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soloing problem

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by percy_jones, May 7, 2006.

  1. percy_jones


    Jun 19, 2005

    I´m having trouble when soloing, the thing is that when, for example, I am soloing over a C-7 chord and I want to play the minor third, in this case Eb, I have to first look for the tonic (C) and only then I can go to the third or fifth, or any athoer note on the scale.
    Is there any exercise to deal with this or something that can help me out? thanks.
  2. TGP


    Mar 27, 2005
    Most beginning bass players have trouble starting ideas on other notes because we're used to hitting roots for walking lines. Sounds like you need to practice your arpeggios in all inversions starting on the 3, 5 or 7 instead of the root and just get to know the finger patterns so you don't have to think about it. Also practice ideas or licks starting on any note other than 1 and play in all keys through cycle 5 or something.
    It's like a guitarist or pianist who always plays the root in the bass of their chord voicings, you need to expand the vocabulary.
    Good Luck.
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The problem is that you don't have that note in your ear. Ear training exercises will straighten this out for you.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Well, we have one of two problems here.

    First possibility -- it's a conceptual issue, in as much as you find it necessary to play the C before playing the Eb. If this is the case, Ray is very right.

    Second possiblity -- it's a technical issue, where you simply have to "find" the C (not necessarily actually play it) to find the Eb on the fingerboard. If this is the case, the solution is very simple. Technical exercises.

    Learn all your scales and their modes (including melodic minor) in every key over the full range of the bass. This will probably take some time. Once you have that, practice them ascending and descending in different intervals -- 3rds, 4ths, etc. If you have that solid and feel like punishing yoruself, try something like ascending in 3rds and descending in 6ths over two octaves of F# major.

    Mark Levine's jazz theory book has great ideas on practicing scales. One of them is practice them continually for five minutes, going from, say, ascending F ionian to descending G dorian to ascending A phrygian, etc. Try that with the intervals (ascending/descending in 3rds.) I'd go farther, but this will be plenty of work for at least a while. Please keep in mind not all of this is necessary to simply be able to find your thirds, etc. on the fingerboard...but it's good for getting a start on technique.

    EDIT: Remember -- every key, and with the metronome.
  5. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    When I get a chance to "solo" on a tune while the band is playing I find this helpful:

    If they're playing a C-7 chord, play nothing but the minor third (Eb) to get that sound in your ear.

    Do the same with the fifth and sevenths. See (listen) what kind of atmosphere each note creates within the harmony.
  6. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    This is exactly where the play along recordings would come in handy.
  7. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City

    Yup. Bandmates don't usually like playing the same progression over and over for like half an hour while the bass player bangs thirds, fifths or sevenths all the time. Oh, well...:meh:
  8. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    To add to what has been suggested already: You might try finding something that will generate particular tones while you do your scale and simandl studies. Playing a scale with the 3rd, 4th, 5th droning does wonders for me. Change it around often so you ears get used to hearing different things, and hearing other notes droning against the scale you're playing.

    What can also help is to practice soloing over simple iim-V7-Imaj progression, but forcing yourself to start every phrase with a target note (like the 3rd in your case). You'll need Band-In-A-Box or something like that for what I'm talking about. Once you can comfortable start phrases with the third, you can try with different notes from the scale other than the root.

    But I think the biggest point is to keep practicing. You'll get there eventually.:)

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