Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by smllyshoo, Nov 20, 2002.

  1. smllyshoo


    Nov 2, 2002
    im currently trying to a project about jazz bands and for background music i thought it would be neat to just record some jazz basslines that i wrote myself, but one problem i dont know how to make jazz basslines and i dont even listen to jazz. does anyone have any advice?:confused:
  2. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Maybe start listening then?

  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    moved to gi
  4. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I'd start listening to as much jazz, in fact nothing but jazz, I'd just saturate myself with it, make it all you listen to for a while. This will give you some basic ideas of what jazz basslines sound like. It will also help you develop an emotional connection to the music which at least IMO helps me to relate to and play it with much more feel and taste.

    Jazz is also something that IMO requires a bit of knowledge of theory, since most basslines are moving/walking all over the place. (those jazz cats can never stand still) you'll need to be able to interprit chords and play passing tones over all of them. This is where the theory comes into play.

    Combine the ideas from what you hear from listening to jazz and the theory that you know or are going to learn, and you should be able to create a working bassline.

    Note I said combine the IDEAS, that means dont rip off the lines you hear note for note, use them as an influance and guide into creating your own.
  6. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Actually, I think that "ripping" them off note for note is a good idea , for educational purpose. In fact, a good transcribing exercise is to play EXACTLY like the original... same phrasing, same dynamics and timbre etc.

    I've heard many respected jazz tutors recommend this as well. In fact I think Dave Liebman even made a video about transcribing where he goes indepth into his method....

  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    IIRC Miles Davis quotes Salvador Dali in his autobiography like this "steal from the best and then make your own thing [out of it]".
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Smelly Shoe, what is the time frame on your project? As a former middle school and high school teacher who assigned many research projects, I know you have a deadline.

    Can you reasonably "learn jazz" in that time frame? Can you reasonably learn to transcribe and play a jazz bassline in the time frame? You say you don't even listen to jazz. Would you know if a line was based on modes or chords or was scalar in approach or would you be able to tell the difference between a walking bassline or another style? I mean, can you even identify a walking bassline?

    I feel you idea is an excellent one and you stand to learn a great deal if you can pull it off, but consider your time constraints. Jazz basslines used as a background for a jazz project would really enrich that project by making it multi-media, but we need to know more about the deadline, the length of the project and the objectives before we can advise you properly.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Said more eloquently than I could ever dream.
  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    thats kinda what i was trying say eariler
  11. I don't believe I've ever seen JO massacre a user-name before..... didn't seem the type. I had a good chuckle.

  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I was unsure about user-name massacring when I first came here, but I decided to just dive in and give it a shot, but I tend to kill threads cause no one cares to hear what I have to say...at least not enough to respond :p
  13. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I messed up. I thought his name is smellyshoe. Now I see it is smllyshoe. I hope I didn't offend the poster.:(
  14. Those jazz guys aren't talented. They just make it up as they go along! :)

    Like the other posters said, listen to jazz, and learn some theory (lessons are helpful in clearing up application of theory, I've found). I'd recommend starting with walking over some blues progressions; they tend to be simpler and you may already have an idea in your head about how they should sound.