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  1. #1

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    and have any advice? There seems to be a shortage of bass players at the club I go to and I recently got pulled into emergency duty. I had a lot of fun and pretty much all my guitar chordal knowledge held me afloat.

    I think I understand the basic walking bass concept - root on the 1, chord tone on the 2, chord or chromatic approach note on the 3 and approach (the next root) note on the 4 but what about timing and rhythm?

    The other bass players don't seem to ever get out of quarter note mode though I haven't been paying that much attention to them.

    Do bass players ever play on the "and one" beat like comping guitar or piano?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    This cat plays a little bass



    They actually sound pretty good - you could take one to the jam as well as your guitar. I lived in a place for a year that had a shortage of bass players - a guitarist I knew used to sub on bass, but he said he didn't like to do it, because everyone wanted him to be a bass player and not a guitarist. Good skills to have though.

  4. #3

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    Most Bass players play a hair ahead of the beat on headers. Walking bass is mostly on the beat. Here's an example of that concept: Oscar Peterson/Freddie Hubbard with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass:



    Just for fun, here's me playing bass back in 1968. Notice how the bass follows the bass drum. Rock tune so be advised:


  5. #4

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    I used to love the saying.....
    "If you got a shitty bass player....you got a shitty band"
    It's true to a large extent.
    The bass and drums are the backbone to the feel of the song
    Weak bass player = weak rhythm section.
    There are countless God bass players.
    Some of the studio players from old Steely Dan albums are just monumental
    The greatest guys you could have backing you up....and it shows.

    Point being..you need to find yourself a "bass"player
    Not a guy who can kinda play bass.

    In other words...a guy who plays bass as his main instrument.
    A real bass player will make a massive difference.

    My main instrument is guitar buy I've played a LOT of bass.
    "If you play sweet child 'o mine again...I'm breaking your guitar"

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Caravelle View Post
    I used to love the saying.....
    "If you got a shitty bass player....you got a shitty band"
    It's true to a large extent.
    The bass and drums are the backbone to the feel of the song
    Weak bass player = weak rhythm section.
    There are countless God bass players.
    Some of the studio players from old Steely Dan albums are just monumental
    The greatest guys you could have backing you up....and it shows.

    Point being..you need to find yourself a "bass"player
    Not a guy who can kinda play bass.

    In other words...a guy who plays bass as his main instrument.
    A real bass player will make a massive difference.

    My main instrument is guitar buy I've played a LOT of bass.
    Amen, brother......................

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kofblz View Post
    and have any advice?
    Double bass is my main instrument. I play guitar for fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by kofblz View Post
    There seems to be a shortage of bass players at the club I go to and I recently got pulled into emergency duty. I had a lot of fun and pretty much all my guitar chordal knowledge held me afloat.
    WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE! You have taken a step in the right direction -- toward musical growth and joy.

    Quote Originally Posted by kofblz View Post
    I think I understand the basic walking bass concept - root on the 1, chord tone on the 2, chord or chromatic approach note on the 3 and approach (the next root) note on the 4
    Um, that's kind of like saying, "I get the jazz guitar concept." You have stated one possible approach among an infinite number of "right choices."

    Two recommendations, from among many possibilities:
    . Ron Carter accompanied by Wynton Marsalis on the final Blues from Black Codes (From The Underground). Check that one piece in detail. You will discover a wealth of sophisticated note- and rhythmic-choices

    . Rufus Reid, The Evolving Bassist. The thing I love about this deceptively-slim book is the way Mr. Reid drops nuggets of bass wisdom in the middle of his exercises without neon signs. That means you can go through this book cover-to-cover many times and still find new doors to open.

    Have fun. Don't stop!

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwmol View Post
    Most Bass players play a hair ahead of the beat on headers. Walking bass is mostly on the beat.
    Thanks. Just what I was looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Caravelle View Post
    Point being..you need to find yourself a "bass"player
    Not a guy who can kinda play bass.
    Gee thanks. In an impromptu jam on an off night sometimes the best bass player IS the extra guitar player.

    Quote Originally Posted by Les Gear View Post
    Um, that's kind of like saying, "I get the jazz guitar concept." You have stated one possible approach among an infinite number of "right choices."
    Yeah, that's what I meant to imply by "basic" concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Les Gear View Post
    Two recommendations, from among many possibilities:
    . Ron Carter accompanied by Wynton Marsalis on the final Blues from Black Codes (From The Underground). Check that one piece in detail. You will discover a wealth of sophisticated note- and rhythmic-choices

    . Rufus Reid, The Evolving Bassist. The thing I love about this deceptively-slim book is the way Mr. Reid drops nuggets of bass wisdom in the middle of his exercises without neon signs. That means you can go through this book cover-to-cover many times and still find new doors to open.

    Have fun. Don't stop!
    Thanks. I'll have a look at those but to be honest I've already got enough guitar reading material.
    Last edited by kofblz; 05-16-2013 at 11:56 PM.

  9. #8

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    Listen to some good tuba players, they were the original jazz bass instrument.

  10. #9

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    Gumbo, that's a lot like this:
    Internet Dude 1: "I'm interested in checking out jazz guitar!"
    Internet Dude 2: "Great, listen to tenor banjo players. That's where it all started!"

    But it's all good on the internet. Play on!
    Last edited by Sam Sherry; 05-17-2013 at 07:21 AM.

  11. #10

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    A man decides to go on a holiday to a Pacific island. When he steps off the plane, it is amazing: Cool, light ocean breeze, palms gently swaying in the wind, white sandy beaches, someone playing drums off in the distance. He goes to his hotel, checks in and starts having the time of his life.

    When he turns in on the first night, he can still hear drums off in the distance.

    They were charming at first, but now it is little annoying, and he has a hard time going to sleep.
    The next morning, he goes to concierge and asks about the drums. The concierge replies, "The drums, they never stop. Very, very bad if they stop."

    So the man goes about his day in paradise, having a great time but the drums never stop. He tries to ignore them, but they interfere with his sleep the second night.

    The next morning, fuzzyheaded from too many island drinks and too little sleep, again asks the concierge if something can be done about the drums. He gets the same reply, "Drums not stop. Very bad if they do."

    The rest of the day is not fun. The drums are driving this man crazy and he is not getting any sleep. The next day he is ready leave. He packs his bags and goes up to the front desk to check out but first the man finds the concierge to give him a piece of his mind.

    Suddenly, the drums stop.

    He says, almost in tears, to the concierge, "They have finally stopped! Thank god, I can get some sleep. I was about the leave."

    The concierge says, "This is bad. Very, very, very bad; Flee from this island while you still can."



    "Why?"



    "Flee, flee. Leave this island now”, cries the concierge, Drums stop... Bass solo next."






    Music is the key that can open strange rooms in the house of memory.
    Llewelyn Wyn Griffith

  12. #11

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    There is a guitar player at my son's high school who took over the role of bass player this year. When I saw him playing the guitar again, he had markedly improved. His teacher said that playing the bass had "really forced him to learn to get around the fretboard".

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonzo View Post
    There is a guitar player at my son's high school who took over the role of bass player this year. When I saw him playing the guitar again, he had markedly improved. His teacher said that playing the bass had "really forced him to learn to get around the fretboard".
    This is very true. I've had to resort to some bass playing at school since one of my classes does not have a bassist. I mainly play it on the guitar, but I did take tome bass lessons a few months ago so i can get around it. Looking at notes from another fretted instrument is kind of different, makes you learn stuff more.

  14. #13

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    I started playing upright bass shortly after taking up guitar back in the early 60s, and ended up working as much or more on the bass; my first "big" gigs were with Peter, Paul and Mary and the Limelighters on bass. When I became serious about classical guitar, I had to give up the upright, but moved to electric, and then to fretless electric. The only issue was overplaying, which many guitarists do until they are aware of it. On the other hand, some of the very best bassists are also good guitarists.

    In any event, moving to the 7-string guitar took care of both needs.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhoderick View Post
    A man decides to go on a holiday to a Pacific island. When he steps off the plane, it is amazing: Cool, light ocean breeze, palms gently swaying in the wind, white sandy beaches, someone playing drums off in the distance. He goes to his hotel, checks in and starts having the time of his life.

    When he turns in on the first night, he can still hear drums off in the distance.

    They were charming at first, but now it is little annoying, and he has a hard time going to sleep.
    The next morning, he goes to concierge and asks about the drums. The concierge replies, "The drums, they never stop. Very, very bad if they stop."

    So the man goes about his day in paradise, having a great time but the drums never stop. He tries to ignore them, but they interfere with his sleep the second night.

    The next morning, fuzzyheaded from too many island drinks and too little sleep, again asks the concierge if something can be done about the drums. He gets the same reply, "Drums not stop. Very bad if they do."

    The rest of the day is not fun. The drums are driving this man crazy and he is not getting any sleep. The next day he is ready leave. He packs his bags and goes up to the front desk to check out but first the man finds the concierge to give him a piece of his mind.

    Suddenly, the drums stop.

    He says, almost in tears, to the concierge, "They have finally stopped! Thank god, I can get some sleep. I was about the leave."

    The concierge says, "This is bad. Very, very, very bad; Flee from this island while you still can."



    "Why?"



    "Flee, flee. Leave this island now”, cries the concierge, Drums stop... Bass solo next."]
    My favourite joke, I tell it at least once per year.
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    <<< My BlogSpot Page >>>
    v v v

  16. #15

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    I can't think of any reason a guitarist shouldn't play electric bass GUITAR if he or she wants to. I love playing fretless bass with a good group or big band, and it's just another guitar, but with a different musical function. And the imagination can really make interesting lines, in any context. McCartney plays beautiful melodies on the bass in many of his recordings, as did Red Mitchell, even as accompanist (although "partner" is more appropriate). To get going for jazz, Ray Brown is the first to really listen to, then the more modern and virtuosic players. He'll show you when to play in "2", when to stay low, when to go high, and how to create drive and drama, all without showing off anything but the highest level of musicianship.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Gear View Post
    . Rufus Reid, The Evolving Bassist. The thing I love about this deceptively-slim book is the way Mr. Reid drops nuggets of bass wisdom in the middle of his exercises without neon signs. That means you can go through this book cover-to-cover many times and still find new doors to open.

    Have fun. Don't stop!
    This is the book. Pretty much what you need is in there. I started out as a bass player (inc. double bass), but have been exclusively a guitarist for 30 years or so. However, I did a couple of sessions on bass for the Workshop band I play with, using my son's bass guitar. Enjoyed it some much that I ended up buying an Dean Pace, an instrument halfway between an electric upright and a fretless bass guitar. It sounds great and approximates the sound and feel for playing jazz, without my having to relearn a whole bunch of technique or adapt to a radically different scaled instrument.

    On the recommendation of proper bassists I know, however, I did buy this book and accelerated my return to bass-playing. It's precise clear and easy to understand.

    Have fun indeed.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonzo View Post
    There is a guitar player at my son's high school who took over the role of bass player this year. When I saw him playing the guitar again, he had markedly improved. His teacher said that playing the bass had "really forced him to learn to get around the fretboard".

    +1


    Playing a different fretted instrument (like bass or ukulele but also instruments entirely tuned differently like tenor guitar, mandolin, etc.) will often do that. Even piano or drums can bring something to your guitar playing.



    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Listen to some good tuba players, they were the original jazz bass instrument.
    Quote Originally Posted by Les Gear View Post
    Gumbo, that's a lot like this:
    Internet Dude 1: "I'm interested in checking out jazz guitar!"
    Internet Dude 2: "Great, listen to tenor banjo players. That's where it all started!"




    But it's all good on the internet. Play on!

    Well, it may not be the only way to go, but Gumbo's advice is a good one.

    Les' mock advice could actually be a good one too for someone wanting to learn jazz guitar. Check out most of the early great jazz guitarists: Carl Kress, Dick McDonough, George Van Eps and countless others from that era; also check out guys like Bucky and John Pizzarelli, and Howard Alden. They all started on banjo and you can tell by listening to their superior rhythm skills and right hand technique.
    Richard

  19. #18

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    Thanks for all the great advice. Playing more bass than anything else these days and loving it. Finally got my old upright fixed and set up and found a good teacher - a guy who's played a lot in Rose Gales' band, in affect replacing her husband, Larry Gales, Thelonious Monk's bass player.

    One surprising thing I've learned is that bass players don't much use their ring finger. The middle finger will actually stretch just as far and is stronger. This has already changed the way I play guitar, and for the better imo.

    Those flat 5ths sound really good, even on a 2 beat line. I think guitar players might be more likely to employ hammer ons, pull offs and slides than a beginning bass player who hasn't played guitar.

    Love me some Howard Alden!

  20. #19

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    Hello. Here is a little story I am told that it is quite true...
    A couple, whose relationship was on the rocks, went to a marriage counsellor who could not get them to discuss anything.


    The communication block was so heavy that nothing he suggested could make them open up and talk.
    Finally, after several sessions of non-communication, the counsellor stands up, walks to the corner of the room and produces a bass guitar.
    He brings it to the couple, plugs it into a small practice amp and begins to play fervently.
    Gradually their barriers break down, they begin to discuss their problems and little things that always bothered them that they never felt encouraged bringing up before.
    At the end of the session, they were smiling and laughing just like old times.
    They paid their bill and before leaving, the couple asked the counsellor, "What did you do? How did that song help make everything work out?"
    He answered simply, "Everybody talks during the bass solo."




    Music is the key that can open strange rooms in the house of memory.
    Llewelyn Wyn Griffith

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3625 View Post
    This cat plays a little bass



    They actually sound pretty good - you could take one to the jam as well as your guitar. I lived in a place for a year that had a shortage of bass players - a guitarist I knew used to sub on bass, but he said he didn't like to do it, because everyone wanted him to be a bass player and not a guitarist. Good skills to have though.
    I have a U-Bass. They are awesome sounding and fun.