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To L. Ron Hubbard, whose study technology has been
of great assistance in the writing of this book.
Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Jason Shulman, David Katzenberg,
Cameron Brown and Billy Mintz for valuable ideas and
opinions. And to all the many fine musicians it has
been my good fortune to be associated with, a special
thank you.
The author welcomes any communication regarding this
book. Address all correspondence c/o the publishers
who will in turn forward it to the author.
o 1980 Amsco Publications.
A Division of Music Sales Corporation. New York
All Rights Reserved
International Standard Book Number: 0.8256.4091.1
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 79-54366
Exclusive Distributors:
MusiC' Sales Corporalion
24 East 22nd Street. New York. NY 10010 USA
MusiC' Sales Umiled
78 Newman Street. London WI P 3LA England
MusiC' Sales Ply. Umlled
27 Clarendon Street. Artarmon. Sydney NSW 2064 Australia
Printed in the United States of America by
Vicks Lithograph and Printing Corporation

Contentl
Preface 4 Scale Analysis 58
About the Bass and Bass Players 5 Types of Intervals 58
Purchasing Equipment 5 Intervals and Their Inversions 59
Fretted or Fretless? 6 Study Assignment - Intervals 61
Strings 6 About Bass Lines 62
Amplifiers 6 Reading Bass Parts 62
Equipment Cases 6 Notation Symbols 62
Equipment Care 7
Counting Rhythms 65
Fundamentals of Technique 7
Making Up a Bass Figure 67
Positioning the Bass 7
Exercise in Bass Figures 67
Positioning the Left Hand 7
Study Assignment - Bass Figures 71
Positioning the Right Hand 7
Right-Hand Techniques 7
Bass Figures in Odd Time Signatures 72
Time 72
About the Acoustic Bass 7
Buying an Acoustic Bass 8
Acoustic-Bass Pickups 8
Amplifiers for Acoustic Bass 8
Acoustic-Bass Care 9
About Bassists 9
Qualities to Aim For 9
About Practicing 9
Tuning the Bass 11
The Range of the Bass 11
Study Assignment - Note Reading 11
Scales 12
Chord Scales 12
Chord Scales: Definitions 12
Chord-Scale Chart 13
Practice Method for Chord Scales 14
Functions of Lydian Major 7th and Lydian
Dominant 7th Chords 17
Chord Progressions Using Lydian Major 7th
and Lyciian Dominant 7th Chords 18
Study Assignment - Lydian Chords 19
Altered Dominant 7th Chords 20
l Time 73
a Time 74
IJTime 74
Study Assignment - Odd Times 75
Making a Walking Bass Line 76
Open-String Rhythm Studies 76
Study Assignment - Blues Lines 79
Blues Lines with Embellishments 80
Study Assignment - Blues Lines with
Embellishments 81
Minor Blues Lines 82
Study Assignment - Minor Blues Lines 83
Harmonic Rhythm 84
Chromatic Tones 86
Study Assignment - Harmonic Rhythms 87
Atonal Walking Bass Lines 93
Study - Walking Bass Lines 94
About Soloing 95
Developing an Idea 95
Developing an Idea on a Minor Blues 95
Exercises on Soloing 99
Diminished Scales 27
Study Assignment - Solos 101
Chord Scales: Studies in Different Keys 29
Pentatonic Scales 45
Double Stops 102
Major and Minor Tenths: E and G Strings 102
Pentatonic Scales: Studies in Different Keys 46
Pentatonic Scales within Chord Scales 51
Bass Lines Using Tenths 106
Other Intervals 107
Examples Using Pentatonic Scales 53
Study Assignment - Pentatonics 54
Modal Scales 55
Unaccompanied Bass Guitar Solo 109
City and Eastern Blues 109
110
Modes within One Octave 56
Bibliography 111
Establishing Modes 57
Study Assignment - Modes 57
Scale Analysis and Intervals 58
Appendix: Bassists to Listen To 112
Acoustic Bassists 112
Other Bassists 112
The purpose of this book is to provide the aspiring bas-
sist with data vital to performing successfully in a wide
variety of contemporary musical situations. More
specifically, it is designed to help in those situations
where a notated bass part is not provided, and where it
is the bassist's responsibility to create or improvise a
part appropriate to the music at hand.
The ability to do this well rests largely on the in-
dividual's knowledge of the harmonic material within
the musical idiom that he or she wants to play, plus
skill in applying this knowledge directly to the instru-
ment.
i n ~ the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic struc-
ture of a piece of music relies heavily on the bass to
give it its foundation, the bass player must take his or
her role in this responsibility seriously. Just as a build-
ing built on a weak foundation will soon collapse, a
piece of music being performed by a group with an
unsure bassist is liable to fall apart. A large percentage
of contemporary music-both jazz and pop-features
the bass more than ever before, and the bassist is re-
quired to lay down his part in a positive and forth-
right manner, with certainty and conviction. These
are some of the key ingredients in playing the role
of bassist well. One thing is certain-guessing does not
work.
4
The information collected in this book is de-
signed to assist the student who is eager to overcome
his confusion, and eliminate whatever guesswork he
relies on in attempting to fill this role. There is nothing
radically new about this information-it has been
around for a long time and is common knowledge
among the majority of skilled musicians. What is new is
the presentation of this information in a clear and pre-
cise form especially for the bassist.
Since this book deals with what to play rather
than how to play, discussions or explanations of in-
strumental and musical basics have been avoided. The
exercises and ideas presented here can be easily applied
by the student who has some knowledge of the bass
and the rudiments of music. An excellent book to use
as a guide to obtaining basic music skills is Elementary
Training for Musicians, by Paul Hindemith. This or a
similar book on the subject should be kept handy
while studying so that any misunderstandings that
arise can be cleared up.
To be a creative, well-rounded bassist is a worthy
goal, and if this book serves in some small way to aid
the student on his or her journey, my purpose will be
fulfilled.
Aboullhe IkvI Gnd IG" PIGlle"
Bass guitar first appeared on the music scene in the ear-
ly 1950s. The most popular model at that time was the
Fender Bass, created by Leo Fender. As rock music
began to develop, bass guitar gradually began to replace
its predecessor, the acoustic bass. This was largely due
to the volume of the music and the difficulty at that
time of amplifying the acoustic. By the late 1950s it
became evident that bass guitar was well on its way to
becoming a bona fide musical instrument in its own
right, and with the advent of 1960s rock music it was
clear that it had arrived to stay. Since then, it has be-
come an integral part of virtually every rock and pop
group and its sound is heard on the majority ~ records
made today.
However, its use in jazz is relatively recent. Since
the mid-sixties many acoustic players began to double
on bass guitar as the demands of the music changed.
Some abandoned acoustic entirely.
There are many different points of view about
the use of bass guitar in jazz, both pro and con. The
most prevalent point of view (and the one with which
I agree), is that nothing will ever replace the quality,
texture, and beauty of the acoustic bass. In the hands
of a skilled player, it is a magnificent sound to behold.
To compare the quality of the two instruments is rather
pointless. It's a little like comparing a horse to a don-
key: They are different animals, although they can
have similar form and function. What, then, is the posi-
tion of bass guitar in jazz? Wide open! With the arrival
on the music scene of players such as Jaco Pastorius
with Weather Report and Stanley Clarke with Return
to Forever and other adventurous souls, it is clear that
possibilities exist to play beyond the endlessly repeated
root-fifth "vamps" syndrome most commonly associ-
ated with the instrument. As more and more young
players emerge from rock/pop groups, eager to expand
their musical horizons, it is only a matter of time until
there will be many fine players making meaningful
contributions to the ever expanding field of contempo-
rary jazz.
Since the concept of jazz bass evolved from a long
line of acoustic bassists, it would be folly for the earnest
student to ignore the work of these fine artists who
paved the way. To this end I have included at the end
of this book a list of key figures who have had, and
continue to have, a major influence on the development
of a creative bass style. I strongly urge the student to
track down recordings of these artists as the music
speaks far more eloquently on the subject than any
textbook could hope to.
Finally, to repeat what I said earlier, the possibili-
ties for creating meaningful music on bass guitar are
wide open. There are absolutely no limitations save the
ones that you create for yourself! With faith, persist-
ence and work you will achieve your goal. It's a great
game, enjoy it!
Purchasing Bass Equipment
The Fender bass has long been considered the norm in
bass guitar. However, there are now so many different
models that it would be difficult to list them all. Basi-
cally, your choice of instrument is a matter of personal
taste and budget. Prices vary greatly. The early model
Fenders (pre-CBS) can cost three or four times that of
a new bass. Generally, the most expensive basses are
the custom designed models, such as Alembic, Carl
Thompson, etc.
One does not, however, need to spend a large
amount of money for an instrument that plays and
sounds good. A $2,500 bass in the hands of an inept
player will not sound better than a $200 bass played
by an inspired musician.
The qualities to look for when buying an instru-
ment are as follows:
Sound Quality
-Listen for an evenness of tone up and down the
neck on each string.
-Note the type of pickup or pickups used.
-Check for a good range of treble and bass tone
variations.
-There should be an overall clarity of sound free
of distortion.
Neck and Fingerboard
-Examine the straightness of the neck and mark
the type of truss rod used to adjust it.
-Note the thickness of the neck: Does it suit the
size of your hand?
-Find out what type of wood is used on the fin-
gerboard. Generally rosewood or other hardwood is
preferable because its density gives a better quality
sound.
Action
-Does it feel easy, stiff, too high, or too low?
There should be no string noise or rattle on any fret
for all four strings.
-Most basses have adjustment controls to raise or
lower the strings set on the tailpiece. Are these controls
easily accessible?
5
General Intonation
-Always check to see how true the pitch is, es-
pecially at the top of the neck.
-Most basses have ways of adjusting the intona-
tion of individual strings down by the bridge. Check
the accuracy and design of these controls.
-Examine the design of the machine heads. Are
they sturdy, or prone to slip? Once a note is brought
up to pitch, it should stay in pitch-if it slips, it may be
a faulty machine head.
Overall Reliability
-Is the instrument built to last, and will it sur-
vive under rigorous conditions? A pretty bass will be a
liability if the neck is prone to warping, snapping, or
other disasters.
These are the main things to look for when buy-
ing an instrument. It is wise to try several before you
decide. Don't be duped by high pressure salesmen into
buying a bass that you're not totally happy with. If
you're unsure, bring someone with you who knows
what to look for. Your personal "sound" is by far your
biggest asset, and a good instrument can give you
pleasure for many years.
Fretted or Fretless?
The majority of bassists use fretted instruments.
However, fretless bass is becoming quite popular and
offers a wider range of expression than fretted bass.
The overall sound quality is different, and one is pro-
vided with a comparatively better sustain. The absence
of frets allows for a certain amount of creative play
with intonation, and gives the musician the option to
use various technical devices such as vibrato, or sliding
up or down when approaching a note. Fretless bass is,
for these reasons, more difficult to play and the major-
ity of recording bassists use a fretted instrument as in-
tonation must be spot-on in the studio. It can be diffi-
cult to sightread a bass part on fretless bass-one must
concentrate on the part plus keep the pitch of each
note accurate. Personally, I use a fretted bass for re-
cording and a fretless (Fender Jazz Bass) for more
adventurous situations where it seems appropriate.
Strings
There are dozens of brands of strings on the
market-some very good, and some very bad. Basically,
there are four kinds: Flat wound, round wound, half
round, and nylon tape. These are available in heavy,
medium, or light gauge. The majority of studio bas-
sists use flat wound strings as round wounds produce
6
a certain amount of "finger noise" not too popular
with recording engineers. The round wounds do sound
very good though, and many players who work in
mostly clubs or live concerts use them for their bright-
ness.
The choice of gauge or thickness is a matter of
personal taste. While heavy gauge strings sound very
good, on some instruments they can cause the neck to
warp-making the action higher and throwing the tun-
ing out. Medium and light gauge strings work well on
most basses.
It's wise to experiment with several kinds of
strings until you find a set that suits your instrument
and style of playing. It pays to get the best that you
can-strings are a crucial part of the sound quality that
you produce.
Amplifiers
Again, there are many makes and types of ampli-
fiers on the market. An amplifier is the terminal point
of what you are playing on an instrument; it does, in
fact , define your musical voice. Therefore it is impor-
tant to select one that suits your style of playing and
the musical situations that you will be involved with.
The things to look for when buying an amplifier
are as follows:
Sound Quality
-Listen for a clear, distortion-free sound.
-See if it is a tube or transistor type amplifier.
-Note the range of variations that you can get
from the tone control: Is there a good treble, middle,
and bass?
Practicality of Size
-Make sure that the external workmanship is
good.
-Ask yourself if it looks as though it will keep on
working under rigorous conditions. An amplifier that
breaks down frequently is a real liability to you and
the group, and can cost money in cancelled engage-
ments, repairs, etc. Have it thoroughly checked before
purchasing, and keep the warranty!
Equipment Cases
Most basses come with a hard case, and for general
purposes these will suffice. However, there are soft,
form-fitting cases called "gig bags" which are less bulky
for 'round-town use. One can also usually carry them
onto planes and save any risk of damage.
.,
For extensive travel situations, a good custom
made heavy case lined with foam rubber is the best
choice. This will protect the instrument from severe
bumps and drops. They are expensive but a good
investment in the long run. Similar cases for amplifiers
can be found.
Equipment Care
It pays to keep your equipment in top condition
so as to alleviate breakdowns on the job. Have the
amplifier checked regularly.
Strings should be changed after they become
"dead" harmonically. How often differs according to
the frequency of use. Keep the neck and fingerboard
clean-this will aid your playing facility.
Fundamentals of Technique
PosITioning the Bass
In order to be comfortable while playing, it is im-
portant to position the bass next to the body in such a
way as to have easy access to the entire fingerboard.
Ideally it should remain at a 45-degree angle.
While it is not the rule, most bass players stand
when performing, so it is necessary to adjust the bass
strap until a comfortable position is found. A common
problem with some basses is that the neck keeps mov-
ing downward and requires continual adjustment. One
way to keep the balance between the neck and the
body of the instrument in proper proportion, is to
move the strap lug below the tailpiece a few inches to
the left, when facing the front of the bass.
A good sturdy strap is a good asset and make sure
that it is secure on the lugs. I had one slip off once dur-
ing a concert-the neck hit the floor and snapped in
half!
PosITioning the Left Hand
A common error in faulty technique can be
found in the manner in which the bassist uses his left
hand. Many beginners use the "bunch-of-bananas"
method-with the fingers cramped together and the
thumb wrapped around the neck onto the fingerboard.
While this may suffice for more simple forms of u s i c
it can be a real hindrance in developing a fluid and
articulate technique.
PosITioning the Right Hand
The right hand is positioned in such a way as to
provide easy access to the area of attack; i.e., the man-
ner in which the strings are struck.
A variety of sounds can be created by attacking
the strings in different places. Playing close to the end
of the fingerboard produces a warm, mellow sound;
playing above the pickup produces a' bright type of
sound; while playing down.by the tailpiece will give
you a harder, more percussive sound.
Right-Hand Techniques
There are two basic right-hand techniques that
can be used for producing a sound from the strings: u&o
ing the first and second fingers, or using a pick. For
either alternative, aim to keep the right hand very re-
laxed at the wrist. This will increase your dexterity and
ability to play for long periods of time without tiring.
While the majority of players seem to favor the
two-finger style, the use of a pick is quite common
among studio bass players as it produces a clear; bright
sound which records well. Mastering this style is a
study on its own, and is markedly different from the
variety of techniques available from using the fingers
alone.
The following is a list of different approaches to
using the two-finger style:
-Alternating between the first and second fingers
and plucking the strings upwards.
-Striking downward with the thumb whOe rest-
ing the other fingers on the body below the strings.
-Plucking two or more notes with the thumb,
first, and second fingers-in the style of a classical gui-
tarist.
-Using the thumb and first finger to puD a string
off the fingerboard, and creating a percussive, snapping
sound.
The student is urged to experiment with the vari-
ous methods in order to find the one or more sounds
that wlll suit (a) his style of playing, (b) the particular
instrument being played, (c) the amplifier, and (d) indi-
vidual taste.
About the Acoustic Bass
Acoustic bass is the largest instrument in the string
family. Its use in jazz began with the first Dixieland
bands when it began to replace the tuba. The first bas-
sist to emerge as a real "voice" on the instrument was
Jimmy Blanton who performed in the early Duke El
lington orchestras.
The study of acoustic bass is a subject in its own
right. Since there are many excellent books covering
this, the technical aspects of playing acoustic bass wiD
not be dealt with here in order to concentrate on the
improvisational aspects of the instrument.
By far the best way to develop a correct technique
on acoustic bass is to find a good classical player who
teaches. The fingering and bowing of the instrument
are subjects that need to be carefully tutored in order
to avoid forming incorrect playing habits at the early
stage of development. The use of acoustic bass in con-
temporary popular music has declined somewhat since
the mid-sixties, when Fender bass began to emerge.
However, with the advent of better pickups and ampli-
fiers for the instrument, the initial problem of produc-
ing a sufficient volume has largely been overcome and
it is possible for an acoustic bassist to be heard clearly
in a relatively loud group.
The leading jazz bassists in the field today gen-
erally have prodigious techniques. Many play solo
lines equal to the best jazz guitarists. Eddie Gomez,
Stanley Clarke, Mike Richmond, or Chuck Dominico
are good examples of this new trend. While the bass
guitar lends itself very well to percussive/rhythmic
music; the acoustic bass definitely has the edge in
terms of its q u ~ t y of tone, sustain, depth of sound,
and overall blend with other instruments in' the jazz
idiom. As a solo instrument, it can be used for a wider
range of musical expression in that it can be bowed.
While it is fine to specialize in either electric or
acoustic bass, the ideal for many players is to play
both, and play them well. Acoustic bass is by far the
,most demanding of the two in that one must practice
and play it constantly in order to keep up one's tech-
nique and maintain the physical stamina needed to
produce a sound.
Buying an Acoustic Bass
The best advice I can offer for a new student in-
terested in finding a good acoustic bass is to have a
bass player or bass teacher help you. Music instru-
ment stores generally do not carry acoustic basses and
when they do they are usually of an inferior quality.
Acoustic basses are not mass produced as are Fender
basses. The majority of good sounding basses are at
least fifty to one hundred years old and come from
Italy, Germany, France, and England. Good American
made acoustic basses are rare.
Most basses come in two sizes: 3/4 size and full
size, with either a flat or a round back. Since each
acoustic bass is unique in itself it is difficult to gen-
eralize as to which type sounds best. Full-size basses do
not always have a bigger sound or a better tone, and
they can be a hassle to transport. The following is a list
of ways to find a good acoustic bass.
-Check with violin/bass repair shops.
-Get in touch with some professional bassists; they
could be either jazz or symphony players. They often
have several instruments, or they may know of a good
one for sale.
8
-Place an ad in your local newspaper. This can some-
times produce good results as someone may have an
old bass in the attic which can be bought for a bargain
price. Usually these need major repair work, which is
expensive: but considering the savings on the purchase
price, it can turn out to be a very good investment. For
example, I bought my current bass in London, England,
for $100. It was in disastrous condition. I have spent
to date about $800 on it and now have an excellent in-
strument worth much more than I invested.
Regardless of the way you intend to look for a
bass, it is a good idea to have the opinion of a profes-
sional player or teacher before making the sale final.
There are many pitfalls, and they can be costly. A
more seasoned player can also advise you as to your
choice of bow (French or German), the best type of
strings, etc.
Acoustic-Bass Pickups
There are several bass pickups available on the
market at this time. The most popular brands are Un-
derwood, Barcus-Berry, and Poly tone. Having tested all
three, I personally like the Underwood bass pickup the
best as it produces the most natural sound. However,
many bassists get good results with the other two listed.
Underwood pickups are available from Underwood Bass
Pickups, P.O. Box 303, Carmel Valley, CA 93924.
They cost at this time around one hundred dollars, and
they need to be fitted to the bridge of the instrument
by a bass repair craftsman.
Amplifiers for Acoustic Bass
The same principles that apply for electric bass
amplifiers also apply here. The actual situation one is
going to play in determines the type of amplifier
needed. The Ampeg B-15 is small, and works well for
most 'round-town gigs. For concert and touring situa-
tions, where high volume is required, a larger amplfier
may be needed. There are often problems with feed-
back: The tolerance for extremes in volume in all of
the pickups that I listed is fairly low. It is best, when a
lot of volume is required, to stand off to the side of
the amplifier. This will cut down on the chance of feed-
back. I currently use, in combination with the Under-
wood pickup, the Poly tone Mini-Brute. It comes with
either a 12-inch or a 15-inch speaker. I find the 12-inch
model ideal: It has sufficient power and volume for
most playing situations plus it is very small, lightweight,
and easy to transport. They are available from most
large musical instrument stores and are reasonably
priced.
Acoustic-Bass Care
Acoustic basses are rather fragile creatures and do
not respond well to careless handling; like being kicked,
dropped, or bumped against. Bass repairs are very cost-
ly, so pay close attention when transporting it to see
that it doesn't get bumped or otherwise abused. Also,
like humans, they do not like to be left alone for too
long and thrive on affection. Treat your bass well and
play it a lot, especially with the bow. This will help to
keep the sound "alive."
When touring, it is best to take the bass on the
plane and put it on the seat next to you where you can
keep your eye on it. Never put it in baggage unless it's
in a custom made fiberglass case. Never allow anyone
to move it or carry it who is not experienced in han-
dling basses. Most airlines charge full fare for the extra
seat, but it is worth it for the peace of mind. In general,
treat your bass well and it will treat you well for a long
time.
About Bassists
Qualities to Aim For
Having listened to and observed many fine acous-
tic and electric bassists in the field of contemporary
music, it comes to my attention that they have many
qualities in common. The following list will give you
some ideas of what to aim for.
Presence
The "thereness" and ability to project to an audience.
Quality and Clarity of Sound
Rhythmic Certainty
The ability to play with the group and hold it together
while maintaining a steady and swinging flow or pulse.
Harmonic Skill
The capacity to create musical and interesting bass
lines behind a soloist or ensem ble. This inventiveness
should be present in bass solos.
Technique
Adequate technical skill to convey the music precisely.
Reading Skills
A way to realize the composer's intentions quickly and
accurately.
Inspiration
The ability to perform with "fire" and in an uplifting
way-to inspire both the group and the audience.
Listening
The ability to "hear" and duplicate what's going on in
the music and to act in a way that complements it.
Flexibility
The willingness to try something in different ways and
be open to new ideas.
Lack of Seriousness
Have fun onstage, laugh at oneself and with others.
Make light of things and generally be joyful while
performing.
About Practicing
One of the most important and potentially re-
warding areas in being a musician is the ability to prac-
tice correctly. In the course of teaching bass students
over the past few years, it became clear to me that very
few of these students knew how to practice, what to
practice, or how to apply what they practiced to their
professional situations. This chapter is devoted to tak-
ing a look at some approaches to practicing and how to
get the most benefit from this activity.
Of all the musicians you will listen to in your life
(assuming that you have decided or are deciding if you
should be a full-time musician), there is no one musi-
cian's playing that you will be more familiar with than
your own. This being the case, it follows that if you
don't like what you're hearing in your own playing, it's
going to be pretty difficult to project a positive, confi-
dent attitude to those that you are playing with. Re-
member that a large part of being a bassist is interact-
ing with others.
So, the thing to do about this is to take a look at
your playing in an objective way:
-Find out what your strong points are. What are the
things that come naturally for you without much
effort?
-Find out what your weak points are. What are the
things that you struggle with and put a lot of effort
into?
Make two lists on a sheet of paper. On one list, write
out what you consider to be your strong points. On
the second list, write out what you consider your
weak points. Be very specific in this! Here is a mocked
up example:
Strong Points
Good sound
Sufficient technique
Good ideas
Flexibility with others in
group
Good "ears"
Weak Points
Insufficient knowledge of
harmony and correct
notes to play on chords
Poor reading skills
Poor rhythmic concept
Confusion with fingering
when playing certain
scales
. .. and so on. Your lists, of course, will be based on your
own insights. Only you can really know your strong and
weak points and only you can be responsible for them.
9
Bear in mind that even the very best players have
weak points-I have yet to encounter the absolutely
"perfect" bassist. The idea is to take what you do well
naturally and add to it by practicing those things that
are difficult for you. No one is born with the ability to
read music well. It is a developed skill and the way to
get to be a good reader is simply to do it!
The way to begin is at the beginning. Learn the
rudiments of music from a book or a teacher. Take it
slowly, step by step, and go systematically to more dif-
ficult types of reading problems. Don't skip over
things you don't understand thoroughly: Go back to
the point where you did understand and find out
specifically where the misconception occurred. Clear
that up first.
It is important at this point to take a look at
things objectively and find answers to the following
questions:
-What is the existing condition of your musical abili-
ties?
-What is your ideal condition for your musical abili-
ties?
-What are your actual purposes and goals in this
activity?
-What are your plans to achieve these goals?
-What can you actually do on a day-to-day basis to
reach your ideal condition?
It is very important to answer these questions for your-
self as it is very difficult to move towards a goal unless
that goal is clearly defined. It is a good idea to keep a
record of your progress and the actions taken day by
day so as to know that you are reaching your goal.
It is helpful in determining the goals that you
aspire to, to inspect the work of those bassists who
have already made their mark and who continue to
grow and expand in their field. In observing these
players, try to define for yourself the various qualities
they have acquired which keep them at the top of their
field.
-Does listening and/or watching them perform excite
you? Does it make you feel inspired, expansive, joyful?
-What quality in the way they communicate their
music do you admire most?
-Does the sound they create have a good effect on
you?
-What can you learn about the technical aspects of
playing by watching and/or listening to them?
-What can you learn from their improvisations?
-Do they present themselves well and with dignity?
Do they have a pleasant demeanor?
The idea here is to have you discover for yourself
10
where you can be most effective within the field of
music by learning from or imitating the ways of others
who have already found their place. Considering the
vast scope of music that a contempoary bassist must be
familiar with, it is important to define one's own place
early on in one's development.
Of course these considerations can change in time
as one learns and expands, and indeed it is good to re-
main flexible and flow with the changes that occur in
music and your own life. Surviving as a musician is
tough, and much can be learned by observing those
who have survived and continue to survive artistically,
financially, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Basically the purpose of playing music is to bring
some joy, fun, enlightment, and pleasure to people.
Considering the present condition of humanity, there
could be no finer purpose than this.
Now we will proceed to outline a method of prac-
ticing designed to give the most benefit for the time
you invest.
1. Decide on a specific time span to be used One hour
of concentrated work is far superior to several hours of
scattered attention.
2. Decide on a specific problem Look at your list of
weak points. How can you improve them? Take one at
a time and work on it.
3. Don't take on more than you can handle within the
chosen time span Set a goal-one page or one exercise,
for example-and meet it. If you meet your goal before
the time is up, set another goal. Rest before beginning
again.
4. Don't waste time practicing your strong points Save
this for when you're performing. Remember, practic-
ing is to add to your strong points by overcoming weak
ones.
5. If something comes up which is confusing to you,
don't pass over it Stop and go back to the point where
it wasn't confusing and find out where the confusion
arose and clear it up before continuing. This is very im-
portant.
6. Have fun! Practicing need not be drudgery. Keep it
light, challenge yourself, make a game out of it and win!
Tuning the Bass
The bass is tuned in fourths from the lowest
note upwards.
E A D G
9:
a
e
" eo
The best way to tune is with harmonics. These can be
found on the twelfth, seventh, and fifth frets. Harmon-
ics are sounded by placing the finger on the note
(right over the fret) without pressing it down, and
bowing, plucking, or picking that note.
I I I I I iSl2i I
V VII
The lines show the unison relationships between har-
monics on adjacent strings.
The available notes within the written range are as
follows:
Natural notes (No sharps or flats)

5:
0
e
a
e
"
e
<&
0
e
Name:E F G A B e D E F G
Fret: 0 1 3 0 2 3 0 2 3 0
Sharp notes
Ie

9:
Do
Ie

#e
#0
G# A# e# D# F# G#
2 4 1 4 1 4 1
Flat notes
hD

!J:

IlD
b"

Ab Bb Db Eb Gb Ab
2 4 1 4 1 4 1
Study Assignment-Note Reading
Since a professional bassist is expected to be able
to read any note within the written range of the bass,
the first study assignment is to learn and commit to
memory all of the natural, sharp, and flat notes and
play them on the instrument. In addition to looking at
the charts, another good way to become. familiar with
the notes is to write them out yourself on some music
manuscript.
The Range of the Bass
The range of the bass is two octaves and a major
seventh. Acoustic basses go higher, as do some custom
made electric basses. The actual pitch of the notes
sound one octave lower than they are written. The
most frequently used range is:


0.
-&
0.
0&
0.
.n
"
&
e
A B e D E F G A B e D
2 4 5 7 9 10 12 14 16 17 19
#0.

#0.

#&
Ue
#&
A# e# D# F# G# A# e# D#
3 6 8 11 13 15 18 20
b.a.

be-
bQ
b!!:
---
b.e.
b"
b.a.
Bb Db Eb Gb Ab Bb Db Eb
3 6 8 11 13 15 18 20
II
II
II
This is one of the most important assignments in
this book. Complete it thoroughly before proceeding.
Use the following as a check list to help your concen-
tration:
-Learn the names of the notes.
-Learn their position on the music staff.
--Learn their position on the bass.
11
Scalw
Chord Scales
A common problem for many student bassists is an un-
certainty as to the correct notes to play through the
chords found in jazz and contemporary music.
In order to create a musically correct and appro-
priate bass line through a given chord, it is necessary to
know the scale from which the chord is made. Basical-
ly, scales exist to allow the composer or player a
choice of notes related to a given chord. These serve to
create melodies or bass lines with some kind of logical
sequence that can express a particular emotion or idea.
Chord scales represent to the improvising musician
what colors'represent to a painter. Before a painter can
create an exciting or meaningful image he must acquire
skill in using the materials of his craft. He must have a
thorough knowledge of colors and how to combine
them in a composition. It is similar for a musician who
improvises-the chord scales are his colors. Some are
"bright"; some are "dark." (There is an explanation of
this in the section on modes.)
A knowledge of the chord scales and how they
function is a good starting point to the end of impro-
vising bass parts and solos in a free flowing style, and it
can be equally well in a number of styles.
When playing through the scales, begin to note the dif-
ferences in each one and how they feel to you. Find
areas in your own sphere of musical activity where you
could apply them. Before you begin, read the
tion of chord scales and be clear on them. If you wish
to know more about the theoretical construction of
scales, refer to the chapter on intervals.
12
Chord Scales: Definitions
Chord: A combination of three or more notes or tones,
sounded together at the same time.
C Major chord
f It
This is a vertical (straight up and down) arrangement
of notes.
Scale: A series of notes or tones arranged in a sequence
of rising or falling pitches within one octave.
C Major scale

e
a
a
"
a
'---____ octave -----..-.1
This is a or linear arrangement of notes.
It follows that a chord scale is a series of notes arranged
in horizontal or linear form that contains within it all
the notes of a given chord.
C Major
i II [ I
"
I
a e
Chord-Scale Chart
Symbols: b. =Major, - =Minor, + =Augmented, 0 =Diminished, flI = Half Diminished
C b. (Ionian) Basic Major scale C b. (Lydian)
2:
"
e
o
"
e
Q
C7 (Mixolydian)
2:
"
b"
~ I,,,
ba
C7 (Altered)
C- (Melodic) Basic Minor scale
ba
D
o
C-7 (Dorian)
o e
b"
C-7 (Aeolian)
e
a
a
co
2:
ho
e
"
e
C-7 ( b 5) can also use Half Diminished (1lJ) scale.
For example:
( ... )
( ... )
ba
C-7( b5) (Half Diminished)
b
L bet ( ... )
!leo b nu pe
Z n be" ogo
II
II
ct
e
d Ie
C7 (Lydian)
a Ie
C7+ (Whole Tone)
"
C- (Harmonic)
ho
e
C-7 (Phrygian)
II " ~ e h"
C-7( b5) (Locrian)
II ~ e b"
~ e
~ e
"
G
D
"
n
bQ
II
II
( ... )
II
II
II
( .. )
II
13
There are many other possible scales. The ones
given above represent the most commonly used ones.
Some of the chords given may be unfamiliar to the stu-
dent, so an explanation of certain chords-Lydian
Major Seventh, Lydian Dominant Seventh, Dominant
Seventh, Diminished chords-and their practical func-
tions-is offered at a furt her point in this book.
Since it is beyond t he scope of this book to cover
the subject of basic harmony and jazz harmony, it
would help the student who has not covered this sub-
ject to have some instruction either through a teacher
or with a textbook. An excellent book on the subject
is Improvising Jazz by Jerry Coker.
Practice Method for Chord Scales
The following section deals with a way to gain
C", Ionian
Basic Major scale
o ( ... )
"
II
Step 1:
fluency of technique and familiarity with each of the
scales on the chord-scale chart.
They can be played on both acoustic and electric
bass, with a bow, fingers, or pick. This is a large assign-
ment. Don't attempt to do it in a hurry. Take one step
at a time until you feel completely comfortable with
the scale in question. Use a metronome! This will great-
1y develop your ability to maintain an even tempo and
accuracy in placement of notes. Work up to the speed
you want to achieve:
1. Set it at slow tempo
2. Set it at medium tempo
3. Set it at fast tempo
Take your time, do it right, and you'll have remarkable
gains in abili ty!
C F rJ E F r
r
FrECr l cE CrEFEr l
f): C FEr r [ c; C F r FEr F r i C F r t r E E; I
!): r r r fEr r r I r r f e f f r r I r FAt t f r
t): E t F t f.e E A [ FEE F f el f t F f F
II
Step 2:
etc.
fy: ~ r [ F F rEF F [ r I E F F F F F r F r; I Err riC r F r f I
5 5 5 5 5 5
Step 3: flo etc.
!): e E r F F IT [F F r [} I rS r. r F f f F F F Sf l EE r F EFt f F r U I
- 6 6 6 6 6 6
Step 4: fL etc
!):e C[rrrFffrrprcr l rSFfFfiEfrpFCr l rfFffFtfrffF[rl
Step 5:
:): e CfCErFFFFrrrrcQrI ,rurrvfFr;Ugr I arF6CCFfrkrFraCj
Pract ice: Slow - Medium - Fast
14
Lydian Major scale with raised 4th
.... 19 U a '> ( ... ) II /
De::
Step 1:
9: e E j r r E r f J I l r 'F F r E C Jib 'F F; ErE J I
'E r F r r F Ell r F r; E r F r I E j r r r r r; I
t): C r oJ fOr r I E r f Err I r f #f rtf F r I
t1: E #f [ f IT f f f I #6 F f f E f f fiE t f F f
II
Step 2: etc.
t): I' Err 'Fl C F r C I E r "F r F F r F u I r r:t E F r F1 I
6 5:t 5 5 5 5
Step 3: .".. etc.
9:1, Cfr:rfi(Ecrullc'qrFffFQFE:r1
Step 4: . etc.
I Er"CprrrC[FfFr-;1 c'Frffr[rrprEfI
C7 Mixolydian Basic Dominant 7th
e bQ ( ... ) /
,: Q e " e " "
Step 1:
,: f' C E r; E Eel I E C F r FEE; I E F F; C F [1 I
15
f): E F [hE F [ r [ I F [bE fEr [ I- I C be r r r r r; I
v: b
r
r r f f r r r I r r F A A F r r I r fAt t A F r I
5
fA
UHU ,ufHHf ,cfHH
II
Step 2: b. etc.
V: e E IT E FIE F fIT! I C F [ E r f F F F [ I E [ f ft E F f [J I
5 5 5 5 5
Step 3: b b etc.
V: Ii E F F F fi [ F F F IT! I r F F F f f f F F F F [ I E F EJ r rEr r f Fr I
6 6 6 6 (j 6
Step 4: b b. etc.
f): Ii C F F f F If k r F F f IT r i c F rEf f FE f r F F r FI E f f r k ITt r r r f 0-
1
7 7 7 7 7 7
" bQ ( ... )
C7 Lydian Dominant 7th with raised 4th /
V:" " " ".. " II
Step 1 :
V: Il E IT f V r r IT ric F ftc f f [ r [ I E ftc f; E r [J I
j): ftC E r bE r [ r; I r [bE; r r [ r i C be r t c r r; I
16
II
Step 2: ~ etc.
2: e C E E IU E r F r .. I E C If F F F F r EJ I of F F;= ErE [} I
6 6:t 6 5 5
Step 3: b b .,.. etc.
9: ~ C j elF r i ErE r cr Ire' F F f ( FEr c; I tt r E rt IT f F F U I
- 6 6 6 6 6 6
Step 4: ~ b b ~ ~ etc
tl: " cF r"fF bier ff r U I cC"Ef r rrrr FrEE! I e"eEr fEkcEffr u i
Functions of Lydian Major 7th
arid Lydian Dominant 7th Chords
In the chord-scale chart there are two chords
which are often misunderstood. Basically, the Lydian
Major 7th chord scale is the familiar major scale except
that the fourth note of the scale is raised by one half-
step.
The Lydian Dominant 7th chord scale is the
Key of C Major
b II 7 D b 7 Lydian
b I I ~ 7 E b 7 Lydian
"
IV 7 F67 Lydian
t): e
Q
Le
p ~
Q
(.a.)
Substitute chord: a chord used in place of the usual chord for
added interest and harmonic taste.
familiar Dominant Mixolydian scale, except that the
fourth note is also raised one half-step. The most
common use of these two chords is as substi(ute
chords* to aid in producing smooth voice leading-
the manner in which the inner parts of a chord move
to another chord-and smooth bass motion.
b 117 Db 7 Lydian
II be b"
bo
b 1117 E b 7 Lydian
II ho
"
IV F7 Lydian
(.a)
Q
e
II
II
II
17
b VI ta 7 Abta 7 Lydian
Ii"
a
e b"
o
bVIIta 7 Bbta 7 Lydian
(6.)
!>: ~ e
D
0
C'
0
"
e
(less common)
IA 7 eta 7 Lydian
,:
1
0
I;::!
0
g { .. }
"
0 c'
bV ta 7 Gbta 7 Lydian
" ~
o (11_)
This applies in major and minor keys, although
VII
6
7 and VII7 are both rare in minor keys.
Chord Progressions Using
Lydian Major 7th and
Lydian Dominant 7th Chords
,/Key of C MaJor
Ionian b III A 7 Lydian
,:" CA7 ?
Key of F Major
Ionian
Key of B b Major
/
Ionian
,:" Bbts7 ~
,
I
I
I
I
I
I
Dorian
e 7
I
i
[bts7
I
t
bVl7 Lydian
Ob7
I
I
I
I
I
,
b III ta7 Lydian
Dbts7
I I
t
,
I
I
I
,
.I
I
j
' Key of G Major
Ionian IV7 Lydian b VII7 Lydian Aeolian
9: e SA7 I C7 /
18
F7
I
I E 7 I
b VI7 Ab 7 Lydian
e I",
b VII7 B b 7 Lydian
II
" e
"
0
17 Lydian
II
"
0
"
1
0
bV7 Gb 7 Lydian
II ~ e
I,,, ~
D
Dorian Mixolydian
67 I
b VII7 Lydian
Eb7
I
I
Dorian
C7
j
I
Dorian
A 7 I
I
I
I
,
Mixolydian
F7
I
I
Mixolydian
97 I
0
E:I
be
i3
0
be
bII A 7 Lydian
bII7 Lydian
Gb7
I
I
I
t
I
,
bIlta 7 Lydian
Bts7
I
,
I
':
bVIta 7 Lydian
Ebn7 I I
(b.)
{"2
I
I
I
I
j
I
I
I
II
II
II
II
II
II
II
Aeolian Dorian b VII7 Lydian b 1117' Lydian Dorian Mixolydian b 117 Lydian
E 7 t A7 z F7
,
ab7 t
A7
I
t 97 I Ab7 I
I
t
j
I
II
Key of C Minor
/
9:" c
Melodic b VI A 7 Lydian b IIA 7 Lydian Melodic
I I
I
I
Abb7
I
I I I I I
I
II
Dbb7 l
I I I I
c
,
I i i I
Key of A Minor
/ ;l: (1
Melodic bll7 Lydian IV7 Lydian Altered Melodic
A I j
C7
I J I
07
J
[7
J
A
I I
l
II
I I I I I
,
I I I I I
Key of Eb Minor
Harmonic IV7 Lydian b VIA 7 Lydian bll7 Lydian Harmonic
/ ;1:
e
Eb-
I I
I
Ab7
I I
I I I I I
I
I BA7
'1
Z E7
I
I Eb
I
I
I
I
I
Z
II
Key of F Major
Aeolian
bV7 Lydian Dorian b IIA 7 Lydian b VIA 7 Lydian b VII7 Lydian Aeolian
9: e 97 I
tonic t
point
Ab7
j
I G 7 I Ebb7 I
Study Assignment-Lydian Chords
/1. Write out on some music paper the Lydian Major
7th and Lydian Dominant 7th chord-scales and their
corresponding chord sym boIs in the places they can
occur. Do this for each of the following keys:
V
Fminor/ /"
D major Y
-yI'
./
G minor'
I
8&b7
II
I I I
C7 97 I I I I I
/2. Write out several chord progressions that incorporate
Lydian chords.
/3. Play the Lydian scales in the six different keys from
exercise 1.
/4. Figure out the correct modal scales for the chord
progressions you wrote out in exercise 2.
19
Altered Dominant 7th Chords
On C
7
Mixolydian (basic dominant 7th scale)
the intervals above the octave are:
C7 Mixolydian
bo
{ ... )
~ :
Q
~
Root 3 b7 (8)
On C7 Altered the intervals above the octave are:
C7 Altered
bo
( ... )
9:
"
"
Root 3 b7 (8)
Employ the usual practice method for these Altered
Dominant 7th chords.
C7 Altered Dominant 7th with altered notes.
6.
b.
b.
bo
( ... )
;t:
~
q ~
a
Root (b9 #9 ) 3rd (b5 b13) b7
Step 1:
.Q.
.Q.
.Q.
e-
II II
9 10 11 '13
b.Q
be-
be-
b.a.
II II
b9
#9 b5 b13
II
f): lie 1'[ ~ r J c r [J I be ~ F bE ; r E eEl r : be r bE ere I
,: be r be I f r r L I r be bE f f 1 E r I be bE T bE E f be r I
,: 1 f E bE F t f bE I f { bE Y E E t f I be be J f E
II
20
C7 + Whole Tone
~ U e ( ... )
~ : e " Ie Q II
Step 1:
~ : nEe r t ErE 1 I r r ftc #r r E r; I C ftF #r: t Err J I
,: 'E uc #c Err r; I urn #c E; C F r r I t F rEF r r 1 i
;1: ErE fEr r I r t #r #F t f E J I E #f #6 #8 f t f E I
,: #f ~ "IT f f IT t f I #f ~ f e f E t f I #61 ~ E
II
21
c- Melodic Basic Minor scale

I
a J"
a "
a 0 ( ... )
II
Err r r f r r I r r r; Err r I E j r C err; I
51: r r r 1 E j r r I r rTF FEr r I r let f e f r
F f f F F f f
II
Step 2:
etc.
e r f Ir r i [ r r F r I cl'F F f r r r FE; I 1'[ r f F t Err f} I
5 5 5 5 5 5
Step 3:
I' r etc.
;>: e Cflr F Ft F f r F r I fir r r F k r r r r; I be f r fy r r r r I
6 6 6 6 6 6
Step 4: - etc.
e E fir F Far f r r fr I [Ir r r r r r F r r; I be f r r r* f f r U I
7 7 7 7 7 7
Step 5: i?.-
II cr"cf Fe crFe
r
FrrEg" I drfrrvOJr;ug I "Er E f bdWrrrfwc'l
I
;J "' -.' 1 . () 0)
C- Harmonic Basic Minor scale with lowered 6th 1 1''1
-51:" a I", a . , 0 ( ... ) II o iL- (&
Step 1:
;>: (l II!

r r
I
h.
r r F r I
be
r r

E IT r I
r
r
I J
r
r r
I r
I'
j
r
J
22 '
f): C r be r r E r; 1 F bE r r F r E r 1 be r r r r r r 1 1


Step 2:
i b etc.
Il r r I.E F t E F f [t 1 j IiF r L r r r 11'[ e r t r ( F 1
5 5 5 5 5 5
Step 3:
b * etc.
Il E fir F f r F 0" 1 jlr r E r t r F e Or 1 "r r E bY r F ( E 1
6 6 6 6 6 6
Step 4:
2: e EFt F rbE r CFrr FE F 1 [I'm r Ebrrff r r rFrr 1 I.E ( EbE (rci
7 7 7 7 7 7
Step 1:
f): (l E (I.E r r Err 1 [bE r F F r E r 11'[ r F ; E F (f 1
tr e 0 r be r r 0; 1 r f be J E e F Fi r be r r r E r ( 1
be reI E err 1 r C bE A f fer 1 r bE f t F f F r 1
J
I
E FE H Ef I H tl H FE I HI U
II
23
Step 2:
6. etc.
V: e C r hE F f E FEr J I r hr r Err ErE r I''C r r r F F r ErE I
5 5 5 5 .5 5
Step 3: b. b etc.
;): e r (hE r F r [ F f r fJ I [bE rEf k f r f r r r I he r f f r r r f fl r r I
6 6 6 6 6 6
Step 4:
b
f
. b. b. # ,4! etc.
crtfrf [efru
l
['tfrft I VfCFrr l''Er rftl) I I frrr i
7 7 7 7 7 7
Step 5:
etc.
c-7 Phrygian
Step 1:
V: (j c hE ; FEr r I hE r r ' ErE ; I he r r T Er r r I
V: r r bE r r E r I r be ; Err I I b[ be r be ere; I
5): be r be bE E e Ee l r be bE [ fEe r I be bE [ F f [ Ee l
,ffE1HU ,ftfH
II
Step 3:
b.. 6f" etc.
V: (j ct'r F F 7 E f r r f! I F F r V k r r FEr II'S r r Ft r r E r
t
I
6 6 6 6 6 6
24
Step 5:
etc.
C-? Aeolian Natural Minor scal e
" bo ( ... )
;): " ... I", "" II
F r r r I [hr FEr F r; I hE F F r Err r I
br h. F b. F r L h". f'- ".
t1: [ r E : E r I' r it f r I C L [ [ [ C 1 I
hE r r I f r r I r j bE [ fEr r I r 1 [ t t t E r
effUfU Iff He
II
Step 2:
_ b r etc.
)- err ''C F} E F r r r I r hE r FEr E; I 1'( F r Err r F I
5 5 5 5 5 5
Step 3:
b 6. etc.
'} e E r 1'[ F f F r r I [hE F F k f f F r r 11'( F Ff L k f F Efl
6 6 6 6 6 6
Step 4 :
b b h etc.
V: e crl'[ F f} FfFEr I [I.E FE F FEFer I bE r r f f kfr[f I
7 7 7 7 7 7
25
9: be b
a
9 II
_ a ::
Step 1:
~ . I- b ... ~ II-' ~ ~ ~ ~ I "L : I'T r r : 3- I
~ . e r tE f L F r 1 t'c Fe C G E; : ~ !: E 3= ~ E E :
2: [ be ~ j [F r r E ;; I be ~ j be ; Err c I [ be r be ere; I
2: be r be 1 Err LIE be 1 [ f E t r I be bE e bE t [ f r I
;>: I e bE f f f E I e I bE J E E t f I IT bE f f f
II
C Diminished
tl: I 9)(1
(1
Step 1:
;>: e C r be ; E r l! I L be r I'F F r r; I "E r be tr E E r J I
26
/
II
(
I
I
;J: E he he r: c:; 1 he be 1 l r 1 he E FEE E 1
;}: t l r: erE III f 01 Err r 1 r n 1 F f r; I
;J: r I E t A E n 1 bE E bE E t f f 1 f be bE F
II
Step 2: etc
;J: nCr I.E [1 E IT E [ - 1 E hC E hE FEE E 1 he [bE r C E [} i
5 5:::t 5 5:T S 5
Step 3: etc
;J: n t: CbE Elrl [ r FEr-I ee rirTY mE g r c? 1 &0 ctThEf E F 9" "I
6 6 J 6 6
Step 4: t
!J: e EC&F C;
7 7 7 7
Diminished Scales
Diminished scales can work well with a number of
chords other than Diminished chords.
Tonic Minor chord

_ A.'"
.. J .. U" "9
Root 9 3
! ! !
."',.
-
,.
-
v_ r-
L
-
Root
I
Maj.7
I
L_ L._
hl
o@-
rn.- --v-r-" --.
27
Dominant 7th with b 9 and 13


II
<
II
\
... - nil
U' _ I. ....
,-, -5- 'fa
Root b9
! !
I"". - ,.,
.
I .... PI
-
- -
Root
C-7 ( b 5) Half Diminished Natural Minor scale with
lowered 5th
a 9 ba e 1m 9 be ( .. ) II
3 13 7
J
J J
-

... -
PI_
-
r-
I
Step 1:
lI.oO b'" I I t! t! I ? I,? t: : E I
r r :e f L r F J - E'F L T F C E; : E E E E :
9: E I'e T E F Ell he br ; r r F t I hj r r C E e;; I
9:t r (lenEt I(ClEffnr ICbEmICAf; I
e bE IT rEF Iff bE f F t r f I IT be f f f
II
28
Chord Scales:
Studies in Different Keys
In the practice method section, the fourteen chord
scales were shown from the tonic (starting note) of C.
The following studies are designed to have the student
become familiar with these scales in all keys. Con-
temporary bass parts can be written with key signa-
tures or without. When a key signature is not given,
accidentals (sharps or flats) are used where they are
needed. Examples of both notation methods are used
EA Ionian (Basic Major)
as this will greatly increase the student's reading skill
in all keys.
In addition, fingering has deliberately been omit-
ted as the student will gain insight and proficiency by
working out each study for himself.
Once again, use a metronome to keep a steady
tempo while playing these studies. Start slowly, then
gradually increase speed.
e J J 3 J 01 J J J J J j J J I j J J J is J J I
FA
9:b (1

J) iJ J J I fJ J J J J J J I J J J J-J J J J I
GbA
b
h
61 e
"ii' J
GA
2:#
e
:J
AbA

J
J1 ( r r F I (f El [ f Er I c f fJ J J J] I
"
All.

J
;1 E r F F I (f u. Er EJ I (f U J J aD I
"
BbA
;l:b
h
e
:J
n C F rl I [ r r 1 G r FJ I t E [J E t U I
ell.
II
II
II
II
II
II
II
t): (' J U E Err I E f Pi f F (11 E f [; r r Ell a II
.29
DbA
";1:U'4
1
' F 0: r r r r=! I r t [; Em Or I L f r r E r U I e II
II
EA Lydian (Major with raised 4th)
;jnJ J JJ I J J JJJ3
n
J j I jJ J J lJW J I II
FA
2:b (' J J 0.3 J J I IJ J J J db] 3 I J J J J Jij3 J J I 0 II
,:# e J
II
J r g I Dr [; r nell r: r [i elF CJ I e II
BA
J nBc r r1 I Dr [; 0 I r: r [J [ftr U I e II
30

9: Q'hS" r ( re It F rJ I f r rei E F I'ei I Err f Or U I e II
E7 Mixolydian (Basic Dominant 7th)
J J J J J J I D J j J J JbJ I n J E E U I Q II
F7
tJ: J J J J n J I J J J J n J b3 lEE hE; L r r Fie II
Gb7
g II
G7
tJ:I e fJ {S J J UJ I S J 3 t r tll ( r t r E r Of I Q II
Ab7
"):w
e
i J J ] n J) ICE aLE FhE I C FI'E] l t r r I e II
A7
IB# (' J 3 J j is J) I r oJ eJ F IDe ti [::F rEI e II
Bb7
n J 3 EO E r] I (r r r OF ctr I t r
bF
E r F C; I Q II
31
B7
n J 3 (j tJ I t: r r FEr EJ I E rbr r r E jJ I Q
II
II
II
D7
E r f F ( r rt I r: e r ; e r r11 (j r r j r r! I
II
II
E7 Lydian (Basic Dominant 7th with raised 4th)
15 WnW D J Jim J) E F E f I de r r (r I
II
II
-&
II
0@-
II
-'1
-
-
II
.Q.
-
II
32

-
-
II
-eo
-
-
II
A3.
-
-
-
II
:!!:
-
-
-
II
;:.ft
e
rf rilE CIT rf I ftrtC[rr 1
8
ar-i;-r-r-rb:-jU
A
-
1
I
(' (F rf r r rJ I t be rJ r e [1 1
8
;bE -r -r-r -f ,- - - II
E7 Altered
2: e J W UnWn;;]"]:J I JiJ"J J fa J 31 #iJ J) IT j f#f I D II
F7
JdbJijJ.Wdij]bJ l&db3
q
j&JI'[ r r F I e II
Gb7 b
d J _Jd ; 3 d J I j J J [ E cbf IcE rtqr E E F 1
1m
II
G7 ... b
J d ijJ d I bUd IT j r be r r t I Q II
33
II
II
II
"
II
4
II
II
II
"
II
34
d'E j J r Err I " II
II
A7+ (variation)
e j JuJ J juju; 3 IUr #r r r r r f r. I r FEr r r F r i g
L3
'Be -( 1-- II I
I
II
B7+ (variation)
f): B JuJu
J
J r ( F r I Ur F r ( r r r r I Dr E F CUr F r r I a
II
C7+
t): B r r F r r r DE r I r ftr!iF r r r Uc r I r ftr #F r r rUE r I " II
Ob7+ (variation) b b
g
b
;): Ii r F r be f F E I r r F r r r r I r r E r bE f f r I e 1
07+
;1: e r t ur r r Pc E I Dj Pc gEE I Dr PE r r Pr r I a II
Eb7+ (variation)
e t IT t ef IT A be I bE F AbC rbeA r I r bE be r r FE; I 1m
II
E- Melodic (Basic Minor)
;1:(j j;#J J is h
J
I#J J Jil J Jllh
J
I fJ Ju
J
crDrl I " II
F-
9: e Jd Jd J J J J I jJd J j J j 3 I d Jd J C ( rJ I e II
35
;;0 ~ l r"rbpehrbrtr I be'prbf r [bCf I "et rtF c r rE I b.a.
;: H l r r FEr [ ric r [f E r rt I [r E i c rt f I .a.
~ be
~ tl dr r [be; I [beeT t r r C 1"0 beE; j re= I -
36
Ii
II
II
II
II
II
Ii
Ii
II
II
E- Harmonic (Basic Minor with lowered 6th)
51: (j 1;1 1 J I fJ J J J J J jJ I j Ju
J
3 F'U I Q
/I
F-
. 9: (j J J d b J J J J I d d J bJ j J JI
1
3 I E be IIF; E F r r i B
II
Gb-
fl: eddllJ JdqJ jbJ I qj jdij; cbr ij rJ I bE E [Ir c rltr I I",
II
G-
9: (1 J d J J J ] I b i J I E h. ur FEr r; I "
T !
II
II
A-
t): e
E t I
II
II
II
II
II
II
II
37
E-7 Dorian (Minor 7th with natural 6th)
;):e J J#J j J J Jll j I E r rUr r r el l f r"c f f fur r I " II
II
II
G-7 ~ ~
f): e 3d J J J J J j I c r F F r err r I r Fer rEt j I
II
h. C ;T I
II
A-7 (variation)
V: e J j J J r EWE r I J J j J eX rJ I elr r r IT F C r I a
II
II
C-7 (variation)
'Il cf if Urr I f r [''f J J J d I cdr;r F nr I" II
Db-7 (variation) 6 6 ~ 6.Q
b h 6 ~ q/f 6. b , I b 6 / f ~ 6 ~ q f!:.
V: e E r F I, F L r r f I L eF P F ''['if I 'E C Elf E F L I
II
D-7
;r e err c r r F; I E r f r r r r r I r r pI r r Cf I.Q II
38
II
E-7 Phrygian (Minor 7th with lowered 2nd)
;1: (1 J J J j J J J J I J J J J i J J j I J J J 3 c E OJ I u
II
F-7
;1: f' J &J I E rtf I d&Jd r [hE I e
I
Gb-7
2: n d J jJ_J j I J J J FllR I j J I ha
II
G-7 (variation)
2: f' La bJ J J J J J I biJ JIz3 C r 6
1
E "r r F b [ rtF I D II
II
A-7 (variation) pas b
2: e is J J F n j E I {j OJ EJ fa I PrE r L E [1 I D
II
II
II
C-7 (variation)
;>:., [bCbe r E Per I erbpJ f r brbr I be E rtrbr rt r I
II
II
39
II
II
E-7 Aeolian (Minor 7th with lowered 6th)
t): C J J J #J j J J J I ~ J I ........ ; J rEf r I j "F r r r F [ riD II
II
II
G-7 (variation)
Z!- ~ jJ J 3 i J J I j J d W c r Gal JEW Jh3 (r F r I "
II
II
A-7
t): ( j U J J ( j rJ I iW J J L r F Fie r a ( F rl I e II
II
B-7 ,. #t lit {LUg
t): e r' [tI r r F 11r: EJ r [#F r I gr rff r r Fie
II
40
II
Db-7 (variation)
;>: e fbE r t,; I bE "eF"p!J
4
d J I t fbd[ f b[JF I
II
II
II
E-7 Locrian (Minor 7th with lowered 5th and 6th)
U j J fJ J 3 I Jd J J J J J :J I J J J r rJ I n II
F-7
,:" Jdd_JbJd_JQ Id'JdbJbiiJ Jd I f:i I e
II
II
0-7 (variation)
5:{, rtf E btl I&(eer J J 3d I (ffJbJ Jdd I e
II
A-7 (variation)
:>: Iz E r Ur [pC r r lEE rEr E t F] I jW abJ f cbf r I e II
II
41
II
II
II
II
II
II
II
II
G 0 (variation)
,: (' t E Ebb f t ~ r t r f ~ f tbrbr r IrE CPr E r f I .,
II
II
II
42
abo (variation)
,: eft [bE I f I fbrbf nbC CEt I
II
II
Co
2: err E F Cf I''f r be r C E El I "
II
II
DO
2: 0 Ene rpPFnC r I f r F f InC r er Pr r Fie
II
II
E-7(b5) Half Diminished (.0')
f):" a r ;h( E r F I L E (b
m
E F r.r I E CbC r r PrJ I n
II
II
Gb-7(b5)
f): " btf Et r i L1 I thE r r r E IrE r r E b"
II
II
43
II
II
II
B-7(b5) Q
,: n i J ftJ 3 E F r F I"E F crT c F cJ I E F r F cr F r r I II
II
II
II
II
44
Pentatonic Scales
The word pentatonic is derived from penta, mean-
ing five, and tonic, referring to tones. Thus, a penta-
tonic scale is a five-note scale.
The use of pentatonic scales is quite common in
all forms of contemporary music, and especially so in
improvisation, for example, John Coltrane's solo on
"Giant Steps" from the album Giant Steps.
Pentatonic scales can be used in both bass lines
Diatonic Pelog
and solo material. Although they are diatonic, there is
an inherent tonal ambiguity due to their "incomplete-
ness" as compared to a seven-note chord-scale.
There are many possible pentatonic scales. Some
of the most common ones are: diatonic, peiog, hira-
joshi, and kumoi. These last three are derived from
Japanese music, much of which is based on the notes
of these scales.
Hirajoshi Kumoi
" e D
e
( ... )
II
b"

( .. )

( ... )
( .. )
"
abe
Each scales has its own inversions.
Diatonic
2: e a
" e
Root position
Pelog
tJ: be
ho
Hirajoshi
"
Kumoi

I
_1 e'o
-eo
II
" e
"
1st inversion
II
h
e-

II
r
:: ePa
e
"
Play each scale and its inversions.
a
2nd
""
,"(1
II
D
e""
e-.Q.
" e
II
h"
II
0
e
3rd 4th
45
II
II
II
II
Pentatonic Scales:
Studies in Different Keys
E Diatonic
,: (' ana.] J iJ JiJ Iw
1
hJ J (r r I liE rlr} E [ U I a II
F
2: iJ J J J J U J I fJ 3 J E r [J I Err F E [ U I e II
Gb
2: e JEW Jd I c r [be I
b
c,,[brl 0 r cy I I.u II
G (variation)
r [ c r J J j J I J J J J is JJ I R [ c r j J j J I e I
Ab
9: e t bfl.c r J J d J I bJ J J L cbIT I bpr r j Jd JIG" II
A
2: e r f c1rnJ J J J I J W
n
] J rilE r' I r r rInd J J J I " I
Bb (variation)
:>: ee Crn E r C; I C (be r b r CJ Ir
be
U E E &1 be II
;: I/ect r r Pm I tt pc f E'er It E t! E PrJ I e II
C (variation)
46
II
II
II
II
II
G(variation) ~ ~ bj!: E
!): ~ b E E r 1 E r I er rtf r j r ~ I r Pc f r r r t I "
II
II
II
II
47
C (variation)
2: e ef r r E r rtf I t F1 rEt Ffr I L en'! r E r Flo
II
II
II
II
E Hirajoshi
,: e E r rIC f Pi I J J 3 J ( r'FI I c r EM t r F1 I D II
II
II
II
II
A (variation)
,:" j ~ ......... J j ( r r F I F r E r j J j J I is J 1 C r Fi I e
II
II
48
B
':n rt"rr E f mt I, f r fpd.
J
J J I#J JuUJtetr I Q II
;: C f deE 1 r r I F E f fJ I is ] hJ c I - II
Db (variation) I b
':I/fbrbf"b[ I bA II
;: *' f r f r FJ I r F F F iJ d J I F rEt C fE E I A II
Eb
E Kumoi
tl: Ij J#j J J fJ I iJ"]
3
E E t!F I ftC Fff C r rlll - II
F
Gb
G (variation)
49
'A (variation)
,: ., f f r E [ F} I J J J#J fJ J J I (PrJ E f e-e I e
II
II
II
Ii
II
D (variation)
,:., fA r r f r e; I eF err r r; I r r [1 C F tr I e
II
II
50
Pentatonic Scales within Chord Scales
These pentatonics within the chord scales are
some of the more practical ones for general use. Play
each chord scale, then play the pentatonics within it.
eli Ionian
( .. )
:!!:
Q Q
.Q.
,:
a
e
II
D
a
II
i:=t
9
II
"
e
"
"
9
"
e
Diatonic Diatonic
Cli Lydian
,:
la

"
Q { ... }
II
D
9
II
#a
"
Q
II
a
e "
"
a
"
e
Q
Diatonic Diatonic
C7 Mixolydian
bQ ( .. )
bQ
D
a
II
D
a
II
Q
II
2:
a
" "
g
"
"
Q
a
P
0
Diatonic Diatonic
(Key of Bb, 1st inversion)
C7 Lydian
bQ ... } bo
.Q
2:
Ie
E!
"
II
"
a
II

e
II
a
"
Q
D
e
"
Diatonic Kumoi
C7 Altered
hQ bQ bQ
b.
b.
b.
( .. }
II ba
IB::!
In:!

II be
6t'!
qn

II
2:
b. q" a
Diatonic Kumoi
(Key of G b, 3rd inversion)
C- MelOdic
a
( .. )
e a
-&
2:
60
D
e
II.
60
D
II
E!
II
e
"
"
"
"
e a
Kumoi Diatonic
(Key of F, 4th inversion)
C- Harmonic
ba

qa
( .. )
b"

II
2:
e
E!
II
E:!
a
e
"
e
Hirajoshi
C-7 Dorian
bo
e
( .. )
bo
j,,,
a
2: /z"
e
t!
II
h"
a
D
II

II
a
e
Q D
e
Diatonic Kumoi
(Key of E b, 4th inversion)
C-7 Phrygian
bo
( .. ) bQ


II
6t'!
E:!
II

1::1
II
2:
I,t'! e
u
a

a
"

--
Diatonic Pelog
(Key of Eb ,4th inversion)
51
C-7 Aeolian
ba
;1:
D

( .. )
II

e e
t!
e
D
Diatonic
(Key of Eb,
C-7 Locrian
be
be
bD
bg

e
i::I
C-7 ( b 5) Half Diminished
bo


t): qe b"
e

One pentatonic scale, or its inversions, can work
through many different chord scales:
Diatonic Co Ionian
t):
(1
"
"
( .. )
( .. )
bQ
1;2
II
bt!
1::1

II
1::1
e
Hirajoshi
4th inversion)
bQ
II


II
e
Kumoi
bo
bliol
II
bn
e
II
Kumoi
Co Lydian
,
II t f i #9 f j
Q ( ... )
II
C7 Mixolydian C7 Lydian F 0 Lydian
g b" ( .. ) b
a
( .. }
G7 Mixolydian G-7 Dorian D-7 Dorian
t 'I 9 t i? t j r
J II
D-7 Aeolian A-7 Dorian
G b 7 Altered E -7 Phrygian
I J II r i 1 e fill
A -7 Phrygian D7 Mixolydian
e -& (L) G- Melodic
" i T t t:- l
I II F 3' Ie II
52
Of all of these scales, the diatonic pentatonic is the
most common.
Diatonic
f):
(1 a
a
"
d
For example, take this melody from "Autumn in New
York":
Diatonic (Key of F, 3rd inversion)
J
J J
Examples Using Pentatonic Scales
In the following examples, we will look at some
ways to use the diatonic pentatonic scale in an actual
playing situation.
Rock
A-
-
f):e
J J
l l
I
J J i l
~ ::>
~ ::>
Diatonic (4th inversion)
~ :
~
~ .
c
e
u
(1
Rock
C
9:e
J.
0
J.
0
r
E
E
S
Diatonic (Root position)
( ... )
~
a
9:
"
e
"
An example using it as a solo or a melodic line is:
II
I
II
II
Note that in a C major scale, the two notes which are
omitted are Band F, thus avoiding the ambiguous
sound of the tritone.
*
*
~
(.)
9:
~ . J
"
e
II
e
~
d
~ ::>
J 1 1
I
t
r
.
0
:11
F F
J
~ J.
J
J
..
Jl
!f 1 1
:11
A-
teE r fit F sEE F r;
;>: r f r r rEF ITt E Eft L r Fib r Fi f IT F rre II
53
Here is the same solo/melodic line using different
chords:
B bA 7 Lydian
':e
l
f
C E
r r
I
D7 sus4 Mixolydian F 11 7 Ionian
>.....----....
r
,:C r t;rt:: It::
C7 Mixolydian
---
f r
e
r
r
F
e
,.
J
G7sus4 Mixolydian
A- Aeolian BbA'7 Lydian
2:] F j t r r
F l> 7 Ionian B eA 7 Aeolian
rlcrEtElerl"
The following IS an example of combining two penta-
tonic scales on the same chord:
C7
tEE f rErr
C7 Mixolydian
": e "
Z:.. " e "
e
Diatonic
Study
1. Select a chord scale, find the pentatonic(s) that
work with it, and make up a rock bass line.
2. Select a chord scale, find the pentatonic(s) that
work with it, and make up a solo or melodic line. Then
see how many different chords you can use with the
solo or melodic line.
3. How many chord scales can you find for the follow-
ing pentatonics?
CD



t;l:

I,,,
t!
II
I,,,
a
<,
"
e
54
r
"
"

II
"
0 b"
F E 1
Diatonic
"
e
1,0
o
(Key of Bb t 1st inversion)
@
bo

e
II
b"
e
E!
a
:11
II
II
II
Modal Scales
Of the fourteen chord scales listed in the chord-scale
chart, seven stand apart because of their whole-step/
half-step relationship. These are called modes. A piece
of music can be based around one tone with all the
chords (harmonies) gravitating towards this tone, or
tonic. This central tone establishes the modality of
the piece. To further a study of modes, refer to Twen-
tieth Century Harmony, by Vincent Persichetti.
Modal music is quite common in jazz. A good
example is the tune "So What" recorded by Miles
Davis on the album Kind of Blue.
The seven modal scales are as follows (arrows in-
dicate the characteristic tone of each mode):
Ionian (Basic Major scale)
"
"
o
'1
Dorian (Natural Minor scale
with raised 6th)
raised 6th
l
(.a)
a
e "
Phrygian (Natural Minor scale with lowered 2nd)
~
Q
09-
.a.
tJ:
"
e
"
f
(lowered 2nd)
Lydian (Basic Major scale. raised 4th
with raised 4th) ~
00&-'1.
08- (.a.)
a
II
II
II
II
Mixolydian (Basic Major scale
with lowered 7th)
lowered 7th
e A
-eo .! ~ )
a
"
Aeolian (Natural Minor scale) lowered 6th
~
"
D
"
Locrian (Natural Minor scale with
lowered 2nd and lowered 5th)
o
a
e
lowered 2nd lowered 5th
"
II
II
II
55
The chord symbols which correspond to each
mode are:
C" 7 Ionian (Basic Major)
"
e "
e
"
e
"
II
D -7 Dorian
"
o
(1)
./ e
II
E -7 Phrygian
"
"
o
II
F" 7 Lydian
(1)
.....
"
II
Modes within One Octave
The seven modes can be transposed to the same
starting point to assist in distinguishing the difference.
C" Ionian
o
:9:
"
e
"
"
C-7 Dorian
:>:
bu
bo
"
e
e
"
"
C-7 Phrygian
;):
b"
n
be
b., ( ... )
II
e
..
"
C" 7 Lydian
:J: #""
n
."
0 ("I
"
"
e
"
56
G7 Mixolydian
e
o
-
'l: "
II
A-7 Aeolian
"
"
(1
II
B-7( b 5) Locrian
t):
"
II
e "
e
n e
C7 Mixolydian
b ....
II
:>:
(j
"
C-7 Aeolian
b"
( .. )
:>:
!,,, e
II
C-7 Locrian
t):
IB:t
I, ,1
~ e b"
, .. )
II
""
"
The "darkest" modes have the most number of flats.
The "brightest" modes have the least number of flats.
Darkest Dark Bright Brightest
Locrian Phrygian Dorian Ionian
Aeolian Mixolydian Lydian
Establishing Modes
A mode can be established by using chords that
gravitate around a central point and cadence (defini-
tion: arrive at a point of rest) to this central point.
For example:
A-7 Aeolian D-7 Dorian
I
,
I
,
I I
r I
r ,
Thus, the mode of this chord sequence would be
Aeolian.
One mode can be used for an entire section:
D-7 Dorian
1
,
.1
,.
j
,
1
,
,.
In the second example, the bassist, the chordal in-
struments, and the soloist would all improvise parts
based on the Dorian scale.
F 6 7 Lydian (characteristic tone: raised 4th)
F67 Lydian E-7 Phrygian A-7 Aeolian
1
I
1
,
I
,
I ..f
r I
I :11
.1
,.
~
,.
:11
Another way to establish modality is to have
the characteristic tone of the central mode emphasized
in the melody:
,-- 3 ----,
I L r e
II
"
However, the bassist, in accompanying a melody instru-
ment playing the above line, would probably.do best
to emphasize the root of the chord so that the raised
Study Assignment-Modes
1. Write out on some music paper the notes and cor-
responding chord symbols of the seven modes in the
following key centers:
D ~
E
G
~ ~
2. Name the characteristic tone of:
a. the Lydian mode
b. the Dorian mode
4th does not obscure the tonal center.
The application of modes to walking bass lines
and soloing will be covered in a later chapter.
c. the Phrygian mode
d. the Mixolydian mode
e. the Aeolian mode
f. the Locrian mode
3. In key center of E Major which mode would be
a. darkest?
b. brightest?
4. Write out a chord progression-about four bars-
that gravitates to the key center of E-7 Dorian.
57
Scale Analysis and Intervals
The purpose of this chapter is to have the student get
familiar with the various components of each scale and
learn to apply them when improvising bass parts and
solos.
Melodic lines and bass lines are comprised of a se-
quence of notes based on the chord scale of the mo-
ment. A good line, in order to have interest and impact,
needs to have a balance of tension and release. If one
were to play just up and down the basic chord scale, it
would get pretty monotonous.
The idea here is to examine each scale and see
which intervals (definition: the space between each
pair of notes) are consonant (definition: in harmonic
agreement with each other) and dissonant (definition:
not in harmonic agreement with each other). A good
line then, is a balance between consonant and dissonant
intervals: Whatever tension is caused by dissonance is
released by consonance.
CA (Ionian)
a
e
"
Q
e
o
(.)
II
Scale Analysis
Each scale contains within it the material used for
the melody, harmony, and bass part. The best way to
find out what is available in a scale is to examine the
components. For example:
The first step is to find the triads within a scale. A triad
is a three-note chord-it can be major, minor, aug-
mented, or' diminished-in anyone of its three inver-
sions. For example:
First Position Second Position Thin:i position
C Major
C Minor
C Augmented
C Diminished
58
0& 3rd
~ Root Root
~
b
S
&8
D
The triads of a C major scale,
CA Ionian (Basic Major scale)
9:
E!
e
0
(.)
II
D
e
a
e
are as follows:
,:
I

!
i
I
3
CA D- E- FA GA A-
BO
Types of Intervals
The second step is to categorize the intervals with-
in the scale. The following is a list of the types of inter-
vals, arranged according to their harmonic quality.
Consonant Intervals
Octave
Perfect 5th
Major 3rd
Minor 3rd
Major 6th
Perfect 4th (can also be
dissonant)
Dissonant Intervals
Minor 2nd
Major 7th
Major 2nd
Minor 7th
Tritone (augmented 4th or
diminished 5th)
Perfect 4th
In this list, the qualities of the intervals are:
octave, perfect 5th - open consonance
major and minor 3rd and 6th - soft consonance
minor 2nd, major 7th - sharp dissonance
major 2nd, minor 7th - mild dissonance
perfect 4th - consonance or dissonance
tritone - ambiguous (can be neutral or restless)
The most consonant intervals are the perfect 5th and
the octave.
Perfect 5th Octave
-eo
tl:
g
"
The most dissonant intervals are the minor 2nd and the
major 7th.
Minor 2nd M ~ o r 7th
f): b
2 ~ e
:
II
Intervals and Their Inversions
The reversal of the tones in an interval by raising
the lower tone one octave will give you the inversion
of that interval. For example:
Ml\ior 3rd
when inverted becomes
Minor 6th
D
Below is a chart of all the intervals related to C and
their inversions.
Min. 2nd Maj.2nd
I ... '.
I
,.
""-
.. -
.." ... - ILJ"-
when inverted
J J becomes:
..
, .. ,.
,.
""-
.. -
.." ... -
Maj.7th Min.7th
Dim.5th Perf. 5th Aug. 5th
L I 11
I .. ,. U ILJ n ILJ
, .
./
! ! J
I
L
uo@o
,,,",,.
U
, .
./
Aug. 4th Perf.4th Dim.4th
The intervals in a C major scale,
CA (Ionian)

I:!
e
are:
,:
Min.2nds
ne

Min.6ths
.a.
t'!
e
0
0
Maj.2nds

II
de
Perf.4ths
s

Min.3rd


J
..

Maj.6th
Min.6th
L_
... -
L:Y
!

...
MI\i.3Id
Q
..
II
e
a
eO
"
"
Maj.3rd Perf.4th Aug.4th
-
fIf_
'D
-
fIf-

! J !
.. -& 0&
L
"'- -
fIf-
I
Min.6th Perf. 5th Dim.5th
Maj.6 Min. 7th Maj.7th
J.._
bo no
-"'-
I
ILJ ILJ
J
J J
J..jl" JtCf&

Min.3Id Maj.2nd Min.2nd
Min.3rds
;,'!9
0
Q
II
s
:s:
S-
II
9
Aug.4ths Perf.5ths
II

II
Min.7ths
Maj.7ths
.eo .a.
II e "
Q
II
59
The example below uses various intervals and their
inversions to make a bass line "walk." (Refer also to
the chapter, Making a Walking Bass Line.) Play through
this bass line slowly, and name each interval as you
sound it on the instrument.
C Major
2:
"
"
e
a
Q
II
C67
~ I ~ ~
~
r
~
'I II II
Octave Maj.6 Maj.2 p.4
~
~ ~

F,
--JI
P.5 Maj.7 P.5 P.4 P.5
~

~
~
~ --I' II II
Min. 3 Maj.3 Maj.2 Min.a Min.2
tl: r
F
r
F
_.oJ! tI II II
Min.2 Min.7 Maj.6 Maj.3 P.5
60
I
r
~
Po
F
II II II
Maj.2 Min.2 Maj.2
~ ~
~ I
~ II
Maj.2 Min.2 Min.6
I
~
~
~
~
II
II
'I
.1
Min.a Maj.2 Aug.4
"
If
Below is an example of a melodic solo line using the
available intervals in a scale. Once again, play through
this solo slowly and name each interval as you sound it
on the instrument.
CA7
tl: e J.
C Major
t):
"2 " e
(1
o
..
a
II
r r r
....... _____ -.11 ,-I __ ---I' L---..JL....---J L--..J L.-.-I L--.....J L--...J' ,
P.5 Maj.2 P.5 Maj.2 Maj.aIMaj.2 Maj.6, Min.2 P.5 Min.2
Maj.2 P.4 P.4 Min.a Maj.a Maj.2 Min.a'Maj.2 Maj.a
f):

E f

J.

:::>
e, Ie
IL.....-...J' II
P.5 Maj.7 Maj.6 Maj.2 Min.6 Min. 2

F
t
[
r


E
$
:t --.JL--J! II IL-...-.J' Il..--.J
'
Maj.2 Min.a Min.2 Aug.4 P.5 P.4
P.5:
Maj.2
Obviously, in an actual playing situation one would
not be able to sit down and figure out the various inter.
vals of all the chords and scales in a piece of music. Im
provisation is an art, and the art of it is in the quality
of communication. There are many aspects of improvi ..
sation which are difficult to verbalize, as it is a highly
aesthetic art form and each individual artist has his or
her own unique way of expressing musical feelings and
ideas.
Analyzing chord scales and intervals is a somewhat
intellectual, dry kind of process and is not an end in it
self. Music of quality in any idiom is a balance of all
Study fossignment-Intervals
1. Work out on paper the various intervals contained in
each of the fourteen chord scales.
2. Select some chord scales at random and make:
a. short examples of walking bass lines using various
intervals from the chosen chord scale.
,b. melodic bass solo from a selected chord scale.
Play through your examples.
3. Take some written melodies and figure out the in
terval from each note to the next.

I
J.


II II.-
Maj.7 Maj.2
1"0
"
the qualities of the individual artist-if it were all in
tellectual it would tend to alienate an audience. How
ever, this is a subjective viewpiont; what is meaningful
music to one person may leave another totally unaf
fected. The purpose of the preceding material is to
have you assimilate into your musical "computer" the
information on intervals with the end of being able to
draw on this information freely. Remember the com
parison to the way a painter draws on his knowledge of
colors and the various ways they can be mixed to pro
an effect.
61
AbouIlkvI Lift.,
Reading Bass Parts
The overall skill of being able to read contemporary
bass parts can be subdivided into three
One should be able to recognize and play immediately
(sightread) the notes in the bass clef, the rhythms in
which these notes are set, and the chord symbols and
scales related to them.
Notation Symbols
Rhythmic Values
Notes
''''',.
..
./

----
I
I T
Reading music is actually the ability to duplicate
or interpret the composer's or arranger's ideas as close-
ly as possible and reproduce them clearly on the in-
strument. We have already covered the notes in the
bass clef, and the chord symbols and related scales,
therefore the next component to examine is that of
reading rhythms. Before doing this, the rudiments of
music are offered. The student is urged to learn these
rudiments thoroughly as any misunderstandings can
cause confusion and uncertainty further on.
- -
III"l
, ,..
Rests Whole Half Quarter
Eighth Sixteenth
-""".
..
-
-
T
.,
..
./
-..-
L
.,
A dot after a note or rest increases its value by one-half.
II F"
I
"
3 quarter-notes 3 eighth-notes 3 sixteenth-notes
Attack Marks
:>


II

II

II=F
I

'"
..,
II
long short accent slide up slide off
Dynamic Markings
,:
F
II
F
II
r
II
F
II
j
II
p
mp
mf
f
piano mezzo piano mezzo forte forte fortissimo
soft medium soft medium loud loud very loud
Time Signatures
The terms time signature and meter refer to the pat-
tern of musical pulsations, or beats.
Common Time Cut Time Four quarters per bar
Two quarters
per bar
.
.. ,.
lit
""
-
double duple meter duple meter double duple meter duple meter
I"""
..
- -
- -
". ".
- - - -
- ../ r- ... r- r- ....
,...
... ... ... .- r-
I I
I I I I I I I I I I I I
62
Three quarters per bar Six quarters per bar
I ~ . n ra
- ~ - .
. ~ (I
./ T.
l-
...
triple meter double triple meter
16,:"
..
- -
-
- -
.-
- ./
,.. ,.. ,.,
r-
,..
I
, ,
1
-'
1 I ,I
Clefs
Treble, or G, clef
II
Repeat Signs
Da Capo From the beginning; return to the top of the
music (abbreviated D.C.).
Dal Begno Go back to the section marked with the
sign (abbreviated D.S. ).
D.S. sign: *
Coda A short passage which formally ends a piece.
Coda sign:
Other Signs and Terms
Ottava Up or down an octave (abbreviated 8va).
written:
F
Bva---------
J
J
A Tempo Return to the original tempo.
Accelerando Gradually becoming faster (abbreviated
accel.).
Fermata Hold the note longer than its written value,
often at the discretion of the conductor.
Fermata sign: t:'\
: ~ I
---
J
b:l
E
E
J
Segue Move immediately to the next section or piece
without a pause.
Transpose To play the part in a key other than the
one in which it is written.
Tacit Rest; layout.
t:'\
!F
Six eighths per bar
~
~
n
J
double triple meter
- -
-
.-
- - - - r- r-
,.. ,.. ,..
r- r-
I I
-I
r
Bass, or F, clef
tl: (.)
II
(indicates F)
played:
II
J
d
J
J
j23
l
II
t:'\
I
J J
l l
II
63
Below is an example of a bass part using the sym-
bols that we have discussed.
Bass
Intro
C7
(walk)
':1

,
I
I
I
,
I
I
Chorus
*
C7
f):
II:
I
,
I
I
I
I
I
I
2
*
G7
:9:
I I I J
,
I I
,
2
>(.
Coda
t;\ F7
t
II
The above example would run as follows:
Intro 8 bars
Chorus 16 bars'
Interlude 8 bars
D.S. (repeat Chorus) 16 bars
D.C. (repeat Intro) 8 bars
Coda
el
,.
Letters may also be used to mark the sections of a
piece. For example:
C7
t;l: II: I
Bass
Intro C7
2: 1 I
64
I
I r I
(walk)
I ,
r ,
I
,
2
*
2
*
2
*
2
*
+
:11
:11
2nd time through - D. C. al Coda
2
*
2
*
2
*
2
if!
2
*
II
D.S.
(to D.C. al+)
+
:11
:11
~ G7
i): ~ Ii
L r t
+ Coda
F7
f':\
~
I
2
*'
II
This example would run as follows:
Intro
A
B
A
Intro
Coda
Counting Rhythms
8 bars
16 bars
8 bars
16 bars
8 bars
In a bar of 1, there are eight eighth-notes. Divid-
ing the bar into two equal parts, with an imaginary
middle line, assists in accurately locating the down-
beats and upbeats. For example:
1 2 3 4
t>:t
r r r r
;
E
r r F
Count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
So, the following rhythmic figure
4 eighths + 4 eighths
:>:1
-
~
t ~
r r" ~
Count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
L..-.--J
should not be written like this:
5 eighths + 3 eighths
':1
r" r
i
F ~
Count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
L----.....J L....--.....I
I
II
II
2
;;
2
*
II
to(Al, Intro and +
An exception to this would be the following figure:
':1
F F r
II
1 2 3 4
,
In addition, the notation used in this example
9:1
F
C r
i
E:J' F
II
is better than this:
':1
F
r r
;
r r
F
II
beam/'
By not putting beams across the middle of the bar, the
main beat is more apparent.
65
Tied notes are another way of making a rhythmic
idea better understood.
tie
z:
IS
C F
C
F
Dotted rhythms can be better understood by tak-
ing a comparable, more easily comprehendible, larger
rhythm and reducing it. For example:
not
F
II
;I:!
F-
F
II
divided in half becomes
123 4
'---'
':1
r
e
~
If
divided in half becomes
1 and 2 and
I I
Sixteenth notes are counted like this:
1 2 3
F
9:1
C C r r C C r C r r
Count: 1 e and a 2 e and a
So the following rhythmic figure would be counted
like this:
1 2
::}-
F
:>
t;l:t
-
s
~
+
C
e
wi
-
Count: 1 e and a 2 e and a
L--.J
A triplet sign indicates that the designated group
of three notes is to be played within the same time
value normally taken up by a group of two of the same
type of note. The following are quarter-note triplets.
~
J
i
~
~
V:,
J
These are eighth-note triplets.
a a a
j
':1
~
~ ~
~
~ ~
~
~ ~
~
~
II
66
3 e
3
?r C
3 e
II
v:,
r
Count: 1
II
':1
r-
~
II
1 and 2 and
, ,
I ':1
c
e
---
wi
1 e and a
4
C C C C C r
I
and a 4 e and a
4
:>
C C
&; r
e
II
and a 4 e and a
a
f
3
F F F r
I
and a 2 and a
Note that eighth notes in rock are "felt"-and
thus played-differently than they are in jazz. The
following example would be played as it is written in a
rock situation.
However, in a jazz situation it would be played like
this:
II
Syncopation is the shift of accent from the nor-
mally accented beat to the normally unaccented off-
beat ("and" beats). The goal of tension and release in
rhythmic improvisation can best be achieved by main-
taining a balance of syncopation versus normal accent-
patterns.
Unsyncopated
9:t
r F
p
,
Count: 1 and 2 and 4 and
~ '------J
Unsyncopated
9:1
j F
--
q
MI
! r
Count: 1 and 2 and
Making Up a Bass Figure
Frequently, the bassist in a group is asked to make up
a bass riff, or ostinato (definition: a short melodic
phrase or figure persistently repeated by the same in-
strument). Usually this is done spontaneously and is
based on the feel of the music in question.
This section deals with a practical way to gain
ability in this area. Since it's usually not possible to sit
Exercise in Bass Figures
Notice that there are sixteen eighth-notes in two
measures of t.
4 + 4
A

9:1
r r r r r r r F
a
In other words, the difference between rock and jazz
performances of straight eighth-notes is:
II
II
Syncopated
:>
,
F
1 and 2
~
Syncopated
:>
If
r
1 e and
:>
......-
~
and
:>
......-
~
wi
a
J J
f'I I
I V
L.....-.1 ---.J
r
:::>
r ~
II
P
3 and 4 and
'------J
rt
:>
r
~
...
2 e and a
down and figure out a bass riff on a piece of paper in a
playing situation, this exercise provides a good oppor-
tunity to explore this process on your own. It is a use-
ful way to come up with interesting rhythmic lines for
bass figures and can be used in all styles and in various
time signatures.
+ 4 + 4 = 16
,.

I
r r c F C j r r
:11
67
By adding up combinations of numbers 1, 2, and 3, to
equal 16, some interesting syncopated rhythms can
occur. Select the numbers at random and put them in
various combinations. Avoid using all equal numbers as
no syncopation will occur.
1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2
r r
Using the above rhythmic line in combination with the
following chord scale
D7 Mixolydian
9: e (j a
e
'1
e
a bass line could be made as follows:
Q
(.a)
+
II
D7
>....---......
;1:1
E
Fie
When choosing the melodic shape of the figure, aim to
outline the important notes of the chord; i. e., the
root, third, fifth, and seventh. They need not necessari-
ly be in that order. Strive for a good balance of intervals
and a logical, stepwise motion. The last tone used
should lead smoothly back to the beginning of the
figure.
In the example given above, the notes in relation
to the scale (and chord symbol) are:
D7
r
F 1 L
scale
degrees: root 6 7 3 4 5
t t t t
chord tones
Here is an example of the same rhythmic line and
chord scale, but using wider intervals.
D7
scale
degrees: root
t
r
7
t
3
(10)
t
r
ErIC
5 6 root
t t
chord tones
To put in rests, select numbers at random and circle
them. For example:
CD + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 2 +
,: I 'I r
Fe f=
FC
68
1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 16
r

f r r
r

I
6
F
2
(9)
(Cit r
7 root
t t
root 3
t t
r
:11
r
:11
c r
5 6
t
r F
:11
4 5
t t
1 +@ + 1 + 1 + 1 = 16
l
r :11
A new bass figure could be as follows:
D7
:>
':1
y r
i-p
r
F
!fl7e
You can get additional rhythmic figures by taking
your original idea and writing it out backwards. For
example:
Original:
..,...
.
-
..-
-
.....
./
,.
r- .-.. r- r- r-
... I I I
r
I
,. I
Backwards:
.
,. ~
- - -
.-
- - V If. ..... _r- r- .-. r- r-
... I I
I
,
I
,
These can be strung together to make one four-bar
figure.
Applying this "numbers game" to sixteenth notes
increases rhythmic activity since there are thirty-two
sixteenth notes in two measures.
----
r-\
I
,.
....
r-
I
~ I
:J
r it
:11
.- .- ..- .- .-
r-
J
I
,.
I
.-
- - -
..- .-
r- r- r- r- r- "\
I I I
,.
I
,.
4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 32
~ ~ r---"----... ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ : t , j r r j , , F , , , F , , , F 1 ,j C r , , , F , 5 , F , , j F :1
The numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, can be used to cr.eate
syncopation.
5 + 3 + 2+2+3 + 4
By putting the above rhythmic figure together with the
scale below
C-7 Dorian
be
( .. )
~ :
I ~ E
e
i:.1
9
e
E1
one gets the following figure:
Fast rock
II
+
I'
C-7
be
:>,...---....
::>
r
1* r
2:1
u;>
ti'
erl
3 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 +2 + 2 + 1 =32
~ : > ~ : >
tr r r r r Q E 1 :11
-----
69
Here is the same basic pattern, but with the insertion
of rests.
5 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
,:
,.......-
F
---....,
g-
e F
C-
-{C4'
+
; ,
Fast rock
C-7
2: I j-.
:>
be
It
f
ti'
c-
By using sixteenth notes, you can create exercises
that flow melodically and use more than one chord
scale. Here is an example of two chords within one
figure.
1 =C'

i
D7 Mixolydian
1+1+1+1+1 + ++(!)=32
"rrF
iJi
:11
@
cbr r
; 1
:11
t1 elL r B I t7==-=- rt n :11
Four chords within one figure:
Three chords within one figure:
Medium rock
G7
I
d - E
E7 A7
C

fftCElH
2: e #e
C
----
-=

To get familiar with the numbers game, write out
several rhythmic lines using various combinations of
numbers and apply them to chord scales. Start with
eighth-notes and as you become fluent, move to six-
teenth notes. Play each example and see how your
choice of notes in the figure feels, and how it might be
improved. The aim is to create a musically interesting
bass figure for any type of musical situation, and ulti-
mately to have the ability to do this spontaneously.
This exercise can be a lot of fun and will greatly
increase your reading skills as well as develop your ear
for putting together notes that sound good. It's a great
it!
70

-r :11
-
:>
t


:>
r IT
i
t-
:11
Study Assignment-Bass Figures
Using the music on the preceding pages as an ex-
ample, make up three different bass figures based on
the following rhythms; then write them out and play
them.
D7 Mixolydian, ~ 7 Lydian, E-7 Aeolian
Medium Tempo
?:"
C r C r r r r
07 Whole Tone, Db-7 Dorian, F7 Altered
Fast
,:, 'i P r
-
r
.
r
't
A-7,Phrygian, EbA 7 Ionian, Gb7 Mixolydian
Medium
:>
.
F
l
D-7 Dorian, CA 7 Lydian, A 7 Lydian
Fast
:>
,: I r: r: j F',
B-7 Aeolian, EA 7 Lydian Bb 7 Altered
Slo1V :>
~
?J.j r r j j jAr j e
C-7 Phrygian, G b 7 Whole Tone, AA 7 Ionian
Medium
:>
,: R C'
G-7 Aeolian, Db 7 Lydian, E Diminished
Slow :>
':2 E l r nEE r F'
CA 7 Lydian, G7 Mixolydian, G b Diminished
Fast
:> :>
,: S E'
:rejjRj
:>
11
E E
r
P r ~
:11
.
r
-
r
.
r
j
.
r
:11
:>
r r r r 't
:11
r r r
r
=11
:>
REEF:II
err
j r :11
71
Bass Figures in
Odd Time Signatures
The majority of pop and jazz composition are written
in 1 or common time, and the bulk of the music that a
bassist encounters is in this meter. For this reason
many musicians seem to resist the fun and challenge
that can be found in playing with odd time signatures.
While it's unlikely that music written in unusual
rhythms will ever become popular, it is well worth
the time and effort to experiment with it, if only for
the benefits gained by going against deeply ingrained
mechanical habits of thought, and allowing oneself to
realize a new way of looking at things.
Below is the basic eighth-note count in ~
1 2 3 4 5
':1
r r
E
r r
Count: 1 and 2 and 3
However, the measure can be subdivided in several
other ways.
6 + 4
,
A
r r
A
r
':1
C r
E E E
r
E
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and
II
7
t
+ 3 etc.
jCEE1Rl1
r r
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and
As in the previous chapter, the use of sixteenth notes
offers many other variations.
2:1
! r r r
e
c r r
(
Count: 1 e and a 2 e and a 3
Go through the following examples of creating
bass figures in various time signatures step by step.
~ T 1 m e
Step One-Write out a rhythm. Carefully tap, and
count it out.
Medium
,:;
a
.
r r
'I
~
Count: 1 and 2 and 3
72
L--
C
e
Music in odd time signatures has been in existence
for a very long time. Indian classical musicians come
immediately to mind as being the most proficient and
skilled when dealing with these meters. By listening to
recordings of Indian master musicians, one can gain a
good insight into their ingenious handling of unusual
rhythms. These recordings can be found in most large
record stores. The Inner Mounting Flame, by the
Mahavishnu Orchestra contains many examples of odd
time signatures within the context of jazz/fusion music.
6 7 8 9 10
r r r
E
r
II
and 4 and 5 and
4 + 4 + 2
':1 f7 j f f
A
2 Elil r r
r C

r C
r F
c c
r
II
and a 4 e and a 5 e and a
:>
:11
F P
r r
and 4 and 5 and
Step Two-Select a scale.
G-7 Dorian
e
a
D
D
II
Step Three-Take the notes found in the scale that you
have selected and put them into your basic rhythmic
figure (Step One).
Medium

':1 J="I
b
Q C
:J
Step Four-Play this figure on the bass, aiming for
rhythmic accuracy and an even tone.
7 T'
4 Ime
Step One-
:>
Rrrrrr:11
Step Two-
E-7 Diatonic Pentatonic (G: 4th invel'Sion)
"
Step Three-
Slow
E-7
,: 1 r
77!f
.a.
"
II
Play through the above figure (Step Four). Listen to
the contrast in sound when a different chord scale is
plugged into the same rhythm.
Bb 7 Lydian
a
Medium
Bb7
,: I
mp
D
II

r r F F C; :11
1D :11
73

Step One-
:>
f
:> :> :>
,:x
r C C r r r r r C r F
E
C r C r r
:11
Step Two- Step Three-
Fast
D-7 Diatonic Pentatonic (F: 3rd inversion) D-7
9 (.) :> :>
=====19 ======9====="==============::1111 ,: I (r U c r F F e Ff j:: CU E!! :11

Step One-
Notice in the following examples how the rhythmic
activity is increased by using sixteenth notes.
Medium rock

2:1 f] (t t
1 2
Slow rock
B-7 Pentatonic

3 4
:>
':1 C IT! ew
f'

1 2
J
3
74
mf
Step Two-
F7 Altered

b.

,.
i.
&u I-I
II
"

root b9 3 b5 b13 b7
5 6 7
:::>
,.

,
,

---
4 5
Medium rock
F7 Mixolydian
.,..
~ : 9 C J
- -
r F
r
r r
:11
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Fast rock
C7 Altered
,: I t be b
r
bE br ~ r If t E
5
6 t 7
1 2 3 4 8 9 10 11
Fast
f): 1&
-
q
r r r
r
r F 1 r
:>
ER
c
j C C
.
C r
:11
Slow
,: I ,.
r
Medium
tl: !l
- - -
ro
r
ro
Medium
t): t
-
iF
F ~
E E
~
Study Assignment-Odd Times
1. Following the example of the preceding pages, write
three figures using each of the following rhythms. Try
three different scales for each one, then play them.
Medium
:;:. :;:.
':j
r r r
p:
F
Slow
: ~
- -
C
-----
r E wi
Medium
':1
-
~ F e
r r r t
p.
r
=11
E
-
-
:11 ro
F
:>
r
E E
Fr
E
r
:11
2. Make up some odd-time-signature rhythms of your
own choice and add chord scales. You may want to try
the numbers game to come up with ideas.
:>
A E E
r
E
r
:11
:> :>
ge :11
r
~
r r
wi
::>
r r r
~ r
p j r
:11
75
Making a Walking Bass Line
The function of the bass in rock and fusion music is
for the most part based on repeated figures of percus-
sive riffs. In jazz the role is somewhat different as the
principal function consists of providing a walking bass
line. This style of playing evolved over the years and
was developed by many fine acoustic bassists.
To gain a good insight into this concept, the stu-
dent is urged to listen closely to some of the bassists
listed at the end of this book and find out the various
ways a walking bass line can be approached. The
walking bass line is a constant melodic line that is
played through the composition and provides an out-
line of the chord changes. It is over this line that the
soloists or ensemble perform. The main qualities to
strive for are (a) a stable and flowing rhythm, (b) a
good sound, (c) smooth lines that also connect with
the chords, and (d) a solid support of the soloist or
group by being flexible and listening constantly.
Open-String Rhythm Studies
Play through the following exercises using a met-
ronome. You are aiming for a stable and flowing
rhythm. The exercises progress from one to two, and
finally to three and four strings.
One String
Slow-Medium-Fast
::> ::> :>
1. ':1
a
I r r I F
:>
F
Although the function of the walking bass line is
traditionally the territory of the acoustic bass, it is
quite common currently for the electric bass guitar to
also fill this role. Here are some points to observe when
playing a walking line on the electric bass:
1. Set the volume lower than it is usually used when
playing rock. Try to match the volume of the other
instruments in the rhythm section.
2. Set the tone for a nice fat sound without too much
treble.
3. Play quarter notes longer, striving for a continuous
flow of sound from note to note.
4. Be physically comfortable when you are playing.
Jazz pieces can go on for a long time and the bassist
must play throughout. Sitting on a stool or comfortable
chair can help you to be relaxed.
.-3----.
,-3---,
::::- ~ :>
r F I F F F F r F
::::- ::> :>:>::::-::::-::>:>::>:>
tJ: r r r r r r r r I r r r r r r r r r r r r I r r r r r r r r r r r r r r r r :11
3 3 3 3
Slow-MediuM-Fast
2.9:1 ~ ?
r
Ir
r--3 ---, ~ 3 - - - -
IrFFFFr r r
Slow-MediuM-Fast
3. ,: i " I j j
I J J
,--3 ----,
I J J J
,....--3 --,
J J J I J J
:> ::> ::> ::> :> ::> ::>
76
Slow-Medium-Fast
4. ':1 I J
Two Strings
:>
1. ':1 "
:>
I r
- - - _I
r---3--,
J I J J J J I J J J T19 I
:>
IF r E r
:> :> :>:>:>:>:>:>::>:>
,: frfr[rfr I EdIDWili
l
FjQrFjFrQrfrFjFr:
11
"
:>
3 3 3 3

IF 2 F i IF J F J
r
J I
r-- 3 ---, r-- 3 --,
13
4 J 4
77
Three and Four Strings
r--3 ,--3 --.,
IF FJ rlfrJrFrl
2. V: I '"
r---3 ---, r--3 ---,
I 2 J I r 2 ; 2 I r j J J. r J I
r-3 ---, r--3 ---,
IF Q I; 2 r f If r J 4 J r I
78
Study Assignment-Blues Lines
Play through the following blues bass line set to
a relatively standard progression. Once you have mas-
tered it, make up your own chord progression and
create a walking line to go with it.
G7 C7
4
,:1 "
roe
J J
r
r I
J
r
C7
,:1
F
F
'r
I
r
Pm
G7 B-7
,:ur
F
r
j
I
J
F
D7 G7 Bb7
,:1
r
r
r
r
I r
br
F
Db7 Gb7


ijr
r
I
r
e 4
J
r
d
")
Ab-7 Db7 Gb7
'=gtk
121J
F
r--3
27
r r
I r J
G7
F
r
I r
C#O
F
j
I
DJ
E7 A-7
F
,J
I J
hr
A7
I
r
b
r
Db7
.J
J
I
F
GO
F F
I

I
Gb7 F-7 Bb7 Eb 7
r
r
r
F
F
be
J
J
F
Ab7
r
J
lib .
F
r

ijr
F
J
r J r 1 r .J &J br 1 r r qE r
Eb7 Ab7 B7 Bb7 A7 Ab7
hE
"I;
r
r

I.J
r
br

F 1
&r
T
hr

D.C.
79
Blues Lines with Embellishments
The following bass line uses the same chord pro-
gression as above, only it has been embellished rhyth-
mically and melodically to add interest.
G7 C7 G7
,:1., CiJ J r
(plJ r

C7
r--3-----,
c#o
ttl
OJ
r
r
gr::a
I
r
#r
F r J I
BJ
.F
G7 B-7 E7 A-7
,:1 qr-

J
J
r
r r r
f
;
F
r
n
J
I J. Q J
3
D7
,--- 3--"1
G7 Bb7 A7 Ab7
,:1
r E r
I

c

I
br
b
r
e
r
:I
F
Gb7 Db7
ijr
I
ro

W gJ

I


J
c:p
(
4
r
Ab-7 Db7 Gb7
GO
':WIJ\
r
F

r r
I
ro
J
r
t1
I
qr
ijr
Db7 Gb7 F-7 Bb7
Eb7
r--3 --,
b::
61
r J
b
r
d J 9r I
r
r
Ab7 B7 Bb7
r--3 ---,
r F J I gJ> F P ge; r
F
80
r
b
r
r--3 ----,
j r F
"J

I
kr

bJ
q(

==
I
3 D.C.
Study Assignment-Blues
Lines with Embellishments
When playing blues, the following scales can be
used on any Dominant 7th chord: Lydian, Mixolydian,
Altered, and Whole Tone.
1. Make a walking bass line (without embellishments)
through the chords in the following 12-bar blues.
Basic 12 bar blues (without embellishments)
G7 C7'
C7
A7 D7
Once you have written out the line and played it, ask
yourself if each bar flows smoothly into the next.
2. Take the line that you wrote out above and add em-
bellishments. Do not add too many, or they will inter-
fere with the flow.
G7 C7
C7
A7 D7
G7
G7
G7
G7
G7
G7
C7 B7
E7
Bb7 A7 D7
:11
C7 B7 E7
Bb7 A7 D7
:11
81
Minor Blues Lines
The following example is of a walking bass line in
a minor key.

D- Harm.
E7 Alt.
"
r
r
r
:J
I
r
r
D7 Alt.
G-7 Dor.

r
hr
r "C
I F
r
D-7 Dor. G7 Mixo. C-7 Dor.
':b
Ei1
J
.J F I
J
F
A7 Alt. D-

r
F
r
r
I f
r
Db7 Lyd. C7Alt. lit F- Melodic
12.
gJ
J r
J
II:

J
F- C-7( b5).e-
':b
r
F

F I T
SF
A7 Alt. D-
C"
.
riFa I
r
J
J
,J
E7 Alt. A7 Alt.
r
u
I
ttr
,J

F7 Mixo. B Lyd.
h
r

I J
J
r
F
G-7 Dor. A7 Alt.
Ii.

f
F
r
I F
&r
Bb-7 Dor. C7 Alt.

br
I
J
J

F7 Alt. Dor.
f
J I
;.
,
j
b
r
r
Bb-7 Dor. Eb7 Mixo. Ab67 Ion. Ab-7 Dor. Db7 Mixo. Gb67 Lyd.
':b r T e hr I ,. J r I .J b
r
I be r
G-7(b5 )_
C7 Alt. F-7 Aeo. D7 Alt. 'Db7 Lyd. C7 Alt. Lyd.
b
!h r
F
r bE
I
r;r
r
bJ
I br
F
j
J
I
:
82
I
ijl
I
Study Assign me nt-
Minor Blues Lines
Write out a walking bass ine through these minor
blues changes.
E- Hann. A-7 Dor. B7 Alt. E-
...



, ...

I

./ III

-.




B-7( Loc. E7 A-7 Dor. D7 Mixo.





7




GA7 Ion. CA7 Lyd.
Loc.
...

, '.M

./



-.
B7 Alt. E-7 Aeo. B7 Alt.
i1. I
, ...


.,. M

T
./


, ....
E-7(b5) 91 A7 Al1. lm D- Harm. A7 Alt.
f2.
II
. I
./ ...

"
..

D- D7 Alt. G-7 Dor.

, ..




G-7 Dor. C7 MiXo. F# -7 Dor. B7 Mixo. F-7 Dor. Bb7 Mixo. E-7( b5)RS


..

To

./ ... I

I
"
A7 Alt .. D-7 Aeo. F7 Mixo. E7 Alt. Eb7 Lyd. D-
:11
II
83
Harmonic Rhythm
Harmonic rhythm refers to the duration of a
given chord. Look at the following series of examples.
1.
F7 Bb7 A7 D7
':f
~
~ ~ ~
II
,
I
,
4 chords per bar
2.
F7 A7 D7 or F7 A7 D7
':1
I'
~
t
~
I
l ,
II
~
I
~
I
3 chords per bar
3.
F7 Bb7
':1
I
7
I
l , l
I
II
2 chords per bar
4.
F7
':1
I I
~
I
~
I
It
1 chord per bar
5.
F7
':1
~
l
~ ~ . ~
II
I t I i
,.
1 chord for 2 bars
6.
F7
':1
~
I
~
,
~
I
~
I
~
Y.
1 chord for 4 bars
7.
F7
(4)
':1
~ ~ ~
I I I
l
t
. ~
lJ
"e7
b
. ~
, ...
1 chord for 8 bars
There are many other variations. The last example
is the most challenging because the bassist must create
an interesting and flowing line on only one chord scale.
In the following example, we will take a look at this
type of harmonic rhythm in the context of a 32-bar
form (A A B A).
[AJ
':1
84
0.7 Dorian
8
lm Eb-7 Dorian
8
:11
~
I
or F7 Bb7 A7
l ,
II
7
,
~
,
I
l
I
II
. ~
,.
. ~
,.
II
(8)
q
~
. ~
,.
. ~
,..
-.,.
,!
II
~ D-7 Dorian
8
'If-'
In order to approach the chart given above, you must
first determine the chord scales for both the A and B
sections.
t): e Lj e
o
(.a)
I!J D-7 Dorian
a
You can now create a bass line. Play through the follow-
ing to get a good feel of this particular kind of harmonic
rhythm. Continue by making up your own line from
the correct chord scales.
rm Eb-7 Dorian
e b"
Medium
[AJ D-7
r
r I F J
J J I r
t):
r
F
F
r
F
F
r
I
. .r
r
r
001 Eb-7



g
b 1"-3 F

I


r

,: t Jbr

r
I
b
F

r

I'!F
b
r
r

Playa walking bass line through these changes:
Fast
[!] C-7 Dorian
I I
.1
,.
I:Bl Db -7 Dorian
9: I I
r r r I
eo be (b.)
II
r
I
r
F

F r
:11
I
g


I
6
r
r
b
F
r
II
D. C. (Back to I!J)
:11
85
,.
lAl C-7 Dorian
,:
I
I
I
,
. ~
,..
I
I
I
I
Chromatic Tones
.1
,.
. ~
,..
Chromatic tones are the notes found within the
octave not included in the chord scale. For example, in
C Major, the notes with an asterisk are chromatics:
* *
,:
10
Ie
a
e
a 0
Chromatic tones that are not in the chord scale of the
moment may be used as passing tones in walking bass
lines, or solos. In the following example they are again
indicated by an asterisk.
Bb G-7
ft

*
':&" i
:J
E'
~ r
F
~
-=
D-7 G7 C-7
*
* *
: ~
r
~ r
J
.J I
J
b
J
Eb Ab.7 0.7
* * b
r
*
':WT
ijr
r
I
r
hr
86
,.
II
,.
. ~
,.
. ~
,.
II
D.C.
* * *
Ie
n
#"
~
1
0
&3
(-)
II
C-7 F7
*
b*
r 3
Sf
I

~
r
ijr
E
;:
F7 Bb
* *
~ J
J I
bJ
J
~ r
r
G7 C-7 F7
* * *
r
~ r I
J
bJ
~ J
J
:11
Study Assignment-
Harmonic Rhythms
1. Play through the following example as it is written,
then begin to make up your own li nes using the same
chord progression.
Eb", 7
T-
~
~ r
~ r
be
br
9:1
,.
F I
1
F7
be
"F

I br
9:
I
r
Eb",7 C7 Alt.
9:
r
r
b
r
F I
J
~ r
Bb7 Eb", 7
9:
r
r
d
r
I
"r
F
Ab-7 Db7
~ : br
-
.r "r
~ J
hF
I
r
"r
F-7 Bb7 F-7
br
b
r
r
1/2.
r 9:
r
=11
r
C-7 F7
~ :
I
r
b
r
J
I
r
r
<
F-7 Bb7 G-7
9:
r
"r r
j
Id F
Eb-7
F
'r
I, .
b.
r
I
r
I
I
E7
r
r
I
q.
I
"F =r
~ r
F-7
'I.
~ r
b
r
ijr
I
r
F
'r
Bb-7 Eb7
r
b.
I br
be
F
b.
I
I
Gb", 7
~ r
gJ
I
d
~ r
b.
I
be
D-7 G7
hF
~ r
I
r
r
~ J
F
F#07 G-7 C7
"r r
I
r-
J
r
Ij_
I
j
C7 F-7 Bb7
j
ijr
I
r
r
br
be
II
D. C.
87
2. Make a walking bass line through these chords:
Key of A b Major
Bright
IAJ F-7 Aeo.
Dor. Eb7 Mixo. 7 Ion.
.,
DbA 7 Ion. D-7 Dor. G7 Mixo.
CA7 Ion.
C-7 Aeo. F-7 Dor. Bb7 Mixo. EbA7 Ion.
AbA 7 Ion.
A-7 Dor. D7 Mixo. GA 7 Ion.
II
[B] A-7 Dor. D7 Mixo. GA7 Ion.

FI-7 Dor. B7 Mixo EA7 Ion. E7+ Whole Tone
II
IAJ F-7 Aeo. Bb7 Dor. Eb7 Mixo. AbA 7 Ion.

DbA 7 Ion. Gb7 Lyd. C-7 Phryg. BO Dim.
Bb7 Dor. Eb7 Mixo. AbA 7 Ion.
I Turnaround * II Final ending
G-7(b5)Loc.C7 Alt. AbA 7 IOD.
:11
II
*Tumaround: Chords leading back to the beginning.
88
3. Play the following line as written, then begin to
make up your own lines. Be aware of the notes that
lead from bar to bar, and respect the overall harmonic flow.
Fast
E-7 A7 F-7 Bb7 EbA7
':1
r
~
F ftJ
I
F
F
~ r
b
r
Ibr
r
D-7 G7 Eb-7 Ab7 DbA7
9:
F
r
F
J
I br
~ r
J
~ r
I r
T
C-7 Bb-7 Eb7 AbA7
,:
J
r
b
r
r
I
hr
~ r
b
F
F I
T
F
EbA7 Ab-7 Db7 GbA7
~
F
be
I.r
F I
r
gJ
~ r
r
I
br
br
Ab-7 Db7
~
~ r
I r
b
r
r
~ r
D-7 G7
r
b
r
1
r
r
g ~
F
Db7
r
b
r
Ibr
b
r
r
~ r
F-7 Bb'7
b
r
F I
r
I'F
F
b
r
:11
89
4. Make a walking bass line through these chords:
Key of Eb Major
[N C-7 Aeo. Gb7 Lyd. F-7 Dor. Bb7 Mixo. Eb67 Ion. Ab7 Lyd. G-7(b5)Loc. C7(b9) Alt.
':WS f1
F-7 Dor. Bb7 Mixo. Eb67 Ion. Il.G7+ Whole Tone I
':Wh 11
[!!]
12.
A-7(b5) Loc. D7 Alt. G- Harm. C-7 Dor.
D7( b9) Alt. G-7 Aeo.
':fs II
C-7 Dor. F7 Lyd. F-7 Dor. D-7(b5) Loc.
G7+ Whole Tone IAJ C-7 Aeo. Gb7 Lyd. F-7 Dor. Bb 7 Mixo. E b6 7 Ion. A b7 Lyd.
II
G-7(b 5) C7( b9)
Loc. Alt.
F-7 Dor. Bb7 Mixo.
II
90
5. Play through this line as it's written a few times,
then begin making your own on these changes:
[AI E-7(b6)S ,--3--1 A7 Alt. C-7 Dor. F7 Mixo.
f):g' C flU#( Err I r J DJ E I J r F E I r F r E EJ I
3
F-7 Dor. Dim. 7 Ion. Ah7 Lyd.
l '1
13
r-3--,
':r r F "r Fir .J r I r J r J J I bJ J 1.1 COG I
3
7 Ion. E-7( b6) g A7(b9) 0-7 Aeo.
Bb-7 Dor. Eb7 Lyd.

r
J
r
r
l&c/r
n
J
t
I
r
r
r
J
I
J
J

F
I
FA 7 Ion. E-7(b6 )..e1 7 Lyd. D7 Alt.

r
r
r
r
I ijr
t

r E
Ilb'F
r
r r
I

r "E
F
II
OOJ G7 (ti3) Alt.
C-7 Dor.
tJ=jb
[IF
r
F
r

F I
Gtr
r
J
I W
J
r
F
6
A b7 Lyd.
9

r
F
"r
r
Ibr

r
r
It r
F.
F I
r
r
F
F
II
A7 Alt . 0-7 Loc. G7 Alt.
f):J'
r
F

I r F I
J
J
"J
I
J
.J F
Sa r
F
F r J
o b-7 Dor. Gb7 Mixo. C-7(b5)RJ F7(b9) Alt. BbA7
;>i ijw "F J
I J Etr r ijJ I J. r F Q I r r F
r I
D.C.
91
s. Make a walking bass line through these chords:
Bright
G-7
Alt. F67 Ion. 7 Lyd. A-7 Phryg. D7 Mixo.
G-7 Dor. C7 Mixo. F67 Ion. D7 Alt.
C7 Alt. B-7 Dor. E7 Mixo.
A67 Ion. B-7 Dor. E7 Mixo. A67 Ion.
G-7 Dor. C7 Mixo.
A-7(b 5) Loc. 9) Alt. G7 Lyd. C7 Mixo.
G-7(b5)16 C7( Alt. Loc. Alt.
G7 Lyd. G-7 Dor. C7 Mixo.
II
D.C.
92
Atonal Walking Bass Lines
Up to this point we have been dealing with tonal
applications of chord scales when ,creating a walking
bass line. However, there are certain styles of music
where the bassist must improvise bass lines that are
atonal; i.e., not related to any common chords or tonic
center.
"
A tone row is made from the twelve tones of the
chromatic scale:
Q
1 2 3 4 5 6
There are several possible permutations of the row. One
is through inversion, the reversal of the direction of the
intervals.
2. ho
2:
b.Q
Here is the original row in retrograde (backwards);
3.
,: a
Ie
and the retrograde inversion:
4.
,: u
D
The following example is of a walking line using
the original row and its permutations in sequence with
an interesting rhythm added. Play it through as it's
written, then make up some of your own lines based
on the tone row and its permutations.
Medium
b ~ .
,: I C ~ F r
r
This is a very challenging area as the object here is
to not outline recognizable harmonies and at the same
time to remain musical. In this next section we will
take a look at a way to approach this.
The following tone row will be used as the basis
for an atonal line:
II
II
7 8 9 10 11 12
e
"
b
D
II
e
"
o
bo
II
"
b.a.
be)
II
r
F I F
f'F
q I =
93
t):
=t
Wu
W
ar
r - 3 ~
l'zF r
-r

I
r
2:
Ir
r
r
d
Below is an example of the row used as an ostinato
line.
Rhythmic outline:
':1 at .FjjF?=tE
Study Assignment-
Walking Bass Lines
:> :>
i ~ '
1. Find some standard or jazz composition. Write out
the chord progressions and figure out the correct chord
scale for each chord. Make up some walking lines
through these changes.
2. Select a recording by one of the bassists listed at the
end of this book and write out the bass line to a com-
position that he plays on. Then play along with the
record while reading the written line. This will give you
a good insight into the way a line relates to the music
of the group. It is also very good ear training. Pick
something simple at first, something that you can
handle easily.
3. Make up some chord progressions of your own and
walk a line through them.
94
~ r
I F
r
F ~
~ r
qr
br
b
o
:11
:>
,
.
p
sFCpjjCFsr:11
About Soloing
One of the traditional functions of the acoustic bassist
in jazz is the ability to improvise a solo on the chords
or modes of a composition. This is the area in which a
bassist can really distinguish himself. Indeed, it is a
most challenging task, for it is where one's total musi-
cal wares are on display.
Soloing on the electric bass is a relatively recent
phenomenon and only a handful of players have risen
to the challenge. It is largely a matter of concept. By
opening one's imagination to all types of music-es-
pecially the solos of guitarists, tenor saxophonists,
pianists, etc. -and listening to their melodic interpre-
tations and phrasing ideas, one can begin to duplicate
and develop a true improvisational style. Think of a
solo as a conversation; or a statement about thoughts
and feelings. Don't limit yourself to thinking within
the confines of the bass but rather imagine you are
singing a song. It can be pretty, happy, sad, nasty-any
emotion you want it to be at that particular time. The
main thing is to communicate, and to do so through
your music.
By listening closely to all types of music-jazz,
pop, classical, Indian, Brazilian, country, Latin, etc.-
you can begin to see that the scope of musical ideas is
infinite and that you can draw your inspiration and
concept from many sources.
A primary characteristic of the skilled soloist is
the ability to develop an idea and logically build it
until it reaches its conclusion. While a facile technique
is admirable, speed in and of itself is not the only
criterion of skill for a soloist. A good example of a
soloist who uses an economy of notes is Miles Davis.
Following a solo of his, note by note from the begin-
ning, is a good way to gain insight into saying a lot
Developing an Ideo
on a Minor Blues
Basic idea

':fr=r, IT E7)
l
Below are some examples of how this basic idea
can be explored and developed. The soloist is offered
a number of options in his approach.
E-7 Dor. A-7 Dor.
II
with very little. On the other hand, a different ap-
proach to soloing can be found in the work of the
late saxophonist, John Coltrane, who developed a re-
markable technique and used it most beautifully to
express himself.
In the following chapter, we will take a look at
some ways to approach a solo. This is where all of
the preceding concepts and information-chord scales,
intervals, triads, pentatonics, etc. -will be drawn upon.
Developing an Idea
Regardless of the style of music that one intends to
improvise, the substance or content of a well-made
solo is based on ideas and their development. A musi-
cal idea can be a short phrase, or a long one based on
the scale of the moment. It can even be an abstraction
outside of the scale. For our purposes here, we will
stick to phrases based on the scale of the moment,
as one must first learn the basics before breaking the
rules. The well-developed jazz soloist has usually done
his homework in these basics, and has reached a level
of creativity that is spontaneous; with ideas flowing
freely one to another. .
Running up and down scales, no matter how
facile and correct it may does not a solo make.
The soloist must be able to communicate to the
listener, to sing through the instrument, and to make
a statement that can be understood and possibly
duplicated by others. Listen to solos on all instru-
ments in all types of music and observe how ideas are
developed. It is really very simple: Learn the material
(scales, intervals, rhythms, etc.), apply them, and
keep on doing it until it sounds good.
E-7
Fast basic idea

pq r r d

'I C:r EJ
basic idea, different accent
B
i lITe
l I
95
A7
E7 Alt.
basic idea up a 4th
~ ~
If rC E tj i
E7
basic idea modified
,:, F=t E 14
D7 E7
basic idea
r
F f
Further developments can grow out of l.&&, "1mic
change,
f
f
:>
~
j;
an inversion of the basic idea,
Basic idea
~ .
, .. ,.
r-
-, ...... r-
./
...
backwards
---
.. ,. \
,
-
-, ...... ..
---
./ ..
-
~
---
paring it down to motifs,
,.....--.
- .
V:II C j
using sequences,
l
r r
f)
3
EZJ
l
-----.....
.
I f'
"
..
---
-

...:.
~ ....
I ....
I
~ .
C r
l
C7 Lyd.
basic idea, new scale
~
~ 5 ~ b ~
I'I? =-J-C r 1 ~
Fn7(b5) B7 Alt.
motif
I
E
;,
l J
-
7 l
II 7
II (11 EB -
3 \ 3
Inversion
,,---
~
,
-
-
.... \
-
-
-
f'
I .... I
" I I
backwards
.. ---.....
1 .-
-
-
.
.. ....
-
-
-
"
I I I
-
~
-
t7)
-
:11
II
II
etc.
II
=11
':'1 fI e erG r r I r r r r r L r I Em - I
96
or altering the original melodic concept.
or
--
,:11
r

f)
E
i
or
..----
----

':#1
r
r s
r
c:
:J
i
or
9:1 f
E1
r

C)
l
j
or
J-
':'1 fI r
c
t

Below is an example of the use of pentatonics in
developing an
II or ,:11

r
g
".--
Ilod):' 1
E
r r
II or il1l
(1
F
II or ':'1
ej
c
E7 Dorian G Diatonic (4th inversion)
a .a.
e II
Fast rock
E-7 Dorian
II
r f)
I
II
--.
r
c

J I
II

d)
i
II
j
etc.
---
6)
i
II
J
Kumoi
a Ie
a
a Ue-
;:0 e1iIfl
1
fl re e err c citt , f=1
97
The following is an example of soloing on blues
changes using substitute chords.
Medium
C7 Mixo .
- ( .. )
F7 Lyd .

-


-
-
Scale
u
-
Pentatonic
/L

,
_ b.
::>.....-

-
......

,...
-
.... ....

I I
./ I
....
-
C7 Mixo .
_ (.)
I 1-

-
- \.-1
-=

....
1' . ...
-
.
I
I
1.., I

t'
-
--
Solo
intervals: 6 7 3 --+ 2 Rt. 5 b5 7 ----. .. Rt. 6 5
C7 Mixo . F7 Lyd . F-7 Dor . Bb7 Lyd .

I"'"
,-, _1Ioc .... .,-
.. .
--L ,-"

./
, .
- -,,-
_ D-'
-..
... -
U -
D-
c
'Pentatonl

-.........

L_
::>,---..
J
......
-..
-
.... t'
'"
-
7 3 3--. Rt. b5 7 3-
E-7 Dar. A7 Lyd. Eb-7 Dar. Ab7 Lyd.
_nBe.Q.
( )
:!:
1_\ I
L._bn
(b.)
.a
-
I IL._\

-=
.-1 I
-
.,-

11. - ... -....
- _'1Ioc'JI
-
I ,,- -
-II


b. J
-


-.. r' v_ I
....... I I
.....
--- 7 *9 Rt. 5 . 3 6 5 5--
DbA 7 Ion. 0.7 Dor. G7 Mixo.
( )
I
L_ bn
.(a)
-
o.
..
,

-
... -
-=

_ I_I

=
-r'W'
.......
-

--
-.......
-

-
-
Pentatonic


......
b.

r-- 1..- b-
.,.
I
-
.. ,...
I
..
., 11'_ I""" I I
'"
,
1
"
.;
. .
9 9 10 7 5 13-
Bb7 Lyd. A7 Lyd. Ab7 Lyd. G7 Mixo.
L_tb.\ I' _\ I il_\


'"
,,-
-
-

1
1'000.....



-
"".
17
...
I r I --..
./

---. 13--+ 13
.. 7
* Intervals above the octave: .
A
A
A
,. ..
,:
z
z
(1 8) 9 10 it 18
98

Exercises on Soloing
1. Before making a solo on these blues changes, playa
walking line on the chord scales until you are complete.
Iy familiar with the overall harmonic flow.
Key of F Major
Medium
-

.. (.a.)

- -
-
I ....

-
...
v
-

FA7 Ion. E7(b5) Loc.

...
&+
L.;'
... '-
v-qo
_n 1.._
, .. ,.
-
,
- ... -
-
--

-

./ ...
--
... -
-
v
D-7 Aeo. Db7 Lyd. C-7 Dor.
I ... ,.

1,/ L.
V
-
-
-.
L_ l.) L_ n
I
- -
I
- ..
-
L:JIP
T.,
- -
- .. -
..
-- -
BbA 7 Ion. Bb -7 Dor. Eb 7 Mixo.

' ...
./ ...
--v
I L_

- I_I

--nrw-
-- -
-
-
-
-- -
-v
-
-
-
DbA 7 Ion. G-7 Dor. C7 Mixo.


./ ...
V
1_\
M_ '-I
.". It M_ _
./... ._ --
V
11
... _ lL:JI

A7 Lyd. D7 Lyd.
-
"'_1lL:JI -
_ L:JI.. I'
-
G7 Lyd.
1_\
,-,
I M
-
,. lI-


A7 Alt.
_ a ( .. )
,
I' _\
_ \-1
-

-..
-
--
0--
F7 Mixo.
- IL_\
I
-


- T
-",.,
AbA 7 Ion.
-
n (.,.) L_l.)

_
-
..
_1_1
-
-
--
Bb7 Lyd.
- 'L _
M_

--
C7 Lyd.
99
2. Play through this exercise as written; then make up
your own solo.
Medium
E-7 Aeo. FA7 Lyd. B7+
IA1 >
p f
>-----
r r r , r
n F ril
A-7 Dor. FA 7 Lyd.
>.....--....
'ECCJCffElf UrFEr,
CA7 Lyd.
E-7 Aeo. IIlI A-7 Aeo.
:11 E F E

r Err f
FA7 Lyd. A-7 Aeo. FA7 Lyd.

f f
C
L

C
fit"

,:
--
E
r
Fir
r
r
J
D-7 Dor. G7
3. Play through this solo as written; then make up your
own solo on these modal changes.
\!1 A-7 Dorian
,: I
[N A-7 Dorian
"
Solo
Fast
tJ:" -
100
o
8
[!!} D A 7 Lydian A-7 Dorian
8 8
1m D A 7 Lydian
o
a
II 9 a 1
9

o #-eo (.a.)
II
[!J A-7 ___ ,..-- ___ _
(J II: r- V F if"
~ -
,: r r . r r r r r rip:
>.....-.........
k-:f
study Assignment -Solos
lr
I
1. Find some standard jazz compositions and write out
the chord progressions. Figure out the chord scales.
First playa walking line through the changes; then
begin to make up a solo based on these chords.
2. Make up some chord progressions of your own and
use them to solo on.
3. Write a number of short melodic ideas and develop
them into a full length bass solo. Use some of the vari-
ous idea development suggestions: inversion, rhythmic
changes, etc.
I
~
~ - - :11
(repeat (AJ)
II
to ~ (first time only)
101
Double Stops
It is possible to sound two or more notes on the bass
guitar simultaneously. This is achieved by plucking the
strings with the thumb and first (or second) finger; or
by strumming with the thumb or a pick.
Certain intervals lend themselves well to use as
double or triple stops. Because of the low frequency of
the bass's sound, wider intervals tend to sound best.
This is especially true in the higher range of the instru-
ment.
Major and Minor Tenths:
E and G Strings
GA Ionian
a
u e
') Ie
Min.
Min.
M ~
f':J ~
~
".
I
. I. I
./
,
I .-
~ ~ I
.,
I-"
Pluck with thumb and first finger
GA Lydian
e
'i
e Do
D Ie
e
Maj. Min.
Maj.
~ ~
~

".
I
... -,. I
./
'J
I '-
~ ~

""-"
G7 Mixolydian
,:
a
e
"
e
e
"
e
Maj.
Min.
Min.
':(1
~ F
I
~
G7 Lydian
~ :
It"
E:I
e
e
e
a
e
~ ~ ~
Min.
Maj.
~
':(1
~
I
102
"
M
ale
~
~
u
MO
In.
e
~
E!
Maj.
r
<,
Min.
#r
II
II
II
II
Intervals such as major and minor tenths give a
very full sound, as do parallel fifths. Sixths and thirds
also sound very good. Dissonant intervals such as major
sevenths and diminished fifths (augmented fourths)
are generally best used in the upper range. By experi-
menting, you can begin to see for yourself which in-
tervals sound best. This chapter will deal with some of
the more functional double stops.
.
f.l ~
#e
I! I- ~
t- ~ t-
Maj
Min.
Min.
Maj.
I .. ':J II
I ~ ':J
.. ""
II
I ~

11

-..
.
e ~
#f.l
~ ~ ~ t-
Maj Min.
Min.
Maj.
.. ~ ..

-.
""'"

I

I
Min. Min.
Maj.
Min.
e I
i
I
~
I II
Min. Min.
Maj.
Maj.
~
e I
i
I I II
..
that the Whole-Tone scale yields major tenths
G7+ Whole Tone
;1:
a, we
1"
1::1
II
e
0
'it


Maj.
Maj.
Maj.
Maj.
Maj.


I
,

'1
:,
1
ft,

I
II
G- Harmonic
;I:

a
e
Ie
a
II
e
D
Min. Min. Maj.
Maj.
Min.
G- Melodic

be
n
e
E!
"e
D
II
e
a
Min. Min.
Maj.
Maj.
Maj. Min.
G-7 Dorian
a e
n
o
II
Min. Min
Maj
Min Min
Maj
Min.

.
. .
.
bJ!
.-
(:"J.


(:"J.
to- I-
I I "'11
.. I I I l- "'T1
L '-.I I I """"TI
I-. I I' I I
,..
I'""
I
G -7 Phrygian
e
L,
II
"
Min.
Maj.
103
G-7 Aeolian
a ~ e
e
b"
e
a
n
. Min.
G-7 Locrian
e
1'1, be
n lie
bE,
e
a
Min.
Note that the Diminished scale yields minor tenths
only:
G piminished
,:
e " ~ e
ij ~
'!
104
II
Min.
Maj.
II
Maj.
Maj.
II
The following is an exercise in playing tenths with
the fifth added.
Goe.
G- Ab.e.
Finger: 1 3 2 3 1 3
b
1 3 etc.
,:.
J
F
~
F
I
J
F
r
F
I&J
'r
r
F
String: E A G A E A G A etc.
Ab - Aoe.
A-
t): ~
b
b
r
~
r'
I ~
F
#r
F
I ~
F
be
F
Bb.e.
Bb-
bE
B.e.
t
B-
t-
tl:
~ j
r'
e
r
I
J
r r'
I
j
'e
r'
I
J
'e
r
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f
Db-
,:
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~
f
F I
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F ~
I
~ F
r
I br
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r
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o ~
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9:
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II
105
Bass Lines Using Tenths
The sambo, along with the boSSG novo, is one of
the Brazilian rhythms which has become a standard
part of the repertoire of many jazz groups. It is a great
rhythm to play, and the most important part of a bas-
sist's role in this music is the groove he gets into with
the percussion section. It is best felt time (' or
cut time) as the tempo is usually fairly brIght.
Bright samba
G6'l ---......
,:,
J
-
P
I

r
--...
Gb'l
,:
p
F P
I

p
,:

fj)'

A7

]J )J
,:

r
p
I
-
D67

,: -
f


r
I
'"
D67 Alt.
9:

r
I
Gb7

,:
I
B7
106
The best way to familiarize yourself with this
music is to listen to records of artists who feature it.
Milton Nascimento, Airto, or Chick Corea on Light tIS
o Feother are some good examples. Listening to and
playing along with their music will give you a good in-
sight as to what a bassist needs to do in order to func-
tion best within these rhythms.

I
J
-

r
p
r
b::'--
---......
b
r
'

I


F
E-7
I
J.
:::.,--
F P
J
I

11'
r'
,
p p
p
G67

I
J
-
r
r
p
r
I


I

B-7
...--.....
r
,
I
J
'F'
2
:11
Slow rock

J II r (r rf reF I
B-7
P
r'E
':1
[
r
r

L c
E7

e
B7

H
- .,.. n
.
..
-

....
.-
- I
I
I
Medium funk
f
E
.
F


f
:>
:xl
,
,
Db7
r
..
J/;

Other Intervals
The following are examples of different intervals
combined.
tenths and sevenths:
F67
f

F;-7
::-

F
,:"




-
r r
Eb7
1-
5
C7
I
1:
D7

:>
". .
-



r

,:
II
E7
.
-,

...


..


-'

-
..
I
.
t
.
r
r
J
r f 1
:11

F
CA7
,:: L.

;p
II
107
)

b
Bb7 Ab7 Db6 Gb7
,:el
be
I'
1
,
f

I
e
II

j7
Db-7 B7 Bb7 E7
Eb67
2: e #1
If

<,
#1

-
1
60
II
I j
thirds and sixths:
Bb6 Gb6 B6



I
!

I bp
I

II
F6 C6 B6 C6 Gb6
P:o

i
11

I #f
#g
I

f
II
chorale style:
108
Unaccompanied
Bass Guitar Solo
The following composition is an example of a way to
use various intervals in a bass guitar solo.
City and Eastem Blues
Slow funk
f;l:" I

y po! r r : II
1m J nJ:
f): - - JJ
r
,
............::=------

- -
Rick Laird
(Harmonics)
f: .fiB
112.
:11 i (J II
nJ:
l
c r I
a __________ --lj,
tEE I
.
-
Pr ef I P:
+ Coda

9:
II
1979, Quentin Music (ASCAP)
rit. - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
109
Conel""
The material offered in this book has been set forth
with one basic purpose: To offer the bassist interested
in learning about improvisation some insight into the
various ways it can be approached. Many of the sub-
jects covered could fill an entire book on their own.
Therefore, my intention has been to provide enough
data to stimulate the student into pursuing each of
these areas, and to encourage him to begin to formu-
late an individual way of applying the principles in-
volved to actual playing situations.
Much improvement in ability can be gained by
studying textbooks, but by far the most important
tool for speeding up the process is strong intention,
and the motivation and discipline to persist OD a
chosen course of action. It need not take ten years to
be an excellent bassist-though some may try to tell
you this. It takes as long as it takes for you to get a
grasp of the basics and learn to apply them. I hope
this book has taken some of the mystery out of
them for you, while you pursue your goals. Have fun!
Rick Laird
110
Bach, J. S. 371 Chorales. New York: Associated Music
Publishers, Inc. (For harmonic study.)
Bach, J. S. Two-Part Inventions. New York: Schirmer
Books. (For sight-reading practice.)
Brown, Ray. Ray Brown Bass Method. Ray Brown
Publishing.
Coker, Jerry. Improvising Jazz. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Hindemith, Paul. Elementary Training for Musicians.
London: Schott & Co., Ltd.
Nanny, Eduoard. Complete Method for Bass, Books I
and H.. Paris: Leduc Publishing.
Persichetti, Vincent. Twentieth Century Harmony.
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Reid, Rufus. The Evolving Bassist. Lebanon, IN:
Studio P /R, Inc.
Slonimsky, Nicholas. Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic
Patterns. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
111
-
Appendix: BaIliN to Lilten To
This list contains some of the key figures who have
contributed, and continue to contribute, to the evolu-
tion of jazz bass in contemporary music. There are
many, many others who have made valuable contribu-
tions and have not been included. However, this list
will provide a well-rounded picture of some of the
ways to approach the art of bass playing.
The dates given do not represent the total output
of these artists. Rather, they define specific periods as
listening examples.
Acoustic Bassists
Jimmy Blanton*
Other Bassists
Jaco Pastorius
Stanley Clarke
Eberhard Weber
Dave Holland
Mike Richmond
Will Lee
Niels Henning-
Orsted.Pederson
Sam Jones
Jack Bruce
* deceased
112
Duke Ellington Band 1930-40s
Weather Report Columbia
PC-30661
Jaco Pastorius Epic PE-33949
Return to Forever ECM 1022
Light as a Feather Polydor 5525
with Chick Corea
Colors of Chloe ECM 1042
Conference of the Birds
ECM 1027
Dream Waves Inner City 1065
Brecker Brothers Arista 4037
Various albums with Oscar
Peterson on Pablo Records
Various albums with Cannonball
Adderley on Riverside Records
Various albums with Cream on
RSO Records
Oscar Pettiford*
Ray Brown
Charles Mingus*
Percy Heath
Paul Chambers*
Ron Carter
Richard Davis
Scott La Faro*
Eddie Gomez
Buster Williams
Steve Swallow
Rick Laird
Various 1945-55
Oscar Peterson Trio 1955-65
Leader 1955-79
Modern Jazz Quartet 1955-75
Miles Davis 1955-62
Miles Davis 1964-68
Thad Jones/Mel Lewis
Orchestra 1965-70
Bill Evans Trio 1959-62
Bill Evans Trio 1968-77
Piccolo Milestone 55004 with
Ron Carter
Various albums with Gary Bur-
ton on ECM Records
The Inner Mounting Flame
Columbia PC-31067
Birds of Fire Columbia PC-31996
Between Nothingness and
Eternity Columbia C-32766
with the Mahavishnu Orchestra
Still on the Planet Muse 5063
with Eddie Jefferson
New York Afternoon Muse 5119
with Richie Cole
Brief Encounter Muse 5154
with Eddie Daniels
Rick Laird-Soft Focus Time-
less-Muse TI 308 featuring
Joe Henderson
I -