Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Michael Case, May 23, 2003.

  1. A couple of weeks back I was having a night where everything went wrong. On one of the breaks I was talking to the guitarist and he said the tempo dropped on a tune during the bass solo and he altered the form (cut it short a few bars). Is this common practice in jazz? I've never heard of it before. It seems strange to me.
  2. Moose the Mooch:
    I feel sorry for Your Bad Day, but please
    please explain more what You mean. You were talking to guitar player after the set and he TOLD you he cut your solo chorus short..?
    Didn´t ya notice anything while he did it? There´s something I don´t get here...I mean,
    if one is in a middle of a solo chorus, the common practice in jazz would be that one
    knows where he is. Was you totally lost?

  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Nope, "normal" means, "We all play the same song in the same key at the same tempo." It sounds like at least some portion of your bad night arose from your guitarist getting lost and trying to point the finger at you.

    At the same time, if I hear that somebody on the bandstand has dropped a beat, I will almost always follow (with a big, honkin' nod to the drummer). I'm out to make music, not to win the argument.
  4. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ... what Sam and arto said. I have to add, though, that someone's ad hoc decision to chop a few bars off the form is a pretty bad one. That's just gonna make a possibly-bad situation worse. What if the rhythm section isn't as listening and experienced as Sam?

    If I remember right, mike, you've had a run-in with a guitarist before. Same guy? He sounds a bit like a loose cannon, making weird decisions on the fly.

    I was playing a Jobim tune with some pals the other day and the guitarist -- who's actually an alto player in real life -- started doing something really weird. I stopped the tune and asked "what the hell?" His response: oh, I thought we'd just jam on that 8-bar section for a while, then carry on with the form. Tell me your plan BEFORE the f*ck*ng downbeat, pal!

    (To be fair to him -- you're not reading this, are you Roger? Love ya babe -- we've played together for two decades in an R&B/worldbeat groove dance band. We specialize in unpredictable jammed out versions of tunes that can go all kinds of places, then come back. In the SIMPLE stuff we play there, we can get away with that. In the jazz we're working practicing on the side, I think we need another decade under our belt before we get so communicative we can rewrite forms on the fly to music that is very form-bound.)

    So what if the tempo dropped a little bit? Audiences hardly ever will notice a thing like that, and bass solos generally give them the impression of everything stopping for a while anyway. A better response from your guitarist is for him to give you some positive feedback about your solo, but to mix in discreetly that he thinks maybe the tempo dropped a bit. That should launch an alert in your mind to check that out at home with a metronome (if you care at all.)

    If it helps: I have a tendency to slow down the tempo in a solo, too. I've learned that if I feel like I'm rushing just a bit, it's probably the same tempo I started with.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Wise words from a wise man. TELL IT, bro...
  6. Well, the thing is I thought I was in the right spot in my solo when all of a sudden I'm hearing different from the chords, then everything went to sh*t for me. I'm not all that experienced (playing the double bass and jazz for 4 years now), so I tend to believe it when I'm told I'm the weakest link. I practice all the time with a metronome, but I'm begining to think it doesn't help me in the real world because I don't have a constant click going on all the time on the bandstand.
  7. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Gotcha. Keep at it, mike da mook. Don't let 'em getcha down.
  8. mee too...
    Keep on bassin´, Moose. Don´t let´em get You down.
    What I dropped out of my first post was the same which Sam said. There are numerous good ways to get your fellow players back to map, marking the chords etc. etc. A brutal interruption by cutting the chorus short is definitely NOT the common practice. Especially now when you answered the question right..( being in the map in you solo ).
    If you were right and the only reason for the guitar player to f*** up your solo was his sorry little opinion about the tempo, you have a guitar player with a serious attitude problem. The are two reasons left why he did that:
    1. it was HIM who was not hearing where you were. In that situation HE should keep quiet and wait for a signal from you or other cats to get HIM back to map.
    2. He WAS hearing, but something you played annoyed him so much he felt the urge to cut your solo short. My opinion about that kind of behaviour is obvious.

    Talk with him, tell him to NEVER do that kind of thing again. It´s not gonna help you to be a better player. It´s not gonna do any good to your self-confidence, neither as a soloist nor as a part of an ensemble whose main goal in to communicate musically. And it´s not gonna make him sound like a professional, but an a**hole.

    Chins up, man.

  9. What happened to Ed?
    Well, I've been working with the nome, getting my sh*t together. I'm working on improving my soloing. I hate being all whinney on this board and this post had alot to do with hurt pride. I also just wanted to know if what he did was some sort of common practice I wasn't aware of. It's cool though. Thanks.
  10. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    That's great advice, Jason. Good post.
  11. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    amen jason. too many times i have had to remind everyone after the gig that a minor little mess up is never noticed until everyone starts grimacing at each other.

    the best you can do when someone does something like cut your solo off is to just make sure everyone gets back on the same page, and then yell at the guy during load out...