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McBride's walking


soupster

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Hey guys,

I was watching a video today of this monster with chick corea, roy haynes, joshua redman, and some trumpet player. They were playing the music of Bud Powell. Anyway Im just wondering why Christian Mcbride's walking sounds just so god damn good. I mean, his relationship with the beat, like where he places his bass around it is just awesome. How am i gonna practice this ya know? Any ideas, suggestions, practice techniques, opinions, wise cracks, dance routines?

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You might want to study the Ray Brown Bass Method.

I recently went to clinic about Scott Lafaro, the great bassist with Bill Evans. The moderator said that Ray Brown book had a huge impact on Scott's playing and backed it up with some recorded music..a before and after type study..there was a big difference

www.danielprine.com

 

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The Ray Brown bass method is primarily a technique book. There are only a few short examples of walking in the book.

 

The way to learn how Christian McBride walks is to listen to all the Ray Brown you can.

 

Try playing along. Try transcribing the lines.

Play with people and try placing the beat in various places and see what happens to the other players. Play with a metronome....which is set to click on 2 and 4 so that you get to define the beat...the metronome will just confirm your time.

 

Buy a three-piece suit with very large pockets. ;)

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Originally posted by jeremy c:

The Ray Brown bass method is primarily a technique book. There are only a few short examples of walking in the book.

Please correct me if I am wrong but the Ray Brown Method is filled with bass scales

( required for walking )and I would consider that more theory than technique.

 

I would consider A Technique book to be -

How to Slap,

How to Play Funk Bass ,

How To Play Country Bass

How To Play Rock Bass etc ??

www.danielprine.com

 

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I'm thinking of the word technique as used by many teachers to mean:

 

Learn all your scales, arpeggios, and other things with the proper fingerings so that you will be able to play real music later.

 

There are no explanations of what anything is used for in Ray Brown's book so it's hard for me to consider it a theory book.

 

A book about slapping would be a technique book but books about how to play rock, how to play funk, how to play country, in my opinion would be books about style.

 

And now we have the three main things that I cover in my lessons:

technique

theory

style

 

I also include instrument maintenance and various other things as they come up.

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Having tried myself, I would say that you can't really learn to walk from a book. Even many jazz bass books spend more time telling you how to solo than how to walk.

Ray's book is great but, from my quick glances, it's not going to help you with note choice and placement in relation to the beat.

For theory, I would choose 'The Jazz theory Book' by Mark Levine. Books that might help you walk include Ed Friedland's books and Chuck Sher's Improviser's Bass method . . . but bassicaly (stet), improving your walking is about listening and perhaps finding the right teacher.

Walking jazz bass is rarely about scales (at least in isolation) in my experience.

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Originally posted by jeremy c:

....The way to learn how Christian McBride walks is to listen to all the Ray Brown you can....

Try playing along. Try transcribing the lines.

..... Play with a metronome....which is set to click on 2 and 4 so that you get to define the beat...

^Cosign - TRANSCRIBING, writing down what you're HEARing (or what you THINK you're hearing) ensures that you listen to the playing Super-Thouroughly, IMO...

 

I've found that listening SO closely (as transcription requires one to do) enables us to hear MORE than 'just the note'; the FEEL, the SOUND, the PLACEMENT - stuff that is really BEYOND what can be transribed - is picked up anyway, perhaps subconsciously... :confused:

 

...so the notation we end up with when transcribing tends to represent more than 'just' the notes (to the transcriber); I've found that scribbles I put down also trigger off memories of the Feel, Sound, Dynamics, etc, things that can't really be transcribed..

 

...and that then, when I go to play that transcription, I'm going for the sound & feel AS WELL as the notes! :thu:

 

P.S. - Mistakes in transcribing are FINE, as long as you're honestly TRYING to notate what you hear :thu:

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Wow, welcome, guy with a long and difficult to type name (sorry ;) )

Great first post (and avatar and name)!

I went to a clinic by Dave Liebman where he said something broadly similar. He said that when transcribing a solo(In that case) you should first listen over and over to it until it is embedded in your memory; then learn to sing it with most importantly the right nuances (feel/sound/dynamics etc) and rhythmic feeling; then learn to play it on your instrument; then finally transcribe it and study the choice of notes etc.

I have to be honest and say that I rarely do this - but I know its value!

If I were to do this with Ray or Christian's playing, I would start small with a bar or few bars that I liked and first see how that went.

 

Hey, this is my 900th post - that was quick!

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:)

Thanks for the nice welcome, Phil! :wave:

 

Originally posted by Phil W:

... Dave Liebman ... said that when transcribing a solo (In that case) you should first listen over and over to it until it is embedded in your memory; then learn to sing it with most importantly the right nuances (feel/sound/dynamics etc) and rhythmic feeling; then learn to play it on your instrument; then finally transcribe it and study the choice of notes etc....

This is something I did for a while when studying double bass; according to my teacher, it's the "Lennie Tristano method", credited to that great bop-and-beyond pianist; apparently he reccomended starting this with Lester Young's saxaphone solos, then progressing to other soloists...

 

...it's not something I've done a whole lot of, at least not in recent years! Time consuming, but no doubt worthwhile!

 

Originally posted by Phil W:

If I were to do this with Ray or Christian's playing, I would start small with a bar or few bars that I liked and first see how that went.

Great idea! :thu: That's definitely the way to go about it; smaller grabs, but worked on THOROUGHLY using this method...

 

...that would = teh greatness! :cool:

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Modern Walking Bass Technique by Mike Richmond is a great book. Looks like the mighty Amazon only has one copy.

 

It's a technique book in that he shows how do things like pull-offs, triplets, dead notes, etc. that help create a jazz walking sound.

 

And it's a style book in that his written examples give great examples of walking basslines in the jazz style.

 

But you will have to figure out feel, sound, and note placement from somewhere other than a book.

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