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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER

PagP
I.

CHAPTER

II.

CHAPTER

III.

CHORDS

OUIZ...

CHABT READING: ASTABTING GUTDE


STYLES ENCOUNTERED

.......... t0
.. ........ tl
........ 14

swtNc.

Leamingto Play n theSwingstyle..

Blues...

...
THEJAZZWALTZ.....
ROCK ..
LATIN..
Bocsa Nova
Samba .
Beggre..
SOLOS .
BASS LTNES
GETTINGA"NATURAL''SOUND.
MORE ON CHORDS
9, llth and t3th Chords .
TheTuo Beat

CHAPTER IV.
CHAPTER V.
CHAPTER VI.

Divising Formulas for Determining Chord

Nonhordal

Tones

CHAPTER VIII.

CHAPTEB IX.
CHAPTER X.

..

.
Diminished Scales
MTSCELLANEOUS .....
Samplingoa chan...
Cles. '.
Give the Chart a Chance
A Word on Major/Minor
ln Addition
DTSCoGRAPHY
RAY BRoWN
REFERENCE
Scales and Chords

CHAPTER VII.

'

BASS CHARTS

.... ...

....

14

....... t6
..,... 1l
....... 21
.....24
.......... 25
...........27
.,.. 2t
....... 29
...... 29
...... 3()
....... 32
........33
..... u
........... 34

Memberc..........

3g

...... . 39
..........,10
.

........... 42
......... 43
...'...43
........... 44
...... 45
...... .[6
........46
........ 48
'.. '.. 5
...,., , ,, , 52
(From the album "Hate To See You Go") ........ 53

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

..

JOHN CLAYTON, born August 20,1952, has made great musical strides in the past years.

A list of the professionals with whom


He has studied

he has worked would be too extensive to list here.

with Ray Siegel, Ray Brown, Carol Kaye, Abe Luboff, Murray Grodner

and Eugene Levinson. ln 1975, he received his Bachelorof Music in Double Bass from

lndiana University. At age 19, he was the bassist for Henry Mancini on the television series,

"The Mancini Generation." He worked for two years with the Monty Alexander Trio.
John has played in many professional big bands and now tours with the Count Basie
Orchestra.

PROSPECTUS
The things that one learns and retains come, mainly, from experience. The purpose of

this book is to present some of the more common situations with which a bassist will
-have to cope when reading Big Band music (of course, much

will apply to other musical

styles and situations encountered). The purpose is to also persuade the bassist to do his

own research, especially in regards to stylistic influences and aural development (too
many bassists know only how to read and have underdeveloped ears). t wllt talk about
certain approaches to solving problems most often

of the solutions at your disposal.


as are available to

encounterd.

These

will be SOME

strongly advise you to learn from as many souroes

you.

DEDICATION
This book is dedicated, first and foremost, to my firct musical inspiration. This
person was feeding music into my soul while

was nestling in the womb.

Thanks, Mom.
secondly, this book is dedicated to those who have given me inspiration in my
post-womb days. To name a few: Jeffery, Janine, Joseph, Jerome, Jennifer, Joy,

John Sr., Ray & cil and

rineke. And to

those not mentioned (you know who you

are).

Many thanks to all of those who contributed the bits and pieces that make up thas

book. Your aid was immeasurable.

pnvrisht @.ts78 by STUDlo 224,- clo CPP/BELWlN, tNC., Miam, Florida


33014
lnternational Copyright Secured
.a!-r" .c..
All Rights Rererved

CHAPTER

CHORDS
This is probably the most important section of the book. Many (and I mean MANY)
bassists don't have the understanding of the basic chords that they must know.

Learn this section. Listen to what each chord sounds like while playing

it. The

purpose of learning this is to condition your ef|exes to play the notes of a chord when

you see and/or hear the chord. For the sake o creativity in bass Iine construction, later
you won't need to play ONLY the notes (chordal tones) of a given chord. However, by
that time, when you see a QJ, you'll "hear" what it should sound like.

l have vertically categorized the chord types' Please make special notice of the diferent
ways that these chords will appear (example:

is also written as

left it up to you to complete the section on diminished chords.

us hear the chordal tones

$!gf

). Also,

I have

(,
(

Me,^R

&009

c-

cp

(r,,nt

7b

eb

, __ ebnwoe

eb

Ub-

tbb

ebb

rrteoR ol*fl

neful aE^ffi

MN. ri,NG

fuaj1

ruN2R

bbn^tb

6tfl

,\]^)fl c+il?O

Atlarat"al(o 6et^)il

?mtillI?

fik6)

r^nl

v'rha

?*afi

Qarpe

as ut)

Eb1 eoe,

o1 (ane e9 ctl
(01

Qana Aq oo1)

rh

Qarae aq oI+ co1)

Cb1

dq

Parl

01

Ag e,hl+ r.1)

lbPl kene Po

?01 +

?1)

eEs

+6

1hJ0R rnAfuR 06]uJ41

Cn,tMefl

*mra/or(

olail\| fuArGo ltftA

ffiL-

gbr,1tna1)

Obr,r11na,1)

?br,16

rk-ot

8bM,N1?5)

1u1)

(,-1

G mw(m1)

A|JDN; C"tl-K rnAYfuk(,


ft c'?u uru*tl"+lYt(, o ( uxt
l^k A1 l, No( n;AN( l#t(.

eL?p RaRe?ft A6 |4Alt

atp,lao

CHORDS

outz
1. Fill in

the notes belonging to each chord. The root should always be on the down beat.

flt+
2. Construct

a bass line using only chordal

bbPl

bb

tones. Use roots on the down beat only when it

helps in constructinq smooth bass lines.

e*,Artp-(,

bbol

(ol

fu

20

MEMOBIZE THE BLUES PROGRESSION. IT IS A MUST FOR THE BASSIST.


Using the knowledge that we now have about blues progressions, we are able to put together

the pieces of our puzzle.

1. our key signature is 1 flat. We are in the key o F majqr.(if


of D minoi, "D minor" would be written above the staff).

2.

We were in the key

Our time signature indicates that the piece is tn 414.

3. "Walk"

tells us that the style is Swing.

4. "Blues"

tells us what the chord changes will be or 1 chorus.

5. "2 choruses" indicates that

we should play the blues progrcssion twice

(i.e., there are24 measures between Letter

A and Letter B).

yl

wb1)

.1!b1)

Many, many variations exist. These, in act, are variations on earlier blues progressions.
There may be times when the blues progressions you play may be extended (16 measures
instead of

l2

measures, for example); or, it may contain only 3 chords----the 17, lV7 and

V7, as illustrated in the following example.


1 chorus

of 12 bar blues in the k34j.1p..1pgig

t8

Perhaps illustrating the above this way helps you in memorizing it:

T1

tr7

T,I

E1

You may also be required to play


1

M!g!

blues:

chq!'$ of 12 bar blues in the key of C minor:

oln

T1

17

BLUES
There will be occasions when you get a chart that reads something like:

hlrlwau<'

Beore you can walk the blues, you must learn the most often used chord progressions.
They are being found more and more in bass books these days (not to mention other
instruments. . . . . .guitar, piano, et.al.).

|chorus o 12 bar blues in the key o C major:

r6

It is generally

god

practice to "lay down" the time (play quarter notes)

@@

adding

"drops," triplets, etc', so that the band has an understanding o exactly wherc the time
eel is. You are preparing a foundation upon which the rest o the band plays, After you
sense that the band is sure o where the time feel is,

it is generally o,K. to throw in other

rhythmic figures (with some bands, the bassist may have to play quarter notes or the
duration of the song. With other bands, it may take only one measure). Also, unless a
special efect is desired, play quarter notes more on the legato (long} side than on the

staccato (short) side.

LEARNING TO PLAY IN THE SWING STYLE


There are dierent methods o learninq how to play this

style. Here

is one that is taught:

Find a recording of a blues (or a song that you know the chords to) that is in the
swing feel. The tempo should range rom medium to slow. Ascertain the key.
Listen carefully to what the bassist is doing. lf you wish, write out the chords
being used. After MANY listenings (at least 10), play along with the recording.
You may be required to re-tune your instrument to the recording. The volume
o the recording should be such that you can hear what you are doing AND
What the rhythm section on the recording is doing. l they don't physically
get in the way o your playing, headphones can be helpful. When playing,
listen for the choice o notes that the original bassist is using; if you like them,
play them along with him whenever possible. lf you have some ideas that you
think go well with what is being done, try them. All o this should be done

WlTH THE REcoRDlNG' lf done properly, you'll notice immediately i you


are a raction of a beat ahead or behind what was done on the recording'
Double bassists and fretless electric bassists should make left hand adiustments
when needed to retain good intonation (play your instrument with your ear
as well as with your technique). Concentrate on lockino in to what has been
done. When you are in a similar environment, you will be able to play this
style with little or no problem. Perhaps you'll notice mistakes made by the
bassist on the recording. Ear-mark them and avoid making the same mistakes.
This method is suggested for learning the feel for any style o music.

ln the chapter on SOLOS (Chapter lV), I have explained and outlined the above technique
for learning solos and transcribing bass lines.

t5

ftI a uLr)rr?pas
6nss

by austin and s apaug


arr. by gary pot te r

taro /ur4,9a47/o't/
I

as opposed to something

l^

va-

lr

not in the swing style:

a4r

-r

@^ffi?

By Jim Edison

-'-

14

CHAPTER

III

STYLES ENCOUNTERED
SWING
ln order to capture the swing feel, you must familiarize yourself with

it.

This is done

by listening; absorbing this feel into your ear and conscience. Playing along with records
is the second important step to

truly understanding this and other styles

as

well (and, of

course, it is important to eventually get some experience working with other musicians).
I won',t

attempt to define swing.

will, instead, try to explain what is expected of a bassist

who must play in this style.


The quarter note

J)
I

is the

important metric unit here. You create a bass line within

the chords by playing, basically, quarter notes.

TechnicallY,

it is simple. ln glancing at a piece of music, if you mainly see quarter notes, you can usually
assume that it is in the swing style.

Swing style:

FAST 4

?oo?Le hrb
Qun a.t 422. : ?03E2 ?eu

EArotl

r3

S!

F"
s

ou
a< o

$q,

<o
":*I

H*'

;l
r

:t

a'.

:4.

al

l'^
o:
O,O5

r'3.

:-a

OOo

sgq

6'l
to
L

..,

sb
s
x

$
ts

cs{
l..

t2

TRY USING THE PRECEDING GUIDE ON THESE TWO EX

LES:

ffi-ffi

ffiffiffi
Fj
s

ffi

2?

;(])
@,
..-r
ol

B
9

Br

::9
;io

ffi-

-9-

ar!

"!'j *

:a

'!.
;j
j-

U,

o
zo

q
z
ffi

sg
D

o
cr
=
o

11

CHAPTER

II

CHART READING: A STARTING GUIDE


The situation: You're a beginner when it comes to reading big band charts (bass parts).
What do you

do?

How do you beginT


Basic Things to Check For

LEFT HAND CORNER (top)


Feast your eyes on the left hand corner. Make sure that you haven't accidentally
been given a guitar part, for instance.

A quick glance at the clef will also help

determine this.

Look at the key signature.


Take note of the time signature.
Note the instructions given (style, tempo).

GLANCING THROUGH
Now, as you glance quickly over the music, make a mental note of repeats,
2nd endings, fermatas (holds), cut-offs (pauses, railroad t

""krr//l,key

lst

and

and time

signature changes, instrument changes, D.C.'s and D.S.'s, arco and pizzicato indications.

RIGHT HAND CORNER (bottom)


Finally, take note of what's happening at the end of the music. D.C.'s, D.S.'s, Codas,

etc. Also, watch out for tricky or deceptive endings (perhaps you'll have to play
2 bar ending in unison with the rest of the band, for instance).
Use this guide and

1.
2.
3.

you'll experience fewer surprises:

Left Hand Corner


Glance Through

Right Hand Corner

2l

The 2 Beat
ln the swing style, the bassist often has to play ,,in 2,.,with a,,2eel,,,or a,,2 beal,,

pattern. These terms all reer to the same thing: the bassist plays, basically, on beats

and 3 (in the 4/4 meter). lnterpretation varies. Some bassists play half notes when playing

in 2:

Some play dotted quarters:

Mo6t often, you'll get a part written this way:

Or, this way:

22

Use your musical intuition to determine i the above should be interpreted as is or as

half notes or dotted quarters.

ln many situations, you'll have to go from a 2 beat to a Swing feel.

'}.

ftL

Here, the zbgg!sections have notated bass lines that you are to
line starting in the sth rneasure and go back to

play. You walk an improvised

thezbge! feel in the gth measure'

It is not uncommon to see the term SWING used in place of

WALK.

It should be pointed out that the 2 beat style is not always a strict 2 beat; i.e., there are times
When the 2nd and 4th beats are

played. This is done in a way that preserves the 2 beat eel

but allows the bass part to remain interesting, giving it a lift, keeping it unpredictable. Here
is an example of what may be encountered:

23

by Tillman Buggs

AAe!

fy-

'

!-,tzt

At-

co9yjll . l s72 !' sluolo 22,l'

r'Mqdcoc'llrr s.o'd

16333

N'w

l/b.b h

5/{h

A.n' tlabin'

U's'A

^!

Fb.

&p14

Rcht! ll6.6Md

21

Note that beats 2 and 4 arc generally left unplayed. When given a bass part that is in the
2 beat feel and

containsgl'

the rhythm

) ! ) t ,ro,

unoften take musical liberties

to make the part more interesting by expanding upon what has been given you (as in the
example above). lt is the occasional additional rhythms (that include playing on beats other
than |ust beats 1 and 3) that he|p to make the 2 beat eel more interesting.

THE

JAzz wALz

Here are four basic rhythmic pattens often played for Jazz Waltzes:

t.

When there are two different chord changes per measure, Example

No 3

is probably the

best to use. Here is a bass line to illustrate what you might play i given only the chords:

brtleil
bb1

ba

AN

?,r1

play a SWlNG
Example No. 4 is usually p|ayed when a chan calls or a bassist to WALK or
feel in 3/4.

81

25

ROCK
This has turned into a general term throughout the years. lt is hard to be specific about
what elements are oommon to all rock and roll because of its divercity. There is Acid rock,

Funk, Bossa rock, Boogaloo feels, Punk rock, Gospel rock, Reggae rock and who knows how
many other kinds that cropped up while you and
Generally, when you see

I were

"Rock" indicated m a style

sleeping last night.

in which you are to play, the eighth

notes are played even or "straight."

Rock:

as opposed

to

Swing:

=9-+

sometimes a performance instruction of sTRAIGHT EIGHTHS_will be indicated on your part:

TIhE
Bnss

NIEW

OArS

,$\tlErDW

By Russell Peck and Kurt Carpenter

Fagr Q=III

26

Quite often you'll be given an example o a rock pattern and will be


instructed to improvise
your own rock pattern, similar to the example given to you.

hv)) fuM)a1 u?)

The eel will not be swing when you see the perormance instruction

JAZZ ROCK.

The eighth not6 are sti[ prayed "straight" and shourd not
be prayed in the swing styre:

nr

F:a:."-El.r.ta
gb

Abl

b7

Rock is so readily accessible today that l leeve it to you to do the inding


and listening
to of the rccordings available.

Ca7

27

LATIN
A few styles encountered that take their roots from south America and the west lndies
(via Africa) are the Bossa Nova, the Samba and Beggae.

Bosa Nova
The

baic

Bossa Nova beat

is

), il,

) . ,n.

eighth notes are ,,straight.,, you can

expect to occasionally see a chart like this:

Ouite often Bossa Nova lines consist of, basically, roots and fifths in this sort of rhythmic
pattern (this is also a probable bass line for the chord changes given above):

you can usualty assume that if you see the pattern

), )'r). )o. J, )J

)that

style will be bossa nova:

lla.hsn

_-

the

28

fleb.Sw
zsse kte

This rhythmic igure is also used for the,,Soft Rock,'style:

--

Samba

For those that are unfamiliar with the Samba, it is usually best to start off by thinking

of it as a fast Bossa Nova. This is a good starting concept. As your experience wth Latin
music grows, your knowledge of bass parts and how they work in this style will grow also.
Here is an excerpt o a typical Bossa chart that goes into a Samba feel toward the middle.

A suggested bass line has been included:

el,

@;ffi
d'J 22o

(ril

A1

Reggae

At this writing, there are few big band bass parts written in the Reggae style. With its
growing popularity, I imagine that there will be more and more written. Below you will

find a few examples of some Reggae bass lines. Note that the emphasis is on beat 2,
primarily, and that the lst beat is generally left unplayed.

ELat)C

rfrae,

Recorded examples of this style can be heard by such artists as Slinger Francisco ("The
Mighty Sparrow") and Lord Kitchener.

4AnbA-

30

CHAPTER IV

soLos
It takes a long time to be able to play mature-sounding bass

another

day' one

solos. Let's not put it off

o the main reasons that many bassists don't know what to do when

given the chance to solo is because they are not afforded the opportunity to do so as

often, say, as a trumpeter or saxophonist. ln order to build this weak point in our
playing, we have to consult those who are more adept at it than we are: back to the
record player. My suggestion for building a repertoire of solo ideas is to "Steal,"

"Borrow," whatever (solos, that is). First, you must ind records of bassists playin9
solos that appeal to you and are not too far advanced for you, technically. Do not be

afraid of being a "carbon copy" of someone. Nine times out of ten, the musician that
you are admiring did the same thing' Besides, i it works, Why not? Your future
alterations to their ideas will be the things that dlstinguish your voice from theirs.

Your rejection o the things that do not excite you enough to borrow help in developing
your voice.

After finding

solo that you would like to learn, here is a guide that I recommend using

to help learn the solo:

1.

Listen to the solo 'l0 to 20 times (you may ind that you need to listen to
your eai is well devloped, you may not
need listen even 10 times). This must be done with the utmost concentration.
You must absorb every slide, glis, gace note and other nuances used.

ffi

2.

Sino the solo in unison to the recordinq 10 to 20 times. lt will probably be


rustratingatTi'st buse you'll think that after listening to it 20 times
that you have it memorized (incidently, don't be concerned about voice
quality, lack o a good range, etc. Just strive to sing fairly in tune). Hang
in there after you ind that you aen't able to sing it the way you thought
you would be able to. By singing along with the ecording, you are
physically exercising your conscious and aural relexes. Eventually,
anything that you sing you will be able to play. We are attempting to
make our instruments extensions o our musical minds'

3.

Plav the solo in unison to the recordino (while sinqinq). Again, this will be
a setback. Be prepared to do this 10 to 20 times.

4.

bettei

Plav the solo in unison to the recordinq without sinqinq. This is so that you
hear what you are doing. lt is possible to get wrapped up in your
singing and drown out any mistakes that you might be making, especially in
regards to intonation.

40

SCALES AND CHORDS


l have not taken a scalar approach in my presentation o chords because l ind it to b
an approach that often conuses bassists' l will

nor point out a thing or two about

scales

and their reationship to chords, but will leave much of the discovery up to you.
Here is a way of detemining what the notes are that make up the scale to a given chord.

Consider the followinq 4 bars:

('

en

bb,1

After taking the chord in question (Gmin7):

1.
2.

Write out the chord members, extending

ittoa

13th chord

(C ab

oFACE).

Arrange the notes so that they form a major scale. (We can see that there is only
one flat among our chord members. lt is sae to asqume that the scale will be
D El.
ihe scale contining one flat, F Maior---F G A Bb

3'
I

You now know the scale to be used or that particular chord---Gmin7


F Malor scale.

will use the above formula to determine the scales for the chords that remain in our 4 bar

progression.

c7 = C E G Bb D F
c7 = F maior scale

= (one ftat) F maior (F

=gb Db r nb C eb G =
min.7 =Ab major scale

Bb min.7
Bb

pb7 = Eb
Eb

7 = ab

Ab Ob

major scale

F nr C =

(4

G A Bb C D

lats) Ab maior (Ab ab

(4ftats) Ab maior

E)

ob Eb F Gl

(Al Al C Ot Eb F

G)

39

NON.CHORDAL TONES
When a bassist plays bass lines, to help in constructing a linear or smooth bass line,
he/she

will play notes that don't necessarily belong to the chord (or scale of the chord).

They are acceptable passing tones and alterations that are usually played instinctively.
Consider the following example:

e,

(,

fl

ln analyzing the notes that

I have chosen

to play here, we see that there are, in each

measure, notes that don't belong to the chord. , . but they sound good.

was not

thinking rom a scalar approach When l constructed this line. Nor was l thinking about
chordal tones and non-chordal tones. I HEARD a bass line in my head that would fit

wellwith the chords l was confronted with. ln order to do this, you must ind records
with interesting bass lines on them. . .thingo that you really like. Play these same lines
yoursel (write them out or memorize them). DoN'T

ANALYZE THE BAss LlNE

UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT TO. The important thing is to get a flow of good bass
lines surging through your veins. When you feel the need to analyze, go ahead. Analyze

your head

off. lt's un. Holding

of bass lines.

precedence over

qlyglg

o bass lines is construction

38

DEVISING FORMULAS FOR DETERMINING CHORD MEMBERS


When finding it diicult to

fill

in chord members o a given chord, dissect an example

and make a ormula.

E G gb
' e Cvvv\,/
A) M3 m3 m3

Examole: C^=

or or or
B) 4 3 3

A)

The
The
The
The

distance
distance
distance
distance

M3
or
4 (half-steps)

from C to E is a maior 3rd.


rom E to G is a minor 3rd.
from G toBb is a minor 3rd.
rom Bb to D is a maior 3rd.

OR

B)

From
From
From
From

C to E there are 4 hal-steps.


E to G there are 3 hal-steps.
G to Bb there are 3 half-steps.
Bb to D there are 4 hal-steps.

Formula for a gth chord:

A)
B}

M3-m3-m3-M3

4-3-34

(hal-stepe)

lf this section is too hard for you, you probably haven't gotten a ull understanding o
Chapter

l.

lf this is the case, you should go back and review Chapter l.

37

Qblx^nt9

(eb

st1

36

6bt)

Gb-1

gt,

bnwl

(nt,l1

e,,
OI,
-

fl-1

D-1

35

34

CHAPTER VI
MORE ON CHORDS
9TH, 1lTH and 13TH CHORDS
Here is a reference guide that you can complete for determining the chord members of

gth, llthandl3thchords. All areoftheTthchordfamily. lleaveittoyoutodiscover


the

thinp that you will when pursuing and analyzing this.

ln the beginning, three examples will be given to you. The remaining 9 should be filled
in by you. Starting in the Minor 9th section, only one example is given. You are to fill
in the remaining

1.

By the time you reach the example of a C Mai. 13, you should have grasped the pattern in
my examples. When comparing the chord types, we can see that the 9th is an extension

of the 7th, the 11th is an extension of the 9th, and so on. By the time you reach the
Major 13th column, you should not find it necessary to complete columns on the Maior
9th and Major 11th chords. They are both contained in the Maior 13th chords.

3it

CHAPTER V
GETTING A "NATURAL" SOUND
(or Double Bassists)

Your sound is sonething personal' lt often helps the rest o the band if you strive for a
"punch" or a bit o "edge'' in your sound. Some people add a bit more treble on their
amplifier setting to help in getting the edge. Be careul, though, not to lose the ,,bottom,,
rcund when doing this.
Here is a system that you can use in setting your ampliier to help obtain and retain the
sound that you want:

.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1

6.
7.
8.
9.

Turn volume completely down.


Play a scale or line covering 2 octaves, ascending and descending.

Turn volume up to

Yz.

Repeat step 2.

Make teble and/or bass ad|ustments on the ampliier so that you are able to
retain the sound you were getting beore the ampliier volume w6 turned up.
When satisied, turn volume up

to t.

Repear step 2.

Repeat step 5.

Continue process until you have reached the volume at which you normally play.

stuing towels in F_Holes helps cut down on feed-back (for those o you that must play

airly loud).

A FEW CONTRIBUTING FACTOBS TO YOUR SOUND:

1,
2.
3.
4,
5.
6.

Your amplifier settings.


Your instrument.
How hard you pizzicato.
Where you pizzicato (how you adjust your hand regarding vertical height).
Where your strings are

"set" (how far away from the fingerboard they arel.

Your pick-up.

At this witing, the tvr,o mo6t popular pick-ups or double bass are the Polvtone and

@@_b.and

pick-ups. Others are available, but these seem to be the most popular.

32

This has proven to be a useful technique for aural development for students that l've

had. The good thing about this is that the solo becomes a part o you. . . . . .not notes
on paper that are often easily orgotten and sometimes never really HEARD by us (that
is to say, we'll sometimes be a

bit lazy and iust PLAY the notes instead o really hearing

what we are doing).


Bass Lines

Learning bass lines rom records is recommended also. However, it is harder (but not
impoesible) to memorize a chorus o bass lines, usually, than it is to memorize a solo.
I recommend

writing out bass lines that you find interesting by using a condensed version

o the ormula given or solos.

BASS

LI

NE TRANSCRIPTION

(Note: lt

1.

is best to use a tape recorder at its fastest speed')

Ater listening to the song in its entirety a few times, figure out how much of
the arrangement you are going to transcribe.

2.
3.

Listen to the irst 2 - 4 notes of the bass line.


Write down what you hear (if unsure of yourself at first, take time out to
play what you have written down.

4.
5.

Rewind to beginning o the notes that you'Ve transcribed.

Start playing the recording again. Check to see that the notes that You've
written down are correct and transcribe 2 - 4 additional notes

Continue this process until your goal has been reached. lf you have a hard time distinguishing
some notes, listen to the notes in question a ew times' sing them, if necessary. Play them
on your instrument, i necessary' Doing this should enable you to write them.

31

5.

Plav the solo without the recordino. Now you can really hear yourself.
Check yoursel to see i you're pleased with the type of sound that you're
getting. Double check orr the inflections in the solo (perhaps, for instance,
your gliss is too ast)' Now, too, is the time to make changes that you might
want to make. Perhaps a note or two on the recording was out of tune oi
missed. Take the liberteli to correct the intonation and play the note that
the other bassist did not.

Review:

.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1

Listen to the solo

numtpr of times.

sing the solo in unison


- With the recording
Play the solo in unison with the recording
Play the solo in unison with the recording

number o times'

- number of times.
-without singing.

Play the solo without the recording.

Keep these things in mind:

--

Always keep the volume of the recording at a level that enables you to hear the
recording and yourself (whether you are singing or playing or both).

---

Use headphones

oNLY

if theY do not physically get in the way o your playing.

Be prepared to retune your bass to the recording (recordings are usually about
a 1/4-tone sharp) unless you have a pitch control device on your recorder or

turntable.

--

Find solos that you like and work at your own pace. lt should be an enjoyable
experience and not a chore.

The more solos that you absorb, the better prepared you will be to deal with the musical

situation that requires you to play one. Don't be rustrated if, after five solos or so, you

still are reezing up when it comes time to solo or your solos don't sound as ,,good., or
"proessional" as the ones on records. lt iust takes time' YoU'll notice quite a bit o
sel_improvement With the increasing amounts o solos that you learn.

4l

From the preceding analysis,

lrv

are able to see that there are 2 sca]es used for the progression:

When tryang to utilize the preceding ormula for a chord that has alterations, proceed as

usual. However, reverse the alteration so that there are no alterations in the chord and it
remains a seventh or minorseventh chord.

Example: cr{bs) =

c,

After the scale has been determined, add the alteration (to the note from which it

wc

removed) to the scale. This will give you the @rrect scale for that particular chord.

Example:

1.

c7(bs) =

c E cb

gb o

FA
c7=cEGBbDFA

2. (with alteration removed)


3. CT=CEGBbDFA = (one flat) F maior (F G A
4. C7 = F maior scale
5. c7(b5) = F Gb A Bb c D E (alteration added)

gb

Co

e)

42

DIMINISHED SCALES
Here are the three Diminished Scales that should be committed to memory. The larger

note heads indicate the chordal tones of the diminished chords that they represent. The
scales can be played starting from any one o the chordal tones (large note heads).

For co7, Ebo7, GboT and Ao7, the scale is:

For Dbo7, Eo7, Go7 and Bbo7, the scale is:

For Do7, Fo7 ,

*o7

and Bo7, the scale is:

43

CHAPTER VII
MISCELLANEOUS
SAMPLING OF A CHART
You will find an example of a chart below,......an honest-to-goodness chart. The
arrangement has been charted out or you.

lt

is not that

difficult to figure out. however:

You have been given a key signature (Bb) and time sign ature (4/41. Notice, too,
that the key and clef appear only once. They apply the duration of the song
unless otherwise indicated.
You've been told what the style is ("WALK" = Swing style).
You've been given the chord changes (BLUES). Being told that it is a
also tells you that one chorus willequal 12 measures.

BLUES

You have been told how many choruses to play.

At letter "A" you

are cued in as to when to expect a trumpet solo.

At lette "B" there is an ENSEMBLE which is played orte'

At letter "c" you are instructed to walk the first t0 o the t2 bars of the blues.
Now comes the work: you play the written notes (such torture!) of the last 2
measu res.

44

-E[E'

The signs used to indicte a certain amount o measures or choruses vary.

They can also be used to indicate rests' This is not

The above illustrate a few that ar'used.


the case at Letter

"C," however. When presented with

a numeral above it, it indicates measures.

so, at Letter "C,'' we have 10 meirsures o walking the blues. lf WALKhad not been indicated,

tne

ff

wouto have represented 10 measures of rest. Use your good judgment in these

ambiguous situations to determinrs what the copyist wants,

GIVE THE CHART A CHANCE


Until you become more familiar With

a chart o know what the composer/arranger wants

you'll play' you'll have


rom you, it is important to play what is written. on many charts

theopportunityto,,improve,'uponwhatiswritten.However,irstgivethechartachance'
your ideas
This is also a good way to show the band and band director how much better

o the arranger's

may be when compaed to thos

(as ar as a bass part may be concerned)'

you to reinforce, harmonize'


Be careul, though. The arranger may have in mind for

etc"

he/she
another part. After reading through a chart as is, l'll often ask the conductor if
Wants me to play exactly what

i!;

written. l not, l've got a bit more reedom'

lt maY also help to keep charts nore interesting for all if, after you have thoroughly learned
your better
the chart.and ind that you have a bit o freedom, to try diferent thingE' Use

iudgmenttodetermineithechartisthesortofthingthatyoucen,,stretchout,,with.
to learn
Let the chart act as a quide; a vehicle for your creativity' Again, it is important
to sens when to play what is written'

45

CLEFS
Here is a chart which may help you wlren you encounter the other cles that bassists
are often required to read; the Treble Clef and the Tenor

Cle' The notes

have been

arranged so that when viewed vertically you can determine what a particular note is in
the various clefs.

Example: lf you read this note in the Tenor cle

but are not sur of What

it is, by looking directly below it on the bass clef line, you can see that it is the same thing

astheBassCle',C,'.lyoureadthisnoteinTreblec|"f#

"=-a-but are not sue

o what it is, by looking directly below it (2 staves} on the Bass cle line, you can see that

it is the same thing

(^Jo? c(

the Bais Cle "E", and so on'

.lc

AWOBD ON MAIOR/MINOR
Thg indication o Minor (min., mi., m,

-}

after tho len.r nano o t chord

(Example: C min'l always reerc to altering th third. making its distance rom the

rmt

a minor third (3 hal*tepe}. So, you can see a chord with more than one

alteration (Example:

cr|!t

uut i u!!gl does not immediately ollow tlre letter

name of the chord, the distance rom the root to the thid will be maior (4 hal-stepsl.

The indication o Ma|or (Mai.,

M,A

after the lette name o a chord (Example: C Mai.l

always reerc to a Maior sarcnth (one hal-step away rom the

rootl. lf you

see C Maj.9,

it trarsthat the seventh o the chord is Major and there is alrc a ninth in the ciord

(CEGBD).
A combination o the 2 is poBsible. Example: Cmin.Ma|.9

eb

c a

You will na'er see CMai.min.7. ln order for the !D!!.' in the preceding example to eect
the thid, it must appaar

!l!EElE!4y

after the chord's letter name (C4!q.Ma|.7l. ln

traditional theory, the phrase "Major Minor Seventh'' is used to reer to a Sanenth chord.
So, a C"Malor Minor Sanenth" = C7.
IN ADDITION
Suspended, Srs. 4. Sus' or 4 (appearing after the letter name o a chordl all mean that the

third o the chord is replaced by a ourth. Example: C7 Sus. = c

!g!9! or-Pgl (appearing after the letter narn o a chordl


should be played

! c al

rneans that that

panicular note

a pedal tone (either to be played entirely or receive much emph*is).

chords with speciic bass notes. There will b tim6 when a bassist runs acrocs rcmething
like this:

FrlC.

The F, above the slash (/) tells us what the chord is. The note below

the slash (Cl tells us the note that is to be played in the bass.

47

An example of items discussed in "lN ADDITION:"

01('{)

48

CHAPTER VIII
DISCOGRAPHY
The suggested recordings and discographies are or those who don't know where to start.
The Ray Brown recordings were picked for their clarity in order to make it easy for the
bassist to hear and analyze. lt is not mandatorv to acquire thes particular recordings,
especially if the studeni has other rec6TdTnnTTFat he/she enioys more that illustrate what
is being discussed.

The following discography is from "THE EVoLVlNG BAsslsT" by Ruus Reid.


"ln each category I have listed significant bass players that you should know or at least
know their existence. These players represent only a small portion o the many excellent
bassists on recordings and also those who have not been as fortunate to record, The sole
purpose o this discography is to stimulate interest and broaden your total bass concept."
Buus Beid, Author. "THE EVOLVlIvO BAsstsT"
Duke Ellington - lN A MELLOTONE

RCA LPM 1364


Columbia 35322

Stewart - BOWIN' SINGIN' SLAM

LIONEL HAMPTON ALL STARS

Decca DL74194
Savoy MGl2067

Oscar Pettiford

ESSEN JAZZ FESTIVAL ALL STARS


Pettiford - STARDUST
Pettiord _ MEMoRlAL ALBUM
Pettiford - MY LITTLE CE LLO

Fantasy 8601 5
Bethlehem BCP-33
Prestige P87813
Fantasy 86010

Charles Mingus

Mingus - MY FAVORITE OUINTET


Mingus - LET MY CHILDREN HEAR MUSIC
Mingus - OUARTET AND MAX ROACH

Fantasy JWS5
Columbia KC-31039
Fantasy 86009
Fantasy JWS9

RAY BROWN ALLSTAR BIG BAND


RAY BROWN AND MILTJACKSON
Oscar Peterson - AF FIN ITY
Oscar Peterson - WEST SIDE STORY
Ouincy Jones - WALKING lN SPACE
RAY BROWN AND LAURINDO ALMEIDA

Verve
Verve
Verve
Verve

Modern Jazz Ouartet - LIVE AT THE LIGHTHOUSE


Modern Jazz Ouartet - FONTESSA

Atlantic S-1486

The Three Sounds - MOODS

Blue Note 84O44


Blue Note 84057

Jimmy Blanton
Slam Stewart

DUKE ELLINGTON AND ORCHESTRA

Minsus - TOWN HALL CONCERT


Ray

Brown

Percy

Heath

Andrew

Simpkins

STANLEY TURRENTINE WITH THE


THREE SOUNDS
OUARTESCENCE

V&8444

V6-861 5
68516
68454
A&M SP3023
Century City 80102

Atlantic S-1231

Van-Los Music V LM3608

Chambers - BASS ON TOP


Chambers - WHIMS OF CHAMBERS

Blue Note 81569


Blue Note 81534
Columbia CLl812
Columbia CS816l

Scott La Faro

Bill Evans - SUNOAY AT THE VILLAGE


VANGUARD

Riverside 376

Gary Peacock

Bill Evans - TRIO '64

Verve V68578

Paul Chambers

MILES DAVIS AT CARNEGIE HALL


Miles Davis - KIND OF BLUE

49

Richard Davis

MUSES FOR RICHARD DAVIS


Eric Dolphy Memorial Album - ALONE
TOGETHER
Richard Davis & Elvin Jones - HEAVY SOUNDS
Thad Jones & Mel Lewis - CENTRAL PARK
NORTH
Joe Zawinul - RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD
STREAM

BASF 20725
Veelay 2503
lmpulse A9160
Solid State 18058

vortex s2002

THE BILL EVANS ALBUM


BILL EVANS AT THE MONTREUX JAZZ
FESTIVAL
Bill Evans - SIMPLE MATTER

Columbia 30855
Verve V68762

Bob Cranshaw

Lee Morgan - SIDEWINDE R


Sonny Rollins- NEXT ALBUM
Sonny Rollins & Co. - THE BRIDGE

Blue Note 84157


Milestone 9(X2
RCA LST2527

Ron Carter

Eddie Harris - lN SOUN D


Carter - UPTOWN CONVE RSATIONS
CArtEr . B LUES FARM
Carter - ALL BLUES
Miles Davis - MY FUNNY VALENTINE
Miles Davis - FOU R AND MORE

Atlantic S1448
Embryo SD521
cTr 6027
cTr 6037
Columbia CS9106
Columbia CS9253
Blue Note 4195
Milestone 9045

Dave Holland

Hal Galper - INNE R JOU RNEY


Holland - MUSIC FOR TWO BASSES

Mainstream 398

Buster Williams

Herbie Hancock - FAT ALBERT ROTUNDA


Herbie Hancock - PRISONER
Jazz Crusaders - POWE RHOUSE

Warner Bros. S1834


Blue Note ST8432l

Miroslav Vitous

Chick Corea - NOW HE SINGS, NOW HE SOBS


Vitous - INFINITE SEARCH
Weather Report - I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC

Solid State 18039


Embryo 524
Columbia KC31352

Stan Clarke

Clarke - CHILDREN OF FOREVER


Chick Corea - RETURN TO FOBEVER
Joe Henderson- lN PURSUIT OF BLACKNESS
Dexter Gordon - CA'PU RANGE
Joe Farrell - MOON GE RMS

Polydor PD553l
ECM 1022
Milestone 9034

Wilbur Ware

Sonny Rollins - NIGHT AT VILLAGE

Blue Note 81581

Cecil McBee

Pharoh Sanders - THEMBI


Charles Tolliver & Stanley Cowell - MUSIC, lNC.

lmpulse S-9206
Strata-East

Eddie Gomez

Herbie Hancock - MAIDEN VOYAGE


Jim Hall & Ron Carter - ALONE TOGETHER

VANGUARD

Charles Lloyd - FOREST


Sam Jones

ECM

101

lST

World Pacific 20136

Prestige 1005

cTr 6023

463 West Street


New York, NY 10014

LOWE R

WES MONTGOMEBY AND FRIENDS


Cedar Walton Trio - A NIGHT AT BOOMERS,

VOL,

Verve 68675

Milestone 47013
Muse 5010

50

ELECTR IC BASS DISCOG RAPHY


Monk Montgomery

(First rccorded jazz electric bassist.)


M. Montgpmery - BASS ODYSSEY
M. Montgomery - lT'S NEVE R TOO LATE
M. Montgomery - REALITY

Chuck Rainey

Roberta Flack - OUIET FIRE


CHUCK RAINEY COALITION
Ouincy Jones - WALKING lN SPACE

Atlantic S1594
Cobblestone 9008
A&M 3023

Jam6 Jameson

Marvin Gaye - WHAT'S GOIN' ON?

Tamila 5310

Richard Evans

Evans - DEALING WITH HARD TIMES

Atlantic SO1604

Wilton Felder

The Crusaders

2ND CRUSADE

Chisa CS806
Chisa
Philadelphia I nternational
distributed by Columbia

Blue Thumb BTS7000

CLASSICAL DISCOGRAPHY
Gary

Karr

Bertram

CONCERTO FOR
DOUBLE BASS
Karr - BASS VIRTUROSO
(Suite and Sonata for double bas and piano
and lor double bass and guitar)
Serge Koussevitzky -

Turetzky

Barry Green

Turetzky - THE VIRTUOSO DOUBLE BASS


THE NEWSOUND OF BERTRAM TURETZKY

NEW MUSIC FOR THE DOUBLE BASS


ROMANTIC MUSIC FOR THE DOUBLE BASS
BAROOUE MUSIC FOR THE DOUBLE BASS

cRt s-248
Golden Crest 8E7031

Medea Records

ARS-NOVA RECORDS

606 Raleigh Pl. S.E.


Washington, D.C. 20032
These may be ordered
Piper Records

P. O. Box 1713
Cincinnati, OH 45201

ALBUMS ON WHICH RUFUS REID CAN BE HEARD


ls lt ln - Eddie Harris
Charlie Parker Memorial Concert
The Chase! Gene Ammons and Dexter Gordon
Kaleidoscope - Nancy Wilson
lnstant Death - Eddie Harris
Eddie Harris Sings the Blues
Excurcion - Eddie Harris
Mirage - The Awakening
lncantation - The Foreront

Atlantic SD 1659
cadet 60002
Prestige I ff)l0
Capitol ST852

Atlantic 161 1
Atlantic 1625
Atlantic SD231

Black Jazz BJOD/! 5


Foreront Publications
1945 Wilmette Avenue
wilmette, lL 6(x)91

5t

RAY BROWN
There are so many bassists to listen to and learn from that l've found many bassists to
be conused as to where to start lin regards to jazz solos). At first, l thought it unwise
to single out any one bassist for fear o tampering With stylistic iniluences] However,
for the. sake of those who.just don't know where to start; l'll single oneout: Ray Brwn.
He is almost always recorded well and clearly, thereby making it iairly easy to di;ttngJish

what he is doing. His rhythmic time is good. His intnation is consisiently good. His
P-Lo:9!9 99!elen1{d usually approactred from a melodic stand_point. Tls ls NoT
TO IMPLY THAT THERE ARE NOT OTHER GOOD BASSISTS THAT YOU OR i
CAN CHOOSE TO LEARN FROM. This is A start (not THE start) for those who need
a point of departure.
I have

listed some albums upon which Ray Brown can be heard:

Milt Jackson - THAT'S THE WAY lT tS


Herb Ellis/Ray Brown - HOT TRACKS
Oscar Peterson - NIGHT TRAIN, VOL. 2
(Note: The above 3 contain solos of medium difficulty.)
Herb Ellis/Freddie Green - RHYTHM WtLLtE
Oscar Peterson - WE GET REOUESTS
Oscar Peterson - THE SOUND OF THE TRIO
Oscar Peterson - NIGHT TRAIN
Oscar Peterson " SOMETHING WARM
Oscar Peterson - OSCAR PETERSON TBtO + 1 (Ctark Terry)
Oscar Peterson - THE TRIO
Add to this the Ray Brown examples in Rufus Reid's discography.

lmpulse 9189
Concord CJ-12
Verve 68740

Concord CJ-10
Verve 68606
Verve 8480
Verve 68538
Verve 68631
Mercury 60975
Verve 68420

52

CHAPTER IX
REFERENCE
l would like to mention a ew reerence guides that may be helpful:

COMPREHENSIVE CATALOG OF AVAILABLE LITERATURE FOR THE DOUBLE BASS


by'This
Murray Grodner
calalog presents literature available or the Double Bass. lt includes all works under
the headin METHoDs, ETUDEs & oRcHESTRAL sTUDlEs, soLo LITERAT_URE'
cHAMBE MUSlC and coNTEMPoRARY BooKs ABoUT THE DoUBLE BAss.
AISO iNCIUdEd iS A IiSt Of AVAILABLE RECORDINGS OF SOLO WORKS FOR THE
DOUBLE BASS. lt lists publishers, prices, level of difficulty and other essential, useful
information.

Available

through:

LEMUR MUSICAL RESEARCH


Box 71
Bloomington, lndiana 47401

THE EVoLVlNG BAsslsT by Ruus Reid

As the author puts it, this is "an aid in developing a total musical concept'" Arco and
pizzicato playing are discussed. Etudes, Chords, Blues, Rock Patterns and Scales are
just a FEW it'emi explored. One of the most complete method books available.

MYRIAD

P. O. Box

Teaneck,

Available through:

LIMITED or
757
New Jersey 07666

STUDIO P/R, INC.


224 s. Lebanon Street
Lebanon, lndiana 46052

UNDERSTANDING LATIN RHYTHMS, Volume 1 presented by Martin Cohen


Although geared toward percussionists, this record and instruction booklet affords the
bassist it-h an invaluable guide or learning to play AUTHENTlc Latin styles. lt features
Jme of the best Latin per-cussionists and should be considered one o the best aides on the
market today. Musical examples for the bassist are included in the instruction booklet.
Available through: LATIN PERCUSSION, INC'
P. O. Box 88
Palisades Park, New JerseY 07650

RAY BROWN BASS METHOD bY RaY Brown

lncludes scales, chords, arpeggios, interesting blues bass lines and jazz etudes. Perhaps
the fitsubstantial book geared toward lazz bass basics.
Available through: RAY BROWN MUSIC
P. O. Box 1254
Hollywood, Caliornia 90028

HOW TO PLAY THE ELECTRIC BASS ANd


No. 2, 3, 4, and 5) by Carol KaYe

ELECTRIC BASS LINES, NO. 1

(AISO AVAIIAbIC:

An'eiceilent displv of commonly used electric bass lines. HoW To PLAY THE ELE6TRlc
BASS is not a m'ettr'oa book but discusses and gives examples o styles played by electric
bassists.

Availablethrough: GWYNPUBLISHING
P. O. Box 84043

Los Angeles, Caliornia 90073

has a large line o PLAY ALoNG records. They include '|azz selections
played by some o the top musicians in the business today.
lnormation/Catalog Available through :
STUDIO P/R, INC.
JAMEY AEBERSOLD
224 S. Lebanon Street
121 1 Aebersold Drive
Lebanon, lndiana 46052
New Albany, lndiana

JAMEY AEBERSoLD

or
47150

53

CHAPTER X
BASS CHARTS
ln order to allow you to use many of the techniques displayed in this book, I have
included this chapter. This will allow you to see bas charts as they will often appear.
This was the way the music appeared before me. My interpretation of the following
charts can be heard on the record,

"HATE TO SEE YOU GO," by Al Cobine. lt can

be ordered through STUDIO P/R, lNC., the publisher of this book.

This is a guide for those who don't have the funds to purchase some of the many
recordings mentioned in the discography. I hope that you'll enjoy playing these
charts along with the record and that learning these styles will be a pleasant challenge.

JOHN CLAYTON

54

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