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Most Helpful Bass Solo You've Ever Transcribed?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by darrenmccarthy, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. darrenmccarthy


    Jun 1, 2011
    Ok I'll start it off, I'm still working on it but I have gotten so much out of Ray Browns solo on 'Chicago' on the Oscar Peterson Trio album 'Live in Chicago' it's an epic arrangement and the solo is sublime.
    I'd be very interested to hear what you guys have been up to!
  2. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    Transcribing non-bass solos was a revelation for me. I know this is about bass solos, but what the hey...

    My first was Miles Davis' So What trumpet solo, which is a really good starting point for this stuff. Horn players approach melodic phrasing in such a different way to us. It really opened my eyes up to new patterns and melodic devices. It helped me move out of ingrained habits that probably resulted from initially learning scale and chord fingerboard patterns visually.
  3. darrenmccarthy


    Jun 1, 2011
    I totally agree, I'm looking specifically for bass solos but thanks for posting
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I was at a workshop where we looked at transcribing Miles' solo on "Freddie Freeloader" and was just amazed at how simple it is - yet it sounds like the coolest thing ever - that was a real eye-opener! :eyebrow:
  5. darrenmccarthy


    Jun 1, 2011
    Thanks for the reply, Maybe I'm not being clear enough? What I'm looking for is an aural history lesson of bas players and what interests a bass player enough to want to learn that solo.
    Many Thanks, Darren
  6. Chris Symer

    Chris Symer

    Dec 13, 2009
    It seems to me that is exactly what you are getting.....
  7. tyb507

    tyb507 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    Burlington, Vermont
    Not quite, he's asking specifically for bass solos.
  8. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Not really a bass solo but it is the main focus of the music The Who's "The Real Me" was one that I just had to learn.
  9. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    Wilbur Ware's solo on 'Softly, As In A Morning Sunris'e, from Sonny Rollins' Live at the Village Vanguard is a bit of a go-to solo for transcribing, although this doesn't necessarily mean people will find it useful for them. Personally I'd like to try some stuff from the Jarrett/Haden album 'Jasmine' because I rarely play DB in anything bigger than a duo these days (no musos in my area) so I need to learn how the masters make it work.
  10. pan1k


    Sep 16, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    +1 i just did wilbur's solo for my improv class. it was my first ever upright transcription and it opened up my eyes to alot of simple yet effect jazz techniques.

    I'm going to start on Mile's Solo on So What this weekend. :hyper:
  11. darrenmccarthy


    Jun 1, 2011
    KILLING! I also love Ray Brown on the first take of ' I'm an old cowhand' on Sonny Rollins' 'Way Out West'
  12. darrenmccarthy


    Jun 1, 2011
    Thank you SO much, I thought I was going crazy
  13. Chris Symer

    Chris Symer

    Dec 13, 2009
    You are. :D I know you wanted bass solos, but you also wondered which solos inspired people to go ahead and transcribe them. More than a few people here were inspired by solos on other instruments, which happens to be a BIG issue for me. IMO far too many players focus too much on their own instrument and too little on the music being made by everyone together. Really great musical solos that are worthy of transcription are found far more (once again IMO) on instruments other than the one we play.
  14. Can you post your transcription and share it with others...? I would be very thankfull!
  15. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    My compliments to those who have responded so far. All of you sound like "real deal" jazz bassist.

    So, I feel retarded to state the bass solo/solos that helped me.

    When you say, "transcribed" do you mean to pick apart a bass solo and learn it by ear note for note?

    See how dumb I am?

    The short and sweet bass solo by Buffalo Bruce Barlow for Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, the song Lost in the Ozone. (live late 70s) Showed me how to improvise a major scale both in a high octave and low octave.

    Solo/bass line for Gotta Keep a Ramblin' On by Led Zepplin gave me confidence to pick apart and learn almost any bass line.

    A Blues/Jazz/Surf intrumental, Outta Gear was the first walking bass line that I ever learned.
  16. Yeth, you are.

    Fact: Red Mitchell was the most melodic and greatest jazz double bass soloist in the history of the genre and it would behoove you to enlighten yerownself to his amazing body of work from fouth tuning on gut strings in the 40's through the 70's and into his fifth tuning from that point until his death in 1992. His solos were so horn-like that it's like being influenced by a player of another instrument, as Chris Symer suggests, who I agree with 100%.
  17. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    I've always considered the skill and art of "transcribing" to involve pencil and paper...hence the "scribe" portion of the word. :)

    Just sayin'...

  18. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've read that Lennie Tristano used to have his students sing in its entirety whatever it was they wanted to transcribe and put it down on paper only after this was done successfully. Pretty gnarly ear training/internalizing right there.
  19. Scott McC

    Scott McC

    May 13, 2006
    Doug Weiss on Peter Bernstein's "Monk" record. "lets cool one" is the tune. great solo, simple but concept heavy.
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've done some classes with Jazz pros in the UK and what was most helpful to me in this respect, was the method of working from large to small, broad strokes to detail.

    So the idea is too look first at the big picture - structure of the tune - how many bars, is it AABA for example, how many parts repeat etc. Then work out the root movement, then what the quality of the chords is, their function in the harmony - then look at the phrases of the actual melody you want to transcribe, how do they fit the bars - what is going on, then look at details.

    It makes it much easier to transcribe when you have gone through that process and worked from broad to detailed description.

    Of course, I can see the benefits in terms of ear training of the Tristano method - but you are making transcribing harder for yourself! :p