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Playing open strings vs. ease of transposition?


Groove Mama

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Think of it as your bass geography lesson...you CAN get there from here!

 

Thanks, Nicklab. I needed that. I'm having a bad-arpeggio night and getting frustrated trying to come up with a bass line for "Autumn Leaves." Last night went pretty well, actually, but tonight not so much. Seriously considering using my Ibanez to hit fly balls instead.

 

Have you just tried playing arpeggios over the changes? I found a chart for Autum Leaves here. Just try playing the arpeggios over those changes with some of the indicative chord tones. You'll find some passing tones that work, but as an exercise just try the arpeggios first. Think of them as a starting point and them go from there.

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I found a chart for Autum Leaves here.

 

OMG, this is fantastic. I have a chart for Autumn Leaves, but I'm having a hard time determining which notes comprise some of the more arcane chords, like Gbm7b5, which is what's making my brain hurt right now. And, hallelujah, they even show 'em on a keyboard, which makes it easier for me to grasp. Thanks, dude!

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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That's Gb minor with a flat 5th and a 7.

1 - Gb

b3 - A

b5 - C

7 - E

 

Yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhh, I kinda remember now. It's all coming back, slowly but surely...but slowly.

 

In this case isn't the A really a B double-flat and the C a double-flatted D? Or do I misremember? See, this is what's screwing me up. A Gb chord needs to have some form of Gb, Bb and Db in it; right?

 

I mean, I know the actual tone is the same, but it's the note names that confuse me.

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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It is not a Gbm7b5. That's one of the dumbest spelling mistakes I've seen in a long time.

 

 

It is an F#m7b5. F# A C E

 

Why would you switch from sharps to flats for one chord?

 

The music lesson contained in the song is that there is II V I in the key of G major : Am7 D7 GMaj7

and

II V I in the relative minor of E minor: F#m7b5 B7b9 Em

 

Every note in the song is from either the key of G major or the key of E minor, which means that only only note changes: there is a D# on the B7 chord.

 

 

 

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It is not a Gbm7b5. It is an F#m7b5.

 

Oh, yeah, heh-heh. Actually, the chart I'm working from does show the F# chord. I just cited that Gb chord in the online chart as an example of the kind of thing that makes me scratch my head and go, "Huh?"

 

And now back to remedial music theory...

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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It is not a Gbm7b5. That's one of the dumbest spelling mistakes I've seen in a long time.

 

 

It is an F#m7b5. F# A C E

 

Why would you switch from sharps to flats for one chord?

 

The music lesson contained in the song is that there is II V I in the key of G major : Am7 D7 GMaj7

and

II V I in the relative minor of E minor: F#m7b5 B7b9 Em

 

Every note in the song is from either the key of G major or the key of E minor, which means that only only note changes: there is a D# on the B7 chord.

 

 

 

Sorry to inject any confusion into the discussion of "Autumn Leaves" with this. When I googled the chart that was the notation that was in the chart.

 

That being said, I've got a related question for you Jeremy. What is it that would not make this particular chord F#dim 7? The components are there for F# diminished with the F#, A (minor third) & C (flat 5th). Would the inclusion of the 7th not make this particular chord diminished? Or is this just a different way to notate the same chord?

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A diminished seventh chord has double flatted seventh.

 

F# diminished 7 chord has F# A C Eb

 

The chord we are talking about can be called a half-diminished seventh chord and has F# A C E.

 

The name F#m7b5 means the same thing as F# half-diminished seventh.

 

This chord is the commonly used II chord in a minor key.

 

I wish I could get the proper symbols in this post. A diminished symbol looks like the degrees sign and a half diminished sign has the same thing, but with a line through it.

 

Maybe this would help:

http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/5058822/chords-main_Full.jpg

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Here's a sample bassline for Autumn Leaves.

I used a variety of different scales.

 

If you want to know which one I used where and why, you'll have to take a lesson from me. ;)

 

Clicky clicky the linky linky

 

p.s. If the chart is too small, just click on it to get it to the original size. Printing it the right size may be a challenge.

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Tjanks so much for this, Jeremy. I'll study it when I get home next week.

 

If you want to know which one I used where and why, you'll have to take a lesson from me. ;)

 

Would love to but the commute would be a killer. How about we do a Vulcan Mind Meld?

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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I avoid open strings for an entirely different reason: they sound different, and even if you mute them as part of standard technique, the sustain will still sound different from a fingered note.

 

Granted, in mainstream rock the open string sound is often what one goes for, and in those cases I may do so -- especially if it is one of those songs where the bass player sort of doubles the guitar vs. being a groove-oriented part.

 

I think it is a good idea, nonetheless, to develop good transposing skills such that you can go from open strings to fingered notes once a song is moved to another key. After all, with a severe key change (usually to accomodate a singer -- especially when going between male and female lead vocals), you are likely to have to deal with similar string-switching for the part that you had learned so well.

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I'm working with my wife on playing bass for my cover band project, and I'm throwing out all the tab she's gathered online in favor of me rewriting it for fretted notes across the board on the 5-string she's using.

 

Mark nailed the reason why. Much better control over the tone.

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