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How do you forget Jaco?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bass Momma, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Bass Momma

    Bass Momma

    Dec 25, 2017
    A mind game question.
    The lead guitarist in our jazz trio wants us to do Metheny's Bright Sized Life, which he's loved since he was knee-high to a ukulele. I'm cool with the song, chord chart, riff, and so on, but no way can I do a Jaco-type line on it. The guitarist is fine with me doing the bassist-marking-the-changes, it's me that's getting in my way. Any recommendations for keeping the Jaco ghost from breathing down my neck? I have been studying his line, but I know that if I try to use much of it I am going to spectacularly screw up (apart from being way too busy even if I did get it). If anyone does this song, what approach do you take?
    I know the best way to learn is to set yourself something you think you can't do, and work like a dog until you can - but that doesn't mean trying to imitate a force of nature. :bassist:
    DJ Bebop and nbsipics like this.
  2. JeroB666


    Dec 22, 2012
    That's a tough one... IMO I would rather do the work and learn the song as played by him, there is some room for changes but there some lines that are iconic.

    Good luck!
    kopio, DJ Bebop and eJake like this.
  3. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I don't know. That's an iconic sound, so it will change the sound of the song quite a bit, even if only to yourself. Try things to see what others are happy with. If they don't complain, then I guess you're good to go. You can always make modifications to it over time as you guys continue to rehearse and perform it.
    Bass Momma likes this.
  4. rickster4003


    Feb 15, 2013
    Don't aim low, aim high. If you don't quite make it, that's ok. At least you tried.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  5. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    I've often wondered that myself.
    How would those pieces sound if Jaco never played on them?

    "Bright Size Life"I would do with a basic Samba or Bossa Nova bass feel.
    Charlzm and Bass Momma like this.
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Look to Larry Grenadier..

    JRA, Joshua, jerry and 5 others like this.
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    There are many ways to play differently from Jaco but Bright Size Life, the song is essentially made by the bass line. I wouldn't try something else on it.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  8. nbsipics

    nbsipics Very Unorthodox Behavior Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    I just think it’s cool you guys are going to play it. GLWTS
  9. Bass Momma

    Bass Momma

    Dec 25, 2017
    That’s REALLY helpful! Thanks so much!
    Pacman and Charlzm like this.
  10. Bass Momma

    Bass Momma

    Dec 25, 2017
    This whole jazz adventure has been one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I’m playing with people who are WAY above my pay grade, hanging on by my fingernails (and a lot of sweat equity!). Bit like tackling a black ski run... if you make it to the bottom you really know you’re alive!
    DJ Bebop and nbsipics like this.
  11. Alivefor5

    Alivefor5 Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    Doing Jaco is like doing Jamerson. Just do your best.
    jefkritz and DJ Bebop like this.
  12. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    You don't forget Jaco. You do the best you can. You leave out or change what you can't play solidly. Better to play half the notes well, then all of them poorly. :thumbsup:

    Mostly you try to remember that for the most part, no one will know except you. I can't tell you how many times I've been accused of playing something perfectly when I know I didn't. I just say thank you and move on. I once learned a CCR song on the way to an audition by listening. They said I was the only one that played it correctly. :whistle:
    jefkritz, Bass Momma and DJ Bebop like this.
  13. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Just play it best u can. Get the essence of it then use your style. He was the greatest!
  14. nilorius


    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Concentrate when learning, you can do it, try to do it, spend your time.
  15. Bass Momma

    Bass Momma

    Dec 25, 2017
    Time... that's the thing.. I need that extra 12 hours in the 24!
  16. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Redding CA
    Don't know if this will help, but what the heck.
  17. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    IMHO keep at it. Yes, it's hard to play Jaco lines but
    perseverance will get you close.
  18. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    If it were me, I do my best Jaco impersonation. I know this doesn’t help, just sayin. As long as you nail the feel and keep it tasty, it’ll sound good.
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Pretend you're Dave Holland...
    Dig Wilbur Ware, Joshua and jerry like this.
  20. Put in the work to learn it. Trust me it will be worth it and you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment once you get it.

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