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Victor Wooten Solo

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Deoindra123, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Deoindra123


    Jan 25, 2013

    I'm sure lots of Wooten fans have seen this video but I was just wondering how does one learn to bass solo like that? I've been playing bass for a few years and just have begun to start practicing soloing but whenever I try to play over a backing track it just doesnt sound or feel right! Any suggestions?:confused:
  2. Rebop


    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
    Practice everything you can get your hands on.
    When I was coming up, I would buy all sorts of books such as flute solos, oboe studies, the Charlie Parker omnibook, etc (I still do this; my favorite will always be Charlie Parker).
    The most important thing for me was to pull from as many sources as possible.
    Not just bass players. To be honest, I've learned more about soloing and [solo] harmony from horn players and piano players than bassists (learning how to construct basslines is a different story).
    Scales and arpeggios are important but shouldn't be all you practice. They'll help you be able to play anything you can hear in your head eventually as you will start to know where all the notes are without thinking about it too much.
  3. Deoindra123


    Jan 25, 2013
    Thanks really helped me a lot and I agree I think I'm the same way too, I learn more about soloing from different musicians who play different instruments than just bass players!
  4. I suggest transcription. Write down what you hear, one bar at a time (and each bar can take a while). Once you've gotten the notes, find out why he is playing them.

    Rebop gives very good advice. Absorb every source you can.

    A long, long time ago, I heard a story of a great jazz trombone player taking influence from the way a soda can fell in the machine. He absorbed the rhythm, and integrated it into his playing.




    ..and most importantly, be patient. Even took Bird some time to play what he had in his head. :)
  5. All great advice above!

    Also, maybe try putting down your bass and listen to the track and humm/sing the solo you are hearing in your head, maybe even record it.
    Then work out what you sang.

    Sometimes when you are trying to play over something with your bass, you get too caught up in scales, chords etc, you forget to play what actually sounds great and fits the song.

    Also, remember a solo has to say something, not just a bunch of notes fast or slow. It is communication to your audience, and for that reason, remember to give your solo breathing space/phrasing. Just like when you talk, you need to stop to breath, same as a horn player etc, he has to stop to breath. If you talked in one big sentence with no pauses, it would be hard to understand, same applies. Sometimes it is also what you don't say, space can be your friend.