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Re: jazz bass

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Posted by Carol Kaye on August 21, 2000 at 12:50:46:

In Reply to: jazz bass posted by Tim on August 17, 2000 at 14:52:31:

If you want to get a teacher, and I suggest you should if you're just starting out learning jazz, then here is what your teacher should be aware of (not note-scales and learning tune-by-tune, but chordal patterns, chordal notes and progressions). There's more of this on my Playing Tips Page, but this gives you some idea of what to look for when you're shopping for a jazz teacher:

>>>>>>>>(from one of my data attachments): More on the ii V7 I. As you know, this is the most common chord
progression, hence why it even has its "own" category. When a chord
changes to a MINOR chord, the chords are starting to move in this fashion usually. I say usually, as the minor chord could move anywhere, like for instance in the key of G, a chord can go from C to Cm and right back to G or down the chordal scale (in this case the G chordal scale) to a Bm, and the minor usually moves to the next cycle, probably the Bm then moves to an E7 (or an Em), and on towards the final resolution of ii V7 I (Am D7 to G).

There could be a lot of ii V7s. Like in Body and Soul, they changed the original chords around (key of Db) to Fm to B7 (ii to V7) and Em to A7 (another ii to V7) and finally to Ebm7 (a ii) but instead of the Ebm7 going on the cycle to Ab7 (as it does much of the time, the commonest chord progression ii V7 I), in this tune, it modulated up to F7 (a V7) and went to Bbm (the i of the previous V7, but remember a MINOR chord is always considered a ii chord in its movement) and the Bbm (ii now) went on to Ebm (the i of Bbm, but this too being a minor chord, then it's changed into a ii, getting ready to do the ii V7 I thing) Ebm to Ab7 to Db.

So there could be ii V7 or a ii to another minor on the cycle ii to v, but the chords being minor you constantly consider it a ii chord in the chordal progressions where-ever it falls, no big deal but then you get more of a handle on the chordal movements, and your ear finally does take over. The chord changing to a minor chord is more of an indication of a movement of ii to V7 (and maybe resolving to the I chord, the final major chord).

The identifying thing, once you get the handle on the slide-rule chordal movements of ii V7 I chordal movements (or just the ii to the V whether the V is actually a V7 or a minor chord, a ii (minor chord) can go anywhere, but usually it goes to the most common chord progression of ii V7 I, pure cyclic in movements), you start to hear the chordal movements everywhere and can successfully anticipate where the chords of ANY particular (especially a Standard) tune is going to.

There are some other jumps that are hard to hear, because the chord will jump to a iii or a vi (from the chord before it). These are both minor chords related to the I chord (Cmaj7 is Em7 -- without the C -- and C6 is Am7) -- those are hard to hear off the bat, you have to guess (is it a iii or a vi chord?), like in "Stella By Starlight", and when the chords move out of the chordal scale key, like a Cmaj7 to an Ab13 or up to Ebmaj7 or some other non-chordal-scale chord, but you get used to hearing the chords move like that (especially after identifying the above, the ii V7 I, and the movement to the iii or vi minor chords), your ear then takes over very well and you get used to hearing these particular chordal movements.

And so you're not easily surprised at chords in tunes unless they are
totally crazily going nowhere in particular, which does happen
occasionally, but usually there is great logic in tune-writing as to where chords are going to, easily obtainable by practicing a lot of chordal tone arpeggios too to train your ear and good interval studies (like my "Elec. Bass Lines No. 3"), and pattern studies books like the Oliver Nelson Sax Patterns book (however this is in the treble, "trouble" clef).

When you get through my "Pro's Jazz Phrases" book and the Standards I tape w/corrected Real Book charts, the next step is the Joe Pass Guitar Style -- I've used the transcriptions of Bird (Charlie Parker) for some teaching but find them unhandy to get across the Jazz improv. His lines move smoothly for a short time, then in the heat of passionate playing, there's a lot of notes that are both hard to read (or just plain wrong transcribing - tons of errata in the Parker stuff) plus
the fingerings on elec. bass are just prohibitive.

The continuity of Joe's lines (are in my new book, "Jazz Improv For Bass" great, chordal connection lines as well as the steps of how to use back-cycling, chord subs, stacked triads etc.) are just amazing. Of course he's not your usual guitarist but uses the sax patterns, subtle uses for inuendos of chordal triads, stacked of course, chordal substitutes -- Joe was a master of continuity of soloing and his finer transcribed lines (no mistakes here too I've found, very well-transcribed) are impeccable exercises to get your fingerings moving right to what you finally want to use for improvisation -- the connections between the hands and ears can be easily made with these transcribed Joe Pass solos.

He was the master, no doubt about that, and recognized by such by so many great musicians out there, not necessarily guitarists, as he wasn't a "guitaristic" type player, he could have been a horn player.
Carol Kaye
If you've been a long-time player and understand some of this, then a lot of the times you can buy the good books and learn it very well on your own.
That could be a better answer than taking lessons from someone who hasn't much of a clue (see above). You need to understand chords, their movements, etc. to get the real jazz stuff, otherwise you're wasting your time and money. It's not hard, and in fact becomes very easy as tunes use chordal movements for jazz improv, and once you forget scales and their names, and get with the chords, it's very easy.

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