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Jazz DVD/instructional stuff??

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BottomFeeder86, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. BottomFeeder86


    Oct 18, 2004
    I'm looking on musiciansfriend.com for DVDs and videos to help me learn more jazz improv and just more about jazz bass playing in general. I guess a few book recomendations would be good too, but as most people, i will learn a lot better if i can see what's being taught to me, and be able to rewind and review etc.

    I guess the real reason i would like to get some more stuff is that i bought an Oteil Burbridge video that's more performances rather than teaching me anything. I have that video, a bill dickins collection dvd which is more about crazy slapping stuff, a victor wooten dvd that isn't very indepth and is more of performances also. Here's one book i found on musiciansfriend.com, ANY comments and suggestions are appreciated.


    I'm just looking to break out of the pentatonic blues improvising box that i'm in, and try to learn more about jazz and more improvising techniques. I' don't know very much theory, but if i can see what i'm being taught on video, i can manage.

    Thanks a lot for reading!!! i really appreciate it!!
  2. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Try diatonic scales (as compared to pentatonic) and arppegios for starters. Get some good jazz and listen, listen, listen. Look for Charlie Haden, Ron Carter (Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" is required listening, period!), Christian McBride, Paul Chambers, to name a few.

    As for books or videos, I haven't used any so...
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Rufus Reid's Evolving Bassist DVD - great for Jazz!! :)
  4. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Wow Bruce, I just checked out Rufus' website - his credentials go on for days! Do you know from Jay Hungerford's "Walking Jazz Lines for Bass"?
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Eh? :confused:
  6. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Alrighty then :/
  7. BottomFeeder86


    Oct 18, 2004
    Cool, i looked that the DVD a little, and it looks like its for upright bass? i dont know if its easy to apply to electric, or if im just being a dork. I'm not great with jazz theory, which is why i want to learn more.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Best for this is :

    "The Jazz Theory Book" - by Mark Levine

    This can be applied to any instrument, but I think if you're ever going to get Jazz Theory in your head, it helps to have access to a keyboard instrument that you can use to help you hear chords...?
  9. phlybass


    Dec 18, 2003
    Hi Bruce,

    I can echo the advice to listen to as much jazz as you can. Listen and pay attention not only to the bassists, but also to the melodic lines of the other instruments. There are a bunch of good musical ideas out there to learn from, and not just from the bassists.

    In your profile you say your influences are too numerous to list.... that's good. Use all the ideas that appeal to your musical sense, but remember you're playing a BASS, and some of the "busier" things may not come through due to the low frequencies involved... the busier the phrase, the cleaner it has to be played.

    As far as fingerings and how the "Big Guys" do it... it will help to see their way, but you may find a different fingering pattern works better for you.

    A very good trumpet player (that's my other instrument) during a clinic on improv, said, "Have you ever thought to yourself after a solo, 'Boy that really sucked'. And then thought to yourself, 'Maybe if I only played half as many notes, it would only suck half as much!'.

    More is not necessarily better... leave some space... be musical. There's always somebody out there who can play faster and get around the fingerboard more. Just make sure your playing and soloing is always musical.

    Wow, that turned out to be a long one!

    Regards, Alex
  10. BottomFeeder86


    Oct 18, 2004
    No, not long at all. Very informative, i know exactly what you mean about sometimes less notes are better than more. It's hard to do, but it does make total sense. Thanks again you guys, i'll keep the presets on my radio to the jazz stations!
  11. dodgy_ian


    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    yes, i found it propery useful indeed - i couldn't do walking bass to save my life sx months ago, now after using that book to get me started I'm much happier. well worth buying it basically!

  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    And even though it seems to fly in the face of what everybody here wants to believe -
    You want to learn more about conceptual approach, understanding, fundamentals whatever, get a teacher.
    If a teacher sees that you are not responding to their presentation of material, they can change their approach. No matter how many times you play your DVD or read your book, it will NEVER respond in a new way.

    If a teacher sees a weak area in your playing or understanding they can concentrate more attention in that specific area until that weakness has been overcome. A book or DVD spends exactly the same amount of time on a skill set, whether you get it or not, whether you need more work or not.

    If you ask a teacher a question, the teacher can answer it. If you ask your DVD a question, it only says the stuff that it said the first time.

    A teacher sits right in the same room with you lesson after lesson and can monitor your progress, keep you working in a progressive way. They are an active participant along with you in your growth as a musician.

    Save your DVD money and get a teacher.

    The second thing I would like to address is this recurrent belief that all a musician needs to do is "learn some theory" and that their playing will suddenly take on this new authority.
    It's not just any ONE thing (learn theory or learn new chord scales or learn how to play 16th notes uptempo or whatever). The act of improvising is being able to conceptualize a response to your immediate aural environment, being able to hear and identify with clarity what it is that you have conceptualized, and being able to get that clearly realized idea out into the air by playing it on your instrument. An experienced and knowledgable teacher is going to help you put together a program that will get these necessary skill sets in sync.

    I highly recommend my teacher's article DOING IT THE SLOW WAY, which you can read at this site (I think it's in LESSONS).
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Of course I agree with Ed - but if you're going to buy a DVD, then Rufus deserves your money!! :)
  14. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Most excellant. That was a stab in the dark on that one.

    And to add my $0.02, having some good DVD's along with taking lessons from a teacher is the best of both worlds.