Styles Deep Dive | Jazz Bass – So What

When diving into the world of jazz and bass playing, exploring classic Miles Davis tracks becomes an essential step in our musical journey. These timeless pieces provide valuable lessons and insights into the art of bass. Whether you’re just starting or looking to deepen your knowledge, beginning with a selection of four or five essential tracks is a solid foundation. These tracks serve as a doorway to the genius of influential musicians. Remember, understanding the work of these pioneers is crucial for any music student.

Goal: Our objective here is to immerse ourselves in the melody and harmonic structure of the chosen piece. Pay close attention to Paul Chambers’ bass line and Miles Davis’ solo. Analyse the scales and chords used.

Plan

  1. Active Listening: Begin by actively listening to the recording. This initial step is all about immersing yourself in the music, feeling its rhythm, and understanding its nuances.
  2. Transcription Challenge: Now, let’s embark on the rewarding journey of transcription. Transcribe both Paul Chambers’ walking bass and Miles Davis’ solo. This process is invaluable for gaining insights into their techniques, rhythms, phrasing and chromaticism.
  3. Scale Exploration: Delve into the world of scales and harmonies that complement the composition. This exploration will deepen your understanding of the piece.

Work

Now, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test:

  • Transcribe and play the melody, the walking bass, and the solo. But remember, don’t just mimic; aim to integrate what you’ve learned into your own bass lines.
  • Take it a step further by recording your walking bass and solo. Utilize a suitable backing track to accompany your performance, allowing you to showcase your progress and musical creativity.

Quick Tips

  • When walking, aim to play in thirds as quarter notes to achieve that smooth, classic feel.
  • Incorporate arpeggio figures to your bass lines.
  • Implement patterns in sequences, both ascending and descending, to add complexity to your playing.

Paul Chambers Intro

Paul Chambers Walking Bass (1st chorus)

Miles Davis Solo (1st chorus)

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