jazz solos

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Josh McNutt, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. Josh McNutt

    Josh McNutt Guest

    Mar 10, 2003
    Denton, Texas (UNT)
    I recently noticed that most of the time when bassists solo in jazz songs they are unaccompanied (to be heard). I've been playing with the aebersold cd's till now and I just tried soloing with only the metronome going. It's very difficult for me to keep track of what changes are going on without a piano to help out and solo at the same time. Are there any good ways to go about making this easier, or is it just a practice, practice, practice thing?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I think the answer to your last question is probably - Yes!

    But you don't have to solo unaccompanied in Jazz - the idea is that everyone should be supportive - of course unamped Double Bass can be hard to hear - so in the past, there has been a tradition of laying out on the bass solos.

    But you can always ask a piano player or guitarist to play some chords - give them a look or stare. ;)

    Of course - ideally, you shoud always know where you are in the form regardless of what else is going on around you - or you are going to struggle when doing things like trading 8s, 4's etc.

    Probably the easiest way to deal with this is to carry on playing a walking line - so, you should be able to make a walking line "melodic" and if you keep to 4 in the bar it should be easier to follow - but really it is a question of practice.

    I must say that I had that same problem when I started Jazz - but I found the best thing for this was getting out and playing with other people as much as I could. There is no substitute for diving in and trying it.....
  3. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    It's not unusual for all but the drums to drop out for the bass solo.

    A good idea might be to *hear* the changes in your head, and react to them as if a pianist or guitarist was playing them.
  4. During a bass solo, a pianist will often just play a chord as a single quarternote at the start of every four bars, or at every change, and he/she will play it very light. This is to let the band, and audience, know where they are. It's not unreasonable to ask a pianist to do this, if they're not already.
    Bruce's advice is also my advice. Abersold is fine, but you will never learn as much as you will by playing with other people. Think you're not ready? You can think that for the rest of your life. Just do it.