notation question

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Susie Jennings, Jan 30, 2001.

  1. Susie Jennings

    Susie Jennings

    Jan 30, 2001
    Hi guys and gals. I play electric, am relatively new to jazz. The group I am pioneering does 30's-40's songs, which I sing. I am soon to give up bass duties to an acoustic-double-upright-bass-bull-viol person (there!) so I can concentrate on vocals. It's really tough to swing and walk bass while scatting, lemme tellya! Anyway, I have the songs done up in Encore, with melody, lyrics and chord symbols. I cue from chord charts, which has worked til now, but when we bring in other free-lance bassists I need to know how to notate things so they can play it pretty much cold.
    OK jazzers - is it OK to slap lead sheets in front of somebody with melody, lyrics and chord symbols? I can add instructions like "walk here" or "bounce for 4 bars" or "whole notes only"...and write in specific signature riffs if needed. Other stuff like 'ritard' and 'a tempo' are already in the Encore leads.
    I also have all our songs backed up on CD (by the original artists) for players who have the time to listen, so it seems like that would help too.
    What sez ya? You guys like to see every note written out? What's the best way?
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Hi, welcome to talkbass!

    It's generally fine to lay lead sheets on sit-in bassists and pianists/guitarists as long as the chord symbols are accurate. What gets confusing to sit-ins when sitting in is the question of the actual arrangement of the tune itself. To really answer your question in much detail, I (much like the person sitting in) would need more information such as: do your arrangements have introductions that are added on to the form?; do they have tags on the end or "outtros"?; do they modulate?; are there any inserted cues or vamps?, etc...

    The best case scenario for a person sitting in with a group they haven't played with before is one in which by looking at the charts, they can play the music as the group intended it to be played without having a big discussion about it first. If you are talking about basic feels like walking, "2 feel", latin (& variations thereof), it's usually no problem. If you want specific figures only in a specific place in the tune, those need to be notated that way. If these figures don't happen every time through, then you need to find a way to communicate that to the player that will be clear without a lot of verbal cueing on the bandstand.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Susie Jennings

    Susie Jennings

    Jan 30, 2001
    Thanks Chris -
    Yes, all intros and outros are notated. All the proper lingo is used, such as D.S. al Coda , repeat bars, any key changes, bird's eyes, first and second endings to verses, cue notes that are vital to the piece, and the arrangements and chord changes are transcribed from the coolest version we can find, a la Ella or Sarah, pianist is painstakingly getting all b5's,aug9's,passing chords,pedal tones, etc.
    So someone like yourself would be cool with the above? Other than writing out signature riffs and "walk here" I don't see what else I could pianist wants to write out every note, but I need him to sleep before the gig! I can't think of a worse hell than trying to do 45 note-for-note bass transcriptions in a week! Not with HIS busy days!
    We just want this to be a piece of cake for whoever sits in, and are lucky to have good players in the area.
    It seems to me that anybody worth a hoot should be OK with a well-made, descriptive lead sheet.
    Thanks -
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's right - I think they will be very lucky from the sound of it! Some singers I have played with, expect that you will have the parts in the Real Book (or your head)and then will transpose them "on the fly" into the key that they have chosen! I'm sure that some of the more experienced players round here can provide more examples of "horror stories" like this. I think the bass player who comes into your group will feel very well "looked-after" and won;lt believe their luck.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'll second that. In fact, charts in which standard types of lines are written out note for note are often more annoying than anything else, since they put the player in handcuffs and, since these lines are often not written by bassists, tend to be less idiomatic for the instrument (or just more boring) than an improvised line might be. The only time I find written walking or "2 feel" lines are helpful is in the situation of charts for Jr. High & High school jazz ensembles where the bass player might not know how to create a line by him/herself just by looking at the changes. And even then, they should only be used as a crutch until the players learn to do it on their own.
  6. Hey, Sooooz, welcome to the forum. If I was your bassist, I´d feel very well catered with all the stuff you mentioned. And like F.SCOTTIE says, you´re intended to play jazz, not through-composed stuff, so don´t bore your new bull fiddle player and write everything out. It´s not very fun to play and follow written lines when someone in front of you plays a burning 16-chorus far-out tenor solo....

    FRITZGARRALDO: I.U.P. means I Use Pops. Nice guess, though.