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lead sheets VS. chord charts

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Susie Jennings, Jan 30, 2001.

  1. Susie Jennings

    Susie Jennings

    Jan 30, 2001
    What's the most common way to transcribe upright bass jazz charts without writing out the actual notes? I play bass professionally, but our 30'-40's group will soon be using an upright player to get me out front singing and make the sound more authentic (I play electric).I have a book of jazz standards custom-written in Encore,with melody, lyrics and chord symbols(which is what I normally cue from), and am wanting to keep the book as is, but wondering what general notes uprighters make on such charts if the parts are not specifically written out. I can make text-box notes for the book, like "quarter-note walk here" or "bounce 2 bars", but is there more specialized or accurate terminology?
    Thanks a bunch.....
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Hey Susie,

    Welcome to TalkBass! Just a thought, but there is a whole slew of forums aimed directly at double-bassists. You may wanna take a shot at posting there. As far as I know, it pretty much depends on the individual holding down the bass chair.

    I sometimes play with my brother's Big Band when their regular guy can't make it for some reason. I play electric, while he's upright. We use the same charts which are arranged by a saxophone player. His penciled in notes are mostly of a specific feel type, like you mentioned. There are occasional notated passages when something must be played as written, but mostly I'm seeing outlines and highlights.

    Of course, this is the only experience that I have had sharing duties with an upright player, very limited indeed. Yours may vary. I'm sure there are others with a broader range of experience...

    Have fun,


  3. Way to go dude you sent her down to Double Basses.......:)

    Susie, may the force be with you and i wish u a safe return to the Bass Guitar forums. Take plenty of sugar with you on this trip as we don't want you falling asleep while you're down there.... :p

  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The most common (and considerate) method I've seen is to notate almost exactly as you would a written line, including time signatures, key signatures tempo markings, repeats, codas etc. The one thing you do differently is substitute the chord names for the notes that normally go in each bar. It's generally up to the bass player to construct a line based on the changes. If you want to specify particular rhythms without chaining the bassist to particular notes, you can use "slash notation", often seen in rhythm guitar parts, which replaces round note heads with extended paralleograms but uses stems and flags to indicate note values. I'm sure you've seen this sort of notation before. (This is not to be confused with "slash chords," in which you specify a bass note that isn't normally found in a chord, eg. C/F means play F underneath C major.)

    That being said, I've seen charts that have nothing but chord names. Some bassists chafe at too much reading; some dislike having too little in front of them. It's a delicate balance.

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