One Jazz Improv / Writing book to rule them all?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bassed123, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. Bassed123


    Jun 5, 2021
    Im looking to take my Jazz playing a step further. Mainly looking to improve on jazz solos. Fusionesque is my forte i suppose. I know basic use of the Modes and keeping a good rhythm so that it doesnt just sound like blabbering, but im still missing the "Jazzy" element. I personally dont know what the "thing" is but im willing to look into more advanced theory to see if what im missing is just more intricate knowledge with what goes with what and chromaticism etc..

    If anyone has a really good book recommendation im very much open to hear what you have to say!
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Let's say you wanted to write poetry, do you think a larger dictionary with more complex words in it is going to help? The thing that most jazz musicians do has as little to do with modes or scales or "more advanced theory" as poetry does with learning to diagram sentences with nouns and gerunds and participles etc. Sure, those elements are present, but they're not the motive power behind either poetry or jazz improvisation.
  3. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    PVG Membership
    Have you tried consulting the records? The knowledge you seek is contained in them. Transcribe them, playing along with them, immerse yourself in them etc.

    Books serve a great purpose and help build a knowledge base but you won’t ever develop an understanding of any language without intensive listening and speaking it.
    misterCRUSH likes this.
  4. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Find a as good jazz teacher. Nothing wrong with books, but you need feedback.
    MikeDavis likes this.
  5. Malcolm35


    Aug 7, 2018
    I'm having fun with my keyboard using chord tones and pentatonic scales, messing around on the keyboard and taking "the good stuff" to my bass. Improv soloing is much easier on the keyboard, IMO.

    Autumn leaves is coming... OFWIW.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
    consectaneus likes this.
  6. misterCRUSH

    misterCRUSH It's all's ALL jazz...

    Dec 27, 2015
    I don't know of any books but I know that I get a pretty jazzy feel by adding b5, 9, 11, 13ths to my solos. I also spent a fair amount of time transcribing solos by Ron Carter, Scott LaFaro, Larry Grenadier, and Charlie Haden. Find the players you like, the sounds you like, and learn what they are doing.
  7. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    I bought a keyboard last Christmas and got into exploring a little jazz language and theory via some great books that even a non keyboardist/total beginner can benefit from. I think it's beneficial to listen to soloists on other instruments for ideas.

    To the OP, there is a classic book on the subject of improvisation for bass that I think everyone should have. It's a Chuck Sher publication called "The Improvisor's Bass Method". It starts out real how to hold the bass, etc, and ends with transcriptions by the greats. I'll bet by going back to some of the approach concepts in it, even if it's stuff you thought you knew well, you will still find plenty of food for thought. It's written in standard notation.
  8. IMO the only way to accomplish this is to do your homework. Do the bebop lifts and learn the great solos.

    If you want a book there's always the Charlie Parker Omnibook.
    12BitSlab likes this.
  9. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Just practice and do improvised sessions with as many people and as often as possible, no book is going to teach you that.

    In lack of people to jam with learn how to program your own backing tacks using midi in a DAW and improvise over those while recording, listen back and learn from your mistakes, also a great supplement to above.

    Also be prepared to suck to start with, just don't let that keep you from continuing to do what you love.

    You need to love the journey as much as the destination, cause the journey to get better never ends.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021
  10. fretlessbass

    fretlessbass Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    My biggest inspiration for bass soloing is, and has always been guitarist Wes Montgomery, both for his single line and block chord solos:
    I’ve been listening to his recordings since I was a little fellow.
    Such absolute joy in his playing!!!
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Jul 29, 2021

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