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Re: Jazz Bass Solo

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Posted by Larry on February 05, 2000 at 21:49:07:

In Reply to: Jazz Bass Solo posted by Fritz Carney on December 13, 1999 at 08:50:23:

Try this. It may surprise you, and it will help you to simpify your thinking.

Every key has a dominant chord.
If we look at a G7 chord in the key of C, we see that the notes are G, B, D, & F. If we extend the chord we see the following: G, B, D, F, A, C, & E. Those are all of the notes in the C scale, the parent scale to which G7 belongs, as they relate to the G7 chord. Now, as you mentioned, you can substitute certain chords for the G7 chord. You can use a Dminor, Bhalf-diminished, or an FMaj7. The tensions produced by those chords do not interfere with the functionality of the original G7 chord. Here is the IMPORTANT thing to remember. REGARDLESS of what chord substitution you're using, whenever you're playing the fourth of the parent scale, the parent scale of G7 is C and the fourth of C is F, you MUST resolve that fourth to the third of the parent scale, in this case E.
For example, let's say you decide to walk over a Dminor chord while everyone else is playing Dminor to G7 to CMaj7. You walk on Dminor, forget about the G7 this time, until the band gets to the CMajor 7 chord. When the change goes to the CMajor chord, be sure to resolve the F of the Dminor chord you're walking on to the E of the CMajor chord. It is THAT resolution that the improvisor is listening for. (There are others, but THAT is the most IMPORTANT one.)
Try this. Record a bar of a G7 chord and a bar of a CMaj7 four times.
Now practice walking with your bass over the changes and resolving to the CMaj7 chord like this:
1st time walk on the G7 resolve the F to E
2nd time walk on the BÝ resolve the F to E
3rd time walk on the Dminor resolve the F to E
4th time walk on the FMaj7 resolve the F to E
Fritz, there are many other substitutions you can use, and if you like, I can post those for you as well. However, you won't go wrong very often if you use the ones I have given you. Let me know if you'd like some more.
Hope this helps.
Keep on Plucking!

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