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Spicing up that walk

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by No_Fingures, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. No_Fingures


    Jun 17, 2002
    Boston Ma
    Ok i have been into jazz for the past few mounths. I have not even dented the surfice yet, but i can talk some with the simple 1-2-3-4(and basic approaches). But i listen to some of my recordings and listening to the way differant plays spiced up their lines. I was wonderin what do you guys do to spice things up a litttle.

    I have been workin on a ghosted 8th note thing a little. But that with my lack of skill i can only use in my simpler songs like killer joe or a screw it up.

    To sum things up i will put it in too questions.

    what do you do rythemically to spice things up

    what do you do melodiclly to spice things up

    and what extras do you add for turns arounds and such.
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I am by no means a proficient walker, I can do it, but definatly not as well as some of the more veteren players here. however I find that somethign that REALLY spices up walking basslines for me is to incorperate dynamics. Rather than hitting each note at the same velocity and creating the same amount of noise, spice things up by hitting a chromatic note that is more forte(louder) and a target note that is piano(softer)...be careful though, because if you play the important notes to softly all the time it can ruin the feel of the song, you have to be choice in your use of dynamics, otherwise it becomes bland.

    when used thoughtfully, dynamics can be the most powerful thing in music.(for me at least)
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    To develop a concept in jazz, you've got to listen, listen, listen. You say you've been into jazz for a few months. Got any favorite bass players? What do they do to spice up their walking lines? Listen, analyze, transcribe and integrate. No shortcuts.

    Now, if I could take my own advice....:bag:
  4. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    I second that vote for analyzing bass lines.
    Here are some other things you could do :

    Practice playing with a metronome, have it set to play on beats 2 and 4. Practice making your quarters as legato as you can.

    Work on your ears. Sing each note before you play it. Learn to identify intervals.

    Learn as much theory as you can. ;)

    Get a good teacher.

    Good luck
  5. No_Fingures


    Jun 17, 2002
    Boston Ma
    I got a Ray brown and Hampton CD. I also got a coal train CD with chambers on it, then lafaro and bill evens. Also got 3 or 4 cds of mingus. Some other stuff but i forget. For some reason it doesn;t seem right playing jazz on a fretted 4 string bass..
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    A lot of puritans will tell you that jazz is only proper when played on an acoustic upright...screw that!(no offense puritans ;)
    play jazz bass on a harp if you want(check out lorie andrews....she plays jazz harp, thats bass and chords and melodies)

    If you are dedicated to Jazz and you feel you want to pursue a career in classic Jazz, then I would consider moving to upright(at least partially) but if you are just dabbling in it to learn more about chordal theory and harmonic approach to music then use whatever tools you got :)
  7. No_Fingures


    Jun 17, 2002
    Boston Ma
    Yeh i should of state old bebop jazz and such...Alot of weather reprt and other stuff today sounds best on normal bass. Prob just choosing which tux to wear to the accation
  8. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    On a given chord, depending on the song and place in the song, it is not always necessary to land on the root on beat 1. You could try the fifth or the third and then make your way to the root. Also you can continuously pedal one note. If the chords were Bb to Eb and back to Bb, you could play Bb quarter notes the whole time since it's the fifth of Eb. Just some thoughts.