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REQ: Giant Steps - Coltrane

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by gmr1, Sep 27, 2005.


  1. gmr1

    gmr1

    Nov 16, 2001
    Boston, MA
    Anyone have the bass part written out for this? thanks in advance!
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    It's not really like there's a "bass part"; most jazz bassists create a line that is based on the harmonic movement and will be different every time they play the song.
     
  3. Transcribe it yourself. it's a great excercise and it can show you how a great bassist like Paul Chambers negotiates all those key changes and II-V-Is. I would actually suggest getting those Tascam Bass Trainers that can slow down the cd. I've used it for some of my transcriptions but eventually, i never want to use it for transcriptions, just play along. And the half tempo sounds annoying after awhile.

    Ed is right though, most cd reissues of Giant Steps have more than one take with PC playing different lines at different tempos. It really shows the spontaneous nature of jazz and how great jazz bass playing comes from within, not playing someone else's stuff note for note. You can check the Real Book for the changes, but that and other fake books are notorious for writing in substitutions where the chords should be. Harmonically it's a set pattern with the II-Vs and key changes, but the pattern is pretty complex and I think it has something to do with Lydian Augmented stuff.
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There's a good explanation of the harmony in Giant Steps and how it was written, in Levine's "Jazz Theory Book". :)
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

  6. gmr1

    gmr1

    Nov 16, 2001
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for the help guys. My jazz chops are not what they should be, but I spent some time with the tune yesterday, and it didn't give me too much trouble. It's for a guitar/bass duo performance, so I wanted to get as close to Mr. PC's line as possible.
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Why? :confused:

    Why not play your own line - Paul Chambers always improvised his own lines, so why not go for the spirit of the performance rather than just repeating Parrot-fashion?

    Jazz is about collective improvisation, responding to the other player(s) and the situation - and it's not like you can even get a note-for-note re-creation with just a guitar....:meh:

    I keep reading things recently on TB where it seems that people are under the impression that if you play a Jazz tune then you must be playing Jazz ....:meh:

    But with Jazz it's more about improvising and I'm inclined to say that if you're not improvising and making the tune your own - then you're not playing Jazz!
     
  8. gmr1

    gmr1

    Nov 16, 2001
    Boston, MA
    The main reason is we will be getting 2 rehearsals to get the tune down. The closer we are to being on the same page going into these rehearsals, the easier it'll go.

    I'm just excited to hear the guitarist pull it off! He wants to play it at album tempo. He's a monster player, so it should be good.

    I'm not going to begin questioning whether or not what I'm playing is "jazz"... Not enough hours in the day for that!
     
  9. fraublugher

    fraublugher

    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    I havent actually played this tune with a band, but I learnt the melody and started playing about with the changes the other day.

    I just checked out the link to the digram posted above... I'd not heard those terms (ditone and quadratone) before, but I had seen the Major3rd movement in key centres, and picked up on the minor 3rd movement between the tonic of the 1st key and the dominant chords of the following key in the first 8 bars. And that the keys centres are moving down in Maj3rds the bars 1 to 3 and 5 to 7, and up in Maj3rds in bars 9 to 11 and 13 to 15. There's just so much symmetry in this tune, it's bloody clever!!

    The melody is such a simple shape too, the 1st two phrases down the Maj7th arpeggio. And the melody notes are mostly consonant too, 3rds, 5ths and 9ths.. like he's created the sense of dissonance by moving between those very different key centres and found that beautifully simple melody to play through those difficult changes!

    It's elegant in the mathematical sense of the word. :cool:
    I need to learn to play it :D
     
  11. Redhotbassist

    Redhotbassist

    Oct 19, 2002
    England
    +1

    :smug: :)
     
  12. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    :eyebrow: I'm still trying to figure out why a question about Giant Steps is in the tablature section?????
     
  13. gmr1

    gmr1

    Nov 16, 2001
    Boston, MA
    Because I knew people would see it (I guess it worked... I know you can probably play the tune at twice it's normal tempo Andrew, care to share some pointers? :p ). I guess it would have made sense to post it in the DB side of the forums, but I often forget that world even exists.
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    Same reason there's a Tab of a Blanton bowed solo in the Tab archive!! ;)
     
  15. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Twice the normal tempo... crochet = 572 :crying:

    I find the changes in this tune very difficult. After playing them I can hear them, sort of, but they seem so dissjointed because of the abrupt key changes. Difficult to walk smoothly through at any tempo for me because I'm not used to the changes
     
  16. gmr1

    gmr1

    Nov 16, 2001
    Boston, MA
    I was kidding about twice the normal tempo because I happen to know that emjazz is a hell of a player (our paths have crossed a few times at a music store in Somerville, MA and I even purchase a couple Berg cabs from him years ago).

    I'm very familiar with the tune, I'm just not sure how well I can play it. Nevertheless, I appreciate all the help guys, you're a good bunch!
     
  17. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Yeah, I know you were kidding.. jut thought it was funny. 286 is too fast for me even.. no time to think (not that I should be 'thinking' per say.. etc, etc..) :meh:
     
  18. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Ah, I didn't know you were on here! :D

    To be honest, I can't play it up to speed yet. I've been working on this one myself. I don't mean to come out with some kind of elitist bull**it, I just found it curious to see something at the level of Giant Steps to be in the tab section. It's a tricky tune for sure. What used to hang me up the most was that the ii-v's are moved. Normally they happen where the ii chord is on 1 and the v chord is on 3. Here, the v chord is on 1 to the next ii-v. I had to change my thinking on this as well as my muscle memory. Right now, what I can play over this tune is farily simple harmony wise. I end up playing everything I don't like to hear. I'm trying to feel more free with the tune to play things that I like hearing instead of what I don't, which is typical bop lines. I don't want to hear people play bop lines any longer. I got to have a lesson with Matt Garrison once and it was eye, and ear, opening. We played Giant Steps (well....he did anyway. I could hardly make it through the tune). What I got to hear him play over the changes completely changed how I thought about these sorts of tunes. I no longer want to hear bebop lines because of that experience. What he did was much more interesting. He was truly playing JAZZ. John Coltrane was a giant because he was inovative every time he improvised. He was creating something new at every moment. What most people play over tunes such as Giant Steps, or any other standard, is someone elses notes being regurgitated. It drives me crazy.............Ok, wow........I'm on a real tangeant now! :help: Sorry man, you didn't ask for my thoughts on this at all. What I will say is the more you play this tune keep this stuff in mind. Play what you hear, what wants to come out of you. It's important to start with what's been laid out before us but it's even more important to take that knowledge and create something else, something that is our own individual voice.

    Ok, I'm done. :D
     
  19. gmr1

    gmr1

    Nov 16, 2001
    Boston, MA
    Yeah. I've been lurking for years! I didn't really expect you to even remember selling the cabs to me. I just remembered hearing you and your buddy playing at RCG a few times, and you guys just tearing it up. Made me want to go right home and practice...


    I guess I was just looking for a little guidance. It's really outside of my normal "comfort zone". It's still in the "maybe" column as far as if it'll get played or not!

    This is very much a "support" gig. I'm there to hold it down, and let the guitarist do his thing. I'm going to be taking a very simple approach if we do it. Hearing guys like you say they have trouble with the tune doesn't help me not be apprehensive about it :) !

    That's awesome. Matty is such an amazing talent, and the few minutes I've gotten to talk to him, he strikes me as a really great guy as well.

    It's all good. It's actually exactly what I was looking for. I've been listening to 'trane for a long time now, and I'm just starting to scrape the surface of what's going on compositionally in his tunes.

    That's good advice. Like I said, I got a long way to go before I'm able to hang on a lot of tunes I'd love to be able to play, but It's cool to crash and burn trying sometimes (as long as it's in the privacy of my own home!).