Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

swingin' in 12/8

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Howard K, Jul 3, 2003.


  1. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    my band have many new tracks... one of which is pretty darned strange, it has an almost gospel feel to it... now, i want to be able to break into a full swing at somepoint, but i'm having trouble finding the best way to approach it?

    it has four chords per bar, so one chord per main beat, repeated.

    So, how do you swing in 12/8?

    I thought it would be easy since each beat is effectively a triplet anyhow, but swinging each 1/8th note feels more like a really slow waltz (1,23,1,23...) and I want to have some real pace to it!

    Right, each bar consists of 4 dotted quaters, each divided into 3 eigths, giving 12/8.

    So I'm thinking that in order to get the pace I want I might need to play 16ths, making it 6 notes per chord, 24 notes per bar - This would be a 16th note triplet, is that right?

    The other thing I cant fguire out is which notes to accent - I want it swing like a jazz line, but I dont know where to put the 'strong notes'?!
    I.e. you listen to jazz linw in 4/4 and you can hear the 2 and 4 accented, pushing the line forward (that is right isnt it?!), but this has a chord change every 3 'beats'..?!

    Basically, I need some advice here, I'm not sure how best to approach this, or even of the many options really?!

    Help?!

    Just for interest, the chords are A7 > Dmin7 > Bdim > DMaj7. I have no real problem with the chords, in that I'm discovering a zillion ways to approach playing them :)
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I'd just play the 4 dotted quarters per bar - 12/8 is, essentially, a swing feel. Just walk the line - but the drummer has to help.
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm reading though, that Howard wants to liven it up a bit - so as you say, this is really what a standard swing Jazz bass line is - so couldn't he just 'double time" it - chords go by at the same pace, but he plays twice the number of notes?
     
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Well as it happens they've come up with two new numbers in 12/8 and this is exactly waht I was doing in a section of another track with 4 chords per bar! It works great, I'm choosing a different note under each chord change to move the part forward.

    However, Bruce is right, for this particular song I do really want to pick up the pace a bit.

    If the tempo is set on the dotted quarter then it's about 40bpm, so 120 on the 8th note pulse, yeah, that's sounds about right.

    Man, I saw Mingus BB the other day, and I just wanna swing like a real man, even if only briefly in this track! :D

    So if double timed it I'd be playing dotted 18/ths over dotted 1/4s is that right?

    giving me 8 beats per bar.. hmm, yeah , that could sound good, but with the drummer playing triplets on the hat I'm a bit confused - the drummer needs to do the classic 1 2& 3 4& on the ride for me here then...

    i feel a sequencer experimentation session coming on!
     
  5. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    That's really slow. And I'm getting really confused :D

    So, you're in 12/8 here, and the dotted quarter tempo is 40. And you want to have some "real pace to it"?!?

    Given that it's so slow, it's a lot like a waltz right? Too slow for the 12/8 itself to represent swing, if you see what I mean. So do you want to swing the 16s within each 8th, or what?
     
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    You're getting confused?!

    I dunno what I want to do, that's why I'm asking for help. I want to find some way of changing the pace of the track to pick it up, to omve through the chords, to stop dragging and feeling like a frikkin waltz!!!

    Anyhow, I just sat here and approximated that tempo by looking at the second hand on my PC clock, so it was bound to be well out :D

    So, I've just texted the keys player (who wrote the piece using a programmed 12/8 click)... and the bpm is set at around 65 on the dotted quarter, so that's 195 bpm on the 8th note!

    So in actual fact if play the 8th notes I'll be playing at near 200 bpm, which should be plenty enough pace?!

    The question now is, how do I accent the line without making it feel like a waltz?

    Do I play it like three bars of 4/4, and make sure I hit the root on the chord change?

    Do I use miss the middle 8th triplet and swing it like that?

    Do I play swung 16th triplets at 200bom :eek:
     
  7. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yes. For 45 minutes :D
     
  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    LOL, sarky git! :D

    Am I being delusional, or is it complete nonsense that anyone would pay 16ths at that speed for 45 minutes, pro or not? I cant imagine any musical reason to!
    Plus i reckon you'd overheat and die!

    I'm well confused with this song actually, the written line just plays on the "ONE & A TWO & A" - and really does feel gospel, it's real nice, but i want to add something of my own :) and swing is the way to go I think

    i'll program something tonight and see how it comes out over the chords changes
     
  9. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    LOL! Seriously, if I tried to do that, I think I could really do myself an injury.
     
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Ah haaa!!!

    I just got another text from the keys player, who said that he programmed the bpm on the straight 1/4 at 65pm. So 130bpm on the 8th, making it around 44bpm in 12/8.

    So my estimate wasn't that far off at all :)

    I thought that sounded wrong because I was playing the 8th triplets last night at it didnt feel like 200bpm!
    So I double time the 8ths I'll be playing at 260... not sure if I can do that consistantly!

    Interstingly the other song they wrote in 12/8 at the same tempo is called 44, by coincedance I think as well... spooky :meh:
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think it is misunderstanding of terms - so people like Jaco and Tower of Power's bassist, Roccco Prestia played 16th note funk all night. So they might play several 2 hour sets. And ToP have been very influential - so in the US you get loads of live bands who play funk/R&B like this, with what they call a "16th note feel".

    BUT - this doesn't mean playing all 16th notes - but is rather about subdividing the bar into 16 and playing a few 16th notes mixed up with rests and tied notes etc.

    So there must be loads of pro-bands playing fairly fast 16th-note funk for many hours - but it is not continuous 16th notes.
     
  12. ConU

    ConU

    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Good post Bruce,you are correct.

    Howard,listen to the way Jimmy Garrison approached lots of Tranes 12/8 stuff.He had that triplet undercurrent going all the time,placing the accents in different places all the time.Really swings and gives the music momentum.:)
     
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Oh yes I know, I have to highlight the misunderstanding is not on my part!

    In the other post Garret was saying that he practiced 16ths at 180pm for 45 minutes per day... and wondering why he was developing RSI!

    I said that I didnt think anyone could do that without doing themselves some damage... and I stand by it!

    Thrash Jazz then said that many pro's do it every night

    To which I replied, nonsense, there is no music on earth that would reuqire that of a bassist!

    16th note feel for hours at a time, fine. my band has a 180bpm funk track with a 16th note feel throughout (and two bass solos - i'll snd you our latest 4 track CD when it's finished - free of charge of course!)

    precisely, continuous 16th notes, that's savage!!
     
  14. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    OK, Jimmy Garrison - can you name me an album with his playing on - it's gotta have a 12/8 swing on it that! ...and i'll go buy it!
     
  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Another take on this....




    Maybe that's the key - if something hasn't popped into your ears, it's possible the best thing is to do nothing. Let the music dictate what to do, not the other way around...

    Just a suggestion
     
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    A good point... and a good philosphy also. If it aint broke, dont fix it..

    I kind of had heard something, I heard this swing line really 'taking off'

    When I said "I dunno what I want to do", I meant in terms of describing it... if I could play y'all the piece I could imitate the type of thing I wanted to hear... I just couldnt make it happen in rehearsal last night!

    The line the guys have written I great, really great and it's staying just where it is.. but i really need to try out the swing thing, if i can make it work, i think it'll work... if u know what i mean?!

    I so love this part of making "original" music.
    Usually bass lines just jump right out at me - then I spend hours experimenting and wind up right back where I started.
    I'll probably spend a good few hours this weekend working on this and end up with something really really simple... every time I do this it's a lesson I guess