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Jazz Book for double bass

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by maladjusted, May 3, 2004.

  1. maladjusted


    Feb 15, 2004
    San Diego
    Hi. I have been playing classical music on my double bass for awhile and somebody asked me if I would like to join them some day to play Jazz. I don't have much training in Jazz, can somebody recomend a good book to learn Jazz for the double bass?

    thanks in advance
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Did you guys hear that? The world fell silent as another poor victim has dipped his toe in the water.


    I'm arfraid that your question might be a little too broad to get a good answer. My recommendation would be to invest some time in listening right now. You'll find some good names with which to begin your quest under the 'Bassists' catgeory from the main page at Double Bass Forums. Look through the old threads, and there's probably some good information there as well if Chris setup a 'Newbies' link.

    After that, and very soon, your best bet is to get a teacher. I would recommend a good jazz pianist who is also a good teacher. When it comes to soloing, you might want to seek out a horn player to guide you.

    Good luck, soldier. It's a long, dangerous, and exciting voyage that you're looking at.
  3. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Check this thread about the recent John Goldby book. Ray's sarcasm is justified by the way you ask. It's like can you suggest, if not recomend, a good book to learn how to fall (and stay) in love ?
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Of course it's not going to tell you everything, but I found Ed Friedland's book "Jazz Bass", a good basic introduction to things like Jazz performance protoculs and what's expected of you as a bass player in Jazz - I've leant it to a few people, new to Jazz and they found it to be very useful.

    It's not too long and is only an introduction - but to me, that's just right, as if you try to take too much in, then it could be overwhelming and the vast majority of learning is going to be through other people - playing with them, learning from them etc. - but it's good to know the basics and not look entirely clueless when you do this!! ;)
  5. Hey, MISTUNED
    Ed Friedland´s books don´t seem to be for DB, but slab instead ( sorry, Bruce, no pun intended ).

    If you want to get a book, I strongly suggest getting John Goldsby´s book, since it´s dedicated to Double Bass in jazz. It includes a history section, so if you are new to DB in jazz, it´s helpful also by providing discographies and listening suggestions.
    It´s a great book for learning many things about Double Bass players, and how jazz double bass playing has developed over the decades.
    Learning to play jazz is a different ballgame.

  6. I'm sure maladjusted will find and read the thread on Rufus Reid's The Evolving Bassist which for me still has the best material to start you off playing good walking lines.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Not at all - they are just aimed at beginners to Jazz and are not instrument-specific in any way. So he concentrates on things like "the form", peformance protoculs, trading with the drummer,walking, ballads, Latin etc etc. I think he even plays DB on the accompanying CD!!

    I have both John Goldsby's book and Rufus Reid's - the latter seems to be a bit intimidating for absolute beginners and too "easy" for people who can already play DB well. Although I do like it now and it is a good book to help you develop.

    I like Goldsby's book - but it is really a series of articles gathered together and is not aimed at newcomers to Jazz or at taking you systematically through the basics of Jazz, that you really need to know.
  8. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    What are those heavy concepts about ?
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    OK - he has a section on trading 8s with the drummer - and that's not a weight!! ;)

    So - he tells you all the beginner stuff that all the "old lags" forgot years ago and take for granted - but others, like those coming from classical to Jazz don't know but feel silly asking!!

    Like - what is a vamp to start a tune? Head, solos, head out - what does that mean? How can you play a tune completely unrehearsed and with no prior discussion? How do you end a tune...?

    etc. etc.
  10. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Alright. You know, the books that helped me alot at first were the Aebersold's Major & Minor, and Blues in All Keys. Actually I just leant them to a guy that did not blow in his trumpet for the last thirty years or so, and I red thru them rapidly again. Jamey's writing is very encouraging and also quite concise. And practising over those CD's gives you a good idea of where you're at. Maybe Maladjusted should ask his friends if he has an Aebersold book he could borrow.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I use that first one - but I would assume that somebody who has played classical DB, knows their major and minor scales, but not necessarily how to improvise a Jazz "performance" with other people, around a 'standard'?
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.

    What's "awhile"? 7 days, 7 months, 7 years?
    Have you listened to any jazz? What players/styles do you enjoy?
    How much do you understand about bass function in jazz, the walking bass concept?
    The more specific you can be about where you are, musically, the more specific we can be with our suggestions.

    Books, videos etc. can be wonderful adjuncts to a field of study, but they are no replacement for an actual living breathing human being who can listen to you play every week. Playing this music is not really something you are going to be able to jump into after running through some exercises in a book if you have no aural picture of what's going on. So, as RAY so rightly says, spend a lot of time listening to this music, get some charts and follow the form through the solos, try to hear the form (and the chord changes, if your ear is good enough) WITHOUT having a chord sheet in front of you.

    But give us a bit more of a clue as to where you stand right now...
  13. BassGuyNL


    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    Jeezz! If I had received these kind of responses to my first question on this forum, I don't think I would have stayed around!

    Anyway, I found Todd Coolman's "The Bottom Line" an excellent and low priced book to start with. It's been around for quite a while. Although other authors have come out with books on building jazz bass lines (for instance Friedland mentioned above), I still think Coolman's book is the best.
  14. I found the Jamie Aebersold books great. I started with the "bird" book, with the walking lines, and it helped for getting my head wrapped around the songs. Then it was off to the II-V-I method, then came the Miles book. Great stuff!
  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Check out Chuck Sher's books too.
  16. Tod Coolman has a great book that can get you started with Jazz along with listening to anything where Ray Brown plays bass. You can find Tod's book on Jamey Aebersold's web site. It starts very basic, but covers many of the techniques you need to be functional. Inexpensive and easy to understand.
  17. jmpiwonka

    jmpiwonka Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    my teacher started me out with a book called "the improviser's bass method" or something like that, i think its written by chuck sher but i'm not sure and its up in my locker at the school......it has alot of real good stuff in it.

    i've seen/played some of the stuff in reid's "evolving bassist" and i think that is what has had the most effect on making my walking lines stronger(the etudes).

    i also have a ray brown book too, forget what that one is called, got it from lemur for like $12 just to see if it had any stuff i haven't seen yet.
    funny thing is my teacher has all these books from way back(talkin like in the '70's back) in the day.
    he has also mentioned slonimsky's thesaurus of scales and melodic patterns(his is hard back which he claims you can't find anymore).....what exactly is in this book, anyone know?

    i think my teacher is actually pretty old school considering the old books he like to teach out of, usually now in lessons i play along to band in a box or he does chord voinings on the piano and he talks about what/where i can do different stuff and gives me more ideas.
    now that i'm starting to get used to jazz playing, i don't think i would be anywhere near the level i'm at(still not real good, but....) without a teacher to explain the theory to me, even with all of the books out there i could read.

    i guess i'm trying to say a teacher will be helpful.

    EDIT:ken smith just mentioned the ray brown book i was thinking of, ray brown's bass method.
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Get Ray Brown's Bass Method if you can find it. I have mine for over 30 years. It is a masterpiece of Bass and Jazz technique studies.

    Listen to as much Ray Brown as you can find. He is one of the best to learn from and has a clear distinct sound.
  19. Aletheobass

    Aletheobass Guest

    May 2, 2004
    i so totally agree to that! ray brown's my absolute fav and has been ever since i started palying.
    but i have the same problem maladjusted has and i need help fast! :help: if anyone can give advice on how to sight read jazz and stuff it'll be one of the nicest things anyone would have done for me!! (keep in mind this is a highschool jazz band). thanx already! :)
  20. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    This book is heavy. It's a great reference to expand your vocabulary/ear. An over-simplfied description would be that it works patterns based on diatonic and non-diatonic intervals within scales.

    I have occasionally seen it in book stores, but I know it is available at www.jazzbooks.com. It's on the last page of the "scales/patterns" section.