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Looking for comments, again

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Tbeers, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    This past Monday I met up with a local pianist and we played for around an hour and a half. We recorded everything. He just stuck one mic in his piano and another about two feet in front of my bass. These were cheapo bullet mics, so the sound is what it is.

    I am posting a link to the first thing we ever played together, because I think it is interesting to look at on a number of levels. One can examine lots of things: how is my playing without warming up; how well do we connect without any prior exposure; etc.

    Mostly I want advice on how I can be a better jazz bassist (don't we all). Anything is fair game! Thanks!

    Random F Blues

    EDIT: Here's another one, from near the end of the session. I screwed around a lot, the time got really weird and my solo was awful, but it was fun and it provides a cool contrast. Here it is:
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Steady time and nice feel. I really like how your walking lines are melodic. That's real enjoyable to my ears.

    As far as how the 2 of you were musically communicating I don't hear much especially toward the end. I wouldn't expect that though on the first tune that you ever played together. You both sound great though and with some playing time together I bet you'd get something happening that is musically engaging.
  3. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski

    May 13, 2005
    Who was the pianist?
  4. TomSauter


    Dec 22, 2004
    Kennesaw, GA
    I noticed a couple of things that you can fix pretty much immediately. When you're walking, you see to be accenting two and four a lot. In fact at a couple points you can hear some rattling on beats 2 and 4. If you listen to Ray Brown, PC, Ron Carter, etc. you'll hear that they play their quarter notes with a very even sound.
    Another thing is that it sounds like you're allergic to your E string! I'm exaggerating of course, but you were kind of meandering around for a while in the upper range.
    It also sounds like the two of you weren't listening to each other a whole lot. After your solo you and the piano were a measure or so apart and he was playing kind of tentatively like he knew something wasn't right. Judging by your lines and solo I'm sure you can hear the harmony, so I'm guessing the combination of being unfamiliar with the pianist and having the added stress of a tape rolling made you a little uncomfortable.

    With all that being said, the time and content is good, and I wish I had what you had going at age 18!
  5. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Wow, you're right, we were a measure apart! Hahaha, I hadn't noticed that! Damn.... The form got seriously goofy during my solo. How embarassing!

    I've never been really happy with the way pianists tend to comp during a bass solo. Hrm....

    Great suggestions from both of you, especially Tom. I really need to work on evenness of the beats. People have been telling me that for years! More E string, another great suggestion....

    Check the original post, I am editing it to add a cut from later in our session! Thanks so much!
  6. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Beers, you're asking people to take time to listen critically. We'd be more eager to do that if we thought you had done it first. Anyway, after one listening, here are some comments on your walking lines.

    Job Number One: Your time is not dead-on metronomic. There's times when you seem to be delaying a beat. Use the 'nome. Play with records. Most importantly -- and directly related to my initial comment -- listen carefully to your recording and figure out why that's happening, eh?

    I heard some heavy 2s and 4s from time to time but it didn't bother me as much as it did some other posters. I thought (rightly or wrongly) that you were doing it for musical effect, which would be good. Rather than working on even-ing out all four beats consider working on controlling emphasis. Walk a tune and emphasize "2" of every bar. Or "4" of every other bar. Or whatever. Point being: Emphasis is a tool; learn it and use it, brother.

    Next point: I didn't hear any rakes, or triplets generally, in your walking lines. Work on triplets on one of each bar. Then two. Then three. Then four. Then linked to a dotted eighth on one and two. Two and three. Etc. THEN see what happens if the note after a rake is NOT the tonic: 5th. 7th. 9th. Whatever.

    Next point: Your dotted-eighth accents sometimes get a little hiccup-y. I've been accused of the same crime -- maybe it's a West Hartford thing. Yeah, that's it . . . the WH school of playing . . .

    As others have said, you've got a lot going on and you've got tons of smarts to apply to these problems. Keep it up, Theo; you sound like you're poised for growth.
  7. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Being apart harmonically at some point is something I don't personally consider a crime in jazz...call me a sucker there.

    But yeah your timing could be strengthened a little there TBeers if you want a solid straight beat style (my favorite rthymic style too).

    Compiment-wise, I for one liked your intonation and think that helped a great deal also in making the off-situation between you and the pianist interesting to me.

    thanks for sharing Tbeers!
  8. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    I think the pianist dropped 2 beats at the beginning of the bass solo/end of piano solo.

    I thought the bass sound was good; time could be a little stronger/solo more melodic. However overall a nice bass performance.

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