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Jazz questions - 2 feel

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mingusitis, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. mingusitis


    May 11, 2012
    I am in a jazz band and have some questions regarding two feel. I think I have an understanding that the two feel is less about playing walking quarter notes and more about playing half notes. But when do you use the two feel. Do you only do it for melodies? Do you do it for all melodies or just certain songs...
  2. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Post this in the Double Bass Forum. You'll get some answers there.
  3. mingusitis


    May 11, 2012
    I was thinking that lol. Thanks.
  4. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    instead of having the strong beat on 1 and 3 you have the strong beat on 2 and 4
  5. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    I think we need some explanation about your statement "the strong beat on 2 and 4" in 2 feel basslines.

    Also "playing in two." A form of rhythm organization in which the first and third beats of the bar are emphasized (particularly by the bass), often leaving the second and fourth beats silent, with a resulting "boom-chick" feel. Two-beat was especially common in early jazz, but can be found in all eras."

    Two-step Feel on the Head
    "two-feel, two-beat, broken two-feel, skip two-fell, or two-step.
    Rhythimically, it places an implied emphasis on 2 and 4 by NOT playing those notes.
    Instead, the drums or other instruments would emphasize those beats. The result is a heavy alternating feeling between the bass and drums (in particular).
    Overall, a two-beat feel provides a soft swing feel with a somewhat nostalgic effect."

    Two-Beat Bass Lines
    "n the first four measures you will play the two-beat line straight without skip-note ornamentation. For the last four measures you'll play the same bass line but with skip notes added. This type of two-beat groove is often used to give a restrained feel to a jazzy song. It may also be used to give the song a bouncy, carefree feel."

    Jazz Bass Lines
    By Cliff Engel
    The Two Feel

    "A halftime bassline (on beats1 and 3 or 2 and 4) can be used before the regular 4/4 walking line,
    or as a break during the middle of the performance. With half time basslines, the notes generally consist of the chord root and a chromatic approach to the next root".

    http://www.scoredchanges.com/how-to/bass lines.pdf
    "Apart from playing 4's ("walking"), the bass can also play a more broken-up line.
    This approach has been around for some time. When a 2-feel occurs, the bass can
    play the root on the the first beat and then fill in for the rest of the bar but still
    maintaining the 2-feel. A more open broken-up feel, pioneered by such people as
    Scott LaFaro with the Bill Evans Trio, is characterised by its strong counterpuntal lines".

    "The bass has to provide the root-notes of the chords.
    Omit the root-notes and the whole edifice can collapse

    Bass Line Construction: Target Approach
    "in a typical jazz "2 feel" bass line for any song in 4/4 meter, the bass will play a half note on beats 1 and 3 of each measure. When there is only one chord per measure, the note on beat 1 will be a target note (the root of the chord for the measure), which leaves beat 3 open for an Approach note (abbreviated "A"), as follows:"
  6. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Ok my bad I read a little too fast but still, what I said is true, in jazz, the beat 2 and 4 are more important than 1 and 3.

    So for a better answer, it depends what the band leader want most of the time.
  7. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    Ed Fuqua would be able to provide a really good answer.

    Without him, we are getting some answers from the Internet:

    Jazz Bass Lines
    The Two-Feel
    Excerpted From The IIB Online Bass Course Jazz Bass Lines

    By Cliff Engel
    "the two-feel is a common style of accompaniment most often utilized by bassists during the melody or head of jazz compositions before transitioning into a standard walking four bass line for the solos.
    Sometimes referred to as the two-beat, the broken two-feel, or even the skip two-feel, this concept can also be frequently heard within the "A" sections of 32-bar A-A-B-A song forms where the "B" section or bridge is played in a straight-ahead walking four style.

    In its most fundamental form, the two-feel or two-beat consists of only two half notes per measure. The root of the chord is played on the first beat followed by the fifth on the third beat. Using the concept of tension and release, the harmonic tension of the line may be heightened by placing a non-diatonic tone as a chromatic approach note on beat three of the measure. By integrating rhythmic embellishments such as eighth-note triplets, skips, ghost skips, syncopated rhythms, hammer-on skips, pull-off skips, and slurred skips, you can create more of a broken two-feel or skip two-feel."

    "If the bass line becomes saturated with too much rhythmic activity, it may defeat the general purpose of the two-feel. Since the two-feel is typically applied while the melody of the composition is being played, you don't want to exaggerate the half notes with too many rhythmic embellishments or else you might distract the listener's attention away from the melody.
    Rhythmic embellishments can add a rhythmic depth to your lines, but too many embellishments may disrupt the overall flow of the pulse.
    The two-feel should enhance the melody and not drawn attention away from it. As always, the notes and rhythms that you choose to play should support and compliment the music as a whole."
  8. mingusitis


    May 11, 2012
    Thanks. I've got some reading, and lots of listening to do :)
  9. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    A two feel is a great way to create contrast and make heavy swing in 4 feel even more powerful. One of the best tunes I can think of for this approach is Take the A Train. On the head, play in 2; then when you get to the turnaround, the band pedals for a bit to bring up tension and then you go back to the top and break into a hard swing in 4. It's difficult for that not to sound and feel great.
  10. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013

    I Cover the Waterfront - Don Byas

    trumpeter Sidney de Paris,
    trombonist Jimmy Archey,
    pianist Don Kirkpatrick,
    bassist Pops Foster, and
    drummer Manzie Johnson.
  11. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    It totally depends on the arrangement from my experience. Sometimes walking on every note sounds great. Sometimes playing in 2 sounds great. Sometimes playing in 1 is the answer. It's all about what the arranger wants, and how the song is phrased.
  12. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Just wanted to throw this out there. Paul Chambers plays a two feel all the way through "It could happen to you" on Miles Davis "Relaxin". I'm having trouble playing a two feel well and one of my teachers told me to listen to this a million times.

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