linear bass lines

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by BYRDMAN, Feb 8, 2009.


  1. BYRDMAN

    BYRDMAN

    Jan 16, 2009
    whats up fellow bassists,
    will someone tell me what constitutes a "linear" approach to
    building bass lines and some recordings of this approach being
    used so i can hear what it is suppose to sound like. thanks in
    advance. byrdman
     
  2. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Mingus. Listen to Mingus. And Bach's two part inventions.

    Think melodies. Strong walking melodies.
     
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well, generally when folks say "linear" they are thinking of it as one side of the dialectic that has "vertical" as the other. If you think of vertical as being a strictly "build the chord" sort of approach, then that , by default, defines linear as using mostly non-chord notes - passing tones, chromatic approach, appoggiatura etc. - to make a line that moves through the changes rather than defining each individual chord change.

    But nobody really plays like that; pretty much most (especially modern/post 1940) players DO try to build a line that arcs not just through the progression, but through the larger "form" of the whole performance of a tune.


    Like Lexi says, think melodies. And melodies use all sorts of devices - stepwise motion, large intervallic leaps, arpeggios, inversions, sequences etc etc etc - so your accompanying line will do so as well.

    I would also recommend the work of Sonny Dallas.
     
  4. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    What Ed Said :D

    If the melody of the line is strong enough, it can supersede the chords...

    This is something that you practice by playing tunes with others...lots of listening.....at least that is the best way.

    Funny thing, I grew up mostly as an "ear" player, which I still am, and I'm working on the reverse - trying to do nice lines JUST with chord tones! Though in the end of the day I'm a hopeless chromatic....
     
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    :p
     
  6. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Haha I'm really proud of that one! It just came......(drum roll)
     
  7. Nice improv Alexi. Well done!:D
     
  8. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    I Live to serve.
     
  9. Hoover

    Hoover Inactive

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City

    Well...when I was trapped in a cruise ship gig for three solid months I had to invent ways to keep myself from going crazy, and one way was to impose musical goals, limitations, restrictions, disciplinary rules, etc. on myself in order to keep my brain from atrophying after the 200th time through "Satin Doll". One of the most effective disciplines I developed during that gig was the idea of stepwise playing for walking lines: I would restrict myself to using only whole- or half-steps in constructing my walking lines. For an entire song. For every entire song, for the entire evening.

    Do that for two or three nights in a row and then listen for how positively heartbreakingly beautiful a simple arpeggio sounds.
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Dude, I would have tossed you over the side after the second night of listening to you practice on the stand....
     
  11. bassbuddie

    bassbuddie

    Jan 8, 2003
    Montreal
    Ed, that is a bit off the thread, but, I did a search for recordings of Sonny Dallas, I buyed Motion from Lee konitz, which is very good, do you suggest other recordings with Sonny Dallas on bass?
     
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    There's a Phil Woods/ Ike Quill record that's pretty nice too. Check for some of the Lennie Quintet at the Half Note....
     
  13. buddyro57

    buddyro57 me and PJ (living with the angels now)

    Apr 14, 2006
    Cedar Falls Iowa
    The king of this business was J.S. Bach.....running a close second is Gary Peacock. Buy the Well Tempered Clavier book I, study Bach's melody writing, especially the bass- Bach finds the closest connection between structures- sometimes non-chord tones will be placed on metrically-stressed beats, but as often as not consonances will be accented- whatever happens to make a logical connection.
    This is the same concept in jazz harmony, Peacock just happens to play in a rather melodic way, not always establishing a vertical logic, but thinking contrapuntally against what Jarrett is playing.
    JS
     
  14. Hoover

    Hoover Inactive

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City

    You try playing "Girl From Ipanema" and "New York, New York" twice a night, every single night, for three months straight...see if you don't come up with ways to entertain yourself and/or keep from going crazy. At least I was looking for a way to expand my musical horizons; our alto player used to see how many beers he could power-chug anywhere he encountered more than two bars consecutive rest. I once saw him manage to get two 12-ounce Heinekins down between the first & second vocal phrases of the chorus to "All I Ask Of You" from Phantom Of The Opera. Seriously.

    He got pretty linear shortly after that...
     
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Been there, done that, already reduced the T-shirt to wipe rag.

    See my recent post on playing INNER URGE 17 times in 4 hours. I also spent 10 months on the MTS Jason (Epirotiki Lines) out of Piraeus (with some time spent on the WORLD RENAISSANCE and some other island chugger when the captain ran the Jason aground off Santorini. He later managed to sink the World Renaissance off the coast of Africa.)

    Look, do what you want. Me, I'm gonna try to make music every time I put my hand on the instrument. Even if it is the 14,327th time I've played SATIN DOLL. And I kind of expect everybody else on the stand to do the same thing.
     
  16. Hoover

    Hoover Inactive

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City

    You seem to be implying that my self-imposed restriction of only using half- or whole-steps in constructing walking basslines for an entire evening is somehow antithetical to "making music."

    For someone with a limited imagination, I suppose it would be.
     
  17. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Aw, that's sweet. As I said, do what you want. For me, ANYTIME somebody makes a decision about what they are going to play before the tune is even counted off is not playing with the band on the stand. You can be as imaginative as you want, but you are STILL taking yourself out of the moment. That, in my book, is the very definition of not musical.
     
  18. buddyro57

    buddyro57 me and PJ (living with the angels now)

    Apr 14, 2006
    Cedar Falls Iowa
    You are out of your league, I have crossed bows with Ed....he's a sturdy adversary. I side with him on this one though; if you are hating the gig that much, move on. Besides, Bill Evans played My Romance his entire career....kept on figuring out different and better ways to do it. I know the analogy isn't an exact fit, but this does go to one's integrity and musicianship.
    JS
     
  19. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Does this bow make me look fat?
     
  20. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
    I like that alot....and I agree with you. Too many guys take the reaction to the others on the stand out of the equation. That's the part that makes it music IMO. Ed-fucious is a very wise man.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 15, 2021

Share This Page