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So What? Miles Davis

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by PlattsADA, Aug 11, 2003.


  1. Any suggestions on what to play over so what... it's just alot of D- or Eb- for alot of bars...

    the group I'm in is doing it at an upcoming gig, and i'm pretty dumb, so any suggestions would be helpful.
     
  2. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Just groove on those chords if thats what it takes. Miles' was always about the groove anyway. If you are solid, clean and in the pocket, you got it made. I won't suggest anything specific cause it's a groove tune.

    What a cool band to play in if this is the kind of material you guys do.
     
  3. naw, it's nawthin... it's just some freinds. We're doing alot of simple tunes like this... all blues, so what, footprints, (i *love* footprints, even though my intonation is a bit questionable)

    I was just wondering if playing a D- scale over and over... it gets kinda old... I was wondering if there were any like substitutions or, shoudl I just work on moving in differnt modes of it from chord tone to chord tone?

    It's a pretty sparse group.. we've got a tenor sax, me on DB and an elecrtic guitar.

    I've got alot of pressure on me with no piano and no drums...

    I look forward to growing from this experience however... I've started trying to do more comping style playing (a la charlie hadyn) than walking style playing... for two reasons

    1) it gives it a fuller sound

    2) (and more importantly) I'm not very good with the walking... I just started playing DB last year, and never played jazz till then either... so that whole spatial thing, thinking about what notes to play and how to get from one to the next, and which chord tone I want to go to.. it's still a little beyond me, so simplifying it so I can concentrate on rhythem and harmony all at once instead of in chunks is easier for me...
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Actually this was written as a 'modal piece' - so Miles' intention on the original was not that you played those chords, but rather that you used the two Dorian modes that were specified.

    So on the original you can hear that Miles (of course) Coltrane and Bill Evans are hip to this concept and only use notes from the modes - but that Cannonball Adderley just plays what he would normally play!! ;)

    Paul Chambers' walking line on the original is a classic and is certainly worthy of study for how to construct walking lines over a piece like this.

    But of course - this tune has been done many times now in many different ways - but the original somehow always sounds the freshest....?:meh:
     
  5. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Listen to what Miles does with his solo. The thing always brings to my mind one of those huge 50s/60s mobiles (were they by Calder? Memory fails.)

    OK, the bass is not a trumpet, but think space and melody. Play with intervals -- again, think more about space, not "scales".

    Try some blues feeling in there.

    Play with rhythm a bit, that's always there when the melodic imagination fails or bores. Find a simple figure to repeat with rhythmic variations; with any luck, your bandmates (the drummer, the comp-er, both) will get into it with you.

    Relax and take your time. It's an easy tune to be musical with. Much loved by hacks like me for that reason!
     
  6. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Well said. Sort of the 'motif and expansion' concept.
     
  7. LoJoe

    LoJoe

    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes - motifs and 'motivic' (?) playing are often recommended for modal tunes.

    The rhythmic thing can be pretty hard if there are no drums, (as specified by the question asker) - you might decide in your bass solo, to avoid the 1 as a rhythmic idea - but then the rest of the band might well assume that the first note of your motif is the 1 - I've seen it happen to seasoned pro Jazz groups!! ;)
     
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    PLATTS DOMINO,

    Here's an old thread on the subject which has some useful stuff in it. Don't get confused if you discover that there are some missing posts - the ghost of FOGHORN still lingers.
     
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  11. thanks man!
     
  12. tww001

    tww001

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    in listening to Paul Chambers on the original recording, he repeatedly uses groove lines over and over again. My two fav's are below (sorry for the tab, I hate it, but it's easy to write out)

    1)
    G|-10------10-------
    D|0--0---0----0---0-
    A|-----0--------0---
    E|------------------

    first one is a set of triplets (D F D) followed by straight eigths

    Second one is all quarter notes

    2)
    G|----------------
    D|0---------------
    A|--3-2-1-0-------
    E|----------3-1-3-


    they are cool sounding grooves...'specially the first one
     
  13. The whole point was the challenge of playing 2 dorian minor scales. Scales, not chords. No blues, no chromatics. No "expansion." Period. Listen.
    It was a concept Miles used frequently in those days.
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's what I said - didn't I!!?? ;)
     
  15. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ... yeah, stupid old Cannonball, huh? Just imagine: playing what you feel instead of going along with The Idea. How did they let him get away with that?
     
  16. No, the bass isn't a trumpet, but it can play trumpet lines.

    Few, if any, of the suggestions in this thread strike me as having any value. Like if someone said they wanted to paint a picture, you wouldn't tell him using some lines and curves is great... and you can try putting some color in it too. But then, the original question is close to unanswerable.

    And "So What" isn't an easy tune. It's very hard. The only thing harder would be if there was only one chord, or no chords at all.
     
  17. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    So, D KAZACONSONANT, we've heard what you DON'T like (the stuff in this thread, the idea that it might be an easy tune in someone's opinion. Depending on the attitude you take, no tune is easy.) Care to help the guy out with something you DO like?
     
  18. Autumn Leaves is an easy tune. All The Things You Are, My Romance, Just Friends are easy tunes. I also think it's easier to play a decent solo on rhythm changes than it is on So What. The only thing easy about So What is remembering the changes. Playing something hip and swinging over something that is harmonically static is difficult.

    If a player doesn't have an idea of how to approach a tune he should start by doing some in depth (transcribing) listening of that tune. Asking what to play almost begs the question when the answer is right there on the disc, especially a seminal recording like that. The answer is play something like what's on the disk, unless you have some idea about how to do it differently.
     
  19. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Thanks D, for the follow up.

    I hate to be like this, but I believe my first words of advice were: "Listen to what Miles does with his solo." I think we may be pretty much on the same page on this one.

    I should do more transcribing. I'm slow so I only do it when the Muse Of Learning is really wailing, consequently I don't get any better through practice.

    Sometimes I think it would be a good idea if we could bottle a definition of "hip and swinging". Only for a second: then my better sense kicks in.