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Help with "So What"

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by ameuseall, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. ameuseall


    Nov 1, 2003
    The transcription I have of So What shows 2 8 bar segments on D minor 7, 8 bars of Eb minor 7, and 8 bars of D minor 7. Problem is,the Eb section has a major tonality to my ear and walking Eb minor doesn't sound right. Help?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    There have been other threads about this piece before - you might find more detailed comments with a search.

    But the main thing to bear in mind is that this is a modal piece - and Miles intended the improvising to be based around 2 Dorian Modes.

    So you have the D Dorian based on C Major and then you shift everything up a semi-tone - easy!! ;)
  3. ameuseall


    Nov 1, 2003
    Thanks for the reply. I hear the Eb as C# major, which makes sense.
  4. haha
  5. Emankcin


    Mar 4, 2004
    I think the problem is that somehow the tapes were going too fast while they were recording first few cuts of Kind of Blue and so they are a little sharp, which would lead you to hear it in Eb minor instead of D minor. In the newest re-release they corrected the error.
  6. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Yes, easy. The tune is two scales.
    The first section is a C major scale, using D as the root.
    The second section is a Db major scale, Eb root.
    The really precious people would say D dorian mode, Eb dorian mode.
    [Bruce, I just re-read this; I was not referring to you, but to that group that seems compelled to convey contrived erudition. Sorry I took so long getting back to this. Anybody out there - Blues Minefield is bona fide.]

    I still have the original LP, and I have no idea what the post above is talking about.
  7. bass_means_LOW


    Apr 12, 2004
    Las Vegas
    A bassist, Harley White told me a story about when he jammed with Herbie Hancock. On the break, Harley asked him something like, "Herbie, what changes were you using on "So What" because I wasn't hearing them?" Herbie said, Eb Lydian and E Lydian. Ron Carter has an alternate head for the "So What" changes. He recorded it on one of his quartet albums; the composition is called "Eight." Highly suggested instead of the much played, "Impressions" and "So What."
  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I play altered dominant over the second section.
  9. JohnBarr


    Mar 19, 2004
    Central NY
    Thanks for bringing this up. It's one one of those slippery little facts that probably affects those of us trying to listen and learn from the recording.

    There is a re-mastered version out there that restores the original takes at the right speed. Worth seeking out if you're trying to piece the tunes together by ear.

  10. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    I just heard a new twist on playing the melody of this tune on bass. This guy at a fair up North was playing with a quartet and when he got to the Eb minor section, he ghosted the low Eb on the open D and played the rest of the lick as usual, except for playing the higher Bb and Eb with the first finger as he did with the Dminor section. That may work until you try it on tape.

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