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Right hand - Time Feel - Sound Projection

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Shoehorn, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Hi All,

    I'm planning on using the great web resource that talk bass is a bit more starting.... now and starting a thread seems like a good place to start.

    I just switched studying with a different bassist this past month. To give some context, my last teacher has a very loose time feel and one of the best senses of melody I've ever heard in a bassist. He had a more "modern" physical approach to the instrument (lower strings, somewhat ampy sound) but swings really well if not somewhat reminiscient of Gary Peacock or Don Thompson. Our lessons were all about phrasing, melodic, and soloistic concepts.

    SO, with that context: My new mentor seems to know more about Ron Carter's 60s albums and the miles davis quintet with Tony, Herbie, and Wayne then anyone else I've ever spoken to. He rocks a pretty old school approach to the instrument (Higher action, mostly microphone, swinging motherf***er).

    In my first lesson he suggested that I adjust my right hand technique to use a bit more arm movement and think about pulling the sound OUT of the bass instead of digging IN to the bass. Then he told me to start visualizing and conceptualizing how I project a sound out of the instrument

    I'm still working out the concept so we'll see how it develops but I've noticed it swings WAAAAAY harder if I can make it happen. I can literally feel the stronger propulsion of the notes in my stomach resting against the instrument.

    What I'm interested in is what your, the people of Talkbass, concept of sound production is and how that relates to making a groove in different contexts (swing, straight eighths, latin, LOUD situations, uptempo, etc).
  2. I get what you're saying, in terms of pulling out the sound and that's cool.....however, cart before the horse. IMO, one has to establish an innate sense of swing before you can apply it to any instrument, be it the bass or the fipple flute. Once that happens (and, believe me, sometimes for some people it never does). But, I come from that old school of really digging in physically like you say your latest mentor does. Some players can swing really nice with low action and a lotta amp sound. I can't. I still use an amp on most gigs but with the smallest possible gain. Kind of the 75% acoustic sound and 25% amp, maybe. To relate that to you, Don Thomson is an old friend and one of my favorite players in terms of great, melodic solos and great swing feel in the section....so yeah, like that......
    But again, once you know you can swing, I think it's best to get pretty physically involved with the bass, IMO.
    Another thing that many jazz bassists don't do is use dynamics in their playing. That ability to establish the groove and then bring down the dynamic sound level and then bring it back up is something that I don't hear a lot of with jazz bassists. Bringing it down, playing with it and then bringing it back up is a great way to establish tension and release which, IME with my students, is a good way to actually learn how to swing. I should say, to experience the possibility of being able to swing. I know many people whose dying wish is to be able to swing and, unfortunately it's a musical fact that some folks just can't do it.
    Good luck.......
  3. Don is coming to do a concert with the big band at my college. Half of the charts say things like "Broken two/one feel, please don't walk."
  4. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Mar 5, 2021

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