This is a painful process......

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by darincm, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. After playing for nearly 20 years, I've decided that my Rock/Funk licks are wearing thin and there is nothing left in the toolbox to pull out anymore. I've decided to learn jazz, and the only real pratical way to do that is to learn (or in my case re-learn) how to read. It's really tough playing those simple patterns all over again when all I want to do is play lines :), but I know its gotta be done. Anyone else in this predicament, any words of inspiration?
  2. kindablue


    Jun 15, 2003
    I'm in the same boat essentially,a good book in which i am using is Building Walking bass lines,by Ed friedland.pick it up
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Join the club :D

    I've been playing 13 years and am starting to branch out a little. Jazz is my ultimate goal, but I figure the best way to get there is to take on the theory side of things and let it all soak in first. Basically not to try to run before I can walk... if you'll forgive the pun :)

    Disclaimer: I'm a novice at reading and playing jazz (i.e. I cant do either to a satisfactory level!). There are many on TB who know much better than I on this matter ..but I'm gonna spout some anyhow!

    Although I agree that learning to read is essential to being a great player, I'm not so sure if it is perhaps the ONLY way to teach yourself jazz?

    I mean, for example playing jazz in a musical situation would most likley not require reading a written part. You would improvise one from a chart. So, I think you could 'get by' knowing some chord theory inside out and being able to improvise from a chart of written progressions.

    However, I always figured that if you could read the melody from the chart also, you'd be much better placed to improvise a fitting line.

    Basically I'm in the same scenario as yourself, but I've taking the root of getting hold of a few Aebersold books and just trying my hand at walking through the progressions. This is pretty tough for a begineer actually, but enjoyable at the same time.

    The Ed Friedland book "Building walking basslines", is also very good, but I would tend to say that if you've been playing a 'few' years it might be a bit basic.
    It gives you a really good start point for how to approach walking lines, but personally I didnt find any of it rocket science - I just learnt some (very) helpful terminology and realised how much I needed to practice in order to be able to walk!!
    For example, the first half of the book is made up of using root/5th/octave to play around a progression - you dont need to spend a tenner to be taught that if you can play funk lines!

    It then it goes on to "approach notes", i.e. notes you use to walk into a "target note" - so using "chromatics", "dominants" and a "scale notes" to approach the target note.
    In short Ed says that you can use an upper or lower chromatic, an upper or lower scale note or the upper or lower dominant (a 5th above if i remember rightly) to approach the target note - albeit root, octave, 5th, 4th, 3rd... a mind bogglingly large number of options!

    Re: reading. Boring isnt it! The hard parts is like you said playing dull bass lines! But personally I find the rhythm hardest to figure out. I mean I can read something realtively simple, but complex stuff with loads of 16th note rests etc - that's the difficult part -translating a groove form paper to bass.

    Also, a walking jazz line was written (I have a cheap book of transcribed walking lines at home) it is just qtr notes in most cases, so the only thing you need to read for the majorioty of the time is the notes - how hard can it be ;)