#1
Well, in a few daysI have my audition at Humber, and I have almost all of my jazz piece down, except, I think I want t attempt a solo on it.

I went with the bane of all bass players, Autumn Leaves, just because I didn't think Donna Lee would be do-able in such a short time.

Anyways, I have the gist of soloing, I know what tones to use, but when it's progressing at a tempo around 120 bpm or, and the chord changes every 4 beats, and in some cases 2, should I stick to soloing within those chords?

For anyone who isn't sure, for me it's in E minor, typical ii-V-I progression.

I've tried just playing over it, but my approach ends up as me almost restating the melody when I'm constantly changing chords.

Also, Instead of just playing the melody, I spruced it up. Otherwise I'd feel embarrassed by play a lot of nothing, leaving it bland.

Thanks
Rig of Doom:
1. Custom Warmoth Fretless Jazz
2. Geddy Lee Jazz (backup)
3. Fender Precision
Through:
VOX Pathfinder Bass 10
Soon to run through:
Acoustic 360/361 rig
#2
Here's where your scale knowledge is going to become key. Instead of looking at notes = chords, look at scales to chords.

Autumn Leaves, as long as you stay within E Aeolian and G Ionian, and even the Mixolydian scale, you should be OK. For instance from the beginning to the Cmaj7, you could easily solo in the G major scale. From F#-7 b5 (F# half dim) to the end of the first ending, you could use E natural minor.

Good look and remember don't overthink your solos, otherwise they will sound that way. That's where using your internal scale knowledge helps greatly.
#3
While scales are, of course, massively important; I think it's important to transcend thinking of scales and think more of musical phrases.

Imagine a scale is a dictionary, just picking notes and playing would be the equivalent of me streaming a load of words and expecting it to make sense.

However, by learning phrases by transcribing others vocabulary and coming up with some on your own, you're able to form a coherent solo that really 'speaks' to the listener.

With that in mind, find some great versions of autumn leaves. The Cannonball Adderly/Miles Davis version from the 'Somethin' Else' album is awesome, and transcribe the solos. Look at the ideas Miles and Adderly used, and try to apply them to your own existant knowledge to create something interesting.
Gear

Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Fender MIA Precision
Musicman Bongo
Boss TU-2
EBS TD650
EBS ProLine 2x10 x 2
#4
I think scales become the foundation or rather the template you can build on. For most jazz players, running scales is an inherant skill, one we really don't think about but is subconcious. Once you know that you can snap your playing into that template, its easy to add the phrasing in a flowing and natural manner, because you don't have to think about so much when you are soloing.

Yes--building on the phrasing is important and playing to the emotions of the song. I had a bass teacher who finally made this click for me by describing the song Autumn Leaves as a film noir love story as I played it. While it made me laugh so hard I couldn't play coherantly at points, his lesson is well taken. Think of the song as story you are going to convey and play through that emotional perspective.
#5
You're right of course, scales are a great way to start. But with the altered chords present in a lot of jazz songs, strict diatonic scales are not always the best way to think about soloing.

For example, take the B section of autumn leaves, essentially a ii-V-i in G minor; however note the altered V chord. We have a D7, rather than the expected Dmin7. Hypothetically, our mode over this is D phrygian dominant, phrygian with a raised third.

But you then have to take into context how implied the harmony is and wether it's worth altering this note for the sake of consistency.

My point is, there are hundreds, if not thousands of approaches to jazz soloing and many great people have written many great books about the subject. So if you're looking for a quick answer, you're probably not gonna find it, but transcription and scales are definately a GREAT starting point.
Gear

Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Fender MIA Precision
Musicman Bongo
Boss TU-2
EBS TD650
EBS ProLine 2x10 x 2
#6
I am really enjoying this discussion btw...

That's what makes jazz so rich in musical theory and approach. Sinan once said that if you are dead bored with a standard, there's a huge problem. He's correct, because soloing can be done from so many different approaches and scales. For instance, a half dimished chord progression can lead to soloing using the whole half dimished scale, the locrian scale, a harmonic scale or even a minor pentatonic with a flatted 5th. What you choose really depends on your approach and your feel for the phrasing and the mood you are trying to convey.
#7
I'm enjoying this too. I much prefer talking shop about music rather than gear.

And that's exactly it, jazz is so varied that you have so many options to play over different chords depending on what you're trying to acheive.

I think tomorrow calls for a heavy practice session after this discussion!
Gear

Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Fender MIA Precision
Musicman Bongo
Boss TU-2
EBS TD650
EBS ProLine 2x10 x 2
#8
Thanks for this lively exchange, folks. I joined my first jazz ensemble a few months ago and I'm getting my ass kicked - but there is such a new world to explore!
#9
Just realised how little i know about theory, anyone know anybooms that explain all this stuff.
Yamaha TRB1006
Fender MIA jazz bass
Hora Hybrid double bass
Hartke lh 500
Ev 606L
Epiphone les paul
#10
Quote by fatgoogle
Just realised how little i know about theory, anyone know anybooms that explain all this stuff.


With theory, START FROM SCRATCH, learn the chromatic scale, how the major scale is formed, all that stuff first before jumping in at the deep end. It's the only way to get it down properly.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me. That's meant to not sound condescending at all, so forgive me if it does!
Gear

Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Fender MIA Precision
Musicman Bongo
Boss TU-2
EBS TD650
EBS ProLine 2x10 x 2
#11
Thanks a ton guys. I've been at work for 9-10 hours, so I couldn't respond sooner.
First off, this is a good discussion.
Second, it's helped from 'overthinking' a bit.
Last time I made a solo, to Fly Me to the Moon, I discovered that at certain chords I could play the scale implied by the chord, or look at the chord as mere alterations to the key of the song, which gave a very interesting shade one I was using the phrygian dominant scale.

I think I my main problem is over-anylizing the music. I tihnk just now I'm feeling a bit of pressure to do well.

Also, I'm doing a classical piece, and working on some of Simandl's etudes. Are all of them acceptable for an audition, or would some of them be too easy? Just curious, and I've been focusing on the jazz part so much I think I neglected the other played part.
Rig of Doom:
1. Custom Warmoth Fretless Jazz
2. Geddy Lee Jazz (backup)
3. Fender Precision
Through:
VOX Pathfinder Bass 10
Soon to run through:
Acoustic 360/361 rig
#12
Quote by aguacateojos
Thanks for this lively exchange, folks. I joined my first jazz ensemble a few months ago and I'm getting my ass kicked - but there is such a new world to explore!


That's exactly how I felt when I first starting playing. But there is an advantage of being thrown into the deep end of the pool. I can honestly say I learned more in the year I've played jazz than I did in a music program for two years in college.

You also learn to hold your own rather quickly.

Theory is not recommended for jazz, its a necessary element. You'll sink rather fast without some chord and scale knowledge.
#13
I'm always reminded of a quote often attributed to Charlie Parker.

“You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail."

It's an interesting way of thinking about it.
Gear

Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Fender MIA Precision
Musicman Bongo
Boss TU-2
EBS TD650
EBS ProLine 2x10 x 2
#14
He's saying that practise is necessary but when you get there you've got to relax, my advice for the solo-ing would be to base your solo around the scale your most comfortable with and then explode of that.
#15
Wow, nice talk. I'm tempted to join a jazz band now, there are so many more juicy possibilities than rock music for improvising.
"I hope I die before I get old"-Words of Pete Townsend, 1945-

"I hope I die before I turn into Pete Townsend"-Words of Kurt Cobain, 1967-1994

Funny old world eh.
#16
The most frustrating thing about jazz ensemble is that I still can't really walk. When I try there's this disconnect between my hands and my brain - I prefer to play what "feels" right, as in how I like the feel of my hand on the neck, then to think about key/chords/scales/etc. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. What I really need is to blend the two, get an intelligent feel for the style. But good luck learning that theory while I try to graduate.
#17
Quote by aguacateojos
The most frustrating thing about jazz ensemble is that I still can't really walk. When I try there's this disconnect between my hands and my brain - I prefer to play what "feels" right, as in how I like the feel of my hand on the neck, then to think about key/chords/scales/etc. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. What I really need is to blend the two, get an intelligent feel for the style. But good luck learning that theory while I try to graduate.


I can't reccomend Todd Johnsons walking bass DVD's enough for learning to walk. They turned me from fumbling around the fretboard to having a clear set of ideas for walking through tunes.

Do yourself a favour and check them out you WON'T be dissapointed!
Gear

Fender Geddy Lee Jazz
Fender MIA Precision
Musicman Bongo
Boss TU-2
EBS TD650
EBS ProLine 2x10 x 2
#18
Quote by anarkee
Here's where your scale knowledge is going to become key. Instead of looking at notes = chords, look at scales to chords.

Autumn Leaves, as long as you stay within E Aeolian and G Ionian, and even the Mixolydian scale, you should be OK. For instance from the beginning to the Cmaj7, you could easily solo in the G major scale. From F#-7 b5 (F# half dim) to the end of the first ending, you could use E natural minor.

Good look and remember don't overthink your solos, otherwise they will sound that way. That's where using your internal scale knowledge helps greatly.


Reading this, I realise I suck at bass. =[ I need a teacher.
Schecter Stiletto Studio 5
Ibanez SRX2EX1
Gallien Krueger 1001rbii
Gallien Krueger Neo 410