Well here is another guitar solo bass transcription for all you bass players out there.
As an electric bass player I like to transcribe guitar solos because of similarity in the fingerings on the bass. I play both a 4 string and a 6 string and with the 6 string I can get up into some of the guitar’s range for playing solos. This particular tune “Flat Out” by Scofield from his CD of the same name is based on a VERY common set of chord changes that every bass player should know regardless of the style you play. The chord changes are what is commonly referred to as “Rhythm Changes” meaning that the chords are originally from the tune called “I Got Rhythm”. Countless “heads” or melodies have been written over these set of changes so if you’re not familiar with them then do some homework and get familiar with them as soon as possible. I didn’t include the melody in this transcription, just Scofield’s solo, but feel free to learn the melody and transcribe it if you can. The form on any Rhythm Changes based tune is always the same and is almost always played in the key of Bb. The form goes like this: [A] [A] [B] [A] with each [A] section consisting of 8 bars. The [B] section or Bridge is also 8 bars and then there’s one last [A] section that’s played and then the form starts over.
Scofield employs many different melodic devices and techniques in this solo but one of his favorite scales to play is the Symmetric Diminished Scale, especially over dominant 7th chords (like F7). The Symmetric Diminished Scale is a great scale to use over dominant 7th chords because it contains all the cool “tensions” like the b9, #9, #11, & the 13th. The scale is built like this: H-W-H-W-H-W-H-W (or C-Db-Eb-E-F#-G-A-Bb-C) if done over a C7 chord. For more on this scale check out the “Lessons” section of my web site. Scofield also employs the blues scale quite a bit in this solo as well. I strongly urge you to really analyze and study Scofield’s choice of notes over each chord. He is a master of the “inside-outside” style of playing and he plays very few cliché’s. Like some of my other favorite guitar players (John McLaughlin, Mike Stern, etc) Scofield also played with Miles Davis and Miles only hired the best. So have fun with this transcription and as always, try and work it up to speed (gradually of course) so you can play along with the recording. It tough but it’s worth it. Good luck.