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The

Evolvi ng Bassist
by

Rufus Reid
A Comprehesive Method ln Developing A
Total Musical Concept For The Aspiring Jazz Bass Player

Millennlum Edition 2000


lsBN 0-9676015-0-9
O Copyright 1974 by MYRIAD LIMITED
P.0. BOX 757 , Teaneck, New Jersey 07666
http ://www.tana reid. com

lnternational Copyright Secured

Made in U.S.A.

All Rights Reserved

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thank Mr. Eddie Harrls or encouraging and givlng me the initial force in the writing of this book
I

Many thanks to al! who helped me compile some


of the ideas for the book

Thank you to Adam Linz or his great help in

transcribing some o my solos from recordings

Thank you to Rick Sigler for creating The Jazz


Font Set
Cover Design & Photography: Howard Simmons
Photos By: Joann Krivin and Howard Simmons
Preace Photo By: John Abbott

To my wife Doris, for her dedication and support

Book design by Ruus Reid using


Finale 2000 & QuarkXPress

This EVOLVING BASSIST is the

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edition
entering into the new millennium, the year
2000. This edition will mark twenty-six years
in publication, establishing "the standard" in
bass method books. This new edition will
include more transcriptions, original compositions, new etudes and additional ways to concive better bass lines. Additional helpul
information dealing with practical, "real lie''
situations or traveling as a professional player is given to assist the aspiring bassist. Lists
o ampliication equipment, electronic pickups, microphones are also included.

Mingus, Sam Jones, Ron Carter, Scott LaFaro,


Charlie Haden, Richard Davis, Red Mitchell, Eddie
Gomez, Dave Holland, George Mraz, Gary
Peacock, Buster Williams, Cecil McBee, Ray
Drummond, Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson, John
Clayton, John Patitucci, Christian McBride, and
Jaco Pastorius, to name only a few. The standard
has been set. l one Wishes to be included in the
lineage that the Masters have set, one must be
serious and work diligently.

A great jazz improvisor does not really "need" anyone to help clariy what they are playing' Their f unc_
tional knowledge o the jazz vocabulary, harmony,
As I continue to travel over the United States and and rhythm which has become "one" in their
other parts o the world, more and more people, thought process is all that is needed. Bass players
especially young people are being introduced to are the foundation of any group. Bass players are
jazz music. The study of this music, informally and expected to have a big "swinging sound," know the
in schools, is excelling at a rapid rate all over the "blues,''''hythm changes,'' "standard repertoire,''
world. The bass has progressed technically more "jazz standards," play in "any key," and always be
than any other instrument in the last sixty years "consistent." ln a real creative sense, we are
because of technological advances with string man- thought of as "someone home always minding the
uacturing and electronic pickups. These advance- store." lt is quite a task, but it is part of our job
ments have allowed the bass players technique and description. Bass players also have the unique abilmusic to excel and really be heard more clearly, ity to sabotage any and all ensembles if their conparticularly in the live setting. Virtuoso playing has centration o rhythm or harmony ails to be where
advanced incredibly in all forms of music. The con- and what it should be. As a bassist, one should
temporary jazz bassist has been very instrumental develop the "mind set" that you are the only harWhen
in maniesting many of these advances. HoWeVer, monic and rhythmic substance there
with all of the advances and inormation available to doing so, one does not lean on anyone else to cla_
us because o the age We now live in' the task is still iy what you are attempting to play' lf you learn to
always be clear in your playing, your confidence will
on the individual to crate the music'
grow and so will your reputation.
The challenge has always been on the player to
make the music. You, the improvising player must THE EVOLVING BASSIST is designed to take you
be able to THINK and PLAY at the same time. through a process to help you reach these goals to
Consistent hard work is needed to develop the skills become that consummate bass player. lt is also
dedicated to the student who has difficulty finding
and vocabulary to improvise well.
and/or being able to afford a regular teacher. You
There is still a need or a bass book; one that really will have this tool to help you help yourself along the
explains how to physically play the bass, one lhat way. I use all of lhese concepts with my students
teaches in a simple and concise manner how to and it has proven extremely successul. As you and
construct good sounding bass lines from chord pro- your playing mature through the years, you will disgressions, one that explains how to get a smooth cover that there is always something more to learn
sound, one that discusses how to listen, what to about being a better bass player in this music we
listen for, and who to listen to. Without being too call jazz.
stylized, this method book will stimulate the player
to learn how to play what is expected rom him/her
Musically Yours,
as a bass player. When you say you are a "jazz
bass player," you must be able to show by doing
what that truly means. People in the know have
high expectations because o their listening to the
great Masters, i.e., Jimmy Blanton, Slam Stewart,
lsrael Crosby, Milt Hinton, George Duvivier, Ray
Brown, Oscar Pettiford, Paul Chambers, Charles

is.

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Potn February 10, 1944, in Atlanta, GA, Rufus
lJReid was raised in Sacramento, California

where he played the trumpet through junior and

senior high school. Upon graduation

from
Sacrarfiento High School, Mr. Reid entered the
United States Air Force as a musician. Along with
the trumpet he began to take an interest in the
bass. By the time he had been discharged from the
military Rufus had decided the bass was the direction his career was going to take. He moved to
Seattle, Washington, where he began serious study
with James Harnett of the Seattle Symphony. Rufus
Reid received his Associate Arts Degree from

Concerto for Solo Double Bass and Jazz Trio, composed by Benny Golson for Rufus with the Wayne
Chamber Orchestra. lt's debut was at William
Paterson University and it's New York premiere was
at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.

flufus

Reid has made over two hundred and fifty


I lrecordings. Under his own leadership he has
three recordings: PERPETUAL STROLL, SEVEN
MINDS, and CORRIDOR TO THE LlMlTS. Rufus

is also

co-leading the group, TANAREID, with


drummer, Akira Tana since 1990. The group has six
recordings; YOURS AND MINE, RUMOUR, PASSING THOUGHTS, BLUE MOTION, LOOKING
FORWARD and BACK TO FRONT. TANAREID

continues to travel, performing and teaching around


the world. Rufus also has two unique duo recordings with master bassist Michael Moore, the critically acclaimed DOUBLE BASS DELIGHTS, and
THE INTIMACY OF THE BASS on Double-Time
Records. Warner Bros. Publications collaborated
with the BASS COLLECTIVE and BASS PLAYER

MAGAZINE to produce BASS DAY '97 NEW

YORK.

live perormance video of Rufus Reid


and Michael Moore is now available from that day.

Reid's extensive jazz background and


I ldiscography reads literally like the Who's Who
in jazz. Parallelling his performing reputation is
his exceptional teaching reputation. His book,
THE EVOLVING BASSIST, published in 1974 is
recognized in the industry as the definitive bass

flufus

Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington, in


1969. He continued his education at Northwestern method publication. He has been doing clinics since
University in Evanston, lllinois, where he studied 197'l associated with the Jamey Aebersold
with Warren Benield and Joseph Guastefeste, both Summer Jazz Workshops, the Stanford University
of the Chicago Symphony. He graduated in 1971 Jazz Workshop, and the Lake Placid lnstitute, to
year concludes twenty years on
with a Bachelor of Music Degree as a Performance name a few. This
Major on the Double Bass.

is major professional career began in Chicago


and continues since 1976 in New York City. He
has traveled, performed and recorded with many of
the great Jazz Masters. He was privileged to share
many musical moments with some that have
passed on: Gene Ammons, Kenny Dorham, Eddie
Harris, Sonny Stitt, Don Byas, Philly Joe Jones,
Kenny Dorham, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Dexter
Gordon, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, and
Art Farmer.

pufus

performed and recorded with Andre


I lPrevin, Kathleen Battle and the St. Lukes
Chamber Orchestra in 1992. Also in 1992 Rufus
gave two performances of "Two Faces", a

the aculty of William Paterson University in Wayne,


New Jersey, as Professor and Director of the Jazz
Studies and Performance Program. All of Mr.
Reid's presentations around the world, whether in
the nightclub, on the concert stage, or in the classroom, are cherished, memorable events.

n January, 1997, The lnternatlonal Association of


Educators awarded Rufus with the
Humanitarian Award. DOWN BEAT magazine, May
issue, awards Rufus the 1998 Jazz Educator
Achievement Award. BASS PLAYER magazine,
March, 1999, has a feature story on Rufus Reid
as a legendary thirty year veteran who is truly
continuing to be THE EVOLVING BASSIST.

lJazz
!

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GLOSSARY OF TERMS

6-7

FREOUENTLY ASKED OUESTIONS..........

8-12

CHAPTER

2
ETUDE 1
CHAPTER 3
ETUDE 2
ETUDE 3
ETUDE 4
ETUDE 5
ETUDE 6
ETUDE 7
CHAPTER 4
ETUDE I
ETUDE I

CHAPTER

ETUDE
ETUDE
ETUDE
ETUDE
ETUDE
ETUDE
ETUDE

CHAPTER
ETUDE
ETUDE
ETUDE
ETUDE
ETUDE

13-17

PHYSICAL POSITIONS...

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND..................... 18 - 23

Exercises.............

24

' 38

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARO..... 39

.65

Open String

Know Your Fingerboard......................................


Basic Scales You Must Know.............................
More Scales Belated To Altered Chords............
Approaching The Transition Area.......................
Moving Through The Fingerboard......................

on string only,

Please......'.

43 - 45
46 - 57
58
59 - 61
62
63 _ 65

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTBUCTION.....,.. 66 . 115

Getting Friendly Wilh The Piano........................ 67


Good Functional Lines in a'Two Feeling".......... 68 - 76
1O Simple Walking Bass 1ines................................ 77 - 82
11 Simple Rhythmic Lines....................................... 83 - 87
88'95
12 More Complex
13 Blues Lines - Simple To Comp|ex...................... 96 - 101
14 Lines On "Rhythm
...1O2"lO7
15 Walking Lines on "standard'' Progressions....... 08 ' 113
16 Developing Latin Bass Concepts....................... 114 ' 115

Lines....................
Changes

DEVELOPTNG

DEXTER|TY.........

17
18
19
20
21

Harmonic Patterns.............................................
cycle o
........'........
Dexterity in
..
Finger
.................
Letl Arm Pivot

Fiths'.....
Octaves............
Dexterity....
Exercises.............
EUDE22Thumblndependence.......................
ETUDE 23 The sound o Tenths..............
ETUDE 24 Thumb Workout...
ETUDE 25 Speed Patterns ln F0urths............
ETUDE 26 Advanced Augmented Patterns.......
CHApTER 6 SOLO;ST;C CONCEpTS.........

116 -

1ss

117

118
119 - 137

138
139 - 141

142"l44
145
149
151
153

148
150
152
155

1s6 - 1s9
157
157
158
158
158
159

CHApTER
CHAPTER

7
8

BASS

DUETS................

....... 160

-'t7z

THANscRlPTloNs o RECoRDED soLos... 173-187

SELECTED BASS DISCOGRAPHY..-.

188 - 189

RUFUS REID DISCOGRAPHY

191

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G cle or Treble cle


F cle or Bass cle

ABCDEFGABC

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TIME SIGNATURES

4l,b?,bb5!!1
4 4 4?,8 4I I

The top number means how many beats per measure and the bottom is the type o note'

Whole Hal
Note
Note

Eighth
Note

Quarter
Note

Whole Half Quarter Eighth

Sixteenth
Note

Ouarter

Note

Triplet

Key of

Key

of

Key o A

Eb

Key of

Eighth
Note Triplet

Sixteenth Note
Sextuplet

Dotted Notes: The dot equals hal the value o any


note it is placed with and added to that note length.

Sixteenth

KEY SIGNATUBES

Ab

Key o Db

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

BASIC CHORD SYMBOLS

0o

or

t-

Qrix

Qr

C*r?
I

Malor 7th - A maior triad with


the 7th scals note added. The
tiangle eguals the same as the
major seventh.

Dominanl Sevenih - A major


lriad with the major seventh
lowered one hal tone.

A Major

Minor triad

Minor Seventh

A maior triad

Diminished triad

A Maior

triad with the ith note raised on liad With the third and
tone.
hat tone and the lowered seventh notes lowered one half 'ith
nole added.

lon.

Maio Ninth - A Maior seventh

chord with ninth scale note added.

A Minor triad

added.

no7

Hal-Dimished

Diminished Seventh

A Diminshed

A Maior

triad with the lowered seventh note sixth chord with the third and
ifth noies lowered one half tone
added. This is idenlical to Minor
seventh with the lowered ith.

clt

0xr9

with the lowered seventh note

with the third lowered one hal

a or

n0

0l#l

Augmented Sevenlh

0r{?

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Dominant Ninlh - A Dominant Domiilant Thirleenih - A Dominant Dominant Nine Suspended


seventh chod Wilh the ninth Seventh chord with the ninth and A Dominant nine chord
with the lhird tone omitted
thirteenth scale iones added.
scale tone added.
and the oUrlh tone added'

Pizzicalo - Pulling the strings with the irst, the second' or both inges o lhe right hand.
Arco - To play using the French or German style bow.
ARROW DEFINITIONS
D string

Do not lit inger.

and skip
shift in direction o
two strings above or below.

Shift in direction o arrow and skip


two strings above or below.

shift in direction o'arrow and skip

two strings above or below.

---)

D sting

Gliss upward - Sliding on one string

Gliss downwad - Sliding on one string

,/ habove. Down Bow

- At the ogo lhe

which is at the righl hand.

A long downward stroke using the thumb

on the E string and index inger on the G


string o the right hand.

below.

,aL

A strinq

shit oMard to adjacent string

shit backward to

shift orward to adjacent string below.

bow

Using the righl thumb strumming

across the strings.

Shitt backward to adjacent


string above.

Up Bow - At the tip o the bow

A plucking motion using the right


thumb and irst inger outwad rom
the bass.

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What kind o strings do you use?


I prefer, after many years of experimenting, for
my personal use, the G & D Pirastro "OLIV"
and on the A & E, the D'Addario-Helicoreheavy gauge strings. I find that they work
exceptionally well both with the bow and pizzicato playing. The "OLIV" string is a gut string
with a chromesteel wrapping. They will take a
few weeks to really settle down for pitch, but it is
worth it, in my opinion, for the sound they produce. The all steel strings will last a much
longer time before losing their tone. Keeping
them clean is easy. Keep a small cloth in your
case and clean them after you play for a long
period o time. lt will help keep the life of the
string. lf possible, keep one extra set of strings
or emergencies. Do not be caught on a gig
without a replacement!

How do you position the bridge on the double bass?

The bridge position is extremely important on


the double bass. There are notches on each of
the 'F" holes that help line up the feet of the
bridge. The distance between the "F" holes and
the feet o the bridge varies rom bass to bass.
It is approximately two inches. The E string side
of the bridge should go over the sounding board.

The soundpost is on the G string side of the


bridge lined up in the same manner as the
sounding board. It is placed one to two inches
below that foot. Look inside your bass so you
can clearly understand. However, it is recommended that a qualified luthier do this work.
Watch him, and eventually you may be able to
do this yourself. Setting the soundpost correctly determines how your bass will sound.

What is a good height or strings on the dou_


ble bass?

The string height is very important as it determines how much sound you get from your
instrument. Strings too low will make an annoying slapping noise while playing and not very
much acoustic sound. Strings that are too high
will produce a louder sound. However, this can
inhibit your agility and take a physical toll just to
press down the strings. There is a point where
the strings are high enough to give a good full
sound, but still low enough to press down comfortably. There is a great deal of tension on the
instrument, especially with steel strings.
Thereore, it is important to find the right height
for you and for the response of the instrument.
Acoustic instruments are very sensitive to climate changes and sometimes make it difficult to
play.

Most wood basses expand in size in the summer. lt may be very little, but it is enough that
your hands will notice. lf you are in an extremely humid locality it will be more noticeable. ln
cold weather the bass contracts and the strings
get lower. Most orchestral players remedy this
by having a summer and a winter bridge.
Having two bridges is ideal but sometimes
impractical for the traveling musician who might
be in Texas one week and North Dakota the
next. I remedy this by use of an adjustable
bridge. This enables you to adjust the height of
the bridge and the strings in a matter of minutes.
Having a consistent string height for your instrument will help you develop a consistent sound.
The height of the string from the fingerboard at
the nut, which is near the tuning pegs, is also
very important. I discuss this in more detail
under Setting Up Your lnstrument. lt will make
your hand positions in the lower areas of the fingerboard more comfortable.
What kind of cords do you use?

I use cords that can be repaired. There are


always times when they pull loose from the plug.
Naturally it is cheaper to solder them than to
replace the cord. Curl cords are used by most
people. However, I have been told that double
insulated straight cords make less static noise.
Make sure that your cord is not a speaker cord.
Whirlwind and Monster cables are top quality.

Bridge placement

FREOUENTLY ASKED OUESTIONS

How do you take cae o your bow and what


kind o rosin do you use?
The German and French bow use the same kind o
hair. There is a white hair, which is most common,
and a black hair. The hair comes rom horses, and
there is also a nylon hair. l preer the real hair. The
white hair is not as coarse and gives a smoother
sound than the black hair. You can get a mixture
haired or your bow. lt is up to you to take care of
the bow or it to last. lf you leave it taut for long periods of time, the hair will stretch and it will be difiicult
for you to tighten the bow. lf it stretches to this
point, all you can do is have it rehaired. This means
you have wasted money that could have been
avoided. Always loosen it after you finish playing.

There are several types o bass rosin. Most of it


comes in grades, from soft to hard. Use a medium
grade for average climates. Let me caution you
about leaving your rosin around the house. Left
near heaters or where the sun can get it leaves you
with a melted blob. lf you can reshape it, put it into
the rerigerator to regain the original consistency.
Keep it wrapped in a small plastic bag or cloth when
not in use.

How do you keep your bass clean?

will streak the inish. Use Linseed oil on the fingerboard to keep sweat and dirt from collecting so
quickly.

How do you take care o your hands to develop


good calluses?

As you begin to play you will develop

blisters.
Everyone's skin reacts diferently. lf you are troubled with constantly recurring blisters, I suggest you
consult a physician. Usually after the initial blister
has healed, the skin underneath will become callused. Do not peel the blister off, as the skin
beneath needs to toughen. To keep your fingers
rom getting too hard and too callused, l suggest
using lotion daily. Do not let your calluses become
so hard that they crack open. That will truly be
painul and will take a very long time to heal. l hate
pain. Don't you?

My ingers are quite callused' but they do

not
you
were
appear to be. Years ago, people could tell
a bass player by your tenible looking hands.
Perhaps it was rom neglect, but remember that
there was little or no amplification and they played
much harder lust to be heard. Much of the time they
still did not succeed. lfeel that a great deal o the
sound that you produce depends on how developed
your calluses are. l you have a hard callus' your
pizzicato sound may tend to be more percussive. lf
your calluses are developed, but soft, you will be
able to produce a smooth meaty sound.

The instrument should be wiped off each time you


inish playing especially after using the bow. Rosin
will lake ofi the bow and make a ilm on the instrument. lf you let it build up it is much more difficult to Why do you use a volume pedal?
remove. l watched a violin maker clean my iddle
and his method really worked, so now l, too, employ Dynamics are difficult to control using electronics.
this method' Use some ine oil, like "3 in 1'' oil, and use the volume pedal because it gives me complete
the inest steel Wool. Work in an area about two control without having to stop playing for even an
inches in diameter. Put a little oil on the bass and instant to adjust the volume control on my amp. lt
work lightly in a circular motion. Be careul not to is strictly a convenlence and something extra to
work in a larger area as the oil will sit too long and carry around, but I feel it has allowed me to adjust
begin to soak beneath the inish. After you finish more dynamically with the music at hand.
I

that area, wipe it completely clean with a clean, soft


cloth. Continue this process until you have completed the front of the bass. lt is a slow process, but
it Will not harm the finish o the instrument i done
properly. Remember not to rub hard or to use much
oil or you may harm the finish of your bass.

How do you carry your bass when you fly?

There are two ways. You can put your bass in a big
iberglass trunk and ship it as baggage or you can
carry it onto the plane with you and place it in a
To clean the fingerboard you can use steel wool and seat. There are several excellent trunks that can be
alcohol. The alcohol will enable you to wipe up the obtained. They are extremely well designed. I have
excess steel wool ibers' Alcohol dries very quickly personally used a few types and I felt secure in the
and will not harm the wood on the fingerboard. Do saety of my instrument. These trunks can be hannot put alcohol on the body of the bass because it dled by one person, and quite easily by two. The

FREOUENTLY ASKED OUESTIONS

one I use is called the Kolstein Bass Carrier. lf you


use the trunk and send it through as baggage, you
have to pay for oversize and overweight. You may
also send it as air freight, but it will not necessarily
fly the same plane you do even if you pay extra. To
avoid potential problems, be sure to be at the airport at least two hours before departure. You still
may encounter a clerk who has not ever processed
a bass before and need more time. Stay calm and
do not lose you composure i a problem arises.

To carry the bass on the plane with you requires


that you purchase a ticket for it. As of this printing,
it is very rare that you can put the bass in a seat any
more. The airlines will now ask or full First Class
fare for you and the bass. lf you do decide to put
the bass in a seat, there two ways. The bass can
be placed in an upside down position in any of the
larger planes. lt may sepm awkward to do it in this
manner but it is actually safe enough because the
neck is the strongest part of the bass. Obviously,
you don't drop it on the neck. Place it gently on top
of one of the pillows and strap it in using a seat belt
extension.
ln most planes the seats in the coach section are
relatively close. lf you put the bass in the upright
position your bridge will probably be jammed
against the seat in front o you. That is dangerous

if someone is sitting in the seat in front of you and


chooses to lean the seat back. This part of the bass
really needs protection. The best place for this position, if you get there early enough to request it, is
the bulkhead seat. ln some planes this seat is next
to the emergency window, and you will not be
allowed to place your bass there. The photo shows

how well it can it. This is a perfectly acceptable


procedure and has been used for many years,
although all airline personnel are not as aware as
they should be. ln many cases you will be allowed
to board before the other passengers and to secure
your instrument without delaying boarding procedures.

What kind of bass pickup do you use?

I use the BARBERA TRANSDUCER SYSTEM


bass pickup. This pickup has eight transducers

embedded in the bridge with four dedicated to the


arco sound and four for the pizzicato sound. lt is
much more sophisticated in its design and requires
you to change your entire bridge. lt reproduces a
great, even, clear, and natural sound.
I also use the FISHMAN BASS BLENDER to blend
the sound o the pickup and the microphone. The
blender is not absolutely necessary, but I do feel
that it controls the blending of the pickup and microphone extremely well. The blender allows me to
have more control of my sound in live performance
situations. You should always have as much control
of your sound before giving it to the sound man as
possible.

The microphone I use is made by APPLTED

MICROPHONE TECHNOLOGY. This microphone


is exceptional. lt attaches to the side of the instrument and has a long goose neck for various placements. Every bass has a different "sweet spot," so
this is a great feature. lt produces an exceptional
low end frequency response and you can play at a
higher volume before feedback than other microphones I have used. AMT makes two bass microphones. One is dedicated to the live performance
which is more focused directionally and helps block
out the drums and surrounding instruments. The
other one is for use in a more controlled setting
such as a recording studio. They both have the
quality of a fine studio microphone.
Barbera Tansducer system,21 Loul3 steet, staten lsland, NY 1o3(N
www.babeatansducar3.com

Flshman

Transducrs,'*.,.i*.k|ffjl3T"ld.,

wilmlngton' lA 0 8E7

Applled Microphone Technology, lnc., P o Box &t, Llvlngsto\ NJ 07039

lnverted seat placement

10

walte wood.

A'*, x&".Bl|ffi,l'j,T"'.

De.e.t' cA 922

FHEOUENTLY ASKED OUESTIONS

How much power should an ampliier have to


produce a good, rich sound?
Power in ampliiers is not used iust to make things
louder, but to produce a clear sound in the entire
requency of that instrument. Small amps with 'l50
watts of output seem to be sufficient in most jazz
situations. However, I suggest an amp that will produce at least 300-500 watts. I use a small, but
powerful custom 500 watt amp made by WALTER
WooDs' I use diferent speaker cabinets or different situations. I own the BOSE 802, SWR 2-10"
Goliath ll and the GLOCKENKLANG 2-10" component. I am prepared for all situations. Some people feel that you get better efficiency with two 12
inch speakers' Remember, it is the power o the
amp that eally makes the difference. l feel speaker
choice is a personal preference.
How do you ind a concept?

want to play well immediately, but it just doesn't


happen like that. Some catch on ast, while others
have to work very hard. ln order to play your instrument well, everyone should pass through these f undamental steps. Many students waste time playing
things they can already play, and never take time to
break down the problems that inhibit them from progressing.

The primary role of a jazz bassist in a group is to


support harmonically and rhythmically, and most
importantly, to "swing." So, there is no question.
You must practice "walking" all the time so that your
rhythmic pulse is consistently strong. The group
you play with depend on you to do this. They
assume you can do it, even i you haven't been
playing for very long. ( Not terribly fair, but true.) ln
addition to your pulse and great time feeling, the
notes you choose should be from the chord progression o the composition you happen to be playing. Now you must learn the chord progression
sound as quickly as possible. This is your priority.
No matter what level o proiciency you acquire
there will always be some sort o problem you must
struggle with. lf you can isolate your problems by
taking them out o context and working on them in
slow motion you will be able to progress at a more
consistent pace. Do not waste time playing
things you already can play.

music, learn as
possibly
can, whether
much aboul the bass as you
it be the double bass or the electric bass. lf you
choose to play some classical music, find someone
who can teach you and become involved with that.
l you want to play rock, ind someone Who is
involved and you become involved. lf you want to
play iazz, ind someone involved in |azz and
become involved yourself . You have to reach a certain level o technical ability to play any style well'
Then branch out to suit you own taste' concept
can be aained by listening to records, by listening
to live performances, by listening to the radio and When you practice really depends on when you are
television, and by asking questions. None o these the most productive. For me, it is when I first wake
concepts will sink in unless you work at it. lt is quite up in the morning' l you practice a half hour every
demanding to lean something new. However, the morning before you shower, you will be amazed at
music you grew up with will probably come easy to the results. lt is quality time, not necessarily quanyou. At least the concept will be there. l you tity. First, make up a weekly calendar outlining what
choose to play difierent styles or if you choose to you wish to accomplish that week. You, alone, can
play only one padicular style, the only way to suc- decide this. Second, choose what scales? What
key? What tempo? What tune? What register? lf
ceed is to learn the concept of that style.
you play any scale or chord pattern consistently for
ive minutes every day (five minutes is a very long
How do you practice?
time doing only one thing), you will be amazed how
lf anyone had problems learning how to practice, it quickly il will improve your playing and connection
was me. Most people are lazy. The disciplines with your instrument. Being truly connected to your
needed to concentrate on basic undamental tech_ instrument is the ultimate goal and it will allow you
niques need stimulation of some kind. There is so to concentate more on your immediate surroundmuch to pract|ce, it seems diicult to get started. ings. Take advanlage o this time. Break up your
l think the best Way is to have some idea o how you practice time so that you don't become frustrated or
would like to sound and what you would like to play. bored. I try to warm up with the bow playing long
This is not always easy, especially if you haven't tones and scales. The long tones are the best to
been playing very long. Scales and exercises are develop bow control. Then I move on to some reading material. After that I will practice the same
not the most stimulating mateials to play. We all
l you are Iust beginning to get into

11

material without the bow Next I may try to transcribe a bass solo from a record and attempt to play
it the way it is being played on the record. This is
the real ear training. Get friendly with the piano!!
I usually spend some time at the piano trying to play
the chords to some tunes. The piano or keyboard is
an absolute must to learn more intimately lhe sound
o chords in general and the chords of tunes that
you are working on. Being knowledgeable of keyboard harmony will make your bass lines and the
learning of the tunes come togelher faster. As you
and your playing mature, you will find that the players Who you admie usually have unctional knowledgeable o keyboard harmony. As bass players,
this knowledge is our lie line. As you see, there are
many ways to utilize your practice time. Good luck!
How Do You Becord The Bass ln A Studio?

FREOUENTLY ASKED OUESTIONS

What Basic Things Should A Bassist


Rmember?

1. Have good rhythmic feeling. You are the pulse o


any ensemble.

2. Have

3.

good constructed bass lines based on the


chord progressions.
a. use chordal approach
b. use scalar approach
c. use chromatic or passing nole pproach
d. use rhythmic variation complimentary to
the musical style
Listen and connecl with;
a. the piano or whatever chordal
instrument is used.
b. lo the drums and/or percussion
instruments
c. to the horns, if any
Watch the piano players lett hand. Know the
keyboard well visually.

Becording a good bass sound requires two basic 4.


elemenls. The first being your sound, and the ability o the engineer to capture that sound with a
microphone. The acoustic propertis o the bass is 5. Keep eye conlact with all the musicians at all
what the recording engineer is looking for. The
times.
sound of the bass is very diferent a few feel away
rom the instrument than the Way We hear playing it 6. Be sensitive to all dynamics. Learn to adjust
up close. Your bass should not have any extraneinstantly Without losing the enegy or the
ous sounds, such as buzzes from open seams,
tempo.
squeaks from endpins, rattles from bow holders,
etc. (Duct tape does wonders here!) The micro- 7. Be Authoritative. Be Deliberate.
phones pick up any and all sounds produced by you
a. be precise, intonation is very important
and your bass' The more ocused your left and right
b. be very pliable.
hand technique is, the more focused sound will be
heard. Two microphones are generally used to cap- 8. Be alert at all times.
ture the bass sound. One is low at the level of the
bridge, but NOT at or n6ar the "F holes," which will 9. Do not jusl play anything' HaVe a rason
not be clear. The second one should be higher and
for everything you play.
directed toward the fingerboard to capture the higher requency that is being produced'
l the

recording is a live two track recording, the two


microphones ae mixed and cannot be changed
ater being recorded if you don't like it. lf the record_
ing is a multi-track recording, all the sounds can be
mixed again if needed. The pickup, which couldbe
a thlrd track should only be used as back up informalion. The ultimate control would be to have the
bass isolated from the other instruments. lvlany
greal recordings have been made with no isolation
or the bass at all. The studio onvironment and
knowledge and abiIity o the engineer is What Will
make the difference' l possible, always be ealy in
the studio to have adequate time to set up and
acclimate you and your bass to lhis environment.
12

'10. Always be on time to all playing situations. You


always will need extra time to s6t up your
equipment and warm up.
'11. Listen to as much live music
as possible.

12. Liston to the recordings of lhe geat players.


13. Join the lnternational society o Bassists.
4020 McEwen, #105, Dallas, TX 75244
fel 972-233-9107 ext. 2O4, Fax:972-49O-4219
www.

14.

15.

jmu.edu/orgs/bassists/isb.html

Try to always play with people who are more


advanced than yoursel or at least on your
level.

Always havg un and kep swingingl

HAPTER
PHYSICAL POSITIONS

Being physically comfortable with your bass,

whether it be the double bass or the electric bass is,


in my opinion, one of the most overlooked aspects
in learning about playing the bass. l you heed
some of my comments on this matter, it may help
you delete bad habits that should have been avoided in your early stages of development.

Your stance should be as relaxed as possible.


Stand with your feet almost in an "L" shape. See a

side view photograph. Notice that the bass is slightly tilted toward the body and the side of the bass is
not touching the stomach area. ln order to keep this
position while playing, you must now lean into the
instrument. DO NOT accommodate the instrument
by turning the side flush against you. ln pizzicato
playing you will project less volume on all strings
and even less on the lower strings if the side of the
bass is flush against your stomach. ln addition, the
bow will be impossible to play on the lower strings
without moving the body or bass to accommodate
the bow. The proper angle of the bass can be
achieved by drawing the bow on the E string so that
the arm just passes the body without moving the

Side View Stance

body or the bass. Now, when playing on the upper


strings in this position you must lean into the instrument. Notice the left shoulder in the photo of the
rear view. Move into the instrument so that you can
see what you are doing. Practice moving up and
down the fingerboard. Slide the left hand up and
down. Don't worry about playing any particular
notes at this time. The reason for this exercise is to
synchronize the left arm and hand motion with the
body motion in playing up and down the bass. As
you slide up the fingerboard, gradually shift more of
your weight onto the right leg by leaning fonruard
and pushing your right hip backward. lf you are
doing this properly, the neck of the bass should be
leaning toward you so as to make your slide toward
the bridge much easier. As you slide back toward
the scroll of the bass, synchronize your hip motion
with the left arm by pushing the bass back in its
original position. As you slide up and down the ingerboard, do not let your arm rest on the shoulder of
the bass. This can develop into a very bad habit
and will inhibit your facility in the higher register as
your playing matures.

Front View Stance - Pizzicato

Rear View Stance

It may seem insignificant, but if you can balance


your bass with a relaxed body, you have begun to
overcome the awkwardness o manipulating the
instrument. The bass is leaning slightly into the

Front View - Balancing The Bass

14

Rear View Stance - Thumb Postion

body with the inside of the left knee against the


bass back acting as one of the balancing points.
The other balancing point is angled against the
lower abdomen where it joins the leg.

Rear View - Balancing The Bass

PHYSICAL POSITIONS

How To Get Comfortable With The Bow


There are two types of bows. There is a German
and a French bow. I encourage you to experience
both before choosing because only then will you
know the real differences. The one that you adapt
to the quickest will no doubt be the one that you will
play. The one that enables you to produce the best
sound is the one you should PlaY.
ln holding any bow you must learn to relax the muscles of the bow hand and arm. The French bow is
held with the right hand perpendicular to the stick of
the bow. Place your hand on top of the bow so that
the stick fits into the break of the middle fingers at
the knuckles.

Try to relax as much as possible. DO NOT grab or


grip the bow. Just hold it enough to keep from dropping it. The weight of your arm and the rosin on the
bow is all you need to start the string to vibrate. Too
much pressure will keep the string from vibrating
freely which is necessary for a good full sound.

The German bow is held quite differently than the


French bow. See photographs. The frog is much
wider than the French bow and is held in the palm
of your right hand. There are three areas of the
palm that the bow can be held. The first area is
close to the thumb. Place the butt of the frog snugly into the fleshy section. The end of the bow is
extended over this fleshy section. Arch the rest of
the fingers keeping them together and position
them on the side of the bow and let the thumb lay

naturally over the stick extending toward the first finger. The second area is pretty much the same, only
that you shift the butt of the frog into the middle of
the palm where the hand bends. Keep the other fingers the same. Notice how the hand is not as tense
as in the first area.

French bow hand position preparation

Now, keeping your wrist level, bring the thumb


under the hand and place it at the edge of the frog.
This will place your thumb approximately under
your second or longest inger. Now wrap the fingers
over the stick.

German Bow Palm View

The third area is again similar, only that you shift the
butt of the frog toward the fingers. Open your hand
and place the butt end so that the side of the frog
away from you its exactly where the fingers bend
from the palm. The stick of the bow should be laying across the first knuckle bone of the hand. Close
the hand, keeping the fingers together and somewhat curved. DO NOT tense up and don't grip the
bow. Just hold it. This position, lfeel, will gain you
the best control. However, experiment with allthree
and choose the position that is the most comfortable for you.
French bow hand Position

15

German Bow At Frog

Whichever bow you choose to work with, practice


holding it and getting it comfortable in your hand
before you pick up your bass. Extend both arms
directly out in front o you at the same level, letting
the tip of the bow rest on the first inger o the let
hand. This simulates the string. Do not lock your
elbows. Relax the right hand as much as possible
without dropping the bow, but still keeping the fingers in the same position as previously discussed.
See photographs. Slowly lower your arms approximately one and one half feet keeping them level
with each other. Remember, do not lock your
elbows, and relax. You should be fairly close to the

Bow At Frog - Palm View

German Bow Drawn Toward Tip

position you would be in if you were holding the


bass. Beore picking up the bass practice bowing
up and down strokes by keeping the left hand stationary to simulate the string. Relax and try to
achieve a flowing type of arm motion. lf you are
doing this properly, the right hand should feel no
strain - almost to the point that the bow isn't even in
your hand. lf it feels like this to you, you are on the
right track. By doing this you can walk around the
room and still be learning to be comfortable with
your bow. A relaxed hand is o utmost importance.
Practicing in ront of a mirror is an excellent way to
see i you are doing things correctly.

Bow

At

Frog - Front View

PHYSICAL POSITIONS

HOW TO GET TONE WITH THE BOW

Pick up your bass and put the bow on the D string


near the frog. The correct height for bowing is
determined by extending your arm without locking
the elbow and placing it comfortably midway
between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge.
lf you have to drop your shoulders to put the bow in
this position, the bass is not high enough.

ls your elbow locked? ls your wrist level? Are you


relaxed? Close your eyes and completely relax so

that you can concentrate on just the weight of your


arm. Do not press down hard on the string. The
weight of your arm and the rosin on the bow is all
you need to produce a good sound. Relax and
draw the bow toward the tip of the bow in one complete motion with a pulling sensation. Stop. Don't
tense up. Relax. Now with a pushing feeling move

Bow At Frog

the bow toward the frog in one complete motion.


You should have noticed that it was a little more dificult to produce a tone at the tip of the bow. This is
because the distribution of weight is of balance at
that point. To compensate you must apply more
weight of the arm so that you can get enough leverage to start the bow moving. Ater starting the
string to vibrate, release that extra weight you needed to get started and let the rest of the bow continue as before. The object is to obtain the same
sound, up and down bow. Continue this process on
all the strings. Each string is a different size which
will require you to learn the sensitiveness needed to
produce a good tone from each string. lf you are
getting a scratchy, squawky sound, you are pressing too hard. Keep the bow level and perpendicular
to the string at all times. lt is most helpul to
practice in front of a mirror if possible.

Bow At Mid Poinl

Bow At Tip

17

CHAPTER TWO
DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

DEVELOPING A GOOD SOUND

The distanc betwoen strings should be uniform.

What constitutes a good sound is very subjeclive


and perhaps there is no absolute answer. l popose
that producing a desirable sound is one thal projects clarity, has nergy, and is warm and ull bodied. Most importantly, we wish to capture the listener's ear. To achieve this requires a ocused
approach. First of all, I would like to mention that I
choose to use the traditional term, pizzicato, or lack
of a bette term. l do not care for the term, pluck, as
I do not pluck the string. I pull the string. You must
pull the string to produce a big fal sound. Thee are
only two types o bass pizzicalo sounds' here is
the "thumpy" style, and the smooth" style. The
thumpy player sounds like a doo-doo-doo-doosound. The smooth player sounds like a doomdoom-doom-doom-. Notice that the "m" sounds
seems to sustain much longer. The latter approach
is the more modern sound. The long sound is
desired by most jazz players. To help these techniques work best, your bass should be set up properly to allow your instrument to have a ree and
open sound.

most comfortable. The adjacent photo shows lhe


distance on my bass is l-1116 inch from the center
of the string lo thg centr o the next string' l find
this to be a good measurement. String crossing will
be more difficult i the spaco is too Wide. l the
space is too close, the strings don't allow or mobility o the ingers. Notice the phoio for positioning of
the notches in the bridge. Slring height is definitely
a personal preerence. As your playing dovelops
and matues, you Will ind What works best for you'
Just make sure the sound is your priority.

SETTING UP YOUR INSTRUMENT


At the top o the ingerboard, lhe strings rest upon
a notched piece of ebony which is called a nut. lt is
extremely important that the string height at the nul

HoWeVer' you should experiment With What eels the

The combination of strings and electronic pickups


has brought lhe Virtuosity o
and classical
string players to the foreground. The pickups avail
'azz
able have enabled the players to play wilh the
strings extremely low and still be heard.
lnsiruments with very low strings have little acousiic
sound' The closer the stings to the ingerboard,
the less room the strings have to vibrale. Obviously,
the higher the string, the more vibration, the louder
the bass. Generally, orchesiral playrs t6nd to play
with very high strings to produce the maximum
acoustic sound. Obviously the effort needed to
press lhe string down would b6 mor6. ldo believe
that there is a happy medium for sound and being
comortable too.

be as comlortable as possible or fingering. ll ll is my opinion that the bass should and can ignite
should not be too high or loo low lf it is too high, any ensemble with energy, espocially in creative,

obtain a tiny round ile from a hobby, crat o hardWare store and ile each notch carefully. The lowest
that one should go is no lower than lhe thickngss of
two business cards. The cards should it iusl snug.
Any lower and the string will be laying on the ingerboard and cause an irritating buzz. l this happens, you will probably have to have a new nul put
on. Be careul when filing. You can easily file a |ittl away, but you can't put it back afierwards. lf this
is done properly and a buzz still exists on some ingered notes, you should have your fingerboard
dressed by a qualiied crattsman.

contemporary music. HoWeVe, lhis energy cannot


radiate unless a cortain amounl of engrgy is put in
al the outset. Personally, l preer to sacriice some
of my technique or energy and sound. l use the
ampliier to assist me. l am not totally dependent
upon it. Remember the lower lhs string, the more
technique, the less sound and vice versus. Notice
the photo for the measurement of the G string on
my bass to be al 'll4 inch above lhe ingeboard.
My D string is 3/8 inch above, myA slring is 3/8 inch
abovo and my E string is 7/16 inch above the ingerboard.

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

Measuring at the Nut

Measuring string distance on bridge

Measuring string height from fingerboard

Notch positions for strings on the bridge

19

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

DEVELOPING A GOOD PIZZICATO SOUND


Let us start with the one finger technique using the
first finger of the right hand. Place as much of the
meat of the finger on the string as possible. See
sequence photographs below. Before actually letting the string go, pull it to the point where you can
feel the tension. Now, in slow motion, let the string
roll off the finger by slowly pulling the arm and finger at the same time. The motion of the arm should
be close to the body with a downward stroke. lf you
can imagine the arm being a pendulum follow
through this stroke down and back. Once you know

20

where that tension point is when pulling the string,


you are in complete control. You let the string go at
precisely the time you want it to and not before. ln
playing on the open strings, pull the G string and
the D, A, and E in one complete downward stroke.
Notice you must keep close to the board to achieve
this. After executing one string let your finger continue onto the next string below. Continue this
process all the way across the bass. Do not just pull
only with the finger. The finger is weak when used
alone. Use the entire arm to gain stamina and control of your sound.

One Finger Pizzicato -

String

One Finger Pizzicato -

String

One Finger Pizzicato

String

One Finger Pizzicato -

String

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

The two finger pizzicalo technique is pretty much


the same with the exception of the position of the
hand. Notice in the photo that the hand is almost at
a right angle to the fingerboard. To achieve the
biggest sound possible with this technique, you
must keep the hand and arm close to the bass. Do
not pull upward. Pull across with a downward
stroke from string to string. Notice the photographs.
To obtain dexterity and facility with the two finger
walking technique, practice alternating the fingers.
The idea is to make both fingers sound exactly the

same. The second finger is not as strong as the


first. lt will require concentrated practice to build
strength in that finger so it matches the first finger.
The execution of this technique is done exactly the
same as previously discussed. However, the sound
will not be quite as full as the one finger technique.
Many jazz players of today employ this two finger
walking technique. A phenomenal amount o technique can be achieved i you work at it slowly and
deliberately. This technique is used extensively in
classical guitar playing. See photographs for hand
and finger positions.

Two Finger Pizzicato

String

Two Finger Pizzicato

String

Two Finger Pizzicato

String

Two Finger Pizzicato

String

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

To really excel as a bassist, you must like the way


you sound. I'm speaking of sound YOU control, not
the sound that is controlled by any kind of amplification or electronic devices. !f you are able to produce a good sound based on the variables mentioned above, you will have a good sound with
amplification. Too many make the mistake of thinking that the amp will make them sound better. lf you
"think" a smooth, pretty, lovely, huge, strong sound,
eventually you will be able to play just that.
Remember, you must like the way you sound before
anyone else does. Use a tape recorder when you
practice. They don't lie. When you begin to sound
good to yourself rom the tapes, good things are
beginning to happen.

Two Finger Walking Technique

When one speaks of someone who is a great player, they say they love his or her sound. What does
that mean? To me, that means many things at the
same time; a full-bodied tone, the particular notes
that are played, where these notes are placed, the
intonation of these notes and the feeling projected.
The most important is the consistency of all these
things combined that make up that great sound.
The creative improviser's greatest asset is the ability to manipulate the harmony. The harmony is
what makes people listen constantly to you. !t is the
sophistication o your harmonic concept that wi|l
keep you always in the game. lt is has been my
observation that generally young players are too
concerned with displaying a lot of digital technique
and not concerned enough about what they play
nor how they sound. This is a very common problem. All of us want to be able to move around the
bass with the greatest of ease, but you must have
some idea of what you would like to sound like in
the beginning. lf you like certain things about four
or five bassists, listen carefully to them. Listen to
and or every nuance imaginable and you will begin
to understand what is involved to produce that
sound. This is truly how you get started pursuing a
good sound. Perhaps you like the harmonic concept of one, the intonation of anothe the energy
and creativity of another, the technical dexterity of
another. Begin to put these elements together and
you have begun to create another great player -you!
These ingredients are quite essential.
22

You should also practice with the amp. You must


always be in control of what comes out. Assimilate
your working conditions with the amp. Try to match
the amp sound to your acoustic sound as best as
possible. A good pickup will amplify all extraneous
noises and finger nciises. Acoustically we don't
hear these noises so easily, but they are present
and can be eliminated only by practicing with the
amp on. Use the bow too. When the bow sound is
clean with the amp on, it's really clean. !n order to
project a certain amount of energy you still must
exert it. The amp can relay that energy, but cannot
create it. lt all must come from you.

c
0

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c e?,

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I

0oN0N?AloN
e

0oNrl0Na
0
T

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

Tri-C Jazz Festival, Cleveland,

OH

1989 Photo

by: Frank W. Hetherington

23

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

Working With Open Strings


Practice slowly with a metronome at all times. from string to string,

listen for an evenly balanced


Remember, these can be played with or without the sound. Some strings may automatically have a
bow, and/or with the electric bass. Concentrate on quicker response than others. Every bass is differyour sound quality. When playing across the bass ent, so make the adjustments when necessary.

llHJ=50
a

V
t
a

a,

a,

-4,

at

a,

a,

at

aa

a,

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a

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ta

<r---C,

O--rO

O'--'C,

<r'--'e

a,

aaJ

aa

V
a,

a,

a,

n
at

.J

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at

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24

at

V
at

a,

f,

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

Watch your right arm motion to create the corret


pulse while pulling the string. When reading, move
your eye to the next measure as quickly as possible
to be able to react to the proper rhythm before you

NV

play the rhythm. Pay close aention to these open


string etudes as they will increase your sound and
reading abillty. When you add the left hand, you will
be able to get into the music much sooner.

,t

a
t

at

a
a

a
a

25

DEVELOPING A GREAT 9OUND

HH

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26

Two eighth notes played in the time given for one quarter note. Do not continue until you can
honestly play the rhythms perfectly. Start slow and be precise.

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

Play slowly and concentrate on your sound. Be very accurate when counting time.

nnnnnnnn

\J

Be as precise as possible crossing over two strings. This can only be achieved by watching very
closely what the right hand or the bow has to do.
27

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

o
28

You must now play four sixteenth notes in the same amount of time as one quafter note or two
eighth notes.

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

Hl{ J=50

a
ta

Count out loud to yourself if you are having problems staying in time with the different rhythms.

29

DEVELOPING A GHEAT SOUND

C}

ar-

ar'

Count out loud to yourself i you are having problems staying in time with the diferent rhythms.

30

OEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

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Eighth note triplets: Three notes played in the space of one quaner note. Quailer note triplets
are to be played in the space of two quarter notes or a half note.
31

DEVELOPTNG A GREAT SOUND

,-5-- ,-5-. ,-5-------

,-

b ---

- -:,_

_I_.

,_b_

________,

r-5--t

,-$-- r-$-----L-

-$

---

,--N-------

,-9t-$-l
,-5---

,--5-----,

-N--

,-b-

.-l---

,-b'--..

--N-

,-b- ,-l---.,,-b-

fi:-

Concentrate and be very deliberate and precise. Don't be afraid to play in different signatures.
However, you must keep your concentration level high at al! times and count.
32

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

HH rl=50
a

&2 &3& 4

&

These two measures sound the same, but are just written differently.

This measure shows syncopated rhythm. The symbol "&" illustrates the second half of the
main beat pattern where these notes are to be played.
33

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

aa

,--b----

,-N--r-bPractice slowly with rhythm at all times. Remember, these can be played with or without the bow
and on the electric bass.
34

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

(-4 0^n r_l________

r_$_________

L_

,_b_--_

_L

vv

,-b--

Count out loud to yourself if you are having problems staying in time with the different rhythms.

35

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

HH J=50

,-b-b----

,-b-------r-

__

-b-------,--b----.

36

b ______,_b ___

b--.

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

,-

-------

b -------, _ b

-------r-

-----t

,-

-------_

______,_b

___________b

___

-$-.

-b--

37

DEVELOPING A GREAT SOUND

-N--,

Front View Sitting

Lower Position

Front View Sitting

Moving lJpward

HAPTE
Getting To Know The Fingerboard
THE CLAW
think this concept is the key to developing good
left hand technique that is capable of covering the
full range of the fingerboard. The idea is that you
control your fingers to do what you want them to do
at any given time. Concentrate on not letting your
fingers and knuckles collapse as illustrated below.
Practice this eeling on a tab]e or any flat surface.
Keep the wrist as straight as possible. Freeze the
fingers and move the entire arm. Concentrate!
I

Collapsed Claw

Everyone's fingers will collapse to

degree.
However, it can be minimal if your concentration is
on the weight of the arm, not just the fingers alone.
Probably the most common of the left hand problems would be the collapsing o the knuckles at the
palm of the hand which will break the flow of stability needed from the entire forearm.

Correct Claw Position

39

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

After the practice and application of the claw technique as suggested, move to a sltting position with
your bass and concentrate on gettlng that same
feeling in the hand. Press down the G string without uslng the thumb as shown below. Keep your
wrist straight and watch the orm in your fingers.
You should eel the energy coming from the shoulder. Remember the entire arm and shoulder are
working together as one. Practice sliding up and
down the ingerboard as illustrated in the sequence
photos, but this time without your thumb. Move in
slow motion at first to make sure you keep the form
and proper motion at the transition area as shown
in Frames 3, 4, 5. As you move up the ingerboard,
imagine a pushing feeling and a pulling back feeling
when moving back to the lower position. Practice
slowly and precisely until you are able to move the
full length of the fingerboard with one complete,
TRANSITIoN

--.+!

Continue this process now with the thumb, but only


use it or stability. Do not apply any dlrect pressure.
ln the sitting position, the thumb is less lmportant
but necessary nevertheless. However, in the standing position, the thumb is absolutely necessary in
the lower positions to keep the bass stable. You will
notice that wlth a combinatlon of the angle of the
bass and the proper balance, the thumb need only
be there to help produce good tone. Too much
pressure between the fingers and the thumb will
result in a cramped hand and the abllity to move
about freely ls stifled.

!<__

os$o!

TRANS7tON

conr,{.'sGss

Use your metronome to practice this glissando

exercise in a smooth,slow, steady tempo. Use first


finger, then second inger, then all four fingers up to
the transition. The thumb and the third finger is then
employed as you continue up to the end of the fin-

Claw without thumb

40

smooth motion. Remember to lean into the bass as


you move slowly up and back. Notlce my visual
contact with my left arm. Become totally into what
you are doing.

gerboard. Reverse the fingering sequence when

glissing down. Watch in a mirror to adjust hand and


body posture. Practice both pizzicato and arco on
all of the strings. Do not be impatient with this. Only
through repetition will this motion ee! comfortable.

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

1.

2.

-i

ffi

3.

4.

*t
:.tl

Sequence Photos Moving Through The Fingerboard

41

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

THUMB TRANSTTION POSITIONS


The sequence photos illustrate playing a chromatic
scale in two octaves beginning with "open G'.
Frames 3, 4, 5 illustrate the crucial part of the transition' Study it carefully' ln Frame 4' the third inger extended is G, an octave higher than the open
G string. Notice the thumb is still back on the neck.
As you shift your arm, release the second and third
ingers and keep your first finger down and slide it
quickly to A with no resistance from the thumb.
Concentrate iust moving the arm into position.
Don't worry about the thumb at this point. lt will
obediently ollow the hand. lt should, however, be
touching the string as in Frame 5. Continue this
process to the next octave. Practice slowly the
entire ingerboard. Use a mirror if possible to watch
the orm o your fingers and position of your arm as
it moves up the board. Study these photos carefully. Practice until you can do it accurately with your
eyes closed. A tactile feeling is very important to
develop on any retless, stringed instrument. Use
the bow to clean up intonation. Remember to keep
your elbow up and concentrate on the "claw" feeling.

tones across the ingerboard. Conirm pitch with


the piano or tuning fork. Play the open G string and

press down the string approximately one inch from


the top of the ingerboard with the irst finger of the
left hand. On the fretted instruments, it would be
the first ret or G sharp or A lat. Adjust the inger
if it doesn't sound correct, and remember that spot.
The second finger depressed approximately an
inch away rom the first is playing the note A or the
second ret. Keeping the hand stationary, stretch
the hand and place the fourth inger down approximately one and one hal inches from the second inger or on the third ret' Place the third finger down
also. lt should move together with the ourth'

Repeal this process on the lower strings keeping


the hand stationary and only moving across the fingerboard in a straight line. With a step by step
process up the fingerboard, shift the hand up slightly so that the istfinger is now where the second
finger was. Continue this process across the
strings and up the fingerboard until you reach the
octave of the string.

lt is very important that you read Etude 2 careully


Unlike most traditional bass method books, I have and slowly so that you can begin to associate the
chosen not to use speciied hand positions to learn sound of a note to its position on the board. Beore
the notes and their locations on the ingerboard. l putting both hands together in this etude, practice
you play chromatically up and down the finger- with the left hand alone so that you can keep the
board, you will eventually play all the notes present form o the hand constant. This is important. See
on the bass. l you play a piano starting on any photographs of left hand positions on page 44.
note and play each key as it comes until you come Practice in ront of a full length mirror to ob'serve
to the same note an octave above or below you will stance, arm and hand formations. Notice that the
have played a chromatic scale. A chromatic scale distance between notes become smaller as the
is made up o semi tones or tones with an interval notes become higher. As you gradually get highof an hal step. There are thirteen notes in a chro_ er on the ingerboard you must adjust the span o
matic scale. On all fretted guitars, the interval the hand accordingly and truly listen or clarity o
between a fret is a hal step. Learn the sound' on pitch.
the double bass, the same notes are present, even
though the frets are not. The notes are much wider lf you work carefully, you will notice where the same
apart and you must be able to hear whether or not note appears on another string. Repeat this exeryou are pressing in the right place. lf you are not, cise many times observing the posture of your left
adjust accordingly. To learn to read and know the hand. The ingering sequence is very easy to
noles is an easy process. Etude 2 is for that pur remember, but do not go on automatic pilot. Begin
pose. Be patient and be consistent. That is the key to really listen to the sound that you are producing.
to success.
Remember that your left hand is your sound, the
right hand is the sound producer.
lf your strings are tuned properly to G D A E respectively, then you will hear the proper relationships of

42

ETUDE 2

KNOW YOUR FINGERBOARD

G str.

,J,J
12

Astr'J

JJ

J J,J,

42

1242

J J J J JJJ
D str.

124?

1242

JJ J JJ JJJJ JJJJ
E str.

Simile
a

t-

You must listen carefully to what you aro playing.


beginning again.

l you

get disoriented, start the process rom the

43

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR FINGERBOARD

Left hand Position

44

Transition To Thumb Position

Thumb Position sitting on the string

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

The ingeing pallem and the photo illustratg the


lasl four notes o lhB c scale. You wi|l notice that
tha irsl inger plays thg note A aler placing lhe
thumb on the G, which is the exacl sama place as
the G hamonic. Look at lhe dislance of the thumb
to lhe irst finger. lt is appoximately 1 1/2 inches.
Use ths G harmonic as your ocal point. All o the
ntural harmonics are located in the sams place on
each string. Trust that this will never change, and
that "A' will also not change, and on up respectively. A visual and tactile sense o this focal point is
essential. Try playing the sequence with your eyes
closed. You'll ind that this will give an open door
eeling into thumb positions. Honco, your confi-

to keep th exact orm in the hand as on the "G''


slring. Now press the string down keeping contact
With all ingers except thg little inger. Tryio distribute the weight o lhe am evenly through thumb and
fingers. Keep the orm and try to not let the ingers
collapse. done properly, lhe weight o your arm
should be suicient lo press down the string or a
good sound. Practice sliding up and down on all
lhe strings in one smooth slow molion so you can
concentrats on sxactly what the hand and arm are

along on the top keeping contacl with all the ingers.


Repeat lhis up and down motion many times to get
a smooth liquid eeling. continue this process on
all the strings. You will nolice as you move ove to
th lower strings, you must lean the let shoulder
more inlo the bass and pivot on the thumb in order

navigale the tingerboard beore playing any notes,


it will be easier when one must concentrate on the
sound and the notes being played later. Your conidence will grow as you ae more consistent With
these concepts. I cannot stress this enough. Now,
let's go to work on those scales.

doing.

Next, we praclice the chromatic scales in one


octave linking up these pattems. The chromatic
dence Will become more solidiied while playing in scal is made up of all semitones, sometimes
called hal sleps. on the piano, a hal step is alterall o the uppe positions.
nating a white key with a black key. The only
As the photo suggests, position the thumb and tirst xception is between B and c and E and F. These
three ingors on the string. Do not pess down. are hal steps. You literally play all of the notes on
Do not buckle fingera. Relax and let the control the ingerboard when you play chromatically on all
come from your arm. NoW, Without letting the sting of the strings.
touch the ingerboard, bounce the string up and
down. l you are doing this propey, you should feel It is my beliefthat a novice on the acoustic bass can
the suspended control rom your shoulder. Nxt, qqickly undestand what the body must do to be
slide slowly up and down on the string. Do not comfortable wilh ihis large instrument. lt you are
press down and touch the ingerboard. Just ride immediately taught how to stand and physically

45

ETUDE 3

GETTING To KNow HE FII{GERBoARD

Basic Scales You Must Know

Ghromac ) % ) ytJt/t
-:t>

241

<_
av

E String

-....+

->

at^t

alL

46

J% J % ) vt

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

c+7

4 41?

41

g+z

42

4141414

412

41

e+7

421

412

41

1414

41

j+t

r) L)L)

\\

114

ir)i

\\

\\

421

Whole Tone

Augmented Dominant Sevenths

41

,b,

42
qr,

421
A+7

42
g+7

4 41

11
+

41

-+

41

41

\'

41

41

z\t
1

44

.\t

47

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

ob*'

\\

4 2114
+<qb*'

42
3b"

41

o:

't 1 4 412
+

\\

\'\t

41414

\ol

\o

1 41

1414

*-\

a
a
I

4 2114

41

4 I

414

1 41

(t

-)

e-

Io:i::4

sbo

Abo

48

<-

1 4 2t41

'

4 r

t 41

)i,,Jw,)lllLh)

Major

-3

+-\
e
241
4)
) ) ^l- ' 4

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

49

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

Naturar

Minor ) t)'/, ) tJ

LhJ

L)

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

Dorian

Minor J rJL/r) 11i,,)Vt,) r)

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

HarmonicMinor ) rJL,)

A^i'

q'#'

1J|% )LLh)w)

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

c,"#l

Diminishedsevenths )

l%J

lL/L ) r)',/oJ t)

n)

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

54

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

Hal - Diminished

or Minorseventh
,

Frat

Five

| i

% J

Ii i

eti1bil

55

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

DOMINANT SEVENTH

JrJr)wJ,)r)wlr)

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

57

ETUDE 4

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGEBBOARO

More Scales Related To Basic and Altered Chord Sounds

0l*tt

lydian dominant

qd
L

dorian scale

crb'

diminished scale

cri'

diminished -- whole tone

Remember, you can forget what you memorize if it


isn't kept in your mind and under your fingers. The
next etude is a fool-proof approach in constructing
a good, strong bass line. lt is my opinion that there
aren't enough THINKING bassists. My concept is
that we as bassists should be able to play completely alone and relay the essence of a song by the
construction of our bass line alone. We don't need
the keyboard to clarify the kind of chord. We don't
58

need the drummer to clarify the rhythm. You should


be able to swing and radiate energy all alone.
When we add a pianist and drummer, who are not
dependent on you, it should be easy. Our basic iob
description is to embrace the ensemble with the
clearest harmony and rhythm possible and not lose
our role as the foundation. Good choice of notes
and their placement and pitch will really make the
entire group swing and feel good.

ETUDE 5

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

Approachlng The Transltion Area

/-at|

- -^

ttr

elbow at this point. Just as you shift


'intoPrepare
position,
do the same in the upper posilower

part is over. Be sure to practice on all of the strings,


as each string will require a slightly different physi-

tions. Move the enlire arm to put the hand into the cal requirement. When playing on the A and E
position needed. Keep your fingers arched. Do strings, be sure to pivot the entire arm so that you
not move the fingers aimlessly around searching can keep the arched posture in the Left hand.
for the notes. Get that arm there and the difficult
59

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

ln The Transition

Completing The Transition

60

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

Play slowly untilyou are able to make the transition


smoothly and accurately. Practice and concentrate
on the positioning of each and every eeling.
Remember to keep your elbow up and concentrate
on the "claw'' eeling. The notes in the brackets are
played in one position. You should not have to move
or shlft your arm. The only movement ls done with

a a aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
a
a
a
a

0,,1

string

a aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
a
a
a
a

your wrist very slightly and the individual finger designated by the fingering given. Notice how many
notes can be played just in this one area. Practice
on all our strlngs. The dexterity obtained will defi_
nltely increase your confidence and facility in the
thumb positions. Now practice connecting with the
transitlon by playing two octave scales.

aaaaaaaaaa

'i

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

..

a a a aO
a
a

o:e

aa aaaaO

a
a

aa a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a aa
aa

a
a

a
a

string

E
string

aa a a a a a a a a a a a o a a a a a o o a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a o a o a a aa
3O
a

a
a

a
a
a

61

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOABD

Moving Through The Fingerboard

Th notes inside the brackets are played in one lnternalize all o these sounds. Soon you will be
position. You need only to be concemed with the able to use these ingerings starting on different
last note o one bracket to the irst note of the next notes chromatically' which will put you in diferent
bracket. lt will occur on the same string. Practice keys. The only difference as you move into the
slowly at irst. Watch and ligten to ind exactly thumb positions, is the thumb replaces the little inwhere you are shifting to. Use the metronome and ger. Keep your fingers arched and glide smoothly
concentrate on your pitch. Memorize these scale and swittly on the strings when shifting.
patterns based upon speciic chord sounds.

q*i#?

62

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

One String Only, Please


Double bass players tend to play in little "ingering
boxes'' in the lower area and then requently only
on the G string as they go into thumb position.
Bass guitarists tnd to play in those "boxes'' also,
but all the way up the fingerboard, because it is iust
easier to execute. Let's try to liberate you to be free
to use the entire fingerboard. l you wish to be
more agile in the upper positions, these one strings
etudes will help you immensely. Do not play a sloppy glissando when shifting. Concentrate on the
symmetry of sound throughout the fingerboard.

Play slowly at irst and keep those tingers arched.


Remember the smooth fluid motion on all of the
strings. Practice playing slowly and then speed up
the shift. Your glissando now becomes louder. Try
playing difierent dynamics in this etude. Always
pivot the left arm over to help the hand stay well
into the ingerboard. The combined weight of your
arm and hand is what keeps those notes ocused
with pitch. Remember, the Left hand is your
sound. The Right hand is the sound producer.

If

ft,

---1--7'

63

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

Play at slow tempo at irst to let your body understand what it must do.
This page is or the D string only, please.

aa,

I l.

t-

alY

64

GETTING TO KNOW THE FINGERBOARD

Now that you have become all loosened up playing


the glissandos, try playing all your scales on one
string. Pick one scale type to practice each and
every day for only 5 minutes. Never just start playing. Always have a specific tempo in mind. Decide
how you are going the scales. What key? Decide
whether to play in one or two octaves, using quarte1 eighth, or sixteenth notes. What will be the
dynamic? Will you use the bow or pizzicato? ln
other words, make a calendar of practice events
ahead of time. Believe me, you will become more
productive and successful in your efforts. Five minutes is a very long time when doing one specific
thing, but great strides can be made if you develop
a good practice habit.

EA

DG

EA

DG

should not be able to detect one from the other.

Below are various routings for you to try when practicing your scales utilizing only one string.

EA

DG

EA

11.

t
t
t
t

I
I
I
I

DG

I
I
I
I

I
I
I
I
I
A

Now, start playing your walking bass lines on one


string. After you have been successful in playing
the various bass lines I have written for you, start
alternating with your own creations on one string
only, please. Next, staft alternating your lines with
my lines, first on one string, then using all of the
strings. The ultimate goal is to sound good with
connected articulate bass lines in all three circumstances. Listen intently to make your lines satisfy
the progression and the execution is smooth from
the one string technique to all strings. The listener

12.

I
I
I
{
65

Walking Bass Line Construction

ALWAYS ASSUME THAT YOU ARE THE ONLY HARMONIC AND RHYTHMIC SUBSTANCE

Develop
Your

a CONCEPT! CONCENTRATE

CONFIDENCE

will help you develop

75"/o

CONSISTENCY OF
TONE PRODUCTION

. PULSE

CONSISTENCY.

AF YOUR CONCENTHA$ON

ls

on that concept.

"

NOT" oN

Yo111,1

,,,',.

'

THIS WILL DEVELOP YOUR


"PERIPHERAL HEARING"

TIME FEELTNG)

.INTONATION

HAHMoNlc AlvARENEss
. REPERTOTRE

. SENSE OF PHRASE AND


DYNAMICS
. ASSESSMEHT OF YOUR

YOU

PERCUSSION
INSTRUMENTS

MUSICAL SETTING

CHORDAL
INSTRUMENTS
P!ANO

FRONT LINE
ANY HORN

COMBINATION

A MATURE MUSICIAN IS ONE WHO HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO STUDY THE TRADITION OF
ANY MUSICAL IDIOM BEFORE HE / SHE CAN TRULY CONCEPTUALIZE THAT MUSIC!

66

ETUDE 8

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

GETTING FRIENDLY WITH THE PIANO


We now begin a step-by-step process in constructing strong functional bass lines from simple to complex. ln order to achieve a good sounding line, it
must have a good foundation. We begin with the
simplest; roots and octaves, roots and fifths, and
roots, thirds, fifths, and octaves.

Members of your ensemble depend on you to


always "be there," no matter what happens. That

be able to function within chords of tunes you do not


know fust by hearing the relationships of one chord
to another. lf you always assume you are the only
harmonic and rhythmic substance present, you
project a conidence that is infectious to others.

exploring and feeding of and listening to one another for new ideas as much as possible. When this
happens properly, the resulting music and feeling is
absolutely wonderful.

doesn't seem fair sometimes, but, neveftheless, it is

true. We bass players are not allowed to make a


mistake. Bassists have the unique ability to sabotage any and all ensembles if they are not truly
focused on their primary role. Your primary role is
found
in most to keep good time with good swinging bass lines. ln
The following chord relationships are
songs. lf you know these relationships you should a truly creative environment, everyone should be

a,

;\

's

C}

'o;\
I

a,

-,,/

'
le

la

'0'}

')

'\

C}

CN
tA<-

You must now learn the sound of each of the chords


above and particularly the significant notes shown
by the arrows that make each a different chord.

n>

'col

,te,,/ ,Lh.-t/

Go to the piano and play these chords and memorize their sounds.

67

ETUDE 9

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Constructing Good and Functional Bass Lines ln A "TWO" Feeling


While reading this exercise, remember to keep fingers arched while also watching and listening to
close watch of your left hand posture. Keep your the sound the right hand is producing.
Roots only

sb+

gbtai

sbxi

Sbuil

sbo

gbul

$+

sbvi?

tb+

gb*i

sbui?

Sbxrr

sbxi

Sbvi?

$+

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Go to the piano or keyboard and get familiar with no matter how simple, will be satisfying to the listhese sounds. When you understand the sound of tener. Remember that your irst listeners are the
what you are outlining as a bass playel your lines, people with whom you are playing.

sh

Ah

bffi

This progression, commonly called a minor ll - V Play on the piano and on your instrument to interprogression, is one of the most important sounds nalize its sound so that these two chords become
you will encounter literally in every kind o song. "one" sound.

bti1

2bui1

lbr

tbuil

$r

bri?

ilr

byil

ilr

69

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

0r{7

When no chord symbol is shown for the second one sound by using more notes rom the scals that
measure, it is generally accepted to be the same represent that particular sound.
sound continued. Think o the two measures as

slt

bil?

sbui?

abt

Qui?

0br.ri?

Qr

qh

It

s
fu

We now explore the important ll - V - | progression.


Play these chords on the piano. Play the respective scales and arpeggios for each chord on your
70

bass and internalize the sound so that these three


chords become "one" sound, an entity itself.

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTFUCTION

Notice how this sequence takes you through many


different keys, or tonal centes. When you begin to
be more experienced playing tunes, you will notice
that they all go through various harmonic tonal cen-

Qri?

C7

dril g1

(t

lil $l

!ui?

gb*i

(,t

qh

qh

Qa

tuil

A?

0a

Bn

Abui? Oh

!r

Qo$

?r(.--

This is the same ll - V - I progression with a slight


spatial difference. Notice how the last chord still

0bui?

Obri?

eb1

,t

07

ui? glt elt

Q?

Ar.ri?

Aui?

ters all the lime' Eventually, these tunes you lean


will have only "one" sound that will separate them
rom other tunes. These tonal centers will become
much easier to understand through repetition.

<r

,t-

unctions the same, but has a gth and 13th scale


tones added or more color to the sound.

Qui?

0?

It

8ui1

71

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Here are three eight measure phrases using three


minor modes; Dorian, Aeolian, and Melodic Minor.
Play these chords. Listen to the different qualities
that each scale gives as they move diatonically.
Notice that each of the eight measures are all one
sound. Don't think of it as eight separate measures
o Dm7. Notice the linear use of the bass line. The
line should depict motion even though the sound

Mark Levine

Dorian Mode

0xi*?

'/

appears to be static. Playing on "one" sound


requires close attention when constructing your
bass lines. Use the identical approach when you
play in a Major mode as well. Satisfy the sound!
For a closer look at the modes and their functions,
please check out THE JAZZ THEORY BOOK, by

#t

#.t

-L v

7'

z,

z,

7r

7r

Ovix a?

72

7r

Aeolian Mode or Natural Minor

#W +

zr

#t
I

0xir

7r

:* flt

7r
r-

TT

L'+

W#

zr

Melodic Minor Mode (Ascending only)

#t

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7r

zr

a,

T
-d

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zr,

zr

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Ghord Sound Alteations


These are alterations of the basic chords. Notice
that in these irst our measures the progressions
are labeled diferently. Howeve1 they mean and
sound exactly the same. Sometimes this fact is
misunderstood. ln the irst measure, the notes Bb
and E are not iust passing notes. They are unctional notes of the chord. They also could be implying passing chords that don't actually exist here, but
sometimes could be played. Remember that you
are not always obligated to play every chordal note

b'cflfil bul

n9

lo

I
I

that the chord suggests, unless you can do it in


such a way that it does not jeopardize the low of
your line. As you become more proficient with your
keyboard harmony and on the bass, eventually your
lines will become more sophisticated. I cannot
stress enough or you to become unctionally riendly with the piano and jazz harmony. Functional
knowledge o the iazz vocabulary and grammar is
essential or your continued growth as a jazz musician.

Fyil|5l sbd

.r'

zr
hn

? + +h-

ab

0*rl

Qr0tl
u

at

a,

l,

+?+

73

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

q'lfil

q'l

0a

,zi

It

b+ t--

*+

?z

0o

Q'lt|

Q'l'

L-

0ut

- L-

?+)+

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0ni?

Qnin

h^

)t^

ll f b?

+?z*

0rnl

lo

74

r-

h.

?tC

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTBUCTION

Qxibl)

g$nr gu qrfi{

g,^r

;F

a,r-

rll

tl,

4-

e??t

.D

-L

,e

le

P
.t

Cuufitl

c$l9l

brns

Sbu0tl

L.

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Qxil

vu.
L.

,tj

3-

h-L

7F,

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Qar

", ry

l,,o

c$#
-or

ln the two staves above and beloq the letter under


the slash designates that note to be played in the
bass. ln walking a bass line on these chord types,
you should adhere to the bass tone and the chord
above. They ar essentially the same, but are just
written differently. lf you don't play the bass note,

A-i?

g-i?

0t o.l

the sound o the suspension eectis destroyed'


These particular chords are used a great deal in the
writing of contemporary music. Play these, listen to
them, and become familiar with them. I am sure
you have heard these sounds before.

M "'

or llo*

eb

lr*
,"-

rt

,bo
a,

?b.

q'ill

L- b?

t-

Inir

Cxibll

0vi?

b+

0yil

'T:T__

t't

! a-t

Qbt

y.,

----o

o+!'L

7+

+A

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f-u

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I

76

hh*

l-

l-

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Simple Walking Bass Lines


, &'12 illustrate a gradual sequence
rom simple to complex bass lines' lt is not always
necessary that you play the root note o a chord on
the first beat of every measure, but it works great
every time. Remember, be as clear as possible at
the outset as We are building a oundation for the
listener to hang on to. This process will work. I
want you to be concerned about what notes you
choose to play or a particular phrase. You should
always have a reason or playing any given note or
pattern. When you have conviction in your playing,
you will project that image which is quickly noticed
by others. Prolection of your intent is very powerful.

Etude 10,

11

The bass lines I have written are to give you ideas


to create your own. This will be the only time in your
playing career that you will have the opportunity to
ponder and change anything you don't like or want.
ln a real playing situation, you cannot stop. You get
what you get and move on, like it or not. Play
through all of the lines several times to digest each
sound. lf you haven't written much and are a slow
reader, eventually you will become better at both.
There is no such thing as a perect bass line. lt
must, however satisy the sound at all times. This
process has six steps and will work on any kind o
song or composition that is giving you problems.
The ultimate goal is to help you truly listen and hear
critically what is coming out o your bass. The end
product will consistently build your confidence in
what you do. Here is the process.

chord symbols above the staf lines


with the structure o the song on blank manuscript pap?. start With two choruses through the
progression, but four is better. ln a real playing sit1. Write the

uation, you may have to play it many times.

2. Write down a simple quarter note bass line


with no embellishments away omthe bass'
When inished' check or careless errors.
bass. Stop and
change and/or correct whatever does not
3. Next play the line on your

please you or sound good to

Chordal - Chromatic

&

lt is very

important not to be cavalier or in a hurry to finish.


You must be totally satisfied and feel good about
what you have created.
4 . Play lhis draft With authoity and conviction.

5. Play

at various tempos and dynamics. Use


the second chorus to include rhythm embellishments.

6. Recod the bass line and ]isten back and be


critical o the sound, eeling' and content.

This process really does work, but you must work


diligently in the process. lf you do not like your
sound, all o your sound, why should anyone else
like it? As your playing matures, you will be able to
employ various other patterns that will be functional in outlining the chord sound.

Chromatic

Chordal & Scalar

you.

Scalar combined

Scalar & chordal combined

Scalar & Chordal

-b--.

Chromatc &

Scalar & Rhlnhm

Chordal - Rhythmic variations & Scalar

77

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Below are examples of how you can start a strong you give it some thought. Practice at various tema chord symbol. pos. You will notice the line will change color. Note
Remember these following lines are only a few of that your shifts must be fast and precise. Stay close
hundreds of combinations that can be applied once to the ingerboard and keep those ingers arched.

walking bass line based on

1.

sh

sb

hbr

sby
4

017

0'n

12

sb\

b^,

aoZ
b

78

nol
b

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Concentrate on your sound and intonation. Keep a consistent tempo.

2.
17

sh'

jt

sh,

17

8b'

17

17

8b'

17

sb'

sb'

sb'
,

jz

sb'

s7

sb'

ffi

79

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

|uiy

|uil

F*xir

8t

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTBUCTION

4. Continued

Fri'l

$t

lo

Fni?

$t

bo

ui1

Ar

0o

e,uil

lr

0o

0xi?

Qr

0txir

F*?

lt

0ni?

$o

g\

-------7

*l

0ni?

rh

lt

8o

0bo

CI

8ui1

0*xir

bl

Ao

8ui1

Qt

Abo

yi1

1bt

Ao

Abo

t,

81

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTHUCTIOIII

Avi?
a

7tl
l)L7
-----1l----_-..-...--

-t

ltoq

0ni?
a

lt

7t

'_---!LaI

Ah
I

Ua

laz

tt,

fioq

F*uir

I
I

at-l
.------.-------.--.--------4..

-------z

82

$t

ETUDE

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

11

7t

lt

(t

lt

al,

lt

$lt

$t

lt

lt

fit

lbt

83

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

----

84

----=--,-

_-f_-i----J-------j+----.|---

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

3.

Ari?

!r

Qo

85

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

-----r--'

86

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

lll'

? Ll

Remember, always think o the entire phrase as When you phrase in this mannel you are projecting
one complete sound. By doing this you are able to symmetry, which will help the musical development.
spread the scalar patterns in many different config- Use dynamics as well as rhythmic variations to
achieve continuity in your lines. Even though there
urations.
is only one chord sound, there are many chord
Notice on measures 2 & 4 of this C minor bass line, implications that can be made.
the rhythm is written as a triplet pattern instead o
the dotted eighth and sixteenth pattern which Notice in measures 4 & 15, I am implying a G7,
occurs in th other measure$. The end result which is the five chord to C minor. ln measures 6,
sounds the same' lt is very dificult to actually Write 7, and 8, notice the use of the partial scale in thirds.
out a feeling to a pattern. The slower the tempo, Measures 10 and 11 illustrate the use of the Dorian
scale and the Harmonic Minor scale in measures
the more these patterns will sound truly ditferent.
13, 14, and 15. Experiment with all of lhese various
I think you should think in four or eight measure possibilities when writing out your lines.
phrases when playing modally or on one sound.

87

ETUDE

12

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

More Complex Lines


Practice slovr/ly at first until you can get the shifts rhythmic embellishments. Use dynamics, especialand the rhythmic variations undr your fingers. ly at the beginnings and endings of the eight meas_
once you can play it well slowly, gradually increase ure phrases to aid in producing a sense of orward

the tempo. Be very definite and accurate with

the

motion in your walking bass lines.

$t

$t

$t

$t

fii

$t

$t

$t

$t
il8

$t

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

2'

|uil

lir

ui1
-

laatau

Ah

t,

Ah

- I--"-"---a

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

e,o

90

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

3. Con't.

0ni?

0|l

?bt

Abo

fiui1

(Jt

Abo

9l

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTHUCTION

4.

Ani?

!r

Qa

92

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Jt

alt

93

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

(q')

Notice the total sound o this modal line in Cm is


exemplified throughout. The chord symbols in
parentheses illustrate the implication o other harmonic possibilities. These also aid in the clarity and
resolution of the phrase. When you honostly can
play all of these bass lines in ETUDE 12, go back
and repeat each one and alternate with your own
94

lines based on the chords given. I also suggest that


you tape record yourself and listn critically to your
sel. Are you able lo hear clearly What you think you
are playing? Do you want to pat your oot to what

you are hearing? Are your rhythmic embellishments clearly executed? When the answers are
yes, you are definitely on the right track!

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

You have now finished my concept and thought The rhythmic variations you play should enhance
process in constructing good, solid bass lines. your bass lines. lt is my opinion that if they do not,
These bass lines are just some of hundreds of vari- you should omit them. Too often your technical
ations that you can create if you put some thought
to it. Take any tune and use this process until you
are able to do it spontaneously. Write your bass
lines down, away rom your bass if you can. Now
play them. Do they sound good? Are you able to
execute them and simultaneously make the time
feeling feel good? lf not, change any and all
aspects until they are satisfying to you. The lines
written down can be academically correct and still
not sound good or be satisfying.

facility interferes in creating good flowing bass lines.


Your playing experience will teach you to use more
discretion. lf you think of your bass line as a solo
you will always sound good, whether alone or within a group. This concept does work. As you play
better you will attract better musicians. Always
strive to play with people o your caliber and higher.

The first sound heard is the feeling or groove you


project. How you hook up with the drummer or
rhythmically with everyone is second. lntonation,
This is an extremely contrived process, but believe tone quality, and musical content is next. Generally,
me, if you work at it, the definition of your lines will these aspects you bring to the music will confirm
be stronger than you realize. This definition coming you being asked to continue being part of the
out o your bass will be quite apparent to your ensemble or not. Work hard and be patient, it does
peers. Be deliberate. Be as precise as possible. not happen immediately.

J.J. Johnson Quintet, Estoril Jazz Festival, Cascais, Portugal, 1993


Renee Rosnes - Piano, J.J. Johnson - Trombone, Rufus Reid - Bass, Balph Moore -Tenor Sax, Billy Drummond - Drums

95

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Blues Lines - Simple To Complex


harmonically. lt is recommended that you listen to

We now get involved with one of the most common


and most important sounds in Jazz, and that is the
BLUES. The basic Blues form is 12 measures.
There are derivatives of the form in I and 16 measures. lt can be played in a Major sound and the
Minor sound. The following lines are in many different keys and various ways to approach the lines

q?

1.

recordings from the early Louis Armstrong period of


Rhythm & Blues artists to the contemporary Jazz
artists of today playing the Blues to truly understand
the breadth that this form has. Listening to the
Blues is fun, but playing it is more fun.

c$

q7

0ni?

q?

c9

c1
I

8ui1

A?

Aui?

07

q?

e1

Aui?

0?

-a

Play all of these blues progressions slowly and


make every note as clear as possible.

Notice in #2, the first two measures make use of


the E flat scale in thirds to create fonruard motion.

Sluit

ab1
b

Ab1
I

Qui?

l-I

luil

96

gb1

eb1

0?

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTTON

gb1

sb

ob

0ni?

sb

Notice in the tenth measure of #3, how quickly we


are able to link up the higher register by the use of
the octave F. To help this proiect better, use a
crescendo as you play these higher notes. Also
notice in the eleventh bar the immediate drop. This
is quite acceptable because the emphasis is on the
third of the chord from the root tone. Accent the
drop dynamically. The syncopation draws attention
to the figure.

4. Qa

Aho

Axi?

sb,

Gradually increase your speed, but don't try to play


any faster than your technique will allow. Always
think of the phrase as one complete entity.
measures illustrate the use of the
diminished chord. The chromatic motion of the
chords make a very smooth flowing sound. Be
extremely deliberate with the triplets. Make sure
they are clearly stated.
In #4, the first four

6ni?

0r

!r.ri?

q?

0ni?

0?

07

97

WALKTNG BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

|,l

(tt9

q'il

c$

0$

Qui?

q'l{ c$

$---,

gbo,-q---- An

2fiil

07

Blues line #5 utilizes the great sound o tenths. lf you will hear a sound that you can't quite identify.
you do not know how to play them refer to Etude 23. This may be it. l you are not sure you understand
this, omit the grace notes. Always remember, if the
The grace notes on the D string in measures nine embellishments do not enhance your lines, don't
and ten of line #6 are actually dead tones which are play them' They actually will hurt your time eeling
percussive sounds. They can be played with the if they are not executed properly. Take the trouble
second finger of the right hand. At the same time spots out of context and make up an exercise playthe string is being deadened by the upper part of ing only these troublesome figures. Eventually,
your forefinger of the same hand touching the after adequate repetition, insert them back into the
string. This effect is used a great deal by experi- line.
enced players. Perhaps when you listen to records

6.

gltlu.

q?

98

Qxi?

8b1

gb1

c?

?1

0?

Axi?

11

0?

0?

51)

c?

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Oxi?

gb1

Sluit

eb1

l.bo

0b1

Qui?

Afuil

(1

0b1

Qho

Notice the different lavor in line #8, the Minor


Notice how the use of the C altered dominant chord in measure four sets up the lV chord,
Fm. The use of syncopation at that spot highlights

Blues.

CD.

the harmonic change and accentuates the fonruard


motion. Concentrate on your tone and the time feeling of all o the lines.

0.ni

c?(+')

n'|ll

AIu*ttl

q'{"ll

99

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

0?

0?.

3b1

tb1

eFb

gbt

slnist

gb1

2_, 2___L__\__L_,

11

Bass lines #9, #10, #11 and #12 are designed to notes that you play, nor will they use the exact fincover more of the fingerboard giving a more open gerings. You must, however, at irst become
linear sound. I suggest that you diligently practice absolutely comfortable playing using one certain
your scales on one string to help you develop the fingering. Then you wil! be able to confidently try
continuity of sound as you expand your lines in the other Ways. ln reality, in the heat o the moment
upper register of the bass. As you become more the important thlng is to play. When you are able
agile in the thumb position, try different fingerings to think simultaneously while you are playing and
or these lines. There are severa! fingerings for creating, that is the ultimate mind set.
everything. No one person wil! play the exact
100

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

12
0*i

qrry

0ri?

Sltt
1 3

ab1

3 2

lo

Afrir

Ob,

3 _?__I__1_
2r3

Now that you have played all these Blues bass your vocabulary when playing with an advanced
lines, try adding your own lines by altemating every pianist or guitarist. Often, your credentials as a
other chorus. lf you have a friend who plays piano, Jazz player will be assessed by how well you are
have him play the chords while you play the lines. able to negotiate the Blues form. As you mature
Record yoursel playing these progressions. The and gain more experience, you will notice elements
Blues will always be a part o the required repertoire
of the Jazz musician. Practice playing through various alterations, as you will need to have them in

of the Blues inds its way into other forms of music.


The Blues is an inectious sound! Do not neglect it.

101

ETUDE 14

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Llnes On Rhythm Changes - Simple To Complex


Rhythm Changes
Rhythm Changes, in addition to the Blues, is also a
very important form for the jazz musician for
improvisation. This form is the same as the chord
progression in the popular George Gershwin song,
I Got Rhythm, hence the name Rhythm Changes.
The typical song form length is 32 measures with
four eight measures phrases. Letter A repeats,
Letter B is called the "bridge," or middle section
bridging the A sections. lt is commonly called an
AABA form. Not all songs are AABA, but there are
thousands of examples. I suggest that you begin
noticing the form that yrou are playing each and
every time. Understanding the form will help you
learn tunes faster, which ultimately will get you
deeper into the music faster.

! purposely put little or no rhythmic variations in


these rhythm changes. I would like you to attempt

to play them as is and see if you will be able to think


of where you might employ your own rhythmic variations. Use the thought process discussed earlier.

Bass line #2 is quite different in that it begins with a


!! - V cycle of Fifths starting on the sharp four chord
of the key. This progression was originated by the
Be-bop player to have an even more interestihg
playground to improvise upon.
Progressions #3, #4, and #5 are without any chord
symbols of any kind. They are definitely still there,
but I want you to put them in. Play through them
several times to figure out what chords I might have
used for the basis of these lines. Go to the piano
and see how they work with the choices you come
up with. Write them down. Listen to them. Record
them. This mental homework will help develop your
harmonic awareness. As you study the Blues,
Rhythm Changes and the forthcoming Lines on
Standard Tunes, you will acquire the harmonic tools
that are the integral ingredient of the master creative Jazz musician.

Dexter Gordon Quartet, Estoril Jazz Festival, portugat, lg1g


George Cables - piano, Dexter Gordon - Tenor Sax, Eddie Gtadden

1C2

drums, Rufus Reid - bass

Photo by Joo Freire

WALKING BASS L'NE CONSTRUCTION

1.

Q? ,o,*t,

Ql

(our17

tc? I

p?

1c"ur

t1)

103

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

2.

!'

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M
0

ui1

lr

0ri7

Qr

Qbt

Qo

fii

Qo

b
t

Qr

It

0r

It

ltot lt

U'

@A

!r

Qttrt

Qr
I

Qui?

(trl

0l

0rd?

ltwt

lt
a

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

6'
EL

-----f t

-r

@
.-------t

tt

II

6'

t-

__l___-_-----E-t-105

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

4,

6'

6'

106

TIT-

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WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

6'

6',
LI

ru

1T

-a=

107

ETUDE

15

Walking Lines On Standard Progressions


!t is important to outline the sound of the progression as quickly as possible for the listener to be
secure with the information heard. Remember, your
first listeners are the members of your ensemble.
Each and every song has something very unique
about its construction that will stand out. Your job is
to identify what it is and remember it. This song has
32 measures. The orm is AABG. lt is different and
no other song is or sounds quite like it.

The key is G minor, however,


minor,
the irst chord is
which is the Four chord o the
1.

Key.

2. Ascertain the

l'

know or care what key you are singlng it in.


Though, at that moment, you are singing the
sound" of this song. lt will sound the same no matter what key it is in. Exactly!! Practice this process
and you will have a higher percentage of retention
of songs you wish to leam. Confirm the sound of
these tunes you are leaming at the piano. Sing the
same notes that you are playing at the piano.

Transer that

knowledge to your
bass. Sing the
the
melody
song out loud
while playing the
root tones. Sing
in tune and you
will play better in
tune. Be clear to
yourself. Do this
very slowly so you
can align the top
melody and the
bass melody.

ori?

of

structure.

How many similarities? Notice

that the chords for the irst


eight measures arg the same I
aJtne second eigtri.-l
-
3. The chord at letter B is one

whole step higher than


Key. lt happens to be
chord in G minor, rryh'ih is A
Half-diminished.

4. Letter C is almost the same


as B, but in the measures 27 oA
and 28, there is a ll - V
sequence that occurs or the
first time, which

sb

bo

wil! help you sustain and survive


on the bandstand.
Sing out loud
when you are out
walking or driving.

o?fi9l

the final

ln this 32 measure song, you must remember


these four significant things. They are keys to open
the song up to you. lf you think of them as specific
entities, they will help you when you get lost,
instead of overloading, trying to remember every
single chord in every single measure.
To make this process truly be successful, you
should also learn to sing the actual melody of the
song. Then you must learn the sound of the bass
melody, which is the movement of the BIG LET-

This is truly the


ear training that

There is no short cut to learning tunes except in


real playing situations. lf you play tunes daily,
repeatedly, you will make great strides in tune
retention. The bi-product o aIl of this singing, writ-

ing,transcribing, etc., is that you will have the ability


to hear and identify chord sounds, chord progressins, harmonic sequences and rhythmic similarities. Get friendly with that piano and you will
become more connected to your bass. This functional knowledge will travel with you.

TERS or the root tones of the chords. Sing them as Study these next few bass lines and then compose
well. Think of the chord tones as the major routing you own, alternating every other chorus. When you
or boundaries of this playground you wish to play in. are having trouble retaining a song you like and
It may seem a bit elementary at first, but it willwork.
want to !eam, identify its unique elements and
Take note that when you sing a song, you may not

108

these songs wil! stay with you.

WALKING BASS L]NE CONSTRUCTION

This is a bass line to a very old French folk song upper positions. Be sure to pull the sound out
called Autumn Leaves, by Joseph Kosma. This dynamically by using more weight rom the right
song is loved all over the world and should be arm and hand. Use similar weight when in the
included in your list of tunes to know. Practice this lower notes from the open A on downward to the
line to keep tho sound ull throughout the lower and

low

E.

(1

0ui?
t-

obo

Ai
at

tr-

Qxi?

O?({el
t-

bo

|a-

t.

7-----T

Listen closely to create a balanced line.

ta

(1

ebo

?bo

t-I|.

trrL

o?fie)

Qni?

t-

o?ffil

0ri?

(1

3bo

bc

t-

o?fiel

ebo
at^

At

o?b')

o?fiel

,
-r--.---.------r

g*i1

L)--

?(15)

oful

'109

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCNON

Bass line #2 is an upper position workout. Keep


your shifting precise and close to the fingerboard.
Remember to use the weight of the right arm to pull
the upper notes out of the bass.

As you become more proficient with these lines,

start adding your own rhythm embellishments to


enhance the line.

2.

cui?

o?(lt

o?ltl

o?ffi)

.bo

110

Qxi?

o?ill

Qrl?

c?0$l

rri7

8bli51

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

This walking line is based on the popular song by


Rodgers and Harl, Have You Met Miss Jones?'
The structure is basically A A B A. Notice the two
measures before Letter B' the ll-V in the key o Bb'
which is different than measures 7 & 8, which is in
the key o F' Letter B starls on the Four chord o the

3.

(n

key. Also notice the similarities of the harmonic

movement in letter B. Finally, the song arrives at


"home'' at masures 3'l & 32' on the repeat, try
inserting notes to depict the altered changes in
parentheses for a harmonic surprise.

r#'

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6'ro

Q?

14rr-r

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c?

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go

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st"i$ni?

uern-rone

i. Afri?

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gbo

07

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111

WALKNG ass r.lNE coMlTRlrcTit{

These next two pages illustrate anothe excellent This structure is A A B C and ls 36 measures.
chord progression from Jerome Kern's, All The ldentiy the
of:particular significance. This will
"'"69
popular
you
Things You Are. lt is very
because it has help
to retain th form. Notice lh (home"
a wonderful harmonic playground for improvisation. areas circled for each ight measure phrase.

4.

0ni?

@'

Fri?

bri?

bl

F*uil

0*'ril

0il{el

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Version #5 has some harmonic surprises in meas- well wilh the correct melody. Jazz players are
ures 3, 11, 27 and 34. Thse changes slip out and always altering things harmonically, but the correct
back into the key quickly to add color to the line. melody should always be prevalent without any
The changes have been altered, but also work very harmonic clashes or undesirable dissonances.

5.

6t

lr

luil

0ril

Qr

Ani?

Qr

Ab^)

0o

oil?

Ab

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Qo

fiMt

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61

'I

13

ETUDE 16

Developing Latin Bass Concepts


Bass lines and bass patterns in a Latin concept

require indepth study as in any other form o music


to execute it correctly. Correctly means when you
are able to not only understand, but can function
playing in a truly authentic setting. lf you are asked
to join in again, you must be doing it well.

Duke Ellington introduced flavors of the music of


many of the countries he visited in much of his
music. Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most notables to embrace and incorporate the music from
Africa and Cuba with the Be-bop style. All of this
new music has a deep history. To play it well you
must study from the source. The best way is to play
with people who live and breathe the style to get
inside of it. World music is very interesting to the
creative player. American Jazz players are paying
much more attention to the details of these different
orms, which enables them to meld it into their own
style. These next few examples are to get you started in the numerous Latin styles. I list some books

on this subject in the back of the book. To listen to


the real thing, check out the recordings of Master

musicians such as lsrael "Cachao'' Lpez, Carlos


Del Puerto, Andy Gonzales, Tito Puente, Eddie
Palmieri, Clare Fischer, Ray Barretto and "Chucho"
Valdez.

The music from Brazil also has given

palette to the jazz player. Saxophonist Stan Getz


became even more popular by introducing the
Bossa Nova style to his music. Master musician
and composer Wayne Shorter collaborated with

Milton Nascimento. Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joo


Gilberto, Sergio Mendes, and lvan Lins, to name a
feq have beautiful compositions that iazz players
gravitate to.

There is no real excuse for any of us to play these


styles poorly. ! suggest that you add these techniques to your arsenal. You will definitely have fun.

Dizzy Giltespie Atl Stars, Umbria Jazz Festival, Perugia, ltaly, 1989 Photo by Pieroni Carlo
Dizzy Gillespie - Trumpet, Phil Woods - Alto Sax, Bobby Hutcherson - Vibes
Cedar Walton -Piano, Steve Turre - Trombone, Mickey Roker' drums, Rufus Reid - bass

114

another

WALKING BASS LINE CONSTRUCTION

Simple Basic Bossa Nova

lo>

*i|h'i'Bossa

Nova

0${tel

Alfl

Bossa Nova

q!!f

lo o' ,lo

Qr

Calypso

Son Montuno

Aa

Aro combinations

lu

Af ro

$ui,l

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combinations
115

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY
These following exercise will take you up and down
and across the fingerboard. Notice the fingering
patterns. Memorize each pattern. The key of the
pattern is the first note of that pattern. Notice where
identical patterns occur at different places on the
fingerboard.

All etudes can be played with or without the bow.


I urge you to practice both. When you tire of one,
do the other. Watch yourself in front of a mirror to
check your body posture and hand positions. Al! of
these can also be played with the electric bass.

Eddie Harris Concert Rehearsal, Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago, lL, 1981
Eddie Harris - Tenor Sax, Wilbur Campbell - Drums, Rufus Beid - Bass

116

Photo by Milt Hinton

DEVELOPING DEXTEBITY

Etude 17

Harmonic Patterns
mm J =96

l^

-=- 9-__
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r--......-4

:-----

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ETUDE 18

.DEVEI-OPI}IG DEXTERITY

Cycle of Fifths

This is a bass line in the pattem called a Cycle o pattern in songs that you leam. lt is iust another
Fifths using the ll7 - V7 progression. Through rep- important sound in your vocabulary that witl help
etition, you will learn to recognize the sound of the you function t a higher level.

(1

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11

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ob

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b

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81

ETUDE

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

Dexterity ln Octaves
ln making the shlfts, release just enough pressure strengthen your hands which will give you stamina.
to slide to the next note. Notlce it lays quite easy. Work at this diligently. Remember, these can be
The ollowing Etudes are designed to make you played with or without the bow, and on the electric
move throughout the ingerboard. They will bass.

J J

DON'T LOSE CONTACT WITH THE FINGERBOARD


Now add the fifth scale tone

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

Whole Tone Octaves

1.

OCTAVES

2. UPPER BRACE

These are three in one exercises. Pattern number


one should be played in the manner of Etude 19.
For pattern number two, play only those notes that
are connected to the upper brace. For pattern number three, play only those notes that are connected
to the lower brace. The ingerings and the shifting
symbols for pattern number one will be placed
above the upper brace. They are not the fingerings
for the notes of pattern two. The fingerings beneath
pattern number three are for that pattern only. The
fingerings for pattern number two, can be found in
the scales in the front of the book. Go slow at first.

3. LOWER BRACE

lncrease gradually. Follow fingering and shifting


symbols explicitly. Keep the Left hand into the fingerboard. When the octaves are played in tune and
your shifting is seamless, a wonderful huge sound
is created. At times, it may even sound like you are
playing another octave lower.
Play all your scales using this octave sound. The
patterns given are for the Whole Tone scale, Major
scale in Thirds, and the Diminished scale and
arpeggios.

Bass Ensemble ln Concert, Jazz lt Up! Willowbrook Mall, Wayne, NJ, 1989 Photo by Jo Ann Krivin
cecil McBee, Harvie swartz, Jamil Nasser, Rufus Reid, Jay Leonhart, Ray Drummond -Basses

Dick Katz - Piano, Ben Riley - Drums

120

DEVELOPING DEXTERIW

Whole Tone Octaves

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121

DEVELOPhIG OEXTERITY

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122

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DEVELOPING OEXTERITY

Whole Tone Scales

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123

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

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124

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DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

Major Thirds in Octaves

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125

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

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126

DEvELoPlNG DEXTERrY

Major Thirds in Octaves

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127

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

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128

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DEVELOPING DEXTERIW

Major Thirds in Octaves

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129

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

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Dimlnished Arpeggios ln Octaves

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'131

DEVELOPING DEXTEBITY

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132

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DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

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133

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

Diminished Scales in Octaves

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DEVELOPING DEXTEBITY

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DEVELOPING DEXTERIW

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136

DEVELOPING OEXTEBITY

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137

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

ETUDE 20

Finger Dexterity
I

,--b--

-l----24

,-b----t

.-r---tN---.

214424

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,_l_

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a-'"=

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b:r-g-1
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138

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r_l

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ETUDE

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

21
Left Arm Pivot Exercises

139

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

Etude 21 Continued

140

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

Etude 21 Continued

141

DEVELOPING DEXTEBITY

Thumb Independence

This exercise will help you use and develop the


mobility of your thumb. The two chord types used
are minor and major. only triads are used, but an
implication could be thought of as a ll-V progression. When moving to the C, pivot on the lhumb and

QuiT

Qxi?

when moving to the E, pivot on the irst inger' Be


sure your arm and elbow are kept high so that you
arg on top o the strings. Listen careully for good
intonation when moving tho thumb.

q?

0?

-IarE-yiE

-\is#
142

DEVELOPING DEXTEFITY

THUMB POSITION SCALES & CHORDS


ln playing these scales, you do not have to move or
shift your arm. The only movement is the individual
inger designated by the fingering notation.
Practice slowly and deliberately. Once you learn
and memorize the ingerings and the harmonic
sound they produce, move chromatically or any
increment you choose. No matter where you play
the scale it will always have the same identical
sound. The dexterity obtained will deinitely begin
to liberate you from the mental shackles that is usually presenl when addressing the upper positions
on the double bass. Your agility will increase and
your bass lines will soar with this increased stability
in the thumb positions.

T 31T31

13T

Next' mov this whole pattem over to the D string.


The sequence will now take you across the A and E
strings. Do not just play the scales and be done.
Think of them as material to maneuver through a
speciic sound. Make up your own patterns and
melodies in this position.

Practice slowly so that the muscles in your limbs,


your left shoulder particularly, learn that there is
something new that must be remembered. Keep
the posture in the left hand. Remember, move the

entire arm and the hand and fingers go along or the


ride. The weight o the entire arm is what is keeping the string pressed down on the string, NOT the
fingers!

1 T313

'I T313

143

DEVELOP!NG DEXTERITY

T 13

31T32T3223T2

T 23

3 T 13

T21

Qo

21 T 3 13 T 12r

12

2 1T2
1T

31T31T3223T13T13

Thumb position execution

Thumb position mid point

Thumb position moving upward

144

2
3

3
3

ETUDE 23

The Sound o Tenths

Major Tenths fingering in the lower position

Major Tenths ingering in the upper position

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

The sound of Tenths is very beautiful on the bass.


!t functions beautifully because of the Root tone
and the Third tone played an octave above. When
played in tune, Tenths produce a very satisfying

quality to the music, any music, whether it is incorporated in a bass Iine or played independently during a solo. Practice slowly and concentrate on the
pitch and the total sound that is produced.

2412
2424

01
01

42
42

1242
2442

Practice the top fingering or dexterity so that you


can control your fingers. The bottom fingering notation will be more useful for practical use. Practice
these slowly. Play them without the slur !n the
beginning until you begin to hear allthe notes clear-

ly. These are easier to play on the electric bass, but


do require some dexterity to move about them
freely. I think you will like the sound of these and
perhaps when you get them under your ingers you
will be able to employ them in your lines and solos.

Notice the third finger ls employed. Use it and begin


to develop strength in it. Rernember to keep contact
with the string and fingerboard at all times. Your

recovery to the F is important to keep the line lowing. Practice it slowly and watch your hand carefully so it can learn what it must do.

2312
2323

32
32

146

232
3 3

simile

DEVELOPING DEXTERIW

Use the middle, (3rd ) finger and thumb of the right


hand to get a balanced attack on both strings. Use
a downward stroke horizontal to the fingerboard to
make the strings move more rapidly for a longer

sustained sound. lf you choose to play a short,


plucked sound, use the same fingers with an outward stroke perpendicular to the fingerboard. The
thumb and the third inger gives you power.

147

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

DEVELOPING DEXTERlTY

Thumb Workout

IJ

Lri l,r

T 3 <-T3

r T

-N-l-

,-b--_,

,_N_

_N-____

,-N----

,-N--

,-b-----

_$_ ,_N__ ,_b_

149

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

-N- r_b---- -=N- -9--,


-b- ,-$-_.

150

-l-----,

,--b---

-l---.-

-g-

,-b---- --g--$----, -$------

,-$-----

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

Speed Patterns in Fourths


This exercise is designed to help develop playing
quickly across the strings using the interuals of
Fouilhs. lt will give both hands a good workout
while getting acquainted with the sound that it can
produce. There are many ways to utilize this sound

playing through diatonic harmony. Master musician, saxophonist, Eddie Harris, developed his style
utilizing fourths combined with diatonic harmony.
His composition, Freedom Jazz Dance, is a great
example of how to use fourths in a melodic manner.

151

DEVELOPING OEXTERITY

+
fe

152

DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

ETUDE 26

Advanced Augmented Patterns

l+

Q+

o 4 21

14

21

41

214

412

124

12

Q+

2142

12

Ab,

41

214

2'l

4 212

41

2't42412

21

32

24

2'1 32

2142124

42

124

2',t4

't 421

12

Qh*

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31

124

12

214212

242

'l 42

12

41

153

DEVELOPING DEXTERIW

21
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421

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1243
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123

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321
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42

40
r-=--

154

142
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DEVELOPING DEXTERITY

124

r-a

421

Jack DeJohnette Special Edition, ltaly 1986 photo by LuigiTazzari


Jack DeJohnette - Drums, Howard Johnson - Tuba & Baritone Sax, John Purcell - Tenor Sax,
Greg Osby - Alto Sax, Rufus Reid - Bass

155

solorsilc coNcEPTs
ln popular music the bass evolved from the tuba in
Dixieland music. lt was basically a rhythm instrument with an oom-pah type of sound. lt did function
harmonically, but it was very basic. As music progressed through the years, it began to become
more harmonically complex. People began to play
melodies on the bass. Jimmy Blanton was one of
the first to be recorded playing melodic solos, with
the Duke Ellington Orchestra. lt seems to me this
was the real beginning of a bassist moving toward
the front line projecting melodies like a horn player.

The technical skills used to improvise is something


that can be taught to almost everyone. However,
the elements that make the listener be moved and
captivated are intangibles. ln recent years books
have been written to guide you, such as this one.
You will actually be able to learn the most by association. Getting out and applying these techniques
in a real playing situation is the most important thing
you can do. I encourage you to listen with an open
mind to everyone. Even those people you do not
particularly care for. There is always something you
can learn, even if it be what not to do. ln most
instances we don't like what we don't understand.
Your musical preferences will most likely change as
you become older.

suggest listening to horn players as well as other


bass players for ideas. This definitely will stimulate
fresh ideas for you. Again, ! feel the more knowledge you have of the keyboard, the better off you
will be as a bassist and in your development as a
soloist. Remember that first of all you are a bass
player. You are the soul and heart of an ensemble.
It has been my experience that when your bass
playing alone can satisfy whoever you are working
with, then your soloistic efforts will be accepted.
honestly feel that if you begin to think with this concept always at the forefront of your consciousness,
you will project it to others.
I

This next brie section is another concept for those


players who have already begun to search in these
areas. We all want to be able to solo and all the
time. The various styles of soloing should compliment the style of the music being played. The walking bass line could be thought o as soloing all the
time. lf you transpose your bass lines into treble
clef and have a flute or trumpet play lt, it should be
the same beautiful melodic phrase. Bass players

have the unique distinction o having a dual personality and get away with it. ! do think that when your
bass lines are truly sounding melodic, so will your
solo playing.

! feel if you begin to play through these simple

etudes wlth some facility you will be able to connect


some of your melodic thoughts so that your solos
will begin to have symmetry and form. Going
through calisthenics on the bass is just not enough.
156

Dexter Gordon - Tenor Saxophone


Keystone Corner, San Francisco, CA 1979

Rufus Reid - Bass

solotsTtc coNcEPTs

ETUDE 27

Melodic Cadence Phrases

ETUDE 28

Cycle o Fiths

q0-3b
ey'.

eb ,^b ob .qb
)z Lne,/s ,b+

s
t

157

solorsTrc coNcEPTs

ETUDE 29
v7 -l

c7

37

07

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bc

sb'

qt
b

ETUpE 30
v7 -l

ETUDE 31

il-v7-t

orTQt co

g,b^' al?

158

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er

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ETUDE 32

solotsTrc coNcEPTs

Dominant Flat Nine Patterns

o'{fi

159

Bass Duets

City Slicker
Elegy
Almost But Maybe
Perpetual Stroll
No PIace ls The End o The World
Waltz For Doris
It's The Nights I Like
These tunes work well for two basses. Work on
balancing the sound so that both players can be
heard equally. Take turns soloing and being the
bass player on the progressions. Be creative,

Hinton

Rufus Reid and Milt


Photo by Jo Ann Krivin
New Jersey Network Television Studio, 1987

160

make up your own introductlons and endings after


you have spent some time with them. ! hope you
enjoy them.

BASS DUETS

Otrv ulct?

Bass Duet

By Ruus Reid
@ 1989

ASCAP

Recorded By TANAHE ID-"PASSING THOUGHTS"


Concord Jazz-CCD-4505

)=155

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161

BASS DUETS

ueqv

BASS DUET

By RUFUS REID
1982 ASCAP

Recorded ByTANAREID -"YOUFIS AND MINE"


Concord JazzCCD-444O

Med. Samba Groove

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BASS DUETS
ELEGY -

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163

BASS DUETS

BASS DUET

Samba

AuuoEr 6ur

Feet )=720

by RUFUS REID
@ 1972

ASCAP

Flecorded by Michael Moore & Rufus Reid "INTIMACY OF THE BASS"


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Transcriptions o Recorded Solos

NIGHT CAP

NO PLACE IS THE END OF THE WORLD


TR!CROTISM

EMBRACEABLE YOU
BAT'S BLUES
YOU'RE MY EVERYTHING
This chapter ofers a few transcriptions of my solos
on some recordings that ! have made over the
years. I hope you enjoy reading through them. To
get the full enrichment from them, obtain the
recording. You will hear a great deal more than
what I am able to put down on paper.
Transcribing solos has always been an integral part
of getting close to a persons playing. The best way
to transcribe is to listen enough times to learn it

completely aurally, singing or whistling out loud. !n


doing it this way first, you get totally involved before
employing the academic side of transcribing.
Next try to play what you have been singing with all
of the dynamics and nuances. Once you have successully achieved playing, now you may try to write
it down so that it can be archived. !f you are a slow
reader and/or writer of muslc manuscript, you will
eventually get better through this process.

Stan Getz Quartet, Umbria Jazz Festival, Perugia, ltaly, 1987 Photo by Pieroni Carlo
Stan Getz - Tenor Sax, Kenny Barron - Piano, Victor Lewis - Drums, Rufus Reid - Bass

173

TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

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by Eddie Harris

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TBANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

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175

TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS


Bass Solo by
Rufus Reld

No Pulal3 *e Hoo Ttlocuo


Recorded By Ruua ReldTrio on "PERPETuAL sTRoLL"
Sunnyslde Communicatlon$ SSC-O27-D

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TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

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177

TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

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TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

2 Tricrotism

fii

Just a bit o trivial


The word lricrotism comes rom the medical term tricrotic. lt's deinition is:
Having three sphygmographic waves or elevations to one beat o the pulse.

179

TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

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Transcrlbed By
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TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS


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TRANSCHIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

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TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

Solo by Ruus Reid

ugclaeuue Vou

Transcribed by

John Goldsby

Recorded by TanaReid
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piano solo begins

183

TRANSCRIPTIONS OF HECORDED SOLOS


ian3crlbed byA'Lm Llnz

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184

TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

Soto By Ruus

Rgld You'? lrlrr ue?l{lNq


by
Harry waron

Transcrlbed By
Adam Linz

'"Doublobass oelights.. Michaol Moore & Ruu3 Reld


R3cordd on Double-Tamo Rocorda. DTRco_l17

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185

TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDED SOLOS

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Fom Joe Henderson 'THE STANDARD

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TRANSCRIPTIONS OF HECORDEO SOLOS

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187

ln each category l have listed signiicant bass players that you should know or at least know of their exis_
tence. These players represent only a small portion of the many excellent bassists on recordings' They
also represent many different styles and concepts of this music we call Jazz. For further inquiry, try
searching the internet ( http:www.allmusic.com ) in the Jazz category by a specific name:
Jimmy Blanton &
Duke Ellington IN A MELLOTONE
HCA LPM 1364
DUKE ELLINGTON & ORCH

colUMBtA 35322
Slam Stewart

LIONEL HAMPTON ALL STARS


Oecca DL 74194
BOWIN' SINGIN' SLAM
Savoy MG l2067

lsrael Crosby

Ahmad JamalBUT NOT FOR

ME

MCAg'IO8

osca Pettiord
ESSEN JMZ FESTIVAL ALL

STABS

Fantasy 86015
STAHDUST Belhlehem BCP-33
MEMOFIIAL ALBUM

Prestige PR 7813
MY LITTLE CELLO

chales Mlngus

MY FAVOFIITE OUINTET
Fantasy JWSS
LET MY CHILDREN HEAR
MUSIC ColumbiaKC-31039
OUAHTET AND MAX ROACH
Fantasy 86009

TOWN HALL CONCERT


Fantasy JWS9
Ray Brovn
ALL STAR BIG BAND
Verve V6-8444
Verve V6-8615

Oscar Peterson - AFFINITY


Verve 68516
osca Peterson WEST SIDE STOHY
Verve 68454
Oscar Pelerson -

WE GET REQUEST

Veve V68606
osca Peterson THE SOUNO OF THE TRIO
Verve UMV 2078
Ouincy Jones -

WALKING IN SPACE
A & M SP3o23
AND LAURINDO ALMEIDA
Ceniury City 80102

BILL EVANS AT THE

oJc-1s8
TALKIN' Capri 74016
oJccD-318-2
Gary Pacock

MONTREUX

Bob Cranshaw
LEE MOBGAN - SIDEWINDER

Percy Healh
Modern Jazz Quatet LIVE AT THE LIGHTHOUSE

Note 84157
rollins & Co. -

Embryo SD521

Blue Note 84044

STANLEY TUHHENTINE WITH


THE THFlE souNDs
Blue Note 84057

OUARTESCENCE

Van-Los Music VLM3608

Paul Chambers
CHAMBERS - BASS ON TOP

Charlle Haden

Prestige7142

cTt 6037

FUNNY VALENTINE

csgt06

Miles Davis - FOUR AND MORE


Columbia CS9253
Hebie Hancock MAIDEN VOYAGE
Blue Note 4195
Hall & Ron Carter -

ECM 1663

BEYOND THE MISSOURI


Verve 314-537- 130
HanK Jones . STEAL AWAY
314-527-249
Ornetle Coleman

THE SHAPE OF

COME

Capri 74018
THIS ONE'S FOR BLANTON

Pablo 2310-721
Geoge ouvivie

Bnny caler 'L|VE AND WELL


IN
OJC - 736
Oliver Nelson
STRAIGHTAHEAD OJC.Ogg

JAPAN

OJC.325

Hal Galpsr - INNER JOURNEY


Mainslream 398

Bugl] Wlliams

Herbie Hancock -

FAT ALBERT ROTUNDA

JMZTO

Alantic 1317
Richad Dav|8
Eric Dolphy memorial Album -

ALONE TOGETHEB

Bichard Davis & Elvin Jones

lmpulse 49160
Thad Jones & Mel Lewis-

Waner Bos. s'l834


Hebie Hancock -

CENTRAL PAHK NORTH


solid stats 18058
Scott La Faro
Bill Evans - SUNDAY AT THE
VILLAGE VANGUARD

PRISONER

Blue Note ST84321


Crusaders -

Mileston 9034

Dexte Gordon -

Prestige 0051

cAPUFANGE

Blue Note 81581

Cecll McBee
UNSPOKEN

PALMETTO 2023
Pharoh Sanders
lmpulse S-9206
chales Lloyd -

THEMBI

FOREST FLOWER
GEONGE MRAZ
DUKE'S PLACE

Milestone 9292
Archie Shapp- BLUE BALLADS
Venus TKCV-79307

Michael Moorc

Michal Mooe & Bill charlap


Concord CCD 4678

OOUBLE BASS DELIGHTS


Doub|e-Tim DTBco -117
THE INTIMACY OF THE BASS
Double-Time DTRC-158
Ray Drummond
CONTINUUM

Arabsque AJol

l1

IDRIS MUHAMMAD

NOW

Concord CCD-4806-2

ONE MORE ANGEL

NIELS-HENNING ORSTED
PEOENSON
OOKING AT BIRD

scs

LAGE VANGUARD

John Palltucci

Wor|d Paciic 20136

Mloslav vltous

OF BLACKNESS

Theresa Recods TR 110


Tom Harrell - SAIL AWAY
c-14054
Contsmporary

POWERHOUSE

HEAVY SOUNDS

Hivrsido 376

1011

POINTS OF VEIW

dPat Metheny

ECM1022

Sonny Rollins - NIGHT AT VIL-

Davis -

ECM

Note 46638

stanley clake
CHILDBEN OF FOREVER

wilbu ware

BLUES FARM
cTt 6027
ALL BLUES

Blue Note 81569


WHIMS OF CHAMBEBS
Blue Note 81534
ALONE TOGETHER
MILES DAVIS AT CARNEGIE
Milestone 9045
Columbia CL1812 STANLEY TURHENTINEMilos Davis - KIND OF BLUE
cTl 8006
Columbia CS8163
Dave Holland
BAGS & TRANE Atlantic 1368
FOR TWO BASES

SOULTRANE

Blue

FOREVER

UPTOWN CONVERSATIONS

WALKIN'

SOMETHIN' ELSE

Jog Hendeson - lN PUHSU|T

Eddie Haris - lN soUND

Atlantic S-1231

Cedar Walton Trio A NIGHT AT BOOMERS, VOL.1


Muse 5010
Cannonball Adderly

Polydo PD5531

Ron carle

Sam Joneg
WES MONTGOMERY AND
FHIENDS Milestone4Tol3

chick coea - RETUHN To

E BRIDGE
HCA LST 2527

FONTESSA
Mils Davis
oJc 213

JMZ FESTIVAL

Vrvg V68762
B|II Evans - SIMPLE MATTEB
Veve 68675

Bill Evans - TFIIO 'O4


Verve V68578
Keith Jarrett-STANDARDS
ECM 21289

Ailantic S- 1486
Modem Jazz Ouartet

Evidencg 22208

BILL EVANS ALBUM


30855

Veejay 2503

SUPEH BASS

188

THIS IS HAMPTON HAWES

loN

HALL

ANO MILT JACKSON

BATTLE

Eddle Gomez

Andrew Slmpkins
The Thse sounds - MooDs

Fantasy 86010

SOUL

Red illtchell
Presenting Fled Mitchell

1149

Chick Coroa - NOW HE SINGS,


NOW HE SOBS
solid srate 18039
Miroslav Viious - INFINITE
SEAHCH
Embryo 524
Reporl -

ccD-4753-2

HEART OF THE BASS


stretch Becods' lnc. sTD-l101

chlstlan McBride
FINGEBPAINTING
Vervo 856
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Veve 557 554

NUMBER TWO EXPRESS

Vervs 314 529 585

SELECTED ELECTRIC BASSIST


Monk Montgomery
(Firsl recorded jazz electic bassist)
BASS ODYSSEY
Chisa CS 806
IT'S NEVEB TOO LATE
Philadelphia lnt'l
Chuck Rainey
Robrta Flack _ oUlET F|RE
Allantic S1594
Ouincy Jones - WALKING lN SPACE
A&M 3023
James Jameson
Marvin Gaye - WHAT'S GOIN'ON?
Tamila 5310
Richard Evans
DEALING WITH HARD TIMES
Atlantic SD 1604
Wilton Felder
The Crusaders 2nd CRUSADE Blue Thumb BTS7000
Stanley Clarke
STANLEY CLARKE
Nemperor Flecords-1 974

Jaco Pastorius
JACO PASTORIUS
Eberhard Webel
THE COLOURS OF CLOE
Steve Swallow
DECONSTRUCTEO
Anthony Jackson
Michel Camilo - RENDEZVOUS
Victor Wooten
A SHOW OF HANDS
victor Baily
Joe Zawinul - WORLD TOUR
John Patitucci
THE CHICK COREA ELECTRIC

Epic PE33949

ECM 1042 ST

ECM 23209

cBs

53754

Compas 74231

Zebra 44O1o

BAND

GRP 9535

SELECTED CLASSICAL DISCOGRAPHY


Gary Karr
Serge Koussevitzky - CONCERTO FOR DOUBLE BASS
cRt s-248
BASS VIRTUOSO
Golden Crest
SUITE FOR DOUBLE BASSAND PIANO
RE7O31

Francois Rabbath
RABBATH PLAYS BACH

Bertram Turetzky
THE VIRTUOSO DOUBLE BASS
Medea Records
THE NEW SOUND OF BERTHAM TURETZKY
Ars-Nova Records . 606 Raleigh Pl, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20032
Barry Green
NEW MUSIC FOR THE DOUBLE BASS
Piper Records
ROMANTIC MUSIC FOR THE DOUBLE BASS
BAROQUE MUSIC FOR THE DOUBLE BASS
Diana Gannett
LADY BASS
LBDHGgT
University o lowa, lowa city, lowa

The New Technique CD-ROM - PCIMAC


Label lmage Production
12 rue des bls' 93217 La Plaine sl. Denis cedex

ocA

FRANCOIS RABBATH,

hllp:www.labelimageproduction.r

Ludwig Streicher
STREICHEB

CBS/Sony, lnc 28AC1297

KoNTRABASS-KoNZERTE
Eugene Levinson
FRANCK SONATA in
Edgar Meyer

QUINTET

Daniel Marlier
PRESTIGUE de la

RML 8201
Red MaUliben Records
6265 Dawes Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45230

Teleunken 642621

Aw

Pro Art Digigal PAD178

Deutsche Grammophon 289-453-506-2

CONTREBASSE

8NL112876

SELECTED CLASSICAL METHOD BOOKS


A NEW TECHNIOUE FOR THE CONTRABASS -Vol. 1,2,3
By: Francois Rabbalh
Liben Music Publishers.1191 Eversole Road
Cincinnati, OH 45230-3546 . www.liben.com
Advanced Techniques o ooubl Bass Playing
By Barry Green
The Populer Bass Method
By Barry Green & Jeff Neighbor
Published by Piper company . 7991 Trracq Drive
El cerito, cA 94530

18 studies o] string

By Kreutze

Bass

Published by lntenational Music company

The Art o Double Bass Playing


By Warren Benfield & James seay Dean, J.
Summy-Birchard Company

Pulbished by

Methode comPlte or contrebasse


by Edouard Nany . pu51;.6.d by Alphonse Leduc
New Method or String Bass Part ll
by Simandl . Published by lnternalional Music Company

189

SUGGESTED BOOKS
Here are a few books that l feel would be helpul to you for many years to come. l reer to them constantly
and recommend them highly or your personal library. You will notice many ar from the same publisher.
Send or a catelog to ind more o what is available or the aspiring Jazz musician.
THE BASS TRADITION

Paot.Presont.Futute
By Todd Coolman

BOWING TECHNIOUES
For The Improvislng BeEtlst
By John Goldsby
JAZZ PIANO VOICINGS
Fo Thg Non - Pianlst
By Mike Tracy

JERRY COKER'S JAZZ KEYBOARD


Fo Planl.t and Non - Plenl3t
By Jerry Coker
JAZZ KEYBOARO HAFMONY
A Practical Mothod For All Muslclang

By Phil DeGreg
ARCOLOGY

The Muslc o Paul chamberg - Vol. - 2


By Jim Stinnett
Published By Jamey Aersold
1211 Aeborsold Drive, NewAlbany, lN 47150
http:www.Jajazz.com

BASS LINE
The Storles and Photographt o Mllt Hlnton
By Milt Hinton & David G. Berger
Publlshed By; Temple Press / Phlladelphia
OVER TIME
THE JAZZ PHOTOGBAPHS OF MILT }IINTON
By Milt Hinton, David G, Berger & Holly Maxson
Publlshed By: Pomegranle Artbooks,
Box 808022, Petaluma, CA 94975

DEEP DOWN IN MUSIC


Thc Art ot tho Grclt Jszz Be.sllt
By Leelle Gourse
Publlshed By: FRANKLIN WATTS
A Dlvlslon o Goli9r Publishing
THE ESSENCE OF AFBO.CUBAN
PERCUESION & DRUM 8ET
By Ed ulbt

Publlehed By: Warner Bros. Publications


Miami, Florida 33014

190

MELODIC PLAYING IN THE THUMB POSTTION


By Michael Moore
BRAZILIAN MUSIC WORKSHOP
By Antonio Adolo
Published By; Advance Music
VERONIKA GRUBER GmbH
Maierckerstr, 18
D-72108 Rottenburg, Germany
RAY BROWN'S BASS METHOD
By Ray Brown
BUILDING AJAzz, BASS LINE
By Ron Carter
Hal Leonard / wwuhalleonard.com

THJr.Ez P!ANo BooK


By Mark Levine
THE JAZZ THEORY BOOK
By Mark Levlne
THE NEw REAL BooK. vol' -2-3
THE TRUE CUBAN BASS
By Carlos Del Puerto & Sllvlo Vergara
THE IMPROVISOR'g BASS METHOD
By Chuck Sher & Marc Johnson
THE SALSA GUIDE BOOK
By Bebeca Maulen
SHEB MUS|C CO.
P.o. Box 445. Ptalume' cA 94953
shermuse @sonlc.net

DICK I{YMAN'S PBOFESgIONAL CHORD


c}lANoEg end 9UBST|UTIoN3 FoB
00 TuNE8 EVERY MuglclAN sHouLD KNow
Vol, 1&2
By Dlck Hyman
Publlshed By: Ekay Muslc, lnc,
223 Katonah Av'
Katonah, NY 110536

ls lt ln _ Edc'ie Hais
char|ie Pak Memoial conce(

he chase!

Allntic sDl659
cadet 60002

Prstlgs 1ool0
Gene Ammons & Dxler Godon
Kleidoscope _ Nancy Wilson
capilol sT852
Allanlic 1611
lnslanl Dealh - Eddie Harris
Allanlic 1625
Eddi Haissings Tho 8lues
Allanlic sD2311
Excusion - E(|die Haris
Mirage _ The Awakning
Black Jazz DJoo1s
lncanllion 'Tho Folonl
FoeonlPub'
ln The Foronl _ Th Forolonl
Foeonl Pub.
Sophisticated Giant Dexie Gordon
Columbia JC24989
Manhatlan synphonie'
Dexle Godon
Columbia JC35608
Lee Konitz Nonel
_
PogessiveKUX13G
Figure And spiril Le
Th Thd Jones an(l M6l Lewis ouartet
(cD a&R 0830)
Anisl House AH3
Arista Novus AN30o6
Rapporl ' Ran Blak
Muse MRs145
My Molhor's Eyes - Ella Jonos
sleeplechse scs1099
Embarkalion _ John
Marlin 2214
Street Wind - Eddie Oaniels
Bean Records BWl02
es _ Buddy Monloomory
The Matteson_Phillips Tubalazz consort A&F Rocods
Monica zenelung _
ThaC' Jons/Ml L6wis orchosla EMl 7c 062-35454
x_75' Vol l ' Henry Thradgill
Aista Novus AN3013
Dr6amstreet OR104
Coincidence Harold
Audiophile 4P142
Anything goes
- Nancy
Geal Encounters _ Dexler Godon columbia Jc35978
Finesse W2x 37484
MlTorme Live At Marly's
Mel Lewis & The Ja22 orchestra Plays Gyphon G912
The Music o Bobby Brookmeyer
xanad 182
oelawd s Blues - Billy Matchellouinll
Xanadu 181
scundum Arlm - Td Dunbar
lnnor Cily jC1080
chasin'The Bid - Helsn Morrill
Muse MR5264
Lislon To The Dawn _ Kenny Buoll
Sleepl6chaso
clean swep ' John McNeil
Concord CJ161
Circles (ons lune) - Jim Hall
Muse MR5250
Tenor For Th6 Tlmes ' Fliclry Ford
Perpelual Slroll 'Bufus neid
sunnysde commusiclions ssc ]027_0
Muse MR5256
Texlues - Alben Daby
Xanadu 187
ln The Tradition _ Bob Movl
Blue Jay sessions'Mike Metheny Hoadirsl Becords
Mith song '
sunnyside ssc1oo
Haold Danko/Rulus Reid
Too Marvolous Fo words _
Empathy Records
Joe
Two For Thg Blues Frank Wss 8 Frank
Pablo 2310-905
ECM 1244
Jack DeJohnette's Spocial
Larry o'Leno sings Billy strayhon Batlery Becods
xanadu l94
Things Unsen! _ Bob
Bayslale
New Jazzlt - An Farmer & Benny
Jack DeJohnotle's
ECM 25010 1E
Special Edilion Album
Hangin' Oul - Joo Wilder & Joe Nswman Co cotd Jazz
_
Uptown Flecords
Fo Thg Momenl Barry
Frankly Speaking concord Jazz
Frank Wess & Fank
Love ls He.e - Floslyn Burough Sunnysido SSC 1009
Conlessin'- John
Soul Nore SN1095
Mus6 Mr5317
A La Carle - Konny
Shoner ldeas - Ricky
Muse MH5314
Nights Al Th6 Kgystono Dexler Godon
Bluo Note 85112
Ljtumn ln New York - Konny Barlon
Uptonr UP27.26
You Mako M smile - Art Farme
soul Not sN1076
Nw Piclure ' Jimmy H6alh
Landrnark LLPl506
seven Minds - Ruus Reicl Tlio
Sunnysido SSC101O
Claudio! ' Claudlo Flodili
Uptown Rocords
Pogr6ss Report _
Jame6 walliams sxt6l
Sunnysido 6SC1012
clarion Echoos _ Fank Go.don
soul Not6 sN1096
classic chis conno
Fantas) C-1 4023
with n opn Hgan - sumiTonooka
Rdiant RR:'60l
Manhattran Burn - Paquilo D' Rivora
Columbia
- L66 KoniE
ldal scn
soul Note sn lttg
Jo M6ts Th6 Rhythm soctioo Horace
I']nlle*s sJP 249
Uo Fllghl - Frddig
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'Bassie & Elllnglon'- Ray
Emarcy
Fantiasy
somlhing To Livg For - Ad
HamB|us - Donald
Landmak LLP-j516

Konilz

McNeil

Danko
Harrow

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Move
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Album
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Fosler
Stubblelield
Burrell
Ford

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Bryanl
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Byrd
Nalurally.HalGalpor Bla6*hwkBKHs2$'D
nound Trip _ Falph Moore
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Shannon Gibbons
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circle - Gorge cables
contempoary c14015

Good People

Shades.

Jed Levy

Reservoir RSR105

Andrew tl I liU and ouanel


New Oullook -

Bob Schneid6rman
Golden Ealings _ Ray Bryanl
Fled Hot and Blues '
Barney Xessel

cruis]n'The'Bid

soul Nol sNt113


Rservoi RsBcD106
Emarcy 32JD-10161
ContemporaryC'14044

Bobby Hulchason
Blame lt On MY Youlh

Th Fksl Love song


Harold Danko

Landmak LLP-1517
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ContemporaryC-14042
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Gerald's People Mike Wotord Plays Gerald


Excusion ln Blue _
John Handyouael

Jazz Cily D28Y0204

Wilson

Waiting ln The Wings -

The Bob RockwellTio


Blue Moods - Ray Bryanl
Love You Madly ' Carol Sloane
Ph.O. - Arl Farmer
Elna| spiril ' Andew Hill

Discovery Ds-951
Becords 010O5

Sunnysado SSC 10350


sleplechase 31242

Emacy EJD's
conlempoary c14049
conlempoary c14055
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Emarry EJO-1023
Recods 065cD

owl

Lino - DaVe Ubman


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Felia - Jeome Barde
Tim

stoeplchaso

31258

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Sunnysids SSC 1M2
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Going Places Macholsardaby
Manla 050
coridor To Th Limils Buus Rid
sunnysid ssc1043D
Smoolh Sailing '
Rob schneidermn
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Somothing Old Somelhino New .
Bobby Roatch
Sunnyside SSC 10461
Miki - Sanpei Ohno
TFA OO1
Poinl o oepanure '
Macleline Eastman
MadKat MKCDloo2
Benny Golson Ouarlet
LRC CD90t8
Topsy - Slandard Book Freddie Hubbard
Ala ALoR-5
You Go To My H6ad - Bob Movgr
Jaz.Cinj D22YO324
Reconslucllon _ Bob Rockwoll
slBplchaso 31270
The RgalTh|ng _ caol sloan6
Conlomporary 1 4060
ouintrgy _J'J' Johnson
Live Al The Village Vanguard ,,1liles42244-2142
Yous And Mino 'TanaReid
ConcDtd Jar2 4440
500 Mils High shoko and Nornan
Bagb R6cordino co
Benny cano:
llThal Jazz-LivlPrincton
Hank Jon6s
With Tho Meridjan string
Whal lt Taks . Nick

MusicMeslerssosg_2c

ouarlt

Bignola
Gelz
Taking Timo - Sumi Tanooka
Horn ol Passion Jss Davis
seenily'stan

Love ls Nol A Gam _


Morodilh D'mbrosio

Thos oui6l Days Eddi6 Higgins Sunnysldo


J.J. Johnson Standa.ds
A City Callod Hoavsn oonald Bydlandmek
Young Men and Olds .

G6og Kawaguchi
The Moment Konny Baon Tllo
Sunup To Sundown Kenny Bu6
Passing Thoughts - TanaRsad

Sound Ckcls Asian Amoican Jazz


A Tribut

To wgs

Play-catbn

Alan

ssc

1051o

ssc

10s2D
Antillos 314-510 059

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Jazz Batll

malcy 838 770-2


Candid CCD 79502
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sunnysid

Ed Thagpn

Occasion To Risg Michol Rosewoman To


From Kik To Nal Kkl Lightsoy Tjo
A spanish Trasure -

LRc Lc cDc 9o2


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Ale Ja22 29R2.38

Khg Bocor& KICJ 40


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RsB cD

121

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Vol ll
Xing Rcords KlcJ-13l
Vivian - J.J. Johnson
concod Jazz 4521
scelAgenl Men
King Rscords KICJ 135
_
Th standad Jo
Jo Hendeson
Bod Records123248.2
Hge com6s Kai _ sumiTanool
Candid CCD 79516
Jn6 lra sloom
Taking Time -

Aabosqus RecodingsAJo107
Candid CCD 79502
Kang Records KlcJ 14o
Emarcy 514 4542

SumiTanooka

1'2
Johnson
Acouslic Romanco G6ne Bertoncini
King Records
sax Legnds Vol

Lels Hang Out - J.J.

KICJ 155
stan(lards'Rob schneidoman F6seNoir RsR co 126
Moon Over lhe World
Asaan Anican Jazz

Trao

King Records

Bop Cily - Live At Birclland Greg Abat6


L'ata _ Alvin Batist
Jazz Alive at Pitlsburgh -

KlcJ

163

Candid CCD 79513


Columbia CN 53314

Tom McKinley Tio

MMC2006

slrike A Deep chod Blues Guila For The

Homeless
Bglow zoo slean Kalsson
S6tting Tha Standard Dva Liebmen
he songs ol My Li'6

Juslica Rocords JB 0003-2


Juslic Rcords JR 0703_2
Fl6d Recods 123255_2

Fulh Brown
Focusing ln - Dan Faulk

Fanlasy RFCO-9665-2
Ciss Cross 1076CD

KBy ol The Moment -

Pelg weniger
otho Plac6s - Knny Baon

Mons Rocords CD1901


Verv6 519699-2
Evidence ECD22O75-2

Haold Ashby

criss coss Jazz 1054

Blu Motion _ TanaRoid


What Am l H6re Fo? _

'unolding'Th Poacocks

Jori B own

Juslin Tlmo Records


Uncommon Thrads _
Jay Collins
Rosrvok RsR cD 135
Brownie - Homage lo cliord Brown .
Helen
vovo 522363-2
Romombrance -Eddi lln
Vnus Jzz
Rurnour - TanaRid p|ays lho music ol
Chades Llcata
chalos Publishing cL 2
Lookinq Fol/vard Evidencg EcD 221114.2
Mol Martin Plays Bonny Cartgr
Enj ENJ-9o4!2
Ellington A La Cano Konny
MUso Mco 5435

Moill

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TanaRid

Buell
Tsutomu Kojima
Windso Publishinq WPJ.00
Hongy and Bu6 '
Kathleen Baltlo ooutche Grammophon 437 787-2
chattbox

W3v6r

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colous & Dlmenslons

Loitch
Bloom
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in lho Groovo

Rob schneidolnan

Jokn Fl9col(l6

Rosorvolr BsR

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New Yolk Bood _
Kepin'

Riloy

co

140

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ooub|o'J]m6 Rcodg

0YRco108

Tho lighl o lho Eaolo Nick Brignola

Bsservoir RSR CO 144

B9servoi RsR cD 145


"Ooublgbass' Dollghls Buus R6ld & Michel Mooe Doublg.Time OTRCD ll7
Song lor Lub ' non Jackson
Masler Mix CHECD 00115
& Butus Bold Duo
Balny Nlghl - Noll McNamaa
Bonobo R6cords 4084
Potralt in NYc - Hko Takada
H.10o3
For W Mothor - Mlkl Kono
Mlkl Rscord MK'7315
_
H6o6s J'J' Johnson
VNg 314 528 84.2
Socrel Places - Suml Tonooka
Joken BK'l03
Higher Ground - BilI Beon
Joken 8K.102
God Son - Eric Wyalt
KioO Records KICJ 3Jg
lce scap Bub6n &own io
Steoploohase 31423
Tho 8as5 orchosla - J'J'
v6No
Back To Front -Tananeb
Ev|dnce Eco 220&2
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Double.Tln oTRco 58

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concod Jaz2 4505

Tdo Kllg Rocods KlcJ_los


Mollgohry King Ac!ds KlcJ-112
Famham

Concord Jaz2 4521

191

Rufus Reid w/ Jack DeJohnefte Special Edition in ltaly 1986


Photo by Luigi Tazzari

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