Question for the Jazz bassists

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Jun 2, 2002.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Did you pick up the instrument with the intent of being a jazz bassist some day, or was jazz something you aspired to?
  2. I think for most musicians and anybody with a fair amount of taste, music picks them. Not the other way around.
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    No. When I decided to become a bassist, I really did not care for jazz. I was into brazilian rock bands, which I thought sounded more original than the stuff coming from english speaking countries in the 80's. I was also into british groups like The Smiths and The Beatles. Besides rock, I was into the older generation of brazilian artists, such as Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil and Chico Buarque. It was their music I really wanted to play.

    Now that I moved back to the U.S. and rock bass playing isn't a challenge anymore, I play more jazz than anything else because there are so many other jazz players and the genre - I now realize - has great challenges and opportunities for self expression.
  4. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Jazz is my favorite choice in music to listen to/play...but right now my bread is buttered by playing in an alt.rock cover band. I'll do a jazz gig here and there for fun and gas money,but unfortunately there needs to be more of an audience for this truly American art form.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm the same as Big Wheel - I never really liked Jazz when I was younger and I think there is an argument that you can't really listen to it and get the most out of it, without actually understanding what is going on - forms, structures and nature of improvisation.

    I find that Jazz is more of a challenge and that the people involved are also better to play with - they're interested in music and not : fame, fortune, dressing up, being the next big thing etc. etc.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Yes. I was already a professional jazz pianist when I got my first DB, so I pretty much knew what I wanted to do with it. That said, I don't limit myself to just jazz, as I like to write original music in whatever style comes to me at the time, and I also enjoy playing new stuff from others who do the same.
  7. Tronictq


    Jan 23, 2001
    When I picked up the bass, my main interest was rock music, cause i didn't know how to play a thing!! Within a month though, i had always looked up to and wanted a double bass to play jazz with. I've been training with jazz on my electric for 1.5 years.... Now, 2.5 years later, I'm finally "growing" a business to make money to buy a double bass.
    I'm growing a market garden.... hopefully i can get a good bass.

  8. When I was a teenager, I listened mostly to the Rolling Stones, and musicians which had influenced them (Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Little Walter...). Then I discovered Charlie Parker, and started listening to jazz, but then discovered J S Bach, and for the next 25 years focussed mostly on "classical" music. I played flute for about 10 or 15 years, and about 5 years ago, started playing bass... and re-discovered jazz. With "classical" music, you're playing exactly what has been written on the sheet, no more, no less (well, there is interpretation I suppose) - whereas with "jazz", the written notes are only the starting point (amazing realisation!) - The other "enlightening moment" came when I started dropping the categories "jazz" "classical" "blues" - hell, it's all music! - I realise that it's necessary to have ways to describe the different categories, but the definitions tend to throw up barriers which just keep getting in the way!

    - Wil
  9. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thank you for all of your great replies.

    I was wondering because I realize that jazz usually isn't a mainstream form of music. I don't want to sound like an etilist or music snob, but you definatley have to be a certain kind of person to enjoy the music. Also, being a musician almost always makes you are electic person than if you weren't a musician.
  10. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    My development into jazz came about this way...

    Listened to Chicago initially (still one of my fave jazz/rock groups), then got into more contemporary rock groups that interspersed funk/swing elements (311, RHCP, Spin Doctors, etc.). I was playing in an alt. rock, experimental group at the time as well, playing very busy, notey lines that reflected the influence of early Chicago and other groups who played in a similar fashion. Then, I picked up a Marcus Miller disc one day and was hooked on the idea of expanding my playing into the jazz realm. Shortly thereafter I got into Weather Report and discovered Jaco, and ended up playing stuff along those lines. Eventually I got into swing after I got into college, and progressed into listening and playing mostly modern jazz (e.g. Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Mehldau, Patitucci, etc.) and standards, and writing music along those lines as well. Finally, I made the move to upright late last year.

    I'm looking forward to the continuation of this musical journey to say the least..... ;-)
  11. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    I started playing jazz when i was about 8 or so because my father was a jazz guitar player. I hated jazz at that time because i felt that i was pushed into that genre! So i bought a electric bass and started playing rock. Well after i progressed as a musician and went to school for it i fell in love with jazz again. So to this day i still play in a small jazz band but i met in the middle with my love of music and i play in a jazz rock jam band. Kinda somthing like john scofield. Thats why i think i like steffan from dave mathews band so much! Me and him have alot in common going from a jazz player as a kid and moving around and comming back to it!
  12. I got into jazz not because I started out as a jazz player, but rather that this was where I felt most comfortable stylistically. It's not what you play, but how you play it.
  13. People find it odd that I'm 20 and listen to least people around here. When my friends get into my car and I start bumping 88.1 FM (the Jazz station outta Cal State Long Beach here in the LA area), they think I'm weird. I don't care though...I tell them all that one of my dreams is to be a cocktail lounge bassist working for little pay and free drinks. :D

    Honestly I only got into Jazz within the last 6 months or so. My friend Joe Mama, whom I rarely see anymore, is an awesome guitarist with that natural style that very few posess. He's majoring in Jazz Music and Theory in Sonoma, Ca. and he gave me a Compliation CD by Ken Burns. It covers early stuff by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, etc. and goes on to the big band/swing era. It has Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" which I fell in love with the first time I heard it, and Miles Davis's "So What". I can't get enough of that bass in "So What".

    Although my knowledge is limited in the field, and alot of the other guys here are VERY well versed in it, I aspire to be good enough one day to be that well versed myself. To be able to play Jazz with other talented musicians is one of my many of the more important ones. Hopefully Joe Mama comes back down here one day and he can spit some of his knowledge to me and I can "try" to play with him.
  14. JazznFunk

    JazznFunk Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I agree wholeheartedly. I could play rock or whatnot and be fine at it, but jazz is what speaks to me, and it's what feels most natural for me to play. I second that notion for sure.