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Welcome to Carol's Playing Tips


Playing Tips 101-114
| Playing Tips 51-100 | Playing Tips 1 -50

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Many of you have asked about the availability of my books, tapes, videos, and other teaching aides. Click the 'Catalog' button at right to go to pages that describe these self-help tutorials. You will also find complete pricing and ordering information there.

Enjoy - Carol Kaye


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Since these tips are gleaned from the message board I will retain that format. The difference is, you will not be able to reply directly to what you read here.


We will be keeping the message board current as of a week or so, so the messages posted here are provided as a permanent record of Carol's Playing Tips for those who might have missed the original posts. Enjoy...


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tip 100

Hi Jeff! And thanks. About muting: The way I mute the strings is by folding over a piece of felt muting (buy at the sewing section at Target, Walmart etc.) so it's doubled to a width of about 1-1/2". Take it and tape it (I use masking tape) to on top of the bridge area, but laying slightly ahead of the bridges. It won't be too loose but you will have to re-tape it tighter from time to time. Thus, it lays on top of the strings and kills the over- and under-tones, making your bass sounds more defined. You use a doubled up piece of felt *on top* of the strings when you play *only* with a pick. If you play with fingers (or even with fingers sometime and then pick sometime), then get a piece of foam about the same width, but fit *underneath* the strings, barely touching the strings. This takes some doing. You don't want the foam to mute the strings so much it gives off a "plunk" sound, yet you need it to touch all the strings relatively the same amount. The strings in all instances should ring almost as much as if there wasn't any muting at all. You'll notice an immediate difference in sound and your band will too as well as the audience noticing the bass sounding great and projecting very well too. In recording, it's a must. If you have a bridge cover and are using a doubled up piece of felt, lay it between the that rubber "mute" (that is practically useless) in the bridge cover and the strings, but....do raise the bridge-cover slightly so the strings ring....you will have to stick a couple of wedges underneath the bridge-cover so it stays up without rattling (I always used 2-3 picks). This is the sound you want, a ringing sound but without all the extraneous noises of over- and under-tones the strings get. This will work fine. You'll see my mute (with the "fancy" masking tape) in my pictures with the Aria Pro II (Steve Bailey bass), my bass w/Seymour Duncan Basslines PUs and Thomastik jazz flats.

Carol

Submitted at: 20:24 on Wednesday, July 7, 1999

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tip 99

IOW, you can best build your extended triads off the pivotal b5 dom. chord, i.e. Bb7 (Bb13, which includes the Fm9 lick going down) instead of the E7 for the Bm7-5 to E7 resolving to Am.

Carol

Submitted at: 0:11 on Tuesday, June 8, 1999

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tip 98

Ted, I assume you are speaking of jazz soloing (not walking) here. You can walk some on the extended triads too, but the main thing for soloing is knowing that you can use the minor chord 3 frets higher for the m7b5 (if there's time, usually it's only a couple of beats) Bm7b5 = Dm. Sure you can just build on the E7 too (and ignore the Bm7-5, it's almost the same chord), E7 9 11 13th (arpeggiated style), or use the Fo run starting with the E, any number of E7th combinations: E triad Bb triad E triad, the spanish lick, etc., all this will be in my "Jazz Improv" book (I know, "hurry up and finish it Carol"...doing the last phase of correlation, want to make sure I don't miss an important point here, this is a tricky book to write and put together, the engraving of music is done and corrected), etc. Listen to jazz records pertaining to this chord change pattern and you'll even hear an E+ over the 2 chords of Bm7b5 to E7 and probably the b5 sub of Fm9 too, that's because they're treating both chords as one: E7. And of course you can play the C note-scale (boring but still useable) too, but normally the m7b5 chord is of a short duration. Jazz is not like trying to fit a round peg into a round hole....it's not that exact, you can bend things to fit what you're trying to say with your improvising, and listening to jazz recordings to catch what the cats are doing is of prime importance. Yes, that is all in my new "Jazz Improv" book...but you also should listen and you can usually catch what they are doing for those chord changes. What I've just said here is probably the gist of that, so many different ideas to use. Walking wise you probably don't have a lot of time either, but do catch the Bm7b5 (walk say a Root 2nd, b3 to b5, or R b3 b5 to R for 4 beats, just R and b5 for 2 beats) to the E7(usually b9, but you don't have to play the b9, however you can by using the Fo chordal notes if it's 4 beats long, for both chords, that'll work fine too, but usually the song requires the original chordal notes on the head).

Carol

Submitted at: 11:08 on Monday, June 7, 1999

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tip 97

Just got off the phone w/Paul Humphrey...he really loved our "Thumbs Up" tape-album, said you don't need drums, it cooks w/o it. Talked about his stint w/Welk band, and is having fun bebopping now, plus a little bit of hip dixieland with Plas Johnson playing too. He called about the Nissan ad with our "Feelin' Alright" hit (reuse monies). We also discussed how easy it is to work without drums, or even keyboard - that the compositional value was more important, how everyone played together was more important than the "usual" combo or band setup. You can have all kinds of combinations of instruments, and as long as there's a groove, everyone melds together etc., it works. I wanted to add something about playing the "tune" too....you go for the whole tune, and with experience, you know what to put which where in the tune. On elec. bass in commercial music, it's always putting the statement-answer, statement-answer, statement-answer and statement-fill in with a different mood pattern totally for the bridge of a tune. You play "w/everybody" not just the drummer, or one instrument or two, but you're the framework of all the chords, the rhythm arranger of the band. The drummer has a total concept too, his framework is somewhat different tho'....and there's always a little push-pull but how much depends on the experience, the talent, and the awareness and how great the players are you play with. Sometimes it feels like a freight-train you're pushing or pulling, and other times, it feels like a super-jet sleek fun airplane, soaring so high, you're on a cloud all night. That's the difference between a great drummer/rest of the band, and someone you constantly have to "help" (or they may have to "help" you too....we're not always on the ball, it's best to tape-record your gigs, so you can tell what's happening, hard to tell in the heat of the song sometimes). Anyway, even with the best, you might get tired (I've had my share altho' I tried to always be "up" and on top of what was happening, it was my job). Just a few tho'ts.

Carol

Submitted at: 23:20 on Thursday, May 20, 1999

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tip 96

Cheryl, you did fine...the Chordal Scale helps you to hear the chordal movements and relationships. For commercial music nowadays this is invaluable. One bass student I taught for awhile, a rocker, and he got some good stuff pretty fast had been working on a song of someone else's about our 1-2 lessons and couldn't "hear" the 2nd chord of a tune he was trying learn. He was playing a vii (7 minor) chord for it (coming from the I chord) and instead it was the V9, same notes, he just couldn't hear the relationship of the 1st and 2nd chords, the I to the V9 but with a different "root"....say in the key of G, he heard the D9 as an F#m7, th't it went down just the 1/2 tone, when it went down to the D9 but with the F# in the bass, things like that that you need to be able to "hear" and better, *know* what they are. This comes from practicing the chordal scale notes, in relation to hearing the chord....always hit the Root and the top 3rd (or top minor 3rd whichever the case, major or minor chord) so you can "hear" what the total scope of the arpeggio is. No, you don't have to learn a "chordal" instrument to do this, but when first practicing the chordal scale, it does help to play the entire chord somewhere (or have someone do it for you, while you play the arpeggios). You do eventually "get it" without a backing of a chord for sure on the bass.

Carol

Submitted at: 12:26 on Friday, May 14, 1999

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tip 95

Gaye, glad you like "Thumbs Up"! Wanted to say for practicing....a lot of times, when you're first learning from my videos, you might not quite understand the overall knowledge of what to do with the theory. Just practice it, get your miles on your instrument, jam then, come back and practice some more, jam, get out and play with other people...the necessary theory comes into play without you even thinking of it, it's done its job then. Music is an art, it's not a science whereas you put one perfect piece inside another....we're all so left-brained these days w/computers, school processes, etc. but it is possible to *teach* music so people will understand it, but it is an involved "feeling" process (not scientific) and you have to have "proof" as you go along by playing in groups, jamming with people, getting out and playing gigs, using the material more and more and then you start realizing (and others are saying it too) that you're really gaining as a musician, that you're really making a *lot* of progress. My materials give you options, give you a vocabulary, give you the right notes to play so you can go out and play (instead of playing fast dumb note-scale runs to "show off" with, that's not music, that's exercise). Music is sound, and as such you need to connect your ears to your fingers with the right materials to play with others...the elec. bass supports the rest of the combo/band/soloist, and so you need a lot of different-styled lines to grasp what is good for youu and the rest of the band, you need to develop your ear (not kill it with ignorant note-scales) by using the chordal scale notes, the chordal exercises, and the focal points of the blues-rock-funk-gospel-Motown-soul lines that are prolific in my books to grasp the idea of the right kinds of notes to play and create with in these styles. It doesn't come from transcriptions, altho' you can get around your neck with some of them, but they teach you only to "copy", not how to create your own lines. I use my transcriptions (in Elec. Bass Lines No. 4) to give the idea of line development, where to put the fills, the weight of the overall tune as to continuity bass line construction (as in "Wichita Lineman" simplicity, or even the simple "Going Out Of My Head" Lettermen medley, and the soul-funk of "Feel So Bad" Ray Charles hit, and the rhythms of "Feelin' Alright" Joe Cocker hit I did), those types of uses for transcriptions, which are much different than what the general public uses transcriptions for....to learn how to "play"....which is the wrong reason. You need various lines and a general overall plan for that....which is in my books/video courses, etc. Anyway, enough of the sales talk, just wanted to bring up the "transcription" and the art vs. science subjects. Have a good day, spring is springing...but so sorry about the Okla. twisters, glad it wasn't worse.

Carol

Submitted at: 10:09 on Wednesday, May 5, 1999

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tip 94

Remember when you're creating funky-pop-blues-Motown-gospel-rock-types of lines to create mostly around your Root, 5th and 6th notes for the *Major* chords, and Root 5th b7th for your *Minor* and *7th* chords. You can always use the 3-4-#4-5 line for all chords (for Minor tho', it has to be b3-4- #4-5). And sometimes you can use the 6th in place of the 7th for the blues lines like: RR 33 55 65, those kinds of lines. The 3rd isn't used much in commercial music (kind of corny) and be sure to stay away from that 4th unless you're using it in a bluesy line for 7th or minor chords like: RR (lower 4th) 4-5-b7-R RRR (higher now) 4th 5th, those types of lines. Scale players tend to use that 4th in major lines and it's so CORNY! Just the worst, one of the reasons why i say NEVER practice scales...hurts your ears (and teaches your fingers the wrong notes to play). Really learn these notes here a LOT, so you fingers automatically play them both going up in sound and down (remember, "up" is *always* up in sound and "down" is always *down* in sound, doesn't matter how your instrument is built, it's always in "sound"). And remembeer to create 2-part lines, one line the 1st bar, a different line (both rhythmically and note-wise too) the 2nd bar, then repeat them until you hit the 8th bar where you will play a fill. My books have tons of great lines you need to learn to use, to build up your 2-part vocabulary, to get ideas from in various styles of music, just the best books yet even. No others can come close. Transciptions are OK to fool around with but they don't teach you how to create your own lines unfortunately (or how to "play with a band", you're always playing with a "record", someone else's feelings). So learn to create by getting ideas and fooling around with these notes, you'll love to come up with all kinds of great lines with them.

Carol

Submitted at: 16:53 on Thursday, April 29, 1999

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tip 93

Markus, I always used a Fender Precision with ALWAYS medium-gauge Fender flatwound strings on (never changed strings, but did wipe them all the time after a record date, always changed basses about every 2-3 years -- when the strings started going bad....no time to change strings). I never liked the Fender Jazz bass to record with. I was usually always miked, used the Fender Concert amp (4-10s), then the Versatone amps (1-12"), but now use the Aria Steve Bailey bass with the Seymour Basslines pickups (active) and the Thomastik Jazz flats strings and I get the greatest sounds, like my ol' Fender Precision in recording and for the Jazz things I play live, it also sounds great, like a little bit of Gibson Ripper mixed in. But....you have to remember, and this is ALL the time, I played with a very hard (plastic) pick, with a certain hard wrist action (with the wrist down on the string, not the string I was playing on of course but a lower string and when playing on the E string, I moved the hand off and over as if there was another string underneath), this gives you the HARD and quick (but easy) action you need for balls on the notes, strong notes --- the pinkie sort of up on the air, just the opposite of how guitar players play. ALL ACTION COMES FROM THE WRIST! And....I've always (and do now too) used a piece of FELT muting, doubled over piece of felt taped on top of the strings just a little ahead of the bridges, to dampen the over-tones and under-tones to get a fine clean sound (yes, the strings still ring, the felt just lays snug on top of the strings and does not cut off the string ring). All the studio musicians in LA in the 60s put a piece of foam UNDERNEATH (I always used the felt ON TOP of because I always played with a pick) their strings as they played with their fingers (except for a couple), again, BARELY touching the strings to clarify their sound, the strings still ring good. Will send you some attachments on my gear both then and now. Take care, keep in touch, nice to hear from you and GOOD LUCK with your recording. Remember never record with EQ, and NO compression either, always FLAT. Best, Carol Kaye http://www.carolkaye.com/ Playing Tips: http://www.carolkaye.com/cpt.htm

Carol

Submitted at: 20:11 on Wednesday, April 28, 1999

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tip 92

Playing With a Pick
Pivoting Up
Back View

 

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tip 91

Cheryl, the kind of felt muting for on top of the strings is the regular felt you buy at say Target, etc., the kind you put underneath things to keep them from scratching furniture. You fold it in half so it's about 1-1/2 or 2" wide, and tape it on top of the strings right next to the bridges. This is ONLY if you play with a pick. The foam is for finger playing and you put that underneath the strings, barely touching the strings (no, not snug as that will mute your sounds too much, you need the strings to ring), it just barely touches so you can eliminate the over-tones and under-tones which clarifies your sounds. Great for both recording and playing live. If you play with fingers and then sometimes with the pick, just use the foam underneath. The felt works only with the picking and must be on top of the strings.

Carol

Submitted at: 14:47 on Wednesday, March 31, 1999

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tip 90

My thumb is in the same place in both pics. This will help you gain the pivoting thumb technique you need for safe left-hand fingerings. And for rock-funk-blues-gospel etc. types of pop music, don't use your 3rd finger in place of your 4th finger, ever. You can assist your 4th finger with your 3rd finger and sometimes when dropping down on the same fret use your 3rd finger (underneath, speaking of sounds now, down in sound is underneath) your 4th finger R 5th R, but aside from that, finger only 1-2-4-4. When playing jazz soloing, and arpeggiating, of course you can use your 3rd finger, but never in place of the 4th finger. If you look at your wrist, you will notice it turning sideways a little to accomodate that weak 3rd finger (which shares a ligament with the 4th finger), and that (imo) causes carpal tunnel. None of my students have ever had carpal tunnel (me neither) or tendonitis, etc. The url is also one of this website's links, it's: http://sandbox.xerox.docs/bagnet/bass.html thanks to Berry Kercheval for it. Just wanted to make sure you're using the proper LH technique. I have attachments I can send you also, if you need more, just email me.

Carol <carolkaye@earthlink.net>

Submitted at: 12:02 on Saturday, March 27, 1999

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tip 89

Just to let you know, if you have a bass clef Real Book, remember the chords of "Invitation" pg. 234 are totally wrong in the bidge. When they evidently transposed from treble clef, they changed the chords, the 5th line, 3rd bar s/b Bm7th (not Bmaj7), ditto for 6th line 3rd s/b Am7th (not Amaj7), ditto for line 7th. Ugh, just can't understand how such terrible mistakes can occur...but there again, there are some bad ones here and there in the Real Books, which are the "only" books you have for the Standards and a requirement to work the better gigs with too.

Carol

Submitted at: 16:26 on Sunday, April 4, 1999

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tip 88

BTW, if you want to get off of reading tab and into the real world of reading music, my Bass I & II 2-video set, Music Reading Practice is the way to go....interesting, sort of fun to use and definitely gets you there very fast....tons of lines too in all styles, lots of studio musician reading tricks. Well, not really tricks but the correct easy approach. I dropped the antiquated 1-e-an-a ways of teaching music (counting etc.) and opted for this decades-proven system that all studio musicians use, honed it with years of successful bass teaching, and it works. So many out there tout "tab" which makes me laugh...as the ones who usually tout it, I've found, once I show them my system, they quickly discard it in favor of reading real music. Something like: you can speak words but why not be able to "read" them too like our language. I think it's always good to improve upon your skills and reading music is one way to find your real nettle of music, and be able to glean from the better books as well as the occasional chart you may have to read with a group. I can see chord diagrams for guitar players occasionally but this thumb-sucking tab (for one note at a time) is keeping ignorance in place.

Carol

Submitted at: 12:28 on Sunday, April 4, 1999

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tip 87

For jazz soloing in the blues, notice that in the key of C, when you go to the A7 chord, you can use the b5 (Eb9 -- Bbm lick), Bbm for A7, then next chord is D7, use the Am7, then for G7 you have Abm7, resolving to a G major triad for Cmaj9 chord. Try this chromatic descending chordal thinking, it's one of Joe Pass's tricks that works wonders. This is just for soloing now, not for walking on bass.

Carol <carolkaye@earthlink.net>

Submitted at: 22:39 on Saturday, March 20, 1999

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tip 86

Jay, you need the systematic study described in the 3 tutorials in my last post to get you going in the theory and chordal-thinking you need. It's no accident that you're paying attention to the other players...as a bassist walking, you do that, but you also should know how to function cyclically (chord changes) and by ear with the chordal progressions in Standards. You don't have to learn tune-by-tune to know how to walk well on Standards. But you do need to get this sytem down so you can function and then you start seeing repeats of the chordal progressions. There's a certain amount of walking basically you start off with, like: Root 2nd 3rd 5th for major chords (Root 2nd b3rd and 5th for minor chords), and many other lines like that. Just be sure to hold each note down and let each note ring (the opposite of what you do with rock, funk, pop, etc. styles). See my Playing Tips Page, but you also need the data that is contained in the 3 items below to get going with. They work, scales do NOT work. You'll be happy getting to know your true chordal notes on the bass and going from there.....it's fun, easy, and interesting.

Carol

Submitted at: 17:26 on Friday, March 12, 1999

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tip 85

Mario, the b5 of G is Db (not Dm7b5). You're correct on some of the things you wrote about, like Fmaj7 for G7 (on the stacked triads of G7 = F which extended (major chord) becomes Fmaj7). And no, you should "forget" the roots of the chrods. Too many bass players when they first try to improvise always seem to go the root of the chord (wrong, you hardly ever play roots unless it's a blues pattern you're playing in jazz improv, that's possible of course). You must learn how to use the chordal patterns, like Abo for G7 (G7 can always be changed to G7b9 which DOES have the same notes as Abo, why that's practically the first "chordal substitute" that teachers will teach you for jazz improv, altho' I don't consider it a "substitute", it's actually the same notes as G7b9 (the b9 is used in place of the root of G of course). And C+ backcyle for Fm, things like that. Mario, I think you're intellectuallizing a little too much too, you need to use the chordal patterns more. Yes, Fm being the 6th of Abmaj7 is of course used for Abmaj7 (chordal scale please note that for the chordal scale of the I chord, you can use the iii and the vi lines for the I chord). But for you just getting your chordal scales together with the Bass Video Course, don't try this just yet, you might be getting ahead of yourself. Getting the basics down first is a definite must. When you start playing over here with the jazzers Mario, you'll hear it exactly and fast with your artistry, no problem, just don't overdo the intellectualizing...it is "fun" to talk about this stuff. How to use all this for the jazz improv will be in my new book (of which Mario helped me with the transcribing of certain treble clef lines to bass clef) which has the process in that book. Will be finished very soon, and out say, about late spring. Learning this stuff (jazz improv) makes your music BETTER in all styles of music, just an observation I've had from teaching this for many years now. And also getting the jazz patterns together makes your walking just terrific....such freedom I see with players I teach who also learn jazz improv. Don't ask me why, it just does. Probably because of the creative process it opens up. And it's not hard, that's why I kind of sit and laugh a little as they discover that on their own... that's the best way to learn, sincere discovery. The teacher shouldn't hand-hold that much, but make the student (pro-students mostly here) *aware* of the process steps.

Carol

Submitted at: 11:35 on Saturday, February 27, 1999

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tip 84

Yes, the G7 - Db7b5b9 is the "tritone" but that term endears nothing in the way of education.....stop saying "tritone" to yourself and merely PLAY the patterns of the Db7 Db9 Db13 Abm Abm7 Abm9 etal. for G7. Like I say John, you're barely getting the essentials of this altogether, you're *not* ready to learn jazz improv, but the arpeggios/exercises etc. on the Bass Video Course prepare your fingers and ears to hear the *chords* with which you'll be able to walk to and put patterns to in all styles of music playing....all music is derived from this chordal theory I'm teaching (and what older teachers have *always* taught, sort of a lost art sometimes with the younger generation who grew up with almost chordless rock and roll....but there are few sharpies out there who do teach chordal movements, chordal tones, and this whole process which by the way is a WHOLE lot easier to learn than all the totally UNWORKABLE scales which don't mean beans as far as getting ready to play ANY music). And no, you dn't think "major" or "minor" that much but just that diminish lines repeat every 3 frets (the main dim. line with the passing tone is always 1 fret 2 frets etc. and the augmented is actually your "whole-tone scale" with its passing tones (but don't practice "whole-tone scales", you'll never discover how to use them. The augmented chord repeats every 4 frets with the passing tones the 2 frets inbetween....it's essential to *learn* the jazz chordal patterns that everyone uses on the augmented and then...how to use the augmented chordal patterns for chords other than just the straight augmented (like the simple G7 to C chordal resolution, you can ALWAYS substitute the G aug. for the G7 for a tighter resolution to C and the backcyle of E+ for Am, things like that). You *think* and move in CHORDS that way.....so be sure to practice what you can bassically FIRST -- intellectualizing this stuff right now (altho' your right brain "knows it") is very dangerous. You *must* train your FINGERS to connect with your EAR (and brain, notice the importance I place on those 3 things, brain LAST) first before you can go onto the next tiered level of learning.

Carol

Submitted at: 11:19 on Saturday, February 27, 1999

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tip 83

Why I teach chordal tones instead of unpractical scales is easy to understand: all music song forms are formed around CHORDS, and the bass player has to know how to funtion in chordal progressions, know what chordal notes to play and how to move them. For decades, I've had so many so-called "scale-trained" students come to me for lessons -- they can play a god-zillion amount of scales yet cannot play a simple chordal song at all. They don't even know a simple jazz blues, can't follow chords with their ears, and have NO IDEA of where their basic chordal notes are, cannot play a simple R35 arpeggio across the neck in *one* position. This belies how terrible those scale-teachers are! Some have even been taking lessons for 2-3 years and could never play ONE TUNE! Astounding and disgusting! I get them to playing a tune first lesson and many are walking good lines in the jazz chords on the blues....in one lesson! How? Simple, I teach them the basics of chordal notes, chordal scales (never note-scales). How chords move and function....and they are both angry and thrilled (angry at their past waste of time and money and thrilled to find out it was NOT THEM! That they did have talent, that they CAN learn!). Most of your bass lines are made up from chordal notes, for all styles, altho' the jazz styles require a more complete line of theory, it's still thinking in *chords*! Jazz improv (and walking lines) use mainly chordal notes with some lead-in chromatics, some b5s on the cyclic chords, and yes, even an occasional scale (rarely tho'!) for connecting the chordal notes. Pianists and trumpet players seem to overdo their jazz improv with a few scales, but if you really listen to the jazz patterns, they are formed from chordal notes, stacked triads, and the pivotal b5 chord substitutes: G7b5b9 (with the b9 replacing G), IS Db7. Db7b5b9 (with the b9 replacing the root) IS G7. No two other chords are like this. Slonimsky wrote a WHOLE BOOK based on this pivot b5 pattern use (and mistakenly named "Thesaurus of Scales"), no, it's not a "scale" book but a book of b5 patterns which even composers like John Williams, etc. Quincy Jones get some of their film screen compositional patterns from. Chordal tones of the pivotal b5 chords!

Carol

Submitted at: 23:33 on Friday, February 26, 1999

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tip 82

To get going on your jazz walking on bass, remember to practice the Chordal Scale notes going across the board (up) and back down, to get used to the chordal scale notes. Then use R235 for the major chords, R2b35 for the minor chords, or you can also use just the notes of the chords: R53R major, R5b3R minor. If you have 2 bars of some chord, remember, you can always drop down to the lower 3rd and walk it up to the 5th etc. like: R low 3 4 #4 5 #5 6 7 to the R of the same chord if you're still there. If you change chords on the 3rd bar, then you'd play this same pattern: R low 3 4 #4 5 5 R 5 (actually any scale pattern here would be quite stale, altho' you can play sometimes, a scale going down from the Root for a short distance, like R(8) 7 6 b6 5 3 R 5 something like that. It's wise to get your chordal notes together so that you can hook onto ANY chordal note (not necessarily the Root of the chord, that's always pretty corny if you're closer to another chordal note instead), and remember that 2nd sometimes too. Also, drop in an anticipated note sometimes on the 4 an. Be sure to listen to people like Ray Brown (only listen to the BEST for walking), and listen a LOT to the Standards I tape of mine too, which gets your ear used to hearing good walking note choices, and has the good jazz guitar feel on it you need for a good background to play to. Am getting done this week with the Jazz Improv book you will want to get a little later (or some of you are maybe ready for it now). Shows the right steps in getting your melodic chordal note improv together using all the finest of jazz phrases. You will need to get the "Pro's Jazz Phrases" booklet tho', for all the vocabulary phrases you will need -- this book helps with getting your walking together too. Gaye, your 2-video Music Reading Practice Set is on its way to you with a little extra -- you'll love it, it is the ONLY thing out there that permanently and efficiently (with fun) gets your real reading chops together. You too Russ.

Carol

Submitted at: 23:02 on Thursday, February 18, 1999

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tip 81

First of all, it doesn't matter to me if anyone plays with a pick or not, never did, but if someone is going to play with a pick then of course I'd show them the right easy technique of playing so they are efficient, don't miss, and it's so...easy to do. You've got the right approach for that 12/8 goepel in HTP, yes 12 downbeats, so the picking is easy that way, and you have the right feel for a slow gospel, good. It's a little more hairy for the mixture of mostly 8th notes with a smattering of 16ths. You have to go with what is more the feel of the tune, is it 8/8 (then it's 8 downbeats to the bar) or mostly 4/4 with an occasional double-time 16th pattern -- at which point you'd play the occasional double-time picking but keeping it mostly 4/4 in picking. Sounds like you're really getting ahead with the materials, great Ray! Keep the questions coming, always glad to answer them. Haha, had another person say "don't you musicians have lots of 'parties'"? Boy, I have to educate everyone about that -- we were more business then businessmen....never had the time to "party" and really didn't want to, we had a better time in the studios backing up hit records, films, TV shows etc. I gave 2 parties and went to 2-3 others in the 60s where we mostly just talked shop......we liked each other but not drunk or weird, we had fun without a "party".

Carol <carolkaye@earthlink.net>

Submitted at: 10:48 on Tuesday, February 16, 1999

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tip 80

I'd follow the chord changes, and of course you can get by with just very simple bass patterns rhythmically in a lot of churches, it depends on the band. I've tuned into a really fine rhythmic church TV thing one time, singers were excellent, and lo and behold, there was Abe Laboriel, friend of mine (great bassist and one whom I've recoommended a lot when he first got started, I got him with Mancini etc.) and he was just playing a lot of rhythmic stuff, excellent playing! He's a very nice person too, very humble. So it depends on the kinds of bands that the churches have, that's why I recomended my lines, you have a lot of different patterns to choose from. If you want simplicity, then the dotted quarter 8th 1/2 note is about as simple as you can get, and just reading the chord symbols (or the root of the chords alternating w/5th) ought to get it. If I were you, I'd get my Bass Lines Complete Volume I book for sure, and if you want further theory, then it's the Bass Video Course and the Jazz Bass Tape & Guide. Meant to tell Jeff that when reading the chords that are slashed (i.e. G7/D) the lower note is of course what the bass plays, the "D" in this case for the TUNE. Once you've played the song through, then you can stick to the roots of the chord instead of the slashed note on the bottom...this is standard practice in band charts, but with church music, the tune goes on and on and on, so you're probably stuck with that slashed note.

Carol

Submitted at: 16:16 on Monday, February 15, 1999

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tip 79

BERNADETTE CHORDS:
Starting the 3rd bar (double-bar): Eb//// Db//// B7//// Bb7// Db// Eb//// Db//// B7/// A7/ Bb7/ break 2 bars. Gb/Dbbass// Ebm// Abm7// Db7sus// Gb/Dbbass// Ebm// Abm7// Db7sus// Abm7// Bbm7// Db7sus//// Abm7// Bbm7// Db7sus//// Abm7// Bbm7// Db7sus//// (last 8th note tho' is Bb7). Then there's the Gb part in the middle once you repeat the chords from the top: Gb//// Cb//// Ebm//// Bb7// Cb// Gb//// Cb//// Ebm//// Bb/break for 1 bar then the Gb/Db part again.


I love to give this to pro-students and I can see the slight gulp but then the relief when they get into it and see it's not hard at all, but there are a lot of lead-in notes to watch for, good for reading practice for the 16ths.

Carol <carolkaye@earthlink.net>

Submitted at: 0:08 on Sunday, February 14, 1999

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tip78

Some more ideas for the lenthy bars of Dm that might not be in the Playing Tips yet: You can always use the 3rds going up, using notes in this case: DF EG FA GBb etc., this way you're actually backcycling Dm to A7 to Dm to A7(b9) etc. Another, use the 1-fret leadin tones (going down): C#D G#A EF C#D, and to restate, the stacked notes of Dm: D F A C E G, and use them in the combo triads: Dm7 Fmaj7 Am7 Cmaj7 Em7 but you better have had a lot of experience before you try these, really having your beats together rhythm-wise. It takes a lot of experience and good ear training to use these notes.

Carol

Submitted at: 18:36 on Friday, February 12, 1999

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tip 77

When you're starting to read charts, especially chord charts, makes no difference if you've played a lot of years or an intermediate student, it's wise to get in the habit of thinking in groups of 8 bars. Songs are grouped together (practically all songs) in groups of 8 bars, and are usually 32 bars long in 2 forms as a rule: AABA with a Bridge (B) or AB 1/2 half 2nd half (16 bars each). You should practice counting the bar lines by saying out loud at first, 1234 2234 3234 4234 5234 6234 7234 8234. Then start over. Pretty soon you get the concept of where you are during those 8 bars and learn to define the "splitting" of them into 4-bar phrases too. The 1st ending of an AABA tune (8 bars each) is usually on the 7th and 8th bar of the 1st A, and the 2nd ending is usually on the 7th and 8th bar of the 2nd A (which sounds like the first A), actually the 15th and 16th bar of the tune. When I teach, it's so easy to overlook the fact that my pro-student (who has been playing by ear for upteen years) has never learned to psyche out the bars, never learned to "aim" for the downbeats immediately after the bar-lines. If there are 2 chords to the bar, then it's 2 beats each. There might be slash lines, those are beat lines and will indicate how many beats the chords are dividing up the bar. If there is no time signature, it's always 4/4. Remember if the chord has a slash splitting up the chord with a note name on the bottom, you're the "bottom", the lower note is your note to play (instead of the root of the chord): i.e. G7/D D is your note, the G7 is for the keyboardist and/or guitar player to play. Remember to darken your repeat signs and DS signs and coda signs so you can find them when in a hurry. Draw large brackets in thick black ink around the little double dots of the repeat signs. And ALWAYS bring a pencil when you're reading music...that and a good parking place and being on time will insure you work. :-) Of course there are some other factors.

Carol Kaye <carolkaye@earthlink.net>

Submitted at: 12:50 on Sunday, February 7, 1999

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tip 76

For a good jazz feel in jazz improvising (bass, guitar or ?), be sure to NOT swing your notes or that turns into "country-swing". Jazz is almost 8th notes in phrasing, no matter what instrument you play, a lot smoother than most are playing now. It's in a gray area, somewhere between straight 8ths (but leaning more towards straight 8th notes) and tied-triplets. And...for you guitar players playing Freddie Green-type rhythm guitar (and horn-like riff jazz comping), please DO NOT SWING and never accent 2 and 4. The more you swing, the more it sounds like a country swing thing (which is fine for country, but not for good jazz). Just be aware of that -- playing mostly like straight 8ths. In fact, better sax players always sort of accent the up-beat 8th notes (no swing tho').

Carol

Submitted at: 0:01 on Monday, January 11, 1999

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tip 75

Also, be sure to use that left thumb as a PIVOT also, it will help you keep your place without looking at the neck so much, and is an absolutely wonderful safe left-hand technique, the only way to play. Remember, as you slide up the neck, the thumb (which normally sits slightly behind the 1st finger, starts sliding back towards the nut to position the hand in an easy nice strong way. By the time you get up to the 10th fret, your left thumb maybe resting on the 8th fret (or even slightly lower than that) while you're playing with your first finger on the 10th fret. Sounds like you all should check into the left-thumb pivoting a little more. Just relax your left wrist, letting it hang down in a relaxed manner, and the only part of you that should move, is the very frong part of the hand. The fingers should move around as a group while the thumb pivots in one spot. Be sure AFTER you've played a note with the 1st finger to LIFT OFF the 1st finger and take it witn you with the rest of the fingers. Never leave it laying down on the fingerboard at all -- this is very common with upright bass players -- they tend to lay that 1st finger on the neck and that is a terribly bad habit, serves NO PURPOSE whatsoever and will not only slow you down, but you cannot effectively use your greatest left hand technique with that bad habit: the thumb pivot. You may want to check that, to make sure you're not doing that. You'll find your way around the neck very well with the thumb pivot which encourages the hand/fingers to move as group while you keep your place with the thumb staying in one spot -- you then have a range of say 5-8 frets while staying in the same spot. You will never have any physical problems with arm, hand, wrist, fingers if you use this wonderful safe and experienced left-hand/fingers technique.

Carol

Submitted at: 0:17 on Friday, January 8, 1999

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tip 74

The double stops of Hikky Burr were minor (minor key), b7 and b3 (1st finger barred on 12th fret, Em and switching between that and the 14th fret E and A, still part of the Em chord, you know the ol' ii7 V7 couple).

Carol

Submitted at: 18:30 on Monday, January 4, 1999

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tip 73

m7b5. And of course that pesky m7b5 (m7-5) sometimes stops people in their tracks with improvising. Just remember to go up 3 frets and play that corresponding minor chord, same chord. Am7-5 is Cm, F#m7-5 is Am, Bm7-5 is Dm and so on. Also, you can ignore it altogether and use the next chord, the 7th as the "only" chord to solo on: Bm7-5 to E7, just use Fo then and even the b5 of E7 (Fm9 going down, part of the Bb7 chord) for the whole thing. You will find this fast if you run over the various options and then in the heat of playing, your ear picks up on what is the best lick to use for the continuity. For you bassists out there getting your walking together, be sure to HOLD every note down, without letting your fingers up from the fingerboard. It's crucial that you play every note as long as you can (never finger-mute any note like you do in rock/funk/pop etc.). And get your walking notes together by studying the notes of the chordal scales, plus add the 2nd here and there, plus some lead-in tones. My "Autumn Leaves" - "Jazz Blues" sheet shows the right ways to form some nice lines, just send 2 stamps and I'll send it to you: Carol Kaye, PO Box 2122, Canyon Country CA 91386-2122. Walking is easier than you think -- and the elec. bass sounds GREAT with walking (better in most cases than the upright if it's played right).

Carol

Submitted at: 19:32 on Sunday, January 3, 1999

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tip 72

b5 Soloing Tip. Chord symbols are constantly appearing with the dominant (7th) chord constantly showing as a 7b5 chord (like G7b5 or G9b5 or G13b5). The quick way of playing something without "thinking" is to take that b5 and play one of the augmented patterns (just start with the b5 which for G7 is DbO, and voila, augmented runs that will fit. In actuality, G7b5 can be considered the Db7 chord, so again, start with the "b5" (Db) and start playing your corresponding diminished run (Db7 = Do), Db into D and you're off and running, easy enough. So both the augmented licks and the diminished licks work for that chord, plus you can always use the b5 pivotal Abm9 lick going down (which is part of the Db7 chord, the b5 chord) over that too but I find that starting with the b5 in the heat of playing works so well.

Carol

Submitted at: 19:25 on Sunday, January 3, 1999

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tip 71

TIP in Jazz soloing on Bass: When you're wanting to back-cycle, and play something really hip, try using the Gb13 for the C7b9 back-cyle of Fm (or F major, it works for both). But start it on the 3rd: Bb Db E Ab Eb Db, resolve to C in the Fm chord. The key to quickly finding these patterns is the starting note in relation to the chord that you're back-cycling from: F start on Bb, C start on F, Db start on Gb, and you just finger the pattern, and go from there.

Carol

Submitted at: 15:10 on Wednesday, December 30, 1998

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tip 70

I use the doubled up piece of felt to help eliminate most over- and under-tones, have always done that and still do. Playing with a pick, it's necessary to have the muting system on *top* of the strings. Most elec. bassists in LA did put piece of foam *underneath* the strings. Have always played with a hard pick, altho' much of the time it sounds like fingers. Never used any EQ at all, except a little compression from LA's Motown engineer Armin Steiner (see his interview about recording Motown in 60s, LA, in Mix Magazine, in the mid 80s), as he was trying to "match" the Detroit sound. But you can hear my bass sounds on the funky sound-track of "Across 110th Street" and many other films, TV shows, record dates, and it sounds like fingers. Some people have been able to match my sounds w/computers and establish if it is me or not, and the slight impact of my hard pick is then very clear. Leo Fender put me on his oscilloscope and was amazed as the impact of my sound totally knocked his needle off the graph (he said that's never happened before). But was not trying to play hard at all, just with the flat wrist and my system of picking (and the kind of pick I use, very very hard tear-drop shape), just that technique/pick has a lot to do with it. Plus, have always played hard, still do, that's why I love my Aria bass, it takes it, yet has the sensitivity and response to it I like also. Anyway, I always used the Fender Precision bass w/medium-gauged Fender flatwounds on it until I fell in love with the Gibson Ripper in 1973 (nice neck!) but eventually went back to the Fender Precision in 1974 (rumors floated around, but no, I was not "coaxed back" at all, it was totally my decision, I knew that the Ripper, good as it was, could never get me the ballsy sound that the Fender Precision could). Now, I'm very happy with the Aria, has sort of combination of both basses, with the Thomastik jazz flats (whew, the greatest strings!) and the Polytone amps (1-18" Mini-Brute, two of them but have never needed to hook them up in tandem, one is plenty for a big loud club), I have the set-up I like. They always miked me in the studios until towards the end of the 60s, they started to do 1/2 and 1/2 direct in sometimes. The movie/TV film studios always MIKED me, but on the record dates, it was mostly 1/2 and 1/2 in the 70s on. I used the Fender 4-10" Concert amp in the 60s, but had to stick match-book covers in the open back slat to keep it from making noises, it had a fine sound miked, especially with my muting system. I don't think that Jamerson, god rest him, used a mute, don't know for sure. I know the system of picking down on the down beats and up on the up beats insured inside metrical time (doubletime being 8/8, 8 downbeats on the 16ths). Have taught this sytem for quite a few years, and one year got to jam with my former student, Dave Hungate, and it looked like I was looking in a mirror, he totally has that system down pat. Is a fine bass player (plays guitar too), others have also larned that pretty well, not hard, takes a little bit of time to get it together for the right pickstrokes, especially on the triplets (down-up-up). You merely change a couple of knobs to get either a "finger" sound or a more "clicky" sound, it's in the tone settings, you always pick the same hard ways.

Carol

Submitted at: 22:07 on Saturday, December 19, 1998

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tip 69

Rachel hi. Playing elec. bass is a different animal for the compositional thing, than any other instrument. There's a reason why you can go to school, know theory, study and know music and yet not have good ideas about the structure of tunes and how to use the bass for playing runs, fills, etc. where. As you know, there's 2 major kinds of tune structures: the AABA, and AB, meaning the tune is usually 32 bars long and how it's structured is 8 bars each of AABA with the B being a bridge, a different part of the tune. The A parts sound essentially the same. The AB structure means 16 bars each, no bridge. You create patterns according to those structures (and styles of course), playing a different kind of line for the bridge. And usually, creating fills in each 8th bar (sometimes, as in the 8/8 which feels like 4/4 but just doubled up in time, you will play a fill in the last part of the 4th bar). It takes awhile to figure out what kind of pattern to play. All the elements are to be considered: tempo, style, singer or no, instrumentalist, ballad or hot funk, sometimes instrumentation of the group (big band? and there certainly is a difference between just playing with a pianist, vs. combo work) etc. But mostly you will create a statement-answer 2-bar pattern for the structure of the tune. You can play a few short runs leading into some chords, especially if you're pretty well-structured, like in a Bossa-Nova (and you can jump around to different chordal tones in place of the boring Roots also on Bossas). You don't have to "fill" on every space, and don't have to back up the singer totally -- leaving spaces is as important as playing a fill. But usually you fill in the 8th bar. The kind of fill you play depends on whether the chord is dominant (7th resolving to a I or a i -- which is major or minor), or if the chord is a minor chord or major chord. You can play a major chord fill also on the dominant going to "that major" chord, pentatonic, on the 7th chord, say a C pentatonic run on the G7 resolving to a C major chord of some kind (Cmaj7 C6, or just plain C). But mostly your form a run depending on the chord that you're in. If the tune is sort of bluesy (or funky), then you can always play a blues lick on the dominant (7th) chord also, it'll sound great. Depends on the style of the song, style of statement-answer line you're using. There's a lot of examples of all this I'm speaking of in all my books. Many have just worked through all my books, and learned to play right from the books, there are so many examples, and they get that commercial bass theory from there then. No, you're right, this is NOT taught in any school, and rarely by any teacher too out there, unless they're someone who has been through my books and played a long time, and taught a long time too. Elec. Bass being a "new" instrument (since the 50s only), it's still in the evolving stages as for its own theory/lines etc. I will be teaching this at the HENRY MANCINI INSTITUTE at UCLA this coming summer, a fine program (yes, they have accomodations available for out-of-state musicians): http://www.amjazzphil.org as well as the jazz improv, all kinds of important training pertinent to the Electric Bass in all styles of music, reading, just tons of materials, will be a fun August. You can fax them too at: (310) 845-1909.

Carol

Submitted at: 11:10 on Tuesday, December 15, 1998

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tip 68

I forgot to add to the post last night about the 7th chords, you have the option to use the "Bird" lick, the "Honeysuckle" lick (where he got it from) in your subsitute b5 pattern for Dm7 G7: going down, 8 b7 2 4 6 5 (high G F A C E D), now repeat this as Db7 for the V7 (same lick but start with high Db) and resolve the last note to G, the 5th of Cmaj7. Use that as the pattern for Dm7 to G7 resolving to C. Now you have some more ammo to use for soloing in the most common chord progression, the ii7 V7 I. There's lots of patterns like that to use in my "Pro's Jazz Phrases" book, but first if you don't get around on your chordal tones much, I'd get the Bass Video Course, or at least the Jazz Bass Tape & Guide, to get a handle on the right theory, thinking chordally before you attempt the Pro's Jazz Phrases. Am working on a new book too for a step-by-step of creating your jazz soloing. Why spend time learning jazz? You certainly still can't make a decent living with jazz. But....jazz thinking is the basis of CREATING in most forms of music today (maybe not the simplest country or basic rock) and it will give you the best overview of how music functions -- chordally. About 98% of all studio musicians were jazz-based chordally in their training (even the big band musicians who couldn't solo well were trained in chordal thinking). And certainly the bulk of your finer musicians (Nathan East, John Clayton, Dave Hungate, Stu Hamm etc.) were all jazz-musicians too. Then you have the millionaires like Kiss and the hammerings of people like that who are entertainers. But I suspect that you all want to get your music together, you can still enjoy making good money when you know what you'rre doing on the bass -- besides, your wife probably wouldn't go for the make-up :-) (or your husband, whomever).

Carol

Submitted at: 11:31 on Saturday, December 5, 1998

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tip 67

The post I just did is too advanced for beginners and ones who don't know their cycles and chordal scale notes (chord-tones), just do your cycles with just the chordal notes like this:


Root 3rd 5th on G C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb(F#) B E A D G. Now, expand that, by doing a 4th note (not a triad anymore) with G7 (R 3 5 b7) to Cmaj7 (R 3 5 7)) to Cm7 (R b3 5 b7) to F7 (R 3 5 b7) to Bbmaj7 (R 3 5 7), then Bbm7 (R b3 5 b7) to Eb7 (R 3 5 b7) to Abmaj7 (R 3 5 7), Abm7 (R b3 5 b7) to Db7 (R 3 5 b7) to Gbmaj7 (R 3 5 7), Gbm7 (which is also F#m7, R b3 5 b7) to B7 (R 3 5 b7) to Emaj7 (R 3 5 7), Em7 (R b3 5 b7) to A7 (R 3 5 b7) to Dmaj7 (R 3 5 7). OK, you did that round, now just do the 7ths, from G7 to C7, etc.
Your ear, which is constantly picking up things in music whether you're playing or not (that's why when you start playing again, first time in years, you go like the wind once you get your fingers and ears connected), your ear picks up those tones and then your mind starts to "sort in chordal tones" very well. Something you can NEVER get by practicing note-scales.

Carol

Submitted at: 11:21 on Saturday, December 5, 1998

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tip 66

More on arpeggio cyles practicing. I've mentioned about using the chordal notes of ii7 V7 Imaj7, changing the Imaj7 to the minor and starting the next cycle with the ii7. Now, as the ii7 and V7 chords are treated the same in soloing (whether it's commercial jazz or the real thing), now start to use some of your stacked triads for the minor chord, your diminished (or augmented chords) for the 7s, and one of the chordal tone exercises for the Imaj7 like: Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7 -- for Dm7 use the stacked chords of Dm7 Fmaj7 Am7 -- notice how the top 3 notes are repeated in the next stacked chord, easy huh?! Or you can use the triads of Dm Em F and G (part of the C chordal scale which Dm7 and G7 are a part of), or the minor 9th going down: 9 8 5 b3 2 R, then use the diminished chord, Abo for G7, say like using G7 from its 3rd and playing, going up: 3 5 b7 8 b9 (hammer the b9 to the #9 to b9), back down to 8 b7 resolve to E of the C chord, and then playing an exercise for C like E G C E A. Then do it again for Cm7 F7 to Bbmaj7, but the next go-around, use something different -- use just the F7 chord substitute of the dim. (Gbo), with the 1/2 tone whole tone, starting with F to Gb for the F7 for both the Cm7 and F7 (remember, the ii7 and V7 are both considered ONE unit, you can usually use the minor all the way for both chords, or use the 7th all the way for both chords, and even the augmented chord F+ for Cm7 to F7, resolving to one of the Bbs, say like Gm7 pattern (going up and down: G A Bb C D Bb A G) for Bb, or the other relative minor, Dm, same pattern, the Dm being the more common of the two patterns), and run this around the cycles after you've done the straight chordal notes of the ii7 V7 I, getting used to hearing those chords. Using the ii7 V7 I, as 1 bar eacy, you can usually do something in 8th notees just fine, with holes inbetween. You can even use the b5 pattern of F B F B to resolve to Bb (or G Db G Db going up to resolve to C) and so forth throughout all the cycles. You are training your ear to hear how chord progressions mostly go -- as soon as a chord changes to its minor, it wants to go on to its cyclic 7th whether it says that or not in the chart -- chart says C to Cm, you can go from C to F7, Ab to Abm, you can go from Ab to Db7, this goes for walking too but I'd be a little careful, sometimes it's doesn't work. But you get the point.

Carol

Submitted at: 11:12 on Saturday, December 5, 1998

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tip 65

For you jazz soloists on bass, try using the following for a minor chord, notice it's "almost" like a scale, but not quite -- if you get used to playing this way, skipping some notes, you've got it: Am, going up R 2 b3 4 5 back down b3 2 R now, use this for the C chord, Am and also Em, the common chord subs you use for the major chords: the iii and the vi. Also, for the ii7 V7 resolving to the I chord, (1 bar each) try using your 7th chord pattern (say Dm7 G7, use the G7) the 1st bar, then use its b5 pivotal sub chord, same lick in Db7 for the G7 chord resolving to C. You can use say, for the ii7 V7 I for "G", Am9 going down it's: 9 8 5 b3 2 R (the 8 being the high Root), and then use it's b5 lick (same lick but now it's Ebm9), for the V7, then resolve to G -- this is what sax players, pianists do, etc., and bass players can do the same thing, easy. For you guitarists, as you know you can move those 13th chords all over 3 frets at a time for the same ii7 V7 resolving to the I chord (and play the R 3 5s of the II chord arpeggiated for the I chord finale, bassists can do the same thing on the II chord, after you hit the I chord). Be sure to go through the cycles playing the minor pattern, back-cycling to its augmented, then back to the minor chord again too: Am E+ Am to A7, then Dm A+ Dm D7 then Gm D+ Gm G7 then Cm G+ Cm C7 and so forth. Monk had a great habit of just playing the back-cyle augmented chord for that minor period! For Fm, he'd use C+ etc. If you're trying to find the right back-cyle augmented chord from the 7th, just take it off the b5th of the 7th chord: in "Take The A Train" (or as Welk would say "Take A Train"), you start in C, play D9 and start your aug. chord on Ab (b5 of the D9 chord). Easy to find, etc. Also, you want to NOT start on roots of chords, but mostly (for awhile until you get used to it), on their 3rds for the 7ths, and b3rds for the minor chords: G7, start on B and be sure to sometimes add the b9th in the chordal notes (G7 can be easily changed to G7b9 = Abo, doesn't have to "say" G7b9), and for Dm, you start on its 3rd, F (it's Fmaj7 on up then, same as for G7, see how Dm7 is the SAME as G7, all on the stacked triads of the G7 chord: Gmaj7 Bm7b5 Dm7 Fmaj7 Am7 Cmaj7 Em7. I have to press "reload" now with Win98, what a drag, must be an easier way -- alright Bob! Don't say "I told you so"!

Carol

Submitted at: 22:43 on Friday, December 4, 1998

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tip 64

Remember, when you're learning to read and/or do chord changes, to practice your turn-arounds: I vi ii V7 (could be I VI7 II7 V7 majors or minors it's still the same popular chord progression). Practice that common turn-around in all keys. Another popular one, that used to be just jazz (now used on pop music too), is: I bIII bVI bII (always major chords, could be dominants or major 7ths). The last 3 chords of this turn-around are the b5 versions of the 1st common turn-around. Practice these in all keys to get used to where the "2nd chord" of the whole progression is (the 6th of the key you're in, and for the jazzier version, move up 3 frets and then "cycle" to the other two after that). All the chords in the turn-around chordal progressions (except the first one to the 2nd one)are cyclic. Remember to practice arpeggios of all kinds in cycles. For instance, you can do: C7 (R 3 5 b7) to Fm7 (R b3 5 b7) to F7 (R 3 5 b7) to Bbm7 (R b3 5 b7) and round and round the cycles: Bb Eb Ab Db Gb B (Cb) E A D G C etc. Also, both for prep soloing and for a good fingering exercise, try to use a minor chord pattern, then back cycle to its 7b9, back to the minor and on to the next cycle, i.e.: Am to E7b9 to Am with the following notes: Am R b3 5, down to R to E7 3, 5 b7 b9 Am 5 b3 (then repeat the pattern in Dm then Gm Cm etc. using the backcyle of each of those chords (the back-cycle is the chord "before" the chord you're playing - Am, it's E, Dm it's A etc.). In notes it would be: Am A C E low A again, E7 G# B D F Am E (down to) C.

Carol

Submitted at: 21:35 on Sunday, November 29, 1998

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tip 63

Andrew, having played bass in the studio work, you DO have to form your 2-part (and maybe a 4-part line like statement-statement-statement-answer) for all the tunes, not just some. Even on the so-called rock records (most rock was cut by jazz and big-band musicians, not rockers), you usually have a 2-part line, unless it's like the continuous (and to me, boring) lines like what I played on Paul Revere's Indian Reservation type things. The bass player is the arranger. And if you've been an experienced player for years and years prior to playing bass, you can hear what notes to play and automatically know them. And of course, if you've played bass for years, your ear will tell you. But few people have had the various styles and experiences like studio bass players have had, they need more conceptive ideas (hence, why I wrote out tons of these patterns in my books, and many just learned how to play the bass using these patterns, they got the rock-funk-blues-Motown-soul-etc. theory from the patterns, easy enough). Jazz theory is an opposing theory, but both are addressed in my Video Courses and most of my books too (see the catalog for descriptions).

Carol

Submitted at: 11:35 on Wednesday, November 25, 1998

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tip 62

Randy, 4-1/2 time, in 8th notes: 12 12 12 123 12 12 12 123 it's actually very simply and can be crosstimed too, is 3 sets of 8th notes basically. Cyndy, thanks for your nice note, you're a busy lady. Hershey's "Jolson" thing sounded cool, good luck with lines, you'll get very far with all the lines, and yes the LH lines techniques work well on string bass chops too. John Pisano just told me (ATT: Australia!!!!) that he and his lovely wife singer Jeanne are going to be in residence at the Edith Cowan University in Perth approx. Feb. 23 through Mar. 19 -- hey, Steve is that close to you? I told John all about you and so he'll be looking for you and Todd there. John is one of my favorite people, he hired me to sub for him w/Paul Horn, etc. and he's a fine player -- Jeanne and John will love it there, and you'll love them.

Carol

Submitted at: 16:43 on Wednesday, November 18, 1998

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tip 61

To get your jazz pattern playing going, it's wise to learn all the major notes of your chords in the order of the chordal scale, practice these notes up and down the arpeggios, and try adding notes to them like 1/2 tone lower, or even passing notes going into these notes 2-1 frets lower:

Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7 Em7 F#m7b5 Gmaj7

R357 Rb35b7 Rb35b7 R357 R35b7 Rb35b7 Rb3b5b7b10 R357

Remember keep repeating the above notes across the neck without shifting up or down much, with each chord -- this is fine ear training for intervals -- something you need very much for fine playing. Now do this to the following chords too, find the chordal notes and add a note 1/2 tone (1 fret) below each note to the exercise:

Go (or Go7, same chord) R b3 b5 bb7 (6th), this repeats every 3 frets, thus, Bbo Dbo Eo are all the same as Go. Play the chordal notes then add the 1/2 tone from below to that (the passing tone, not a chord member, but sounds good within that chord): F#G ABb CDb EbE etc.

G+ (or G+7, same chord) R 3 #5, this repeats every 4 frets, thus B+ D#+ are the same chords as G+. The passing notes are the 2 frets inbetween the augmented chordal notes, essentially the "whole-tone" scale. GBD# down on FC#A (passing tones) BD#G (principal) AFC# (passing) etc. going up on one group, coming down on the next group.

Rather than practicing scales, you're now "thinking" in chords, much the same way ALL the fine improvisional musicians (on all instruments) improvised from in the late 40s, all of the 50s, and 60s, etc. on. No-one "thinks" in scales, that started with rock and roll people who then went on to learn teaching with scales to "explain" how to think. How to empty a club really fast: play scales.

The standards had tons more chord progression changes than the rock did and everyone back then functioned in chordal forms only, we threw any "scale-players" off the stage, as musicians knew they couldn't play -- there were very few who tried. Scale notes are traveling notes to the chordal notes and pivotal b5 sub patterns in jazz.

I recently told Tom Scott how people were trying to do jazz on "scales" and he was downright shocked and somewhat angry at that -- his quote, "everyone knows you learn jazz improvising by studying chords and chordal notes and all the chord substitutes, never with scales", this from a great jazz sax player.

Plas Johnson, famous legendary jazz and studio sax player, "The Pink Panther", says the same thing, others too. So get your chordal notes together and you start on the right road to functioning well on the guitar (or any instrument). Then, it's the b5 pivotal licks like Abm9 for G7 (G7b5b9 is Db7 and the minor to Db7 is Abm7 or Abm9). Db7b5b9 likewise is G7. After awhile, in a very short time, you *never* think at all ("hmm what time do we quit?") as you're playing, your ear and fingers have made the necessary connections.

TIP 61b


: If you take your 13th chord and move it around (same fingering) diminished style, you've got some beautiful chordal fill on the neck -- no more than 3 moves up or down the neck tho', don't overdo a good thing. Carol Kaye

Submitted at: 10:40 on Wednesday, November 17, 1998

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tip 60

Wanted to say something about the groove and playing like you "mean it". Have had people compliment me about playing which is nice, but the main thing about your playing is to play like you're "hungry" as the expression in our business goes. And get your time-sense together. Remember, when you play a lot of notes, there's tendency to speed up, and also when you play "softer", there's a tendency to slow down the tempos -- just be aware of this. Now re: the "hungry" thing, my Dad, himself a fine trombone player in dixieland and theatre bands (he toured on the road in the 20s and 30s w/Eddie Peabody) always said "don't tip when you're playing music", not to me, I was just a little kid and wasn't playing yet, but he'd say this to other members of his band and I remember that. There was an old tune called "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" and that's where the old pro saying of "tip" came from -- i.e. play those notes HARD, do not "tip". (Yes, am on the Tiny Tim records too :-) he cut that tune. Anyway, thanks to Ron and others, always nice to get compliments and kudos, but we're not "done" yet! The "show" is just starting. I love it when the younger bunch get out there and instead of "ego", and show-off stuff, they find the JOY of expressing themselves through their music -- that's when the music gets GREAT -- you "have to play" to breathe. It's a deep feeling inside of you, and that's when it gets good!

Carol

Submitted at: 15:24 on Sunday, November 15, 1998

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tip 59

More on reading: some books out there say that you shouldn't go by the "chord name" to help you find your notes, and I say YES, go by the chord name. You don't want to write in "all" the note names, no, but DO WRITE IN A FEW NOTE NAMES here and there and only take short patterns to read at first. Yes, of course you'll memorize them but by that time, you'll have learned something in reading. If you remember how you learned touch-typing, reading notes is the same way of learning -- you practice on a few notes at a time then move on to some other few notes, pretty soon, you learn that "G" is the bottom line, "D" is the middle line, and everyone is quick to know where "C" is, and just write a few other note names above the notes here and there to remind yourself. The notes next to them you can figure out. Remember, that flats, sharps, natural signs are only good to the bar line, then the bar line makes the next bar revert back to the key signature. Anything altered and tied over to the next bar is the "same" note, the tie insures that. When you're reading ties btw, be sure to look ONLY at the first note that is tied and skip over the 2nd tied note (it's "held" for time, never played again). It takes a day or two before you acquire this needed-habit, but then ties are automatically easier to read. It might help you to actually circle the 2nd tied note for awhile to remind you to NOT look at it -- you look at the 1st tied note and play it, and then the 1st "UNTIED" note and play it next, just a habit that you can grasp very fast. Also, as you look down at your instrument, mentally "CIRCLE" the place in the music you leave off from, quickly glance down at your fingering hand, then your eyes will (and should, may take a few times of practice at that, but it's easy) go right back to the mentally circled bar you left off from. All studio musicians do this trick. My 2-video MUSIC READING PRACTICE starts very simple and builds up into some of the toughest reading you'll ever do, a bargain (see "Books & Education" page on my website). Nothing out there like it, derived from the 100s of movies and TV film scores I recorded over the years -- no 1-e-an-as, they don't work, nor other unworkable tricks you have to pay attention to. Just the right stuff as Prof. Joel Leach (famed Cal-State Northridge award-winning educator and jazz sax legend Plas Johnson acclaim), the "right stuff".

Carol <carolkaye@earthlink.net>

Submitted at: 20:55 on Wednesday, October 21, 1998

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tip 58

For good rhythmic ideas, just listen to the Latin bands, the timbale lines, the conga lines, you will find all the rock-funk-blues-Motown lines you want from those rhythmic instruments. The statement-answer 2-part lines are the structural patterns you want to do -- it could also be: statement-statement-statement-answer 4-bar lines too in your patterns. You never should play exactly what the bass drum plays (altho' in some simple rock, that is required), I always played what I felt called for in the tune, mostly the opposite of what the bass drum (and drummer) was doing. You can make something swing greatly by waiting on the 4th beat, and not playing until either then an of 1 or 2 (or an of 2) of the next bar. Conga lines are typically 4-an -- then held over the bar line to the an of 1 or 2. A typical fine up-beat funk line will be accented on the 16th before the 3rd beat. There's many examples of some very different lines in all my books, so many differnt styles to get your vocabulary of funk lines form -- good studies in rhythms.

Carol

Submitted at: 15:58 on Monday, October 12, 1998

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tip 57

Steve, that's why the practice with the elec. metronome I just posted for bassists. For you (guitarist), once you can play 8th notes and block out the tick of it entirely, then you know "you're in great time". You should be able to do that for a minute at a time, if not....practice some more at very slow speeds (at first, beating on every beat, then beats 2 and 4 after awhile). Good luck. Daniel, once you get your time sense in (after days of practicing with it), then your time-sense should stay in quite awhile. Practicing with records, does help a little, but what if their time isn't quite togeether? Playing with records is good when you can't jam with people, can't play with a group, only for awhile. You eventually have to play with a group to get that communication going between all the players, you can't do that with a "dead" record, there's no music communication going there. But it is a good idea to get the feeling of playing with a group somewhat that way, not exactly for the sense of "time" but for the inter-relationships of musicians, it simply feels better to play with someone than alone. You only have to go back to play with the metronome once in awhile once you've done the initial practice -- nothing else can take the place of the metronome practice. It lets you have your own space (by putting it on 2 and 4). Drum machines don't give you the space you need altho' they have perfect time. Remember to practice intensely with the metronome, very slow speeds (on the beat) for a few hours, then gradually speed it all up (all styles now, don't read music, but just play) until you can put it on beating on 2 andd 4 then try it on all styles of music, all kinds of lines, slow tempos, then faster. Good luck.

Carol

Submitted at: 21:26 on Sunday, September 20, 1998

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tip 56

Some Jazz Soloing Chord Substitutions: When you learn some vocabulary of your chordal substitutions, you can then "think" of what to use, especially for the most common chord, the dominant (7th). You need to learn some jazz chordal phrases for the following "substitutions", actually probably the alternate chords that the backup chord player is playing. Note that these are NOT "scale" type things at all, but alterations (and sometimes the very notes of the chords themselves, like the G7b9 is Abo) -- you can alter any chord you want but it has to be tastefully-done -- these are the all-important melodic 50s structured patterns for just the V7, the dominant chord, here as being G7, you can use: Dm7 (no matter if it Dm7-G7 for 2 bars, you can use Dm7 or actually the stacked Dm11 the whole time), Fmaj7 (part of the Dm7 stacked), Abo (or Abo7, same chord), G+ (yes you can sharp that 5th), G7 spanish (G Ab G F Eb D C B Ab G going down), the common "Bird" lick: G F (lower A then up) A C E D (and you can repeat this starting with the b5 Db, just play the same lick, it'll be Db7 but that ties into the b5 sub), Abm9 going down (Bb Ab Eb B Bb Ab), Db13 going up F Ab Cb Eb Bb Ab, and the triad b5 run: G (GBD) Db (Db F Ab) G again higher (G B D), etc., and of course the Dm triad Em triad, F triad G triad (or backwards from G), the C chordal scale of ii iii IV V. So you see you have many options, try using only a few (3 or 4) of the options throughout 2-3 Standard tune chord charts to get used to fitting them in those chord places -- just a few things here and there, and learning how to resolve them into another chord. Use fairly spacey statement-answer statements, don't make it a continuous run just yet (Wynton Marsalis calls it "call and response"), you're actually "talking" when you play jazz improv. And learn some good patterns, note that you can "back-cycle" (go backwards on the cycle) here and there for movement within your jazz improv lines, this is very common with all fine jazz soloing. You can also repeat the m9th (Dm9th) line going up very 3 1/2 tones (like a diminish chord, it's not a diminish tho', but you can usually move chordal patterns that way, either every 3 frets or 2 frets which is the augmented way -- the "whole-tone" scale, but better to practic the augmented patterns, not the whole-tone scale, scales will make for the most boring-solos, club emptiers). You see you have many many options to use as a soloist. My Jazz Bass tutorials help you get started with these options, and the way to prepare for jazz soloing (and walking too, better walkers know soloing lines and use the whole neck). For the minor chords, you can always back-cycle to their augmented chord: Dm7 - A+ - Dm7 and also to their back-cyle 7b9 chords: Dm7 - A7b9 - Dm7 -- now you see that you can use Dm7 - Bbo - Dm7, one of the options for the 7th chord. And for the straight Dm7, you can play it in its chordal scale form which makes always the minor in the key a whole-tone down (in the C chordal scale): Dm Em F G ii iii IV V. Gm7 is Gm Am Bb C ii iii IV V (temporarily in the key of F). Just learn your chordal scale and your fingers automatically go to the equivalent of the ii iii IV V no matter what minor chord you're playing, you really don't need to "think" as you're playing. Just know some good jazz chordal patterns, the "words" with which you will use to speak with, practice them at least 8x in a row so your fingers can play them (play something 8x in a row a few times a day like that and your fingers do the rest, it's easier than you think to get the fingers-ear connections going so you don't have to think on the bass -- but at first when you first start playing improv, DO PLAN a few solos first, getting some of your ideas together, not too long in time, 3-4 weeks, then close your mind, jam and get the blues first in soloing and you will start to improvise well -- don't worry about any "mistakes", just have your turnaround cliche lines together so at least you "end well", that's the most important. The finest solos around were created by players trying to get out of the "mistakes" they made while soloing -- the audience never guesses, and even most musicians. It's a process that works.

Carol <carolkaye@earthlink.net> USA

Submitted at: 10:39 on Sunday, October 11, 1998

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tip 55

Classifying chords. When you play, it's important to know what kind of chord you're playing in the framework of so you can create the best kind of statement-answer lines (2-part, 2-bar idea lines) for the song you're playing. They are either: major chord, minor chords, or 7th chords as the main classifications and you have other sub-clssifications like Diminished (o) and m7b5 (aka 1/2-diminished, circle with a slash through it) which are in the minor chord family and augmented (+) which is in the major chord family. The style you're playing dictates the way you function within these chords. Jazz or pop-walking requires you to play primarily Root 2nd 3rd and 5th, or Root 2nd b3rd and 5th (for minor chords) depending on the chord structure: particular attention is paid to the 3rds (b3rds?) and/or 5ths (b5s as in Dim. or m7b5 -- #5 in augmented chords). People mention b6ths but this is the same as a #5, and #5 is more "legal", to me there is no such animal as b6 in the chord structures, that's a #5th which indicates aug. In Rock-Funk-Blues-Soul-Pop, you will want to think more of the 7th chord (which is usually played just as a major chord in walking) to play the b7th more: Minor and 7th chords in these styles are mainly played with the R 5th and b7th notes with other notes used as passing notes, or lead-in notes, and the major chords are formulated with mainly the R 5 and 6th in mind (you can use the 6th also for the 7th chord, but not in the minor chord). When you start reading chords like Cmaj7 or G13, etc. or Bb7-9 or F7-5 (the dash always means flat, and sometimes the dash means minor too: A-9, A minor 9th and the dash will be carried throughout the tune meaning minor: C- D- etc.), then you must simplify and walk only for the majors: Cmaj7 Cmaj9 C6 Cmaj of some kind, all the same walking notes -- you shouldn't play the added notes like maj7, play 6th maybe but not in the corny way of R 3 5 6 R, just in sort of passing, never the 4th except on rare occasional scale lines, scales are the worst to play walking-wise, they are the most corny lines, form lines according to the chordal notes, move the notes up and down in hills and valleys, and sometimes just stay there within the chord. The minor chords are all played the same too: Cm Cm7 Cm9 Cm11, and theh 7ths are major chords: C7 C9 C11, C13. When you see the 11th (and the same sus4th), you can change any 3rd you're playing into the 4th of the chord if you like (or just walk according to the nature of the chord: major chord or minor chord). You MUST change your 5th to a #5 for the Augmented (+) chords, and your 3rd to a b3rd on minor, and Diminished (0) chords, that's critical. But when you're looking at say, a C7b9 chord, just think of it as a major chord and walk, or when playing the rock-funk-blues-pop-Motown styles, it's mainly R 5 and b7th. If confused, just simplify into major or minor chords (while noting the Augmented, Diminished and m7b5 chords and playing the appropriate 5ths) and you'll be alright. Later on, after you've got the walking down better, or your rock-funk-blues lines better, you can play around with those notes (maybe) to incorporate them, but simple is better. If you need ideas for all kinds of lines, don't forget my books on the "Books & Education" page on my website. Regards, Carol

Carol

Submitted at: 10:25 on Saturday, September 26, 1998

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tip 54

MUSIC LANGUAGE. There are many symbols as you read charts of music that need explaining. As a long-time teacher, I do teach these things and maybe you would like to know these: D.S. means to go back to the D.S. sign (usually looks like a slanted dollar sign) and repeat the passage from there, could be anywhere in the piece from the 2nd bar on and if you read the 1st and 2nd endings again, you usually will take the 2nd ending only on the DS (be sure to ask the music conductor tho' to ascertain this). D.C. (no sign, just D.C.) means to repeat from the VERY TOP of the piece. Coda sign (a circle with a cross through it) means to jump to the Coda ending passage at the bottom of the piece (there will be another coda sign to jump to), and take the piece on out. "Segue" means you are going into a different part of the piece, (different tempo maybe etc.) without stopping. There is a sign of a dot with a 1/2 circle above it, that means to hold that note and usually there is a "Ritard" marking next, which means the music keeps going but in a very conducted slowed-down way. If quarter notes have slashes through them, it turns them into 8th notes. A dot above a note means to play that note staccatto (short), and a > above or below the note means to accent the note (hit it harder). Two slanted slashes in the music with dots above and below them and a "2" above it all means a 2-bar repeat, whereas just the slanted single-slash with the dots means a 1-bar repeat. You could even have a "4" bar above the double slanted slashes w/dots, that means a 4-bar repeat of the previous 4 bars. The word "tacit" means to lay out, don't play. The minor chord is sometimes written with a "-" (dash -- like C-7) instead of the usual small "m". And chords with dashes in them C7-9 means C7b9, dash in place of the flat. The zero o is used to indicate diminished chord, the circle with the slash through it means: m7b5 (it's called a "half-diminished" is R b3 b5 b7 but has nothing to do with a diminished chord, was renamed that by an Indiana music student who got tired of writing m7b5, makes sense, it is a MINOR chord only with a b5th in it, the diminished chord is spelled R b3 b5 bb7, so you see where the "half" came from). The augmented chord is indicated with a "+" (plus sign), has a #5th in it. Ray Pizzi even said that sax players always put in slash marks to indicate the down-beats -- he isn't aware of my Video Course reading program where I got that idea from watching all the studio sax players sometimes put in the down-beat slash marks and developed my reading program using those slashes -- once the learner practices this "Music Reading Practice" 2-video set program (on my website, yes, it's for beginning readers, starts extremely simple), then they have all the reading just fine. BTW, my next column for Bassics (sight-reading column) will be featuring some very important other features about being able to read well too, be sure to subscribe to Bassics Magazine http://www.bassics.com to catch it, nice magazine devoted to help you learn and be inspired to play. Also as a foot note, when you see someone else's writing of what looks like oo with lines attached (looks like glasses) then by all means LOOK at the part, it has something hard in that one spot.

Carol Kaye

Submitted at: 12:02 on Thursday, September 17, 1998

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tip 53

CHORDAL THINKING. The iii and the vi both chords can be used for the C chord. Most teachers know and teach the Am for the C chord, the Em is suitable also, plus you stack your triads and you wind up on the F# for the Em9 chord (the b5 of C), now you see where that stacking can lead to (without too much "thinking" actually, the less "thinking" the better, but musicians like to analyze to understand what is happening). A good line for C using the Am chord is one Joe Pass always used: A B C D E down to C B A B A, so you see yes the iii and the vi chords are both thought of as the I chord. But they being minor chords, remember their function is that of the ii minor, so while using the Am chord you're temporarily in the key of G and using the Em chord, you're temporarily in the key of D if you want to keep going with the chordal scale triads: Am Bm C D and Em F#m G A, those kinds of things (similar to what modes try to teach you but modes are limited whereas using the chordal scale always, is not limited as you can see). Bassists can use this theory too for jazz soloing but not for walking until you're as good as Ray Brown (and there are some out there who can play their tails off I've seen - I know Ray knows about them too). In short, this is something that well-experienced bassists can try in their walking and soloing, but not until they have quite a bit of experience with the normal chordal scale things -- they still need to provide a good foundation for the rest of the band before they spread out. Otherwise, they'll get the famous Barney Kessel line to a bassist who was always soloing in his playing: "you know, what we both need is a good bass player" :-)

Carol

Submitted at: 10:10 on Monday, August 17, 1998

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tip 52

Someone emailed me about doing the turnarounds, what do they play for soloing, etc. It was a guitar player but it's the same for elec. bass. You can either think of the turn-arounds as I vi ii V7 or I VI7 II7 V7 or any combination of these (minors/major chords) or do the iii VI7 ii V7 (using the iii in place of the I chord, same thing actually). Now you can formulate chordal tone patterns by hooking onto the closest chordal tone of the next chord. Remember the 3rds and b3rds are very important key notes to start with. Also you can use the b5 counterparts when you want to (which really comes out as a chromatic line too): iii biii (which is the b5 of VI7) ii7 bII7 (which is the b5 of V7) and resolve to the I chord. Thus, the Ebm9 pattern going down: F Eb Bb Gb F Eb resolves very nicely to the D on the G chord (the I). You can't just pull these out of the air, you do need to run over the chordal notes so you have them under your fingers, ready to play whenever. Try to avoid starting on the roots all the time, a little of playing on the roots is fine, but not most of the time. Start with the 3rds or another chordal member, the 3rds being very strong key notes to start with. And you can add b9ths to the 7th chords (key of G: E7 and D7, the VI7 and V7) -- now you see that they turn into diminished runs as any 7th chord with the added b9th has the same notes as the diminished chord 1/2 tone higher: E7 with b9th is Fo, D7(b9) is Ebo. The chord does not have to say E7b9, it can say just E7 for you to add the b9th automatically. And you can ALWAYS turn the 7th chord into the augmented chord too: B7 (or even Bm7 -- on turnarounds, you have much leeway to change minor chords to major chords in soloing patterns) can be B7+ (or B+, same thing), now try to do your chromatics using the augmented chords: B7+, Bb7+ (really is the b5 of E7), A7+ Ab7+ (really is b5 of D7 or D9 or D13), now you see how you can literally substitute a lot of different chords there for the famous turnaround. And you always have the popular jazz turnaround to also play on: G Bb13 (Bb7 to you), Ebmaj7, Ab13 (Ab7) to G. Remember for the dominant 7ths, you can always use their minor chords: for Ab13 use the Ebm stacked triads, etc. For the maj7ths, use the major chord patterns, many different patterns for the major chords, minor chords, etc. in my "Pro's Jazz Phrases" (both in the treble and bass clefs).

Carol <carolkaye@earthlink.net>

Submitted at: 14:16 on Sunday, August 16, 1998

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tip 51

Jeffrey, PS. meant to say that yes, the "Autumn Leaves" backed with "Jazz Blues" walking note lines sheet is still available for 2 stamps mailed to me at: PO Box 2122, Canyon Country CA 91386-2122. Once you practice to make the subtle connection of good fingerings (complete with thumb pivot to anchor your LH), and moving your fingers around as a group, totally relaxed (don't leave that index laying down on the fingerboard at all once you've played the note with it, this is totally a useless habit leftover from the string bass), then your creativity opens up quite a bit too and you don't lose your place. When reading music, just remember to mentally "circle" the bar where you're at before looking down at your neck, and your eyes, will look back up to that line, this is the movie studio musician's trick in reading (no-one ever totally "sight-reads" there, they look at their music and sometimes mentally quickly practice it too if it looks pretty hard). With the left thumb pivot, your thumb covers maybe 1/2 to almost 2/3 the distances your left hand does. Don't leave the fingers stretched out too much at times either, keep them pretty well-grouped together and playing "chordal" patterns (thinking in chords) will help. If not chordal in the music you read, then keep your eyes always a little bit ahead of the note(s) you're reading. Good reading also requires pre-planning of fingerings according to where the line leads you (not the pre-shifting habits of string bass tho', it's totally different). Take advantage of rests, long notes, open strings, tied notes etc. to use those little gaps to move your hand to the next chordal pattern block of notes (try not to shift in the middle of a pattern). If we were together, I could show in 2 seconds, and you'd get it. Have taught elec. bass since 1969 and this is a method not only honed by all the studio work but also by all the successes in teaching. (805) 288-6551

Carol

Submitted at: 10:14 on Wednesday, August 12, 1998

 

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