Patitucci Master Class

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Waldog, May 30, 2005.

  1. So a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get down to Melbourne to see the Wayne Shorter Quartet and the John Scofield Trio in concert, and while there I was able to attend masterclasses with Scofield and Patitucci. It took me a little while to decide whether to post this in EB or UB, because I only play EB, but decided to post it here because that's what the man was using.


    So anyway, I thought I would share a few little things he was talking about in the class. I highly recommend you get to a masterclass of his if you have the chance. He is a great educator, and unlike Scofield was very good at analysing what he does and ways to approach it.

    I'm sure alot of this stuff has been covered before, but here are some things I took from it:

    Time: Internalise the beat. Reduce the number of beats you play to on a metronome, e.g. with a 4/4 beat only on 1.

    Working with a drummer:
    Coming to a consensus on the beat is more important than getting the tempo "right". Play tight rather than trying to force something - be flexible and enjoy the difference in styles if you come across a drummer who likes to push/pull the other way to you. Work to make the beat feel "wider" not "narrower", particularly in swing playing.

    Ear Training: get a friend to play a chord voicing on piano/guitar etc where you can't see their fingers. First sing/play the root of the chord, then sing/play a scale which fits in the chord. Start on the lowest note on the bass and play to the highest. Only after you have found a scale which fits the chord and played it should your friend tell you what the chord is (if you haven't already worked it out).

    Playing UB: Use the hanging weight of the arm to push with the left hand, pull with the right. "pull the sound out of the instrument rather than pressing it in".

    Comping: Use hooks to build a mosaic. Feed the soloist. Dont be afraid to lay out. With no chordal instrument use some double stops to fill space, but be careful not to overpower.

    Walking basslines: You should be able to play by yourself and have the changes easily identifiable. Practice walking a blues in every key in 1/2 position - gets you out of overplaying vertically. Practice walking with the root on the first beat of the change, then to the 5th, 3rd, and 7th.

    He also mentioned that when electric was used in playing walking lines, it was often too loud. That is, reduce the volume of the electric and the band has a tendency to swing more. And as to you "cant use electric for jazz" players, he had this to say: "Simple answer to that question. Did you see Steve Swallow last night? That cat could swing, AND he was using a pick!"

    Soloing: Many bass players (moreso electric) play jazz solos staccato - picking every note. Listen to horn players, and try to imitate the slurring and tonguing of a horn by not picking every note.

    So anyway, these were just a couple of things he talked about. It was a great 2 hours, he is a fantastic player and a great educator. I'm so lucky to have had this opportunity! :hyper:

    If ever you get the chance, make the effort!
  2. I just spent the last semester taking a class called rhythm section seminar with JP teaching. The whole semester was based on the things you mention from the master class. He is a great player and a great person as well.
  3. edvon


    Apr 4, 2004
    Hi Waldog,
    thanks for sharing this, I would have loved to be there, missed out...
    I have heard about Patituccis DVD, think I will order that from David Gage.
    I haven't been to any workshops/masterclasses of this kind, where would you look up upcoming ones in Australia?