Help with theory/scale selection

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by GrooveWarrior, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. I have come to accept that I was brought up on rock and roll. I can't hear "jazzy" scales when I play, and it drives me nuts. I solo in minor pentatonic and I can't get away from it.

    Chameleon by Herbi Hancock is a great tune. I can only hear and solo in pentatonic minor in A#/Bb. I will occasionaly drift into C minor pentatonic, but it doesn't sound like it does when "jazzers" play it. Is there a scale I should be going to so this will sound more like jazz and less like blues when I play it?

  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Jazz is not about scales. There are many jazz tunes that use "blues" scales.

    Jazz is about rhythm and harmony. Further, there's no quick answer. You can't simply decide to play this or that scale and be a jazz player. If that were the case, I might not suck so bad.

    If you are interested in playing and learning more about jazz, and possiblity adding the skills and feel of jazz that you learn to other genres of music, there's no choice but to simply study jazz. Perhaps two days a week you can dedicate to just playing jazz, as opposed to rock and roll.

    A teacher would be extremely beneficial. If you absolutely exhaust yourself and can't find a teacher, there are TONS of resources down in the DB side TB. Plus, Mark Levine's "Jazz Theory" book is a good read, as is Rufus Reid's "Evolving Bassist." You would also do well to listen to a lot of straight-ahead, classic swing jazz. Look for bassists such as Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, John Pattitucci, Ron Carter, (and many more). If Cincinnati has a used CD store, go and spend some money, and stock up.
  3. I've got plenty of CD's, believe me. I don't play much anymore. My 10 month old and my job take a lot of my time. I guess it's good to know that there isn't a secret set of scales that will work for jazz. I would feel really silly to know that I hadn't stumbled on it. I would love to get a teacher, but I don't play enough to justify that. Thanks for your advice. I may have to pick up some of those books.