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Melodies for bass?

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Greywoulf, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. I like playing melody on bass too… Just got a simple one, “All The Things You Are,” from this forum, and was able to transpose it okay and enjoy playing it. (As you can probably tell, I’m not exactly a whiz at reading... d];>]} )

    But transposing everything alla time from that ‘other’ clef is a PITA, y’know? So my question is this; has some intelligent and wise bassist put out a music book that has popular melodies already transposed into the bass clef?

    Someone must have; there’s gotta be others as lazy as me out there…! :D

  2. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Get used to read treble clef, if you want to play melodies! It's overall a better and cheper alternative than getting books with melodies in bass clef. I've heard this advice from many formidable bass players.

  3. The original key for that tune is Ab. Learn to play it with your ears! (melody starts with Db)
    Always try to learn standards in the original key if you want someone to play it with.
    I don't know of books for DB per say.....But there are many books covering standards in the bass clef for trombone...ETC.
    But DO try to use your ears! You need to train and develop your ears...Also, to learn how to color and phrase your melody playing, listen to horn, piano, and guitarists and Red Mitchell who, in my opinion, as well as most everyone else is our most important DB melodic soloist in the standard genre. Michael Moore ain't too shabby either!
    Also. although i'm not nuts about most quote "jazz singers" There are some who can teach you alot about phrasing and dynamics. Ella, Sarah, Carmen, Sinatra, Mel Torme ETC.
    A friend of mine who used to work quite a bit with Scott LarFaro said that Scotty was very much into Billy Eckstine! Weird, huh? As most of us DB players know, Gary Karr studied with an operatic type singer to get into that Bel Canto type singing sound.
    Personally, I try to be able to play the melodies of at least most of the tunes I can play on the bass. This really helps your approach to soloing!
    You can carry it a step further, and learn the lyrics as well. I think I know most of them.
    Someone posted a story about...I think it was Tenor saxist Ben Webster, who got lost in a tune because he forgot the words!
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    There is a bass clef edition of the old Real Book... (and even a scanned version of it on CD ! Not legit, but it exists... )
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - I have a Hal Leonard book called "Jazz Gems" which has 15 tunes for bass clef instruments including "All the Things You are" !!! ;)


  6. Peter Dalla

    Peter Dalla

    Feb 2, 2004
    There are versions of various REAL BOOKS available with the melodies written in bass clef. And if it's worth it to you to spend money on a book that you're the only one in the band who can use it, go ahead. The advantages to biting the bullet and reading treble clef (which is no harder than learning to read bass clef and keeping your reading skills up in both is just a matter of practice) are:
    1. If you're reading tunes at a session or gig you can read the melody out of whatever chart or lead sheet is there.
    2. If YOU want to bring charts of something to a gig or session, you don't have to have two books (one treble, one bass), you just make copies of what you have.

    But best of all is to do it the old fashioned way, take the melodies off the record.
  7. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Yes Peter Dalla is right on the money here. It's much easier to take a melody à vista if you know how to read treble clef, since most melodies are in that register anyway... I think, for jazz being able to read treble clef is even MORE important than bass clef for bassists! It's quite rare for people to write out basslines if you're not playing a big band arrangement etc..

  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    That was me. Webster, considered by many the best ballad player, just stopped in the middle of a solo.
  9. Yeah Bruce, thanks man... But geez it's amazing how many people will make assumptions on this list sometimes, y'know? A bunch of people telling me I should learn to read treble clef; who ever said I couldn't? (I learned music on a piano...)
    I just asked about getting some melodies in bass clef (as I am a lazy reader, true) and you answered my question right on the mark!
    Thanks again, I'm gonna order that book.

    And thanks for the tip from Paul too, who mentioned written bass clef melodies for instruments like the 'bone; I never even thought about that one... :bawl:
    Learning from ear tho? Well, I can do a little of it (especially with timing), but I don't know my instrument well enough yet to always find the right notes for what I hear. But I will. Some day I will. (Because I want to...)
    Greywoulf :p
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - I've got loads of lead sheets with the tune in treble clef and I have occasionaly picked things up this way - but it's good to have things to practice for sight reading in bass clef.

    I find that when playing Jazz you are rarely given written parts, so get used to making them up and out of the habit, so then it come as a big shock when you are given a written part!! I always feel I should be doing better, as they've gone to the trouble of writing it out in bass claef.....:meh:
  11. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Oh, how I miss Ed Fuqua.
  12. Peter Dalla

    Peter Dalla

    Feb 2, 2004
    Who's Ed Fuqua?
  13. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
  14. Peter Dalla

    Peter Dalla

    Feb 2, 2004
    Maybe I should just do a SEARCH.
  15. Peter Dalla

    Peter Dalla

    Feb 2, 2004
    When I SEARCH Ed Fuqua I get a "Search term too short, please try again", when I search Ed+Fuqua I get "No items found", when I search Fuqua, I get a bunch of threads that don't seem to do anything other than mention the name.

  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Not surprising as he deleted all his own posts!! :meh:
  17. Arghhhh, now that's not fair! IF I'm being compared to him, or maybe someone was wishing he was still around to sic him on me, :), I should at least be able to read his resume........

    Greywoulf ;)
  18. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"

    A fine double-bassist from New York City. A generous human with no patience for fools. A leading contributor to this here spot before he decided that the foolishness quotient was getting too high.
  19. Peter Dalla

    Peter Dalla

    Feb 2, 2004

    Oh. I read the ALL POSTS, some of that stuff was pretty funny.

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