Heads to play on bass (pizz or arco)

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Garagiste, Jul 24, 2019.


  1. Garagiste

    Garagiste

    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm trying to get more in the habit of being able to both sing and play the heads to the tunes, preferably arco and pizzicato. Right now I'm working on "Afternoon in Paris", "Satin Doll" and some others. I'm curious what some of you have used for this exercise. Chris Fitzgerald has a good video on thumb position where he plays "Blue Monk". What heads have you wanted to (or had to) learn on bass?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    All of them?
    Siriusly, what tunes do you like to play? What tunes do you like to listen to? What tunes do you WANT to play? Just start picking things out, man there's just SO many great tunes. Back in the dim and distant past, Ray Parker (who doesn't post here anymore) and I did a duo gig; 3 sets of us trading melody duty

    Generally something will just grab me and I'll want to dig into more, so I learn the melody. Or a particular lyric pulls me in. Sometimes different players will want to put something in the repertoire as a unison piece. Just to start listing them, I'm going to forget a bunch...a few I'd have to shed to get them back to performance level
    ALL THE THINGS
    THESE FOOLISH THINGS
    BODY AND SOUL
    STELLA
    APRIL IN NIMES
    TRICOTISM
    SERPENT'S TOOTH
    ISN'T IT ROMANTIC
    LOVE LETTERS
    FALLING IN LOVE WITH LOVE
    I'VE NEVER BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE
    THREE AND ONE
    FOR ALL WE KNOW
    BLAME IT ON MY YOUTH
    CHERYL
    YARDBIRD SUITE
    ALONE TOGETHER
    I REMEMBER YOU
    IF I SHOULD LOSE YOU AUTUMN LEAVES
    IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD
    GETTING SENTIMENTAL OVER YOU
    I HEAR A RHAPSODY
    IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU


    I know I'm forgetting some...
     
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    had to pick up the bass for a minuet
    AU PRIVAVE
    ROUND MIDNIGHT
    DON'T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE
    SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES
    SOFTLY AS IN A MORNING SUNRISE
    WITHOUT A SONG
    I'LL BE SEEING YOU
    WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE
    I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TIME IT WAS
     
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  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Agree with Ed - all of them! Bebop heads if you’re into that, ballads if you’re into that, Bach suites if you’re into that. Don’t worry if you’re “doing it right”, and don’t ask for permission. Just find a melody you love, and get after it.
     
  5. Dabndug

    Dabndug Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2017
    Somewhere in Oz
    Ornithology at 240 BPM :D
     
  6. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Are you asking about playing the melody while singing the bass line or singing the bass line while playing the melody? Both are great challenges for your ear, IME, and so are both very worthwhile.
    If you're asking about playing melodies... these days, I don't feel I've learned a tune until I can play the melody in every octave possible, and switch between octaves randomly. Arco and pizz. Multiple keys for singer tunes. Because, as someone commented @Chris Fitzgerald , what is a tune other than it's melody? The competent drummers I play with tend to sing the melody during the solos... if the drummer takes the time and considers the melody the "heart" of the tune... they play well so, the proof is in their playing.
    Similarly, I'd say the same about singing the melody while playing the bass line. I have a lot of trouble doing more than half notes on my bass line, but I can sing several standards while playing a simple bass line in 2. Once I try for a quarter note bass line while singing the melody I can't usually maintain that but I keep trying for it.
    @Chris Fitzgerald demonstrated a great solo for me where he sang the melody and then accompanied himself with his bass in a 2-feel and if practicing that doesn't help you hear the changes and become more musical... I'm stumped.
    One thing, playing the melody pizz is a completely different animal than arco. Both can be great and I practice both.
     
  7. CaseyVancouver

    CaseyVancouver

    Nov 4, 2012
    Donna Lee.

    Has been on my plate for many years. Probably not what you are looking for ...but a trumpet friend just sent me this version so it’s on my mind today. Amazing how nhop throws in funk to his swing.

    Donna Lee and the Bach cello suite #6 are kind of ‘goal’ pieces in my world.

     
  8. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    One Note Samba - (but whistle the bridge.)
     
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  9. hhalt

    hhalt Hans Halt

    Nov 26, 2010
    Reno, Nv
    I just learned Laverne Walk by Oscar Pettiford. I like this because it is basically in open position, but hard to play up to tempo-great exercise for right hand! Starts at 45:42

     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    There's a great trombone joke about ONS, but it's a visual...
     
    Don Kasper likes this.
  11. As @Ed Fuqua & @Chris Fitzgerald any tune you want to know. Pretty much any tune you are interested in playing you should start by learning the head. I will concede being able to walk through changes from a chart and not go too far with tunes we don't like much is a luxury we have as bassists, still, learn all the heads of tunes you like.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  12. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Are you on YouTube???
    I'd love to see this.
    Thanks.
     
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Not me, but, to describe it, you sing the A section (the "one note" part) miming the trombonist using the slide in positions 1 through 7 to play "that note" and then, for the B section, the slide pulls back to 1st position and the trombonist uses embouchure to negotiate the melody...
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  14. MikeDavis

    MikeDavis Supporting Member

    May 24, 2012
    Indianapolis
    Like this?

     
    oldNewbie, Joshua, Ed Fuqua and 3 others like this.
  15. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    You win the Internets today!!!
    Nice.
     
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    PRECISELY!
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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