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guitar bass recommendations

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Steve Killingsworth, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. Well, in a move that might mean my downfall I am making my first real foray into jazz. A guitarist has asked work with him on a few tunes and like a fool, I agreed.

    We are currently exploring possibilities such as All Of Me, Sweet Georgia Brown, and Lady Be Good. He wants to try Django's Minor Swing but after looking at the charts, I think is probably beyond my current capabilities.

    Since many of you are far more familiar with this, I wondered if I could get a few ideas for potential tunes.
  2. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    Autumn Leaves was one of my first attempts at playing Jazz. It was a good one to cut my teeth on. Then I went on to My funny Valentine, maybe too much too soon. Now I'm working on Freddie Freeloader and So What, easy to grasp, difficult to master.

    Have fun. I don't know what you played before but I found that Jazz is liberating for a bass player coming from a rock background.

    Now I'm making the switch to DB, which I know is going to be my greatest musical challenge yet.


  3. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Approach the tune as a whole to see where it is going harmonically. Take each chord at a time, difficult songs become much easier. You'll be able to string a few measure together soon enough.

    When I first started I would write out a couple of pages of my bassline, that I was happy with, for tunes...this keeps you grounded but at the same time then you can start using your own line to add and improvise of off without feeling that you don't know what to play over the next measure, basically you always have your fall back. Plus if you have the time learn the melody to every tune...this makes everything easier.

    Also, is this a group or duo??? That will also make a difference in your approach.

    First tune I ever learned was Autumn Leaves.

  4. MartinT


    Apr 16, 2003
    San Mateo CA
    Hi Steve, welcome to the dark side. You will never be the same :D.

    Some tunes that I found very helpful to learn are 'Round midnight' (the 1-6-2-5-1 progression at the head comes back in many other tunes, also a good tune to work on slower tempo basslines) 'Footsteps' (good to develop steady rithm) and as many bluestunes as you can get your hands on.
  5. Thanks guys, several good ideas. To clear up some of your questions:

    I play mostly bluegrass. I usually walk between chords and on a few more swinging tunes I walk most of the song. I solo on occasion but usually keep it pretty brief.

    My teacher is a jazz guy and much of what he has me working on is geared in that direction. I am fascinated by jazz and as pontz said find it very liberating to experiment with. At a gig last week we were onstage doing a fast tune called Pain in My Heart. During the song I branched on on my lines and got a little adventurous with the time--skipping a few beats, inserting some 16ths, etc. and had a blast with it.

    At this time, this will be a duo. Any solos on my part will be pretty rudimentary--probably just the melody as my improvising ability consists of bits and pieces--at this point I can't string together a cohesive line of any length. My main goal is to lay down an interesting groove while the guitarist shines.
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
  7. One of my bands is a guitar/bass duo - here are a couple of set-lists we're using at the moment:

    All The Things you Are
    Sister Sadie
    Here's That Rainy Day (Sher Book G version, also RB-I version in F)
    My One And Only Love
    Alice In Wonderland
    Pennies From Heaven
    My Romance
    Jitterbug Waltz
    Indian Summer

    Ask Me Now
    Stolen Moments
    Alone Together
    Autumn Leaves (Sher G-min, or RB-I E-min)
    Bye Bye Baby
    Over The Rainbow
    Blue Monk
    Once In A While

    and here are some more tunes we've used in the past:

    Lullaby Of Birdland
    Lullaby Of The Leaves
    My Funny Valentine
    People Will Say We're In Love
    Star Dust
    Polkadots & Moonbeams
    Blue Bossa
    On The Sunny Side Of The Street
    Besame Mucho
    Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
    Body & Soul
    I'm Beginning To See The Light
    Jersey Bounce
    East of The Sun
    My Little Boat
    Gentle Rain
    Ain't Misbehavin'
    'Round Midnight
    Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat
    Shiny Stockings
    How About You?
    A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
    Just Friends
    Waltz For Debby
    How High The Moon
    How Deep Is The Ocean
    In The Wee Small Hours
    All Blues

    Good Luck -
    - Wil
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The better you understand a tune, the more freedom you'll have to spend energy elsewhere. If you understand some harmony, sit down with the changes and do some analyzing. Then make sure that you understand the form. Down the road, knowing the words of the tune really helps in interperating the melody.

    Record the session if you can and then run it back to your teacher.

    'Round Midnight? I wouldn't recommend that as tune to wet your toes on.
  9. I am seeing this more all the time in everything I play.

    Thanks to everybody else for the tune suggestions. TB is really a blessing.