#1
Today in Jazz Band I was given a solo, and having not been prepared, it didn't go very well. First time I played it, it was god awful, second time, It wasn't so bad.

So anyway, I need some help from some experienced jazz bass players here on the bass forums. I need to find a few songs that are Bb blues to get riffs from. Also, any tips on improving bass solos would be great.

Thanks.
#2
Umm my knowledge of songs isn't extensive but when i get solos here are some pointers:

The solo isn't your life story (you don't have to fit as many notes in as you possibly can)

You are no longer the rhythm section. I see alot of bass players stick the first five frets and do some hammer ons to a walking line and call it a solo. Make it have some life

Work on making it flow with the main melody of the song. That being said don't just play the melody, you can cut a riff here or there but make the solo a compliment to the rest of the song

Sorry its not much but really just practice and get creative, the solo is a representation of you and not other musicians. Its kind of like other forms of writing, its ok to have influences but you want the music to mainly be from you
#3
If you wanna get better at soloing the best thing you can do is just practice soloing over backing tracks or songs. Riffs and such will only get so far.
#4
Learn your scales in two octaves. Here's where your ability to related scales and modes to chord progressions becomes extremely helpful.

One of the best pieces of advise I was given was to listen to sax and trumpet jazz solos and they way they phrase and breathe. It gives your solos life and phrasing.

Learn the melody (or "head") work from that framework in your solo--it helps to build you creatively.

For Blues? Straight no chaser comes to mind though its not in Bb. Its a basic turn on a 12 bar blues form.
#5
As a soloist, the root should not be your bottom and top note, go about half an octave past both ways. Also, if you want to be more solo-like, don't play the root of the chord. Root=home, soloist=traveller. You can go home at the end if you wish. Home is for basslines to keep everyone else grounded. That's my humble opinion, at least.
#6
+1 to straight no chaser for a song, there's a cool run where you play just chromatics except for 1 or 2 notes and i find myself playing that run often if i'm noodling around in jazz.

Au privare (or is it priare im not sure) and bernie's tune also come to mind.

As for tips, i personally do not mind the hammer ons and trills added to a walking bass line for a solo, it still compliments the song and sounds decent if you get it right.
You could learn the main idea of the song and just improvise around that or you could go off on a limb, the important thing is to remember phrasing and learn your scales. You don't have to fit in as many notes as you can, use of space is very improtant in a solo.
#7
A solo is like a song. If you can sing along with it, it'll sound better. A solo should also make sense.

Don't just play random notes/or whatever. Also don't just stick to the key you're in. Move it around, do it like it's its own melody...
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#8
Try noodling around in Bb pentatonic minor. Music is about creating, not memorizing, find a line that sounds good in the scale and use it in your solos.
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#9
Alright, thanks for the responses, I'm playing this on upright so I'm not gonna be able to hammer-on, but I'll check out the songs posted, thanks.
#10
I feel like I should that, although some folks have said otherwise, there have been plenty of solos in which the bassist continues to walk. Gives the audience a chance to actually hear what he (or she) is playing.
#11
Quote by Pandawithapick
Alright, thanks for the responses, I'm playing this on upright so I'm not gonna be able to hammer-on, but I'll check out the songs posted, thanks.


Don't be afraid to go up really high on the upright either. The bassist in my combo and Jazz Orchestra does it alot and it adds variety, plus sounds really good.

Like others have said, phrasing is key. I play guitar, but Trombone in all my jazz and concert groups. Being used to having to breathe has helped me tremendously with guitar solos, and my teacher has always complimented me on it too.
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#12
I know I'm not the TS, but thankyou for this thread. I've been reading it, and even after just a day it's helped me with my geneal improv skills. So thanks
#13
Quote by aguacateojos
I feel like I should that, although some folks have said otherwise, there have been plenty of solos in which the bassist continues to walk. Gives the audience a chance to actually hear what he (or she) is playing.


My solos tend to go melodic but use walking as a "bridge" between themes, if that make any sense at all.

A story here, so bear with the old chick for a bit. The first song I learned to solo in was Autumn Leaves, which honestly is the bane of most jazz students, because everyone has to learn it at some time. What helped me finally to solo in it was to breathe between passages and to play to the emotion of the song. My teacher at the time described the song as a french noir film as I played and told me to match my playing to the story he told. While we both ended up laughing quite a bit ("Now the BRIDGE and the two war-torn lovers are running towards each other!"), it did teach me to play to an emotion in a song and not just the chords and structure.
#14
What ever happened to that autumn leaves tattoo Tam?


For me i'd probably say it was when sunny get's blue, it's not much of a soloing song but the chord progression is very nice
#15


Not exactly a jazz tattoo, lol.

Back to the thread--my other piece of advise is to listen to other jazz bass players, either live or on recordings and see how they approach soloing.