Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Michael and steve

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by jtd125, Aug 15, 2002.


  1. jtd125

    jtd125

    Mar 16, 2002
    Agoura Hillis, CA
    Hello. i am a huge fan of both. i want to work on my soloing a bit more. i know i should learn theory but what book (or tape) should i get to help me in my journey.

    Peace
    jtd
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Do you mean solo playing or soloing with a band? very different concepts methinks...

    for specificially jazz soloing, check out Marc Johnson and Chuck Sher's book on the subject, published by Sher publishing.

    For solo playing, I would indeed work on theory, and listening skills - as I said in another recent thread here, you gotta start with music. Sometimes a specific technique will come up that inspires music, but the general rule is that stuff that starts with music and requires the development of certain approaches in order to realise that music 'tends' to lead to better music, rather than stuff that sounds like exercises. That, for me, is part of the magic of what Michael does - people who don't know and don't care about bass still love what he does - it's not 'bass music' (whatever the heck that might be), it's just great music. That's what I aim for, and I feel fortunate that quite a few reviewers seem to have explicitly picked up on that angle, which is cool.

    So I start with a musical idea - a chord with a certain sound, that suggests certain things, or a melody, or a vibe I've picked up from elsewhere - and then think about what I need to do to make that happen. If there are two parts going on at once do I need to loop one, or tap one part. If the harmony is complex, is it 'natural' enough for me just to feel my way through, or do I need to sit down and spend some time on negotiating the key changes that come up (to be honest, that doesn't happen too often with my stuff - the chord charts to what I do would be very dull indeed... :) )

    videos and books will take you so far - there's no one book that will give you all the tools you need, but if you get one quality idea from it, it was worth the $20. Same with a video. My experience has lead me to believe that unless what I'm working on is incredibly specific, I get more from listening to CDs than I do from reading tuition books.

    Other books can also be inspiring - if you can find it, 'Improvisation' by Derek Bailey is fascinating. As is 'The Inner Game Of Music'. Even 'The Tao Of Pooh' had a tangible impact on the way I play music...

    For a 'pure theory book' - try 'The Jazz Theory Book', by Mark Levine, also on Sher Publishing - good stuff.

    Video-wise, I've got more from watching 'the artists profile' video about Michael than any other music video... It's on loan to a friend at the moment, and I'm really missing it... That really ought to be on every bassist's wish-list. His Hotlicks video has some really good exercises and conceptual stuff as well - don't expect to be able to play The Enormous Room by the end of the vid, but do expect to have some new ways of thinking about what you're doing...

    Oh, and the video I've got the most theory stuff from is 'solo jazz guitar' by Joe Pass, which is great. And check out the Tuck Andress hotlicks video. :)

    But as a general rule, go with CDs... :D

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk
     
  3. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Whilst I agree with everything Steve said/typed (hello Steve) some people (and I am one of them) learn more from seeing as well as hearing. Visual clues sometimes minimise the "what the heck was that?" effect espec when its something that does not sound like a bass. I learnt an awful lot from just watching my teacher (great bloke:) )
     
  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
  5. jtd125

    jtd125

    Mar 16, 2002
    Agoura Hillis, CA
    hey steve! i would have no problem studing with you. but i dont think you come to Ca much.
     
  6. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    I'm there most Januarys for NAMM, and in 91 I visited twice - if you did want to line up a lesson while I was there, it would be doable, depending on where in CA you are - Augora Hills? I think I know that area... Email me :)

    I'm always happy to teach when I'm on tour, as it's one of the things I really miss from home. I love teaching, and it's certainly one of the downsides to touring that I don't get to do enough of it (not to mention to added financial viability that it can add to a trip!!!)

    :)

    cheers

    Steve
    www.steve-lawson.co.uk