Hey i am beginning to learn to play jazz bass but i dont know where to start,
what are some songs i can learn to get into the genre
Quote by Dallinisrad
Brain Stew by Green Day

lmao jk XD
try the bass to Mirrors by BTBAM. its one of their jazzy songs :P
just get a real book and pick any random tune really. in practice you never really learn a song the way you do in other genres. you don't learn a bassline. you learn the changes and just improvise a bass line.

i'd recommend eq fuqua's walking bassics. fairly short and condensed. includes lots of a valuable beginner knowledge in a short period.
If you want just a few songs, look into Jamey Aebersole's "Maiden Voyage" volume.

But before you can play, Dave's right, you have to learn to walk. Walking Bassics is a good volume along with Ed Friedland's walking bass volumes from Hal Leonard.

And then you get to suffer through Autumn Leaves like any other jazz student
just listen to jazz, and learn to make and improvise a bassline (walking usually, depending on genre)
Miles Davis is ALWAYS a good start. Kind of Blue is such a good modal jazz record, easy to get into. For jazz you have to understand a chord chart and be able to memorize it, and be albe to improvise a line over it. It takes practice, and just plain old time until you get accustomed to it.
Once I got into jazz, I never got out.
Rig of Doom:
1. Custom Warmoth Fretless Jazz
2. Geddy Lee Jazz (backup)
3. Fender Precision
VOX Pathfinder Bass 10
Soon to run through:
Acoustic 360/361 rig
^ gonna have to disagree. i think starting with kind of blue is a terrible idea. most jazz is tonal, not modal. if you want to get a good idea of jazz and the cadences and ii-V-I's, you'll want to start with some basic standards. modal jazz has it's place. i've never been a huge fan of it. but my bias aside, from a theoretical standpoint, bad place to start. start out learning tunes like:

"after you've gone"
"all of me"
"autumn leaves" (as much as i despise this song)
"blue skies"
"it had to be you"
"my foolish heart"
Whats Everyones beef with Autumn leaves, it's really pretty, I hate it swung but it's such a nice melody and the chords are really pretty. There was one version I heard, forget who by, but it blew my mind, It started slow then by the end of the first A section is was double time, but they got to it by modulating through triplets and different rhythms so it sounded like the backing was speeding up, the melody played it the same throughout.

Jazz is one of those things where you need to have the knowledge to play. Chord theory Scale theory and how to play over changes are some of the most important things in jazz. Modal Jazz is great to learn how to phrase solo's in a particular key but the majority of jazz has changes, ii-V-I's Diminished Substitutions, Chord Substitutions etc etc. Playing well over changes makes the song more enjoyable for the person playing and for the listener.

So to learn jazz, Learn theory. Get a chord chart and play the arpeggio to each chord, do it in time and this is a good way to map out the song on the fretboard, when starting a walking bass line, try to play one of those arpeggio notes on beats 1 and 3 the strong beats and in swing accent beats 2 and 4 slightly but still play the arpeggio notes on the strong beat, thats just a typical swing thing, on beats 2 and 4 for the walking bass you can play just about anything you want, beat 4 should lead into beat 1 for example chromatically, by step or by chord tone apart, beat 2 should be the same for beat 3. I know a lot of people will love chromatic walking bass lines, but if you are in a trio and the piano/guitar is taking a solo you are going to want to spell out the colours of the chord with the walking bass, theoretically (ha ha) you should be able to easily hear the changes in the walking bass line. Chromaticism is cool but over use will make the song sound a whole lot more open and undefined and wouldn't really help out the soloist.

/wall of text
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
^ That'll be it, but really, why the beef with Autumn Leaves?
"Whats that noise??"

"... Jazz"
Quote by ZaccB
^ That'll be it, but really, why the beef with Autumn Leaves?


1. Its usually the first song that jazz teachers make you learn inside outside and upside down.
2. Its like a bad french noir movie in its emotional sweeps.
3. Its the Jazz version of "My Heart Will Go On". Done to death. I'm surprised that Celine Dion hasn't covered it.

Enough said. To Primusfan's list I would also add "How High the Moon" and "I've Got Rhythm".

The thing about standards is that they follow certain patterns and chord changes that you will see over and over again. If you can comp out a good line to "How High the Moon", you have a workable line to Charlie Parker's "Ornithology." for example.
Quote by anarkee
The thing about standards is that they follow certain patterns and chord changes that you will see over and over again. If you can comp out a good line to "How High the Moon", you have a workable line to Charlie Parker's "Au Privave" for example.

No love for Woodchopper's Ball in the thread yet? Learning that piece in my school jazz band taught me the basics of blues progressions and walking bass.

Also, even though it's repetitive and overused in many jazz jams, Herbie Hancock's Chameleon is great deals of fun, and great to form a jam around (probably why it's overused in the first place...)


Quote by OtamotPuhctek
You can download Real Book 5th Ed. files at this site. Also BIAB files.
Yes, at the bottom of the page, you can turn the music off.

Dude, thank you. i've been looking for something like that for a while now.
Last edited by DPinky at Aug 14, 2010,
I Know a Great Band, Coheed and Cambria their bassist Michael Todd does a lot of Jazzy Basslines Try

God send Conspirator
Here We are Juggernaught
Time Consumer

all are great sounding
His Name is Ishmael... He Levels Small Buildings... Crumbles Solar Systems... Created Jesus... Destroyed Jesus... Created Hitler... Regrets His Creation... All of Which Done With His Fender Bass and Raw Power... His Bass Lines Created Orgasms...
Portrait of Tracy - Jaco Pastorius.

Now theres a jazzy song for ya'll. Okay so its a bass solo, but its fairly simple and catchy and it develops your technique.