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Solo in F


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Ooh ... that's a pretty open-ended question, Cep. Could you be a little more specific?


Do you want to know of an existing recording of a solo by a jazz bassist in F?


Any reason it has to be in F, and not some other key?


Any particular kind of jazz? Traditional? Big Band? Bebop? Fusion? Smooth? ;) Something else?

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Sorry ill try to be a little more specific...

You see, I have just started in a Jazz band...


We play things like Charlie Parker, etc...


I have enough experience to pull of a solo, but I dont know how to play one, because I dont really know how to read notes..


I want it in F beacause, we are playing a song called Seven Steps to Heaven, and there is a lot of F in the solo part... Or something like that...


I hope you can help me somehow, I am a complete n00b to read notes. And I dont know what C7 is...

I can read tabs, if that is any help...


Thanks for responding! Sorry for my bad english

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Originally posted by C. Alexander Claber:

Short-term answer: Learn the head/melody (assuming your solo is over those changes) and play variations around that.



Thats not a bad idea I'll have to try that myself. I don't do a lot of soloing, but that sure would help sometimes when I do
If you smell something stinking, it's juz me, I'm funky like that
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A lot of jazz players could not read music. They played "by ear".


However, I believe most schools and colleges today teach jazz by using standard notation ("sheet music") and chord charts (using chord symbols like "C7").


With standard notation -- or even the equivalent tabs -- you'd only get a "suggested" solo. That is, solos in jazz are typically improvised, or made up on the spot. Although you could change a few notes here and there from a suggested solo, it's not quite the same as improvising.


Chord charts just tell the reader what chords are being played. Using knowledge of music theory, this gives him or her a sense of what pitches will fit with the accompanying harmony. The improviser still has to invent the rhythm and dynamics (or "phrasing") of those pitches.


The alternative to reading music is to use your ear. Play something that sounds good to you. If you play a pitch and it sounds bad, try immediately raising or lowering it a half step.


Other than that, I'd suggest you find a private instructor to learn how to read music and improvise from a chord chart. That will help you most in the long run.


If you really want to pursue jazz, you might want to study jazz at a music school, university or community college. (If you haven't graduated high school yet, a private instructor is probably best for you.)



I must say that I find it amazing that your band leader would expect you to be able to solo on "Seven Steps to Heaven" if (I assume) this is your first jazz band. According to this link , most people are probably familiar with the Miles Davis version, which I'm sure is fairly advanced bebop.


I'm also puzzled as to how you're able to play the rest of the song without reading music. Is someone telling you what to play, or are you doing everything by ear?

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You can learn a lot of theory here, although it might seem overwhelming to you.


Do a search for "theory" and especially "Jeremy's Theory thread" and print that stuff out. It will mean a little, but as you grow it will mean more and more.


Just any old solo won't do. The solo must specifically fit the chords in the tune. "Seven Steps to Heaven" is a very nice tune. You could find several recorded solos to the tune by searching the internet. Download and listen...you might get some ideas.


Keep working at it. The only way to lose in the music game is to quit playing.

Yep. I'm the other voice in the head of davebrownbass.
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Originally posted by Cep:

I have played bass for 5-6 months, so I have no problems with anything technical.. And Yes.. Someone told me how ro play the bass lines, and then I just play..

...I dont know what C7 is...

I can read tabs, if that is any help...

You have a lot of self-confidence. That's a good thing. But I hope it is not hubris. That's a bad thing.


Tabs are useless for jazz. Reading chord names is essential and reading notes is almost essential.


It's nice that someone showed you a part to play. In the head of the tune on the A section (when the melody is being played) there is a specific bass part. But during the B section and the solos the bass is walking and it is supposed to be different every time it comes around again.


There are some people who can play something perfectly after hearing it once. If you are one of them, then you might be able to get away without learning to read, but even then it will be difficult because often you will be asked to play things you haven't heard.


Learning a generic solo in F is not going to help.


A jazz solo is improvised on the spot.


The first thing you should do is buy the cd Four And More by Miles Davis and listen to the song.


If you have the kind of ear you say you have, just learn the trumpet solo note for note.


The tempo is somewhere around 300 bpm.


You could say that the song is in F, but the solo uses the key of F, the key of C, the key of Eb, the key of Gb and a lot more stuff.


It's a 32 bar song and you have to know exactly where you are at all times. Tony William's drum solo, while sounding very free, fits exactly onto the form of the song.


Run, don't walk, to an experienced jazz bass player and get some lessons.

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CEP, Have you ever heard this song??


Have you ever heard your group play it??


In my opinion, it would take a very experienced Jazz bassist to pull it off.


If you have only been playing for a few months and Jazz is new to you. Your friends may be playing around with you. Maybe !



"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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