My bass journey

Hello H2O

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Well done, Hello H2O! Are you playing an electric base guitar or an 'upright'?
It's a Fender bass (electric). But I have put flatwounds on it, and put a cloth damper near the bridge, so I can get a pretty good upright sound with it. A little bit of EQ'ing on the amp as well. Take out some of the lower mids. Neck pickup, with treble all the way up on the guitar...
 

Stoneboss

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
It's a Fender bass (electric). But I have put flatwounds on it, and put a cloth damper near the bridge, so I can get a pretty good upright sound with it. A little bit of EQ'ing on the amp as well. Take out some of the lower mids. Neck pickup, with treble all the way up on the guitar...
Well, you certainly created a nice 'warm' sound of an upright...
 

Hello H2O

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thought I would try something completely different, so I picked a version of Glory of Love by Big Bill Broonzy. Quite a challenge and don't think I ever got it quite right. but have a listen and tell me if you hear where it could be improved. I think it is just a feel thing. Couldn't get the feel quite right IMO.

EDIT: Not sure if it is just my browser, Firefox, but it seems it only brings up the first 30 seconds of the mp3 file. If you refresh the page and play it again, it seems to play the whole song. Or maybe I am doing something wrong posting it...

Screenshot_2021-03-19 Glory Of Love - YouTube.png
View attachment 210319_0066.mp3
 

987baz

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Nice work!! I agree that it's a great tone for the music.. sounding really good, how long have you been playing?

My only suggestion, if you you want to challenge yourself would be to try something a bit out of your comfort zone, a different style of music perhaps?
 

Hello H2O

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Nice work!! I agree that it's a great tone for the music.. sounding really good, how long have you been playing?

My only suggestion, if you you want to challenge yourself would be to try something a bit out of your comfort zone, a different style of music perhaps?
I bought the bass a year ago Feb. Been since June playing with other players. First couple of months was just sore fingers 😁🎸
No problem finding challenging stuff, pretty well everything is right now 😁
Maybe I could tackle some James Jamerson next...
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Thanks for sharing your bass overs. Other than Broonzy (and I'm a sucker for Blues), my one and only time seeing Sinatra live, was in 1991 Calgary, Alberta - he happened to open with your first rendition, Fly Me to the Moon - full orchestra. Had not remembered this in a long time, so your work was that reminder.
 

Hello H2O

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Yes, Sinatra was a master of giving 'reference' versions of these old standards. He could swing but never went over the deep end. 😁 Always tasteful. Peggy Lee was maybe the female version. Composing these bass lines has been fun and a challenge. Makes you appreciate the genius of those old composers. Maybe time to throw in some blues? I have a version of Peggy Lee, 'Why Don't You Do Right', recorded, but it needs some polishing up...
 

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi Hello H2O

To provide some context for my feedback, I played bass for around 25 years, was a private tutor for around 8 years, and have an above-intermediate understanding of jazz which is appropriate to the swing style that you’re listening to and playing.

Firstly, I think the bass may be slightly out of tune relative to the track, or perhaps it’s just one string, but I’m not 100%. That’s not me nitpicking as it relates to how accurately I can interpret your note selections for the bass line which is especially ‘muddied’ by the fact that you’re playing swing, constructing bass lines that are very chromatic.

For the length of time that you’ve been playing, it’s very impressive that you’re able to play what you did on the track. I think you’ve obviously got a good ear for bass and a good ear for the swing style in general.

Before I go into any more detail, can I ask how much you are using theory and how much you’re using your ear? Are you following a ‘chart’ for the song? Do you know the names of the notes you’re playing and the names of the chords you’re playing them over? Or have you created what you played for the song entirely by what sounds right to you?

Just asking these questions to get a better understanding of where you’re at so that I can give the most appropriate feedback to you, if you’re interested.
 

Hello H2O

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi T.C. My ear hears the same thing, Some strings sound out of tune, but according to the tuner it is bang on. I have tried to adjust the intonation, but it doesn't seem possible to get it exactly right.

I think another possibility is the track on Youtube could be slightly off. Some of these are old recordings, and come from different sources, and could be the player used to record it.

Yes, I have studied some theory, and do know the notes I am playing. But still at a beginning stage I would say. I was invited to play with some friends who play this genre, so that is why I am playing these tunes. When I first started, I really had little or no idea how to play along, other than just using the root notes of the chords. Then I started adding the fifth, and also the thirds. But was kind of stuck when trying to do walking bass. I found I needed to figure out what is the basic theory behind walking, and started to see how it is mostly a "traveling" from one chord to the next. You could do it with arpeggios, scale tones, or chromatically, or combinations of each.

Of course, the tune, and it's chord changes kind of dictate what you can/should do. How you should connect the changes. How is the chord progression moving around? Is it one chord per bar, two chords per bar, one chord over multiple bars? etc.

So far I have used the chromatic approach mostly, as I think it sounds most jazzy, most interesting. And also for the fact that it includes the major and the minor third, so works well over most chord changes.

Fly Me to the Moon was almost 100% walking up chromatically. When I walked down, I walked down the scale. This was a very fun tune, and lends itself perfectly for walking over.

Right now I am really working on my groove, or feel, and I feel that is the most important ingredient of the bass.

Nice to get the ear of someone who plays and studied bass... Thanks for the input.
 
Top Bottom