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How would you create a reggae bass line in a jazz chart.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Ratatouille, Feb 14, 2018.


  1. Ratatouille

    Ratatouille

    May 10, 2017
    We are playing a reggae chart for my school's jazz big band. My sheet music has a written bass line until the solos start, where I just have chord changes written. How would i comp/walk during solos in a reggae style.
     
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    What is the song? A few suggestions, in no particular order:
    1. Ask your band leader or music director for advice what to play.
    2. Take the written bass line and adapt that basic pattern to fit the chord changes during the solo section.
    3. Find the original recording of the song and listen to what the bassist plays on the recording.
     
    JRA, Leo Smith and bfields like this.
  3. It would help if you would point us to the chart.

    It could be that:
    - the bassline is meant to be repeated for the whole time again and again. (ostinato)
    - the bassline is meant to be repeated for the whole time but moved on the fingerboard according to the chords in the chart
    - the bassline is an intro and you are supposed to improvise a baseline over the following chords.

    I would not play a walking bass line on a reaggae song.
     
    JRA likes this.
  4. Groove Master

    Groove Master Commercial User

    Apr 22, 2011
    Montreal
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Outline the chords with the arpeggios 1-3-5 and use the rhythms from the written bass part. That should do it ;-)
     
  5. I normally pedal roots or 5ths and stay out of the soloest's way. It's his solo, he does not need my help.
     
  6. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Knowing how to play in the idiom...in this case, Reggae.
    Think/do what a Reggae bassist would play over the changes.
     
    JRA likes this.
  7. Leo Smith

    Leo Smith

    Oct 21, 2009
    Use the written line as a guide for the solo section. You could even play the exact line as long as the harmony lines up. Have you asked your band director for help? Mushroo had all the good advice up in the post #2.
     
    JRA likes this.
  8. Ratatouille

    Ratatouille

    May 10, 2017
    Thank you for the replies. It really helped to know that i should keep it harmonically simple.
     
    JRA and Groove Master like this.
  9. Groove Master

    Groove Master Commercial User

    Apr 22, 2011
    Montreal
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Yes well understood! The soloists need to know where they are harmonically especially at your level.
     
    Leo Smith likes this.
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Apr 10, 2021

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