Posted by El Pájaro on August 09, 2000 at 07:03:33:
In Reply to: Making a bass solo posted by Havard on August 08, 2000 at 15:16:33:
: Hey there... Thought this would be the right place to go. I've been playing bass for two years now, and I consider myself a good bassplayer. I groove, I can play most styles and make good use of many techniques (fingers, slapping, picking) and I can run all the scales up and down the neck. So now, my next step is learning to do a solo. Problem is, I suck. It just ends up with some stupid scale going up and down, or some pathetique nursery melody. I'm just bad at improvising. Anybody who got some good advice? I don't really know how to "think" when soloing. How to think up patterns and stuff. Are there any basics, and also some more-advanced-than-basic-tricks to use? Thanx in advice...
Tough question! Soloing is an art form in itself (and, for many people, it is THE ultimate form of musical expression) that takes literally YEARS to master. I'd daresay most of us are still going through that process.
Reading your post once again, the one thing I can tell you is great soloists don't really "think" when soloing, they just play. I mean, I can't figure Trane or Bird thinking "II-V progression" or "blues lick" when blowing the shit out of their horns at 240 bpm. It's just not possible. They already thought about all that, many many years ago. Great soloists practice tirelessly so when their turn to cook comes, they just pick from a wide pool of available notes.
So how do you (and me!) get just there? Knowing your scales and chord tones is mandatory. Allright, so you've already done that... well, then it's time to start transcribing and analyizing good solos, learning to play melodically, learning about the "building blocks" that go into creating a melody (call-and-response, creating tension and release, etc.), learning how to build melodic phrases that emphasize and/or revolve around the strong notes of the chord, and a long list ot etceteras...
Yes, it's a draining process and, yes, it takes lots of practice, time, patience and stamina. But if you have the drive, you WILL get there.
May I make a suggestion? Go get Chuck Sher's books "The improvisor's bass method" and "Concepts for bass soloing". Than should get you started ...and don't forget to hook up with a good teacher. Buena suerte and keep that bass up front in the mix,
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