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Epistrophy

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Bill Brasky, Jan 29, 2002.


  1. These chord changes confuse me. For the first four bars it alternates between C#7 and D7 every two beats, then the next phrase it's D#7 E7 for 4 bars. So every two beats you're shifting between one dominant 7th and another one a half step higher and they have no notes in common. If you put the two chords together (like C# D E# F# G# A B C for the first phrase) then you get kind of a weird scale (a bebop scale with lowered 2 and 6?) but that still doesn't make much sense. I guess I'm just having trouble seeing how the chords fit together and how to improvise a bassline or melody over them. Can someone clarify or simplify this in any way for me?
     
  2. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Approach # 1 -- Academic: These chords don't fit together. Outline them distinctly when soloing or walking.

    Approach # 2 -- Zen: These chords fit together perfectly because they have nothing in common. Hear the combination as its own sound when soloing or walking.

    Approach # 3 -- Post-modern: That's what's there. Don't be shy about playing "wrong," outside-the-scale notes when soloing; when walking, show the changes. There's a lot of them, so you might find it easier to build your line around chord tones then scalar material.

    Approach # 4 -- Realistic: You're a bass-player. You have to beg people to comp behind your solo. Drummers who sound like Elvin in back of tenor players only play the Glen Miller beat when it's your turn. You could play "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" over "Epistrophy" without clashing with anyone because no-one will support you anyway. (Jes' jokin . . .)

    Approach # 5 -- Get Working: Study the Monk records; see what got played.
     
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    D7 is the tritone sub for a G#7, so you can look at it this way as well:


    C#7 D7 | C#7 D7 | C#7 D7 |C#7 D7

    could also be played as:

    C#7 G#7(#11) | C#7 G#7(#11) | C#7 G#7(#11) | C#7 G#7(#11)

    or, this works as well:

    C#7 | C#7 | C#7 | C#7

    You can play C# lydian dominant over the whole thing, as well as C# minor pentatonic. You could also play G#-7 and A-7, effectively sus'ing the dominant chords, and the corresponding major pentatonics. I don't have toys in my hands, but looking at it, you might be able to wedge a C# phrygian over the whole mess as well (or at least parts of it).
     
  4. Hey, thanks for both responses, that gives me some good ideas to practice and experiment with. I'll have to listen closer so some recordings too and try and figure out what other people did with the song.

    now I've got to go off on kind of a tangent here...

    I've noticed people do this in jazz combos I play in at school, and I think I've heard it in other groups also. Why is that?
     
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    A condition generally fixed with ease by discussing what you want with your band mates between sets.
     
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I hate this as well - I go along to a lot of Jazz workshops and jams and this always happens. Of course the history is that DB is comparatively quiet and they are being polite, so you can be heard.

    What I really hate is tentative chords that are just out of hearing, so that you're thinking - have they lost their place in the sequence or are they just being tasteful? :mad:Always puts me off!

    In the regular band I play in, they do know that there is no need to turn it down whan I solo - in fact I usually raise the dynamic! ;)
     
  7. DITTO!

    If it's because they're trying to be tasteful, they should realize that timid, unsure, and awkward-sounding comps will only emphasize my timid, unsure, and awkward-sounding solos! :D
     
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I was recently playing trio with a guitarist and drummer of, shall we say, lesser experience in the jazz realm. We got around to my solo, and the drummer started that tick-tick thing that sounds like the bad valve lifters in my old Fiat, the guitarist stopped completely, and they started talking to each other (about the NFL playoffs, BTW). So I stopped too, put down the bass,walked over, and joined in the conversation; "are we on break?...getcha something from the bar?..." Point taken, problem solved. Silence is sometimes very powerful, especially when performed by the bassist.
     
  9. Hey Bill...Dave Holland @ The Blue Note March 16 &17.
    (Columbia,MO)
     
  10. Hey, thanks for the info, I'll have to try and see that one.
     
  11. I carry a small canister of mace, so when a drummer starts that "ricky ticky" hi hat crap behind my solo I can spray him (or her) right in the face. I find their screams of agony much more supportive of my rhythmic and harmonic concepts. After all, last time I checked, my calendar didn't read 1938, and somebody has to teach these people.