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Charlie Parker Plays Great on the Six String Bass



The Power of One Note

Charlie Parker Plays Great on the Six String Bass…

A couple of tunes that always come up when discussing important songs in the bass cannon are “Donna Lee” and “Giant Steps.”

I do understand their importance but what do you do after you get those tunes under your belt? There is so much more to uncover and discover and that is what today’s column is about.

A number of years ago I put a band together for a regular bi-weekly jam in NY. The band was, to say the least, incredible! The Rolling Stones Horns, the guitarist, and drummer from John Entwistle’s solo project the singer from Buster Poindexter’s Band, etc. A lot of folks sat in including Bruce Willis, Carol King and even Bootsy Collins showed up. I needed to put together a serious setlist!

We always started our shows with an instrumental and I wanted this one to be a little less known so I picked Charlie Parker’s “Chi Chi.”

Chi Chi is a jazz blues in Ab. He recorded this track back in 1953 at his last significant recording session before passing away in 1955. This same recording session also yielded classic recordings of Confirmation and Now’s the Time.

When I started going through the Charlie Parker Omnibook I was thrilled that “Chi Chi” lays beautifully on the Six String Bass.

So for this lesson, I have written out the transcription twice. The first one has a few theory tidbits that I found most interesting written into the transcription. The second is just the music for you to play along with.

When possible, before I dig into a new tune, I try to listen to it a few times to get the feel, phrasing, etc. I am enclosing the tune from YouTube for you to give a listen:

So looking at the first transcription; the pickup bar utilizes just the first finger and builds on ascending 4ths.

The first beat of bar (2) I play with the open C string and it is the beginning of an Ab arpeggio starting on the 10th (3rd degree).

Bar 3 starts with the b3 on Bb and on the “and of 2” the melody plays an E?interestingly enough as it anticipates* an Eb7 chord.

In bar 4 starting on the 3rd beat, we have the root, 5, 6 & b7 complementing the Ab7 chord.

I love the Bb in bar 6. As a dotted half note, it brings the melody to a short pause.

In bar 7 we have another anticipation* heading into bar 8 with the G, which is the 5 of the C-7 chord.

*An anticipation occurs when a chord note arrives before the chord is played

The 2nd half of bar 8 arpeggiates a C- starting on the 5.

The melody in bar 9 begins with the 5 of C as does bar 10 wit Db, the fifth of Bb-7.

Bar 11 again uses an anticipation into bar 12. That G is the 3rd of the Eb7 as well as the 5th of the C-7. And here is something else The Eb7 (Eb, G, Bb, Db) is similar to the C-7 (C, Eb, G, Bb) Technically, the Db can be thought of as a b9 of the C-7 and the C can be thought of as a b13 of the Eb7.

A lot to take in!

This is a great tune to play. I would suggest taking it slowly at first. Perhaps a couple of bars at a time. When you get that under your belt, move on.

In my follow up to this column, I will show you a simple but effective walking bass line where I will reharmonize a few of the chords.

Stay tuned stay healthy and stay safe!

David C Gross has been the bassist for a lot of folks. He has written 14 bass books and 3 instructional videos, hosts “The Notes From An Artist Radio Show” on Monday nights 8 PM EDT, and the “Notes From An Artist” podcast available on iTunes, Spotify and all podcast platforms.

NFAA brings you behind the scenes with individuals who forged a timeless musical canon – spanning rock, jazz, funk, blues, folk, country, and permutations thereof. Listen to stories and anecdotes hitherto untold and relive more than a few chronicles that have become lore with a fresh vision. It’s the soundtrack of our lives. Celebrate the past, live in the present, and anticipate the future – take Notes From An Artist

You can contact David @ for more information regarding his online lessons and world-renown correspondence course.

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BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I



Jaime David Vazquez - Lessons For Bass Guitar

Triads & Inversions Part I

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue, we are going to study the triads and their inversions.

It is very important for all bassists to understand and master the triads, but it is even more important to understand their different inversions.

In Part I, we are going to learn what the triad is in fundamental position.

The Formula consists of root, third and fifth.

Degrees of the Triad

Major Triad: 1 – 3 – 5
Minor Triad: 1 – b3 – 5
Diminished Triad: 1 – b3 – b5
Augmented Triad: 1 – 3 – #5

Fig.1 – The C, Cm, Cdim & Caug triads
(Fundamental Position)

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I
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Bass Edu

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque



Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice's Bassist Lewis Bridges - From the Album, Grotesque

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

Bassist Lewis Bridges Shares…

“Gruesome’s sparse intro marks a stark contrast from the intensity of the rest of the album.  The original intention was to keep the bass simple but colourful, however as I worked on it, the lines grew more expressive and the more striking flourishes began to emerge.  The intensity builds into a harmonic minor passage that takes us into the drop — a signature death grind cacophony.  This is where Foetal Juice thrives.  You’re getting a full-on right-hand barrage to in the face to take you into a groove-laden mulch-fest.

I owe my throbbing bass tone to the Darkglass Alpha Omega pedal borrowed from our sound engineer, Chris Fielding (ex-Conan), mixed with the clarity of the tried and true Ampeg SVT CL.

As mentioned earlier, colourful basslines are important, especially in a one-guitar band. Chucking some funny intervals and odd flourishes here and there brings life into the brutality. There’s no point sounding brutal if it’s not gonna be fucking evil too!

Recording this playthrough was hard work. This was not the fault of James Goodwin (Necronautical), who was kindly filming and is ace to work with, but because in true Foetal fashion, we had stinking hangovers — and that jam room was hot!”

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Bass Edu

Bass Lines: The Circle



jaime Vazquez

Bass Lines: The Circle…

Hello bass players and fans of bass! This month we’re going to study “The Circle.”

The Circle of Fourths can also be called “The Circle of Fifths or just The Circle.

Practicing the scales, chords, and ideas in general via the circle has been a common practice routine for jazz musicians and highly recommended.

It is a disciplined way of working through all twelve keys.

Plus, many bass root movements to jazz and pop songs move through sections of the circle.

Fig. 1 – “The Circle”

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thecircle, #thecircleoffourths, #thecircleoffifths,#scales & #chords.

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Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 5



James Rosocha

Continuing our lesson of Approach Notes, Part 5…

In continuing with the concept of approach notes being applied to chord tones, this lesson approaches the root, third, fifth, and seventh degree of each arpeggio inversion by incorporating a double chromatic approach from above, and a single chromatic approach from below. 

The first examples approach the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a double chromatic from above and a single chromatic approach from below -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down.

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, double chromatic from above/ single below to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down.

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down. 

This final example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above and below approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, double chromatic from above and below to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down.

Be sure to pace yourself with these lessons to avoid burning out.

Being overly ambitious with your practice schedule can lead to unrealistic expectations. Try learning one approach note concept and one chord type a week. Change your practice routine as necessary and tailor it to your needs as a musician. Good luck!

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Bass Edu

BASS LINES – The Blue Notes (Minor Blues Scale)



jaime Vazquez

Hello bass players and bass fans! Happy New Year 2024!

In this issue, we are going to study the blue notes.

In blues, jazz, and rock, a blue note is a note that (for expressive purposes) is sung or played at a slightly different pitch from standard. Typically the alteration is between a quartertone and a semitone, but this varies depending on the musical context.

The blue notes are usually said to be the lowered third(b3), lowered fifth(b5) and lowered seventh(b7) scale degrees. The lowered fifth(b5) is also known as the raised fourth(#4). Though the blues scale has “an inherent minor tonality, it is commonly ‘forced’ over major-key chord changes, resulting in a distinctively dissonant conflict of tonalities”.

Blue notes are used in many blues songs, in jazz, rock and in conventional popular songs with a “blue” feeling.


The A Minor Blues Scale

1 – b3 – 4 – (#4/b5) – 5 – b7

A – C – D – (D#/Eb) – E – Bb

The grades(blue notes):

b3, (#4/b5), b7

C, (D#/Eb), Bb

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thebluenotes, #minorbluesscale & #bluesscale

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