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Mode for "Mind Is On Vacation" Bass line

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by pitts2112, Apr 2, 2016.


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  1. pitts2112

    pitts2112

    Oct 7, 2015
    My band is playing "Your Mind Is On Vacation" by Mose Allison and, being new to the band (and being an inexperienced player generally), I'm working on learning it. It's a jazz/blues fusion tune with a straight but rapid bass line.



    What would be a good mode to use to improvise moving bass lines like the DB player does in the video? I think minor pentatonic, which I'm most familiar with, wouldn't be up to the complexity of the piano part which seems to be using more jazz-influenced progressions.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    It is a 12-bar blues in the key of F. It's not a "Modal Jazz" tune so thinking in those terms probably won't help you understand this tune.You need to hear and follow the chord changes, like the bass player in the video is doing.

    12-bar blues is one of the first chapters of any "Jazz 101" or "Blues 101" or "Improv 101" curriculum. If you don't have a teacher, Ed Friedland's books are very well regarded. :)
     
  3. pitts2112

    pitts2112

    Oct 7, 2015
    I know it follows a standard blues format but I was talking more about the scale of notes to choose from that would make for good walking bass lines with the jazz chords and be more interesting than the minor pentatonic scale.
     
  4. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    A great piano player - Mose Allison is using a lot of chromatisms in his solo.
    P.S. I understand the comedic/humorous intention of the song, but I do NOT like that Jack Hannah's busy/jumpy/all-over-the-place/over-comedic/sometimes-out-of-tune bass-line from that video.



    More versions of that song.
    (You can get "more notes for your bass-line/solo):




     
  5. brandau

    brandau

    Jan 30, 2008
    NYC
    Nice tune! I'd say Start simple by just sticking to arpeggios with an an added dominant 7th-mixolydian mode.


    I had the privilege to play this tune with Elvis Costello a few years ago. Mose played on a couple as well. It was pretty awesome. Mose still had it and was hilarious. The crowd loved him

     
    jerry and Whousedtoplay like this.
  6. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    More versions of "Your mind on vacation":
    The music (Mose Allison) starts at 1:38
    Mose Allison - Your mind is on vacation - Esibizione live a DOC 1989


    More:



     
  7. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    Sorry, I've overspent my time in this thread.
    If you want to use minor pentatonic and, kind of, try to match the "chromatic piano soloing mood", use a Chromatic Minor Pentatonic scale.

    chromMinorScale.PNG
     
  8. pitts2112

    pitts2112

    Oct 7, 2015
    Those are great versions with a lot of variety. Thanks very much for posting those. That opens up the possibilities.
     
  9. pitts2112

    pitts2112

    Oct 7, 2015
    Very smooth. Nice one!

    The mixolydian reference is the kind of thing I was looking for. If nothing else, I'm using this tune as a chance to branch out and learn something I wouldn't have done otherwise. Thanks very much!
     
  10. pitts2112

    pitts2112

    Oct 7, 2015
    That's interesting. I'll give that a go. Thanks for putting all the time in on the thread. I really appreciate it!
     
  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    If you play one scale or mode for the entire song, it will sound "wrong" like you are "jiving" and didn't take the time to learn the song. You need to learn and follow the "changes" of the song. The correct notes for the bass to play change throughout the song depending on what chord the pianist is playing. This isn't a "modal jazz" song, and there is no easy "play this one mode and you will sound great" shortcut.

    12-bar blues is one of the most common chord progressions in all the world of music, so the time you spend to learn it correctly for this one song, will have a ripple effect allowing you to play thousands of other songs. Here is a beginner's intro to "12 bar blues" that I hope will inspire you to further learning: Twelve-bar blues - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    When you are ready for deeper instruction than that, I recommend a private instructor and/or Ed Friedland's books on Blues and Walking Bass.

    You mention that your band is playing this song? Can you ask your pianist for help? I would think it is in everyone's best interest that all members of the band are on the same page and know what each other are playing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  12. Just wanted to say, thanks for reminding me how much I like Mose Allison! Great singer, pianist, and especially songwriter
     
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