep people moving your licccs are progressing correctly.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
    Sam Sherry likes this.
  10. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Ah. I bet a lot of people (including me) thought you were thinking that learning licks in hopes to progress as a jazz musician rather than as a facile and agile bass player. Were that the case I would be agreeing with Lurk.

    If you're looking to increase facility and agility my advice is to grab a recent major orchestra audition list, get those bass parts and hit 'em. As you doubtless know already the challenge of playing jazz is developing the way you find a 'right answer' in the moment. In contrast, the challenges of symphony playing are that there is EXACTLY ONE 'right answer,' it's almost never the one which would come easily or naturally to you, and if you want to come back next week you had better find it this week. Hence, facility and agility.
    Carl Hillman likes this.
  11. Sithian

    Sithian Operator! Give me the number for 9-1-1! Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    New Jersey
    I am also working through Mike Longos books. Learning practical keyboards for theory and composition purposes- what a fantastic resource for overall musicianship.
    lurk likes this.
  12. Sithian

    Sithian Operator! Give me the number for 9-1-1! Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    New Jersey

    Patrick Pfeiffer's Bass Guitar Exercises for Dummies is an excellent resource catering toward this purpose -

    Bass Guitar Exercises For Dummies Resource Center - dummies
  13. Simandl is best for that. A bonus is most of the jazz greats studied out of it, so their licks will make more sense. Simandl with the bow. It is what Mingus, Paul Chambers and Ray Brown did.
    Seanto and Keith Rawlings like this.
  14. oren


    Aug 7, 2007
    Salem, OR
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