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My soloing over stella by starlight. Feedback welcome :)

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by youngheo, May 29, 2011.


  1. youngheo

    youngheo

    Jul 30, 2002
    Dallas, TX
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I know it's just backing tracks, but you don't seem to be playing with the rhythm section at all. I don't really hear the time connecting, any connection between the melodic material in the solo and the actual composition.

    Are the bass and backing tracks recorded seperately? I think it would be an interesting exercise for you to record a bunch of tunes and go back a month later and listen to just the bass solo without any backing tracks and see if you can tell what tune you're playing.

    One of things that I've worked for years on with my teacher is being able to have a loose approach to the harmonic form and still being able to convey what it is I'm playing. Communicating intent and hiow you're hearing something is hard. I didn't make it through the whole cut, did you ever state the melody? I'll try to dig back into it when I get back from the gig tonight....
     
  3. youngheo

    youngheo

    Jul 30, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    very good point. thanks for the feedback, ed.
     
  4. Now, I'm no pro, but here's my two cents.


    I don't know if it's just the recording equipment, but I find that a lot of your lines aren't very clear. I can't hear the whole phrase, as it's a bit muddy. I hear a lot of starting notes and ending notes, but not a lot of cohesiveness and clarity in the middle.

    I'm also only hearing a solo, and not really a melody. IMO, the best solos are extensions of the melody, or have a melodic foundation, as opposed to a lick-based one.
     
  5. Will Yager

    Will Yager Supporting Member

    May 7, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    You might want to google the lee konitz method for melodic solos...he has a step-by-step approach for melody-based playing
     
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well, the second chorus is definitley more focused than the first, but there's still this tendency to "spew", if you will. The "i can make double time feel at this tempo, so I will no matter what!" Run your track through Audacity or something and listen to it at half speed, you'll hear where a lot of those lines are in the "vicinity" of time but aren't actually nailing it anywhere.
    Who are you studying with?
     
  7. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    If you wanted to check out someone progressively using a variety of approaches soloing on that very tune, check out Marc Johnson's book on bass soloing.
     
  9. PocketGroove82

    PocketGroove82

    Oct 18, 2006
    Chicago
    You've got some chops and you're getting around the bass nicely, and you are actually using space. But your solo leaves me dying to hear a real logical and strong relationship between your phrases. I want some call and response rather than ripping it up in the key of the moment, then stopping for a long time, then ripping it up some more in the key of the moment.

    I want to hear some connection/relationship between the lines you're playing. I want to hear you start off easy, draw me in, then build up to some blazing stuff, and go from there.

    The solo was mainly fast playing and you ended with the more melodic material that would have been better to start with. You must give you solo a shape to maintain interest with the listener. You gotta start somewhere, then go somewhere, rather than just be somewhere and stay there, then taper off at the end. Really think about the great solos you like and see if take you on a journey or have an easily discernible shape. Keep it up!
     
  10. I'm also no pro—not even a good amateur. But I'm in the audience at live performances a lot. The solos on any instrument that I enjoy most are those that touch base with the melody with a few notes somewhere in every sixteen bars. Like when the soloist has selected a very short phrase that is nonetheless highly characteristic of the particular melody and quotes it into his solo. Sometimes with different note-durations, but still a recognizably-characteristic melody line. Sometimes with a different melody line, but with recognizably-characteristic note durations. Sometimes the quoted phrase is inserted just where it would be in a vanilla solo, sometimes not. Depends on the piece. It's a lot of fun listening to thoughtful solos like that.

    I don't care as much for solos that appear (to me, at least) to have no connection with the melody except that they're the same length in bars. Such solos give me the impression that the soloist might well use them in any piece with similar harmonies. (I'm aware that I'm probably unaware of some very clever technical stuff that soloists are doing. Well, it's just too subtle for me when that happens, I guess.)
     
  11. I think there are good suggestions above. My two cents is just that we are in a period where you can just play whatever you want.

    I think the main consensus here is that what you are playing just doesn't seem to relate enough to the tune.
    There are some good ideas above, another suggestion is just to loose the tune entirely and keep your ideas.
    Musically and artistically that might be the best route - I'd still reccomend employing the ideas above in your studies.
     
  12. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    The concept I have really been focusing on lately is clarity. As I mentioned in another thread the urge to shred, often brought out by saxes or pianos soloing before us, often leads to a lack of clarity in the bass solo because we are trying to shred like them. Hal Galpern talks about trying to decide your rhythm first then put notes to it. This has helped me with clarity.

    Just a personal caveat. Playing double time over time needs to be used VERY sparingly for my ears. If there is too much I just sounds like you wished the tune was a different tempo.
     
  13. wes stephenson

    wes stephenson Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    Dallas Texas!!!!
    you sound great young! i think a lot of these cats commenting have had too much school and if you had the chance to hear them they would sound like all the other cats that have had too much school. just be you. if you want to play double time do it, if you want to play half notes then do it. do you think miles cared if cats thought he should have done this or that, probably not...
     
  14. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    Title of the thread:

    My soloing over stella by starlight. Feedback welcome :)

    then in the original post:

    please leave feedback.

    He asked for my opinion and I gave it. Opinions are like a$$holes though and I certainly can be one. Not in this case though

    Yeah and us guys that work all the time in major jazz markets with heavy hitters are over schooled. Give me a break. Now I'm gonna go cry.
     
  15. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I put up a recording of myself playing to Trictotism once and someone commented that I sounded like I would start many ideas but hardly ever finished any of them. I'm still chewing on that tidbit years later.

    Playing like you got chops is fun but it doesn't make it sound musical. Where's the melody? I don't hear anything that sounds like Stella. Are you trying to connect with the tune? Are you really trying to portray your own story? Thematic development? There is some motivic stuff going on but it's all very short and doesn't last beyond 8 bars. Can you do call and response where the call is 8 bars alone and you keep responding to it in the next 16 or 24 bars? Can you play it in any key?

    There's a Jim Hall quote where he said (paraphrasing) that you shouldn't be afraid to hit one single note and hold it for a while to let it ring out clear and true. Also recently, I think I heard Tony Williams say on an NPR show about Miles... that a solo should be build up after starting with some sort of introduction. You don't just start your solo like you're kicking down a door.

    Oh and oh yeah... dont' forget to use dynamics. Can never get enough of that.

    That said, nice fast chops tho - wish I was that fast and clean (in due time I spose). I hope you hearing it at that speed and that it isn't just your fingers noodling around.
     
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Ed Fuqua Group :: Music - ReverbNation I like the solo on SI TU VOIR MA MERE...
     
  17. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  18. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    Yup. Nice Ed. Homie's gotta do some ****ing homework before he start taking pot shots. There are all manner of clips floating around if he'd just do a little digging.
     
  19. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well, there is THAT, but mostly if young wants to assess how meaningful my commentary might be to his own playing, he should be able to hear what I sound like.

    As you say, both of these links could have been found with miniscule effort....
     
  20. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Ed, I'm listening to your playing and would recommend it to anyone as a lesson in simply making music, or making music simply. :D

    A common gift of most of the top players is their ability to pull the listener further into a tune because the player is going deeper in recreating it. Melody, harmony and rhythm may be the building blocks, but the melody is the most identifiable. In short, just play the frickin' melody and/or a variation of it.

    Your solo on Theme For Ernie is a thing of beauty. Although you didn't play THE melody, the one you created is a beautiful thing.

    @ Young, Bill Evans says it best in this link. Start at 1:30: YouTube - ‪Bill Evans - The Creative Process and Self-Teaching‬‏
     

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