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Jimmy Garrison’s Bass Line from Crescent

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This month’s transcription is Jimmy Garrison’s Bass line from “Crescent”, off John Coltrane’s album Crescent.

Open rescent – Coltrane Pt 1

I started the transcription at 1:35 where the bass starts walking. Let’s get straight into using this transcription to make you a better player. First, as always, the notes in each line need to be compared with the major scale of the chord for each measure. If you are really familiar with this analytical process, go ahead and skip to the next paragraph, if not then read on. The major scale is always our ruler. We can take our measurements and apply them to literally any situation. Let’s take the lick in measure 19 to explain this process. The chord is some type of Eb chord, in this case, Eb minor seven. Take the Eb MAJOR scale and apply a number for each note, starting with one, and increasing by one until you have labeled the last note (high Eb) as eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight, a number for every scale note. Now take the notes in the measure you are analyzing: Eb, F, Gb, and Bb, and compare them to the major scale by the numbers. This example gives you 1, 2, b3, and 5 (because the Eb major scale starts with Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb). This is your lick. Now in order to apply this super common walking lick to all types of chords, you need to know your chord tones. A minor seven type of chord has the chord tones 1, b3, 5, and b7 when compared to its major scale (our ruler). The lick that we are looking at is 1, 2, b3, 5, but its simplest form is 1, 2, 3, 5. Take this generic pattern and apply it to any chord. You need to know the chord tones for each chord in order to do this. For instance, over a major seven type of chord, this lick will be unchanged. 1, 2, 3, 5 on a G maj 7 chord gives us G, A, B, D. Using the lick on a half diminished chord, aka minor 7 flat five, will give you 1, 2, b3, b5. We’ll not get into chord scales here. So if you know that a half diminished chord has the chord tones 1, b3, b5, b7, then you adjust your lick (1, 2, 3, 5) to fit, which gave us 1, 2, b3, b5. If you were using the lick on an “A half diminished” chord, aka A-7 b5, you would play A, B, C, Eb.

Now that we have a handle on how to use the major scale as our ruler, we need to apply it. First I’ll talk about how to get this transcription into your playing through specific practice techniques. Next I’ll talk about four specific ideas from this piece which include: chromaticism, anticipations, major six on a minor chord, and implying different chords. Last we’ll talk about specific licks from the piece.

This is how I recommend practicing this transcription to get the most out of it. First you have to memorize the form. This piece is a 12 measure chord progression that keeps repeating. The first eight bars of the transcription act as an intro, so look at the chord progression starting from 17 and ending with 28. Take these twelve bars and memorize the chord progression. Here’s what you should be memorizing:

Bb7sus, , Eb-7, , E half diminished, A7b9, D-7, , G7sus, , C-7, ,

Each coma represents a full measure, therefore, a chord that has two commas after it will last for two full measures. If you are still pretty new to memorizing changes, this will be a little difficult, but be encouraged by the fact that it will keep getting easier every time you do it. Memorizing changes is a skill that will improve only through practice. So if this proves difficult for you, take heart in the fact that it will never be this hard again.

Now take measures 17-28 and memorize the bass line. After you have it memorized, analyze these twelve bars against the chord symbols. At this point you should have the bass line memorized, and the chord progression. So now you need to compare each measure, against the major scale for that chord. The first two measures (17, and 18) will give you this:

1 1 b7 6, 56 2 1 61,

Again, I am using comas to represent measures, I will always ignore ghost notes (note heads that are show as an X) because they are not notes, they are percussion. I tried to group notes by each beat. Measure 18 starts with two eighth notes so I put those two numbers right next to each other to try and make it easier to read. You need to analyze this way for the entire 12 measures. Now memorize the number analysis, and combine it in your mind with the bass line that you already have memorized. To put it another way, you will no longer play the line as if you were whistling a melody, you will be thinking of the numerical analysis for every note as compared to every chord, and you will be doing this for every note you play. If you are new at thinking this way, it may seem very difficult at first, but if you want to get good, you can’t avoid this. If it’s really hard, just take one or two measures a day. Now when you play the line, do it slowly, always being conscious of the chords that are occurring, and of the number analysis of what you are playing. Play these 12 measures for about a week until you are comfortable with thinking about these three concepts (chords, numbers, and playing the line). Then take the next 12 measures for the following week and apply the same approach. When you do this, you will internalize these licks and ideas into your own playing. You will greatly increase your facility for memorizing changes, and understanding the notes against the chords. In short you’ll be well on your way to becoming a monster on your bass. These two skills are essential for improvising in either a walking line or a solo.

Now let’s talk about ideas from this transcription. Take note of how often a chromatic note is used on beat four of a measure to lead into the chord tone of the next measure. I counted eight instances of this at measures: 12, 32, 34, 43, 44, 50, 80, and 92. Use this technique on every measure of an easy song to get it in your playing. Next look at how many times Jimmy plays a natural sixth (the note when compared to the major scale) over a minor chord. I counted at least four instances at measures: 2, 12, 23, and 36. The major sixth note will almost always work on a minor chord in jazz, especially if you’re not sure what kind of sixth to use. Now look at how many times Jimmy uses a “push” or anticipation. The most common that I found were pushes on “and of 1” and “and of four”. Examples of this are in measures: 11, 12, 45, 73, 81, 89, 93 and 96. The last idea we’ll talk about is implying a different chord change. Jimmy constantly implies two measures of A7b9 instead of playing one measure on E half diminished, then one measure on A7b9. These chords occurs on measures five and six of the twelve measure progression that you should have memorized. Check out measures: 21, 33, 45, 69, 81 and 93. You can do this on any 2-5 progression, but I don’t recommend doing it every time except in special situations.

Now let’s talk about some licks. First, we’ll look at some licks that Jimmy seems to use often. One lick is: 1 2 3 1. This happens at measures 24, 96, and 99. The next lick is: 1 2 3 5, and occurs at measures: 19 and 84. Another common lick is: 8 7 6 5, and this one happens at: 23, 49, and 83. Take one of these licks and use it on every chord in a simple jazz tune like Autumn Leaves, or All the Things You Are. Remember to adjust each lick pattern to fit the chord tones. You don’t just play 1 2 3 1 on any chord, you have to adjust to the chord tones. On a minor seven chord you would play 1 2 b3 1. All these licks are basic ideas to use as building blocks for walking lines and can be used often in a single song. Now let’s look at some really “flavorful” licks, which should be used more sparingly. Take each lick and analyze against the major scale of the chord in order to use the idea on any chord in your own playing. In measure six, Jimmy plays all fourths, which matches perfectly with what McCoy Tyner is playing on keys. Most likely, Jimmy and McCoy had played this song enough that they both knew they would play this here, and it’s a great touch. Fourths are a distinct sound and produce a really nice effect to add variation in your walking. Next look at measure 12, especially beats three and four. This is a great lick to use on a minor chord to take you back to the root. The “push” on the “and of four” should be included as part of the lick. The next nice lick is measure 34. Beat four of this measure should be analyzed as simply a chromatic note leading into the root of the next measure. Lastly, check out the nice two measure lick at 37. This would be great on any 7th (dominant) chord. You have to take your analysis of each lick, and apply them over a variety of different changes from a real tune before you will see them occur naturally in your own walking. Remember to always adjust the numbers of the lick for the chord tones of the measure that you are playing

That’s it for this month. Just wait for next month when we finish this song out. There’s lots of stuff to work on here, but if you have any questions about anything you can always shoot me a message through the website, or better yet, take it to your instructor. Concepts like these are always better explained and demonstrated in person. The suggestions here will give you real results, but it’s also real work. There’s no magic wand, if you want to sound better, it takes work. But it’s a lot of fun, don’t give up. Remember that it always gets easier the more work you put into it. Until next time.

Bass CDs

New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at danielbenmortiz.com/

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New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Dual Compressor/Effects Loop

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New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Duel Compressor/Effects Loop

Step Into X2C With Phil Jones Bass Dual Compressor/Effects Loop…

Phil Jones Bass latest pedal innovation is the X2C Dual Compressor with Dual Effects Loop for performance and recording. The X2C incorporates advanced compressor circuit technology and provides comprehensive tone control with a dual crossover feature which divides the signal into frequency bands ranging from 100Hz to 500Hz, ensuring exceptional clarity and dynamics in tone refinement. 

With insert jacks on each band, the X2C unlocks limitless creativity, enabling players to use various FX pedals for custom tone sculpting. Additionally, it functions as an electronic crossover, ideal for driving high-performance, 2-way bass rigs.

PJB’s Dual-Band compression design is more flexible than standard single-band compressors and provides a more natural and transparent sound. It also provides greater control over shaping and managing dynamics where standard compressors affect the entire frequency spectrum of an audio signal.  

PJB’s dual compressor enables the player to shape specific frequency ranges of an audio signal which allows for compressing the low frequencies while preserving the high frequencies, or vice-versa. Treating the low-end with a dedicated band also allows for heavy compression without affecting the midrange frequencies, which carry the attack of the sound. 

Effects can be plugged into the insert jacks on the X2C and controlled separately. As an example, the lows can be adjusted separately for an overdrive pedal while the highs can be controlled for a chorus. 

Dividing the audio spectrum into fundamental frequencies and harmonics is also effective in the enrichment of slapping techniques. The low frequencies can be compressed without changing the dynamics of the “slap”. By controlling the low frequencies and focusing the attack on the slap the amplifier will sound louder while avoiding overloading of the amp or speakers. The low band can be compressed without the harmonics being affected. In addition, the send jacks can go to different amplifiers/speakers for a bi-amplification set up.

Compact and potent, the X2C embodies studio-grade excellence, setting a new standard for dynamic processing in an uncompromising, portable pedal. The street price is $359.99.

Visit online at www.pjbworld.com

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Bass CDs

New Album: CATTANEO, Tim Lefebvre, Andrea Lombardini, Hypersphere

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New Album: CATTANEO, Tim Lefebvre, Andrea Lombardini, Hypersphere

CATTANEO, TIM LEFEBVRE AND ANDREA LOMBARDINI PRESENT ‘HYPERSPHERE’ EP
The members of Buñuel, David Bowie’s band and a prominent electronic artist are united and have releases their first collaborative release via Freecom Hub.

Hypersphere is an EP created by CATTANEOTim Lefebvre and Andrea Lombardini. Following their conceptual milestone, a dream team of bass players and multi-instrumentalists created fragments of music, coexisting and complementing each other individually and altogether. Having been playing with CATTANEO since 2016, Andrea Lombardini describes the process of their work as “strong musical connection”. Starting with the fully improvised set featuring drum-machine and pedal effects. “Some of Paolo’s keyboards are homemade and he has very unique sounds” – explains Andrea. Getting Tim Lefebvre to produce the EP, the duo simultaneously started another vehicle of their collaboration.

Moving their work organically, three extraordinary musicians managed to reach an almost-perfect balance between sounds of guitar and bass with electronic instruments. Morphing together, numerous guitar riffs, loops of synthesizers. Dominating electronic sounds get united with a rock take, depicting dark moods and ethereal landscapes. All these elements work in tandem to create something new each time.

Order Hypersprehere here.

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Bass Events

Milt Hinton Institute for Bass Summer Camp in New Jersey

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Milt Hinton Institute for Bass sSummer Camp in New Jersey

Milt Hinton Institute for Bass Summer Camp in New Jersey…

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will host the Milt Hinton Institute for Studio Bass, an exceptional summer music education program for teens, in residence at Montclair State University, in July 2024. Unique among music camps, the Hinton Institute is designed to support intermediate and advanced bass players ages 14 through 18, for a week of expert classes, performances, ensemble work, studio sessions, lectures, workshops and more. The camp will run from July 14 through July 20, 2024Registration is open December 16, 2023, through  June 7, 2024for more information on applying to the Milt Hinton Institute, please visit njpac.org/hinton. Student musicians will be required to submit a video of themselves playing two performance pieces during the application process. Need-based tuition scholarships are available.

Peter Dominguez, acclaimed bassist and Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies at University of Wisconsin–Madison, will serve as the Institute’s Artistic Director.  An extraordinary faculty of professionals from the music world — including Rufus Reid, Ben Williams, Luis Perdomo, Jeremy Smith, Sam Suggs, Martin Wind, Marcus McLaurine, Bill Moring, Mimi Jones, Emma Dayhuff, Diana Gannett, and Bill Crow — will  focus camp instruction on bass performance techniques and ensemble playing in a range of musical genres including classical, Latin and jazz. 

The camp is named for Milt Hinton (1910-2000) a prolific jazz bassist, studio musician and photographer whose career intersected with many of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. The Institute has been held biennially since 2014. It joined forces with the Arts Center this season in part to draw a larger faculty of professional bass players from among the many musicians living and working in the New York City area. Notable guest artists from the region are expected to visit with campers as well.    

“We’re very pleased to have this program be part of the larger vision of NJPAC and its extensive Arts Education offerings. The work being done by the Arts Center has a significant social impact” said David G. Berger, a lifelong friend of Hinton’s, whose Berger Family Foundation helped support the camp.  “That would have been extremely attractive to Milt. He wanted everybody to be involved with music — old and young, men and women, all colors, all creeds. Long before it was popular, that’s the way he lived his life — he welcomed everyone.”

“I grew up in the jazz festival business, and there was no one whose artistry matched his heart  better than Milt Hinton,” said John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC. “He was a brilliant bassist and he also was a brilliant human being. He was the heartbeat of any band he played in and he exuded a kindness that to me exemplified the spirit of jazz.”

Known as “the dean of jazz bassists,” Hinton played with jazz greats from the early 1930s on, performing with Jabbo Smith, Eddie South, Cab Calloway, Ethel Waters, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Erroll Garner, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and many others. Hinton also recorded with pop superstars including Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler and Willie Nelson. Hinton also toured extensively, and in 1993, he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Fellowship. He was also well known for his photography, through which he documented seven decades of jazz history. Hinton was renowned for his willingness to mentor young players; a scholarship program in his name was established by his friends and admirers on his 70th birthday. After Hinton’s passing, the Institute was conceived as a way to continue his work in supporting younger bass players. “Two of Milt’s favorite words — ‘cohesiveness’ and ‘sharing’ — are at the core of this week-long Institute that brings together emerging bassists who often are the singular players in their own community and school ensembles,” said Artistic Director Dominguez, (whose own career was advanced when he became one of the first winners of a Hinton Scholarship Competition  in 1981).  “To be a bass player is often to focus not on being a soloist, but on musical collaboration — making other musicians in an ensemble sound better. Bass players are the soul of ensemble playing, and to develop these young souls through arts education programming at NJPAC is both an honor for us and an important responsibility,” said David Rodriguez, NJPAC’s Executive Producer and Executive Vice President — and himself a well-known professional bass player.

The camp will be housed on the campus of Montclair State University in Montclair, where students will live, study and have the opportunity to take part in multiple performances. “Bringing the prestigious Milt Hinton Institute for Studio Bass to the campus of Montclair State University marks an exciting chapter for the College of the Arts, reinforcing our commitment to providing exceptional opportunities for young musicians,” said Daniel Gurskis, Dean of the College of the Arts. “With NJPAC as our partner, we look forward to creating an environment where passion meets skill, fostering a new generation of accomplished and versatile bassists. We are confident that the Institute will become a beacon, attracting talent from diverse backgrounds who are the future of bass music.”

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @astluthier @bqwbassguitar @foderaguitars @ramabass.ok @s.martyn_custom_basses @anacondabasses @capursoguitars @sireusaofficial @atelierz1988 @doctorbassburgos

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