JAZZ BASS IMPROVISATION – A Guide to Chords, Scales, Arpeggios & Other Concepts and Techniques for the Advancing Bassist
The best place to start a review of JAZZ BASS IMPROVISATION would be an excerpt from the Introduction, in which it says:
..before you can use this knowledge in an improvising situation, you much assimilate the chords and scales to the same degree in which you have assimilated the C major scale; that is. you must be able to play them without hesitation from any place in the scale and “see” them all up and down your instrument. This book suggests a method to accomplish this goal. Please read the whole book before you begin the work (and before you judge it).
That me put me in my place right from the start. I’m not of that skill level yet, but still wanted to learn. What follows is a comprehensive study of 8 scales. Each scale is analyzed as a scale, an arpeggio and with a unique fingering pattern applied to the scale. Each one is presented in the key of C.
With the first 2 scales under your belt, you are then given a chord chart (called a connecting exercise) of roughly 30 bars. The chord chart alternates between the 2 chords those scales represent (i.e. / Cmaj7 / Cmi7 / Cmaj7 / Cmi7 / etc.). It is your task to create a walking bass line through this chart, based on your knowledge of these 2 new scales.
Once that is under your belt, you start the 3rd scale, and are presented with a chard that now includes 3 chords (i.e. / Cmi7 / Cmaj7 / C7 / Cmi7 / etc.). This process continues until you work through all 8 scales, and the corresponding charts for study. Upon completion of all 8 scales and charts, you have completed the scope of work in the key of C, which is what’s covered in the book – but that doesn’t mean your homework is done.
It is presumed, by now, you understand the methodology of this process, and the author’s approach. So the next task is for you to to take it upon yourself, and repeat the study, but this time in a different key. After you’ve completed all 12 keys, well you can probably see how far your musicianship has evolved.
All in all, it’s a very comprehensive approach, and provides one with a clear path forward towards true mastery of their instrument. Don’t be fooled by the page count (40) – I started working through this book 2 months ago, and have barely scratched the surface. This will take me a long time to work through, but it’s already given me a perspective I didn’t have before, and has improved my level of musicianship.
IN IT’S OWN WORDS
A Guide to Chords, Scales, Arpeggios & Other Concepts and Techniques for the Advancing Bassist… Discover new ways to advance your bass improvisation skills through systematic practice techniques, chord/scale studies, and innovative theory concepts. Whether you play electric, acoustic or upright bass, this book/CD pack will take your playing to the next level and beyond. The accompanying audio CD features 34 piano play-along tracks to further hone your ears and fingers. Covers: practical techniques, improvisation concepts, jazz theory, chord studies, scale patterns and arpeggios. Written in standard notation only (no TAB). Includes audio CD. 40 pages.
JAZZ BASS IMPROVISATION – A Guide to Chords, Scales, Arpeggios & Other Concepts and Techniques for the Advancing Bassist available at BassBooks.com