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So What?


josh a

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I've just been listening to this tune, by Miles Davies and wondering:

1. Who is the bass player?

2. I know its a double bass, but would a P bass or a J better suit this type of playing?

3. What kind of EQ should I do for this kind of playing?

4. Can you recommend any other essential listening of this kind of thing? Not too many, and not too obscure.

Thanks.

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Originally posted by josh a:

You don't think so what?

I just ask because I am going to be playing this song on an electric bass, and was just curious as to what was better suited for when I eventually get a new bass, (I currently have a p.)

Oh, you can play the song on an electric bass - no problem. And as far as changing the EQ on your bass, just use whatever feels right to you. it'll be fine....

 

I'd bet that there have been versions of that tune played on electric basses, synthesizers, tubas, organs, pianos - pretty much, anything that CAN cover that melody HAS covered that melody. Now that I think about it, I've played it as a samba, a waltz and a polka (OK, I'm kinda ashamed of the polka...) :)

Dave Martin

Java Jive Studio

Nashville, TN

www.javajivestudio.com

 

Cuppa Joe Records

www.cuppajoerecords.com

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Hey Josh, I am thrilled that you are taking on such a project. I am also thrilled you are exploring Jazz. I have been a Jazz fan myself for about 60 years. Jazz is all about exploring. Going places where no one has been before. Make this your song! Get ideas from the masters but play it and make it your own. Jazz is a very, very selfish variey of music. Most Jazz musicians play for themselves and could not care less if there was anyone listening. This may sound very strange but someday you will understand.

 

Rocky

:thu:

"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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For an electric take on this song try the Marcus Miller version on the live album 'the Ozell Tapes'.

Love the original though.

'The most important thing is to settle on a bass then commit to it. Get to know your bass inside and out and play it in every situation you can.' Marcus Miller
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If you play the song with the typical jazz player that I know (and love...), they will barely notice the difference between a Jazz and a Precision. They will just notice that you are not playing an upright.

 

Play whatever instrument you are most comfortable with. For starters, play as close to the style on the record as you can.

 

Do not play a repeating part and don't hit the root at the beginning of each measure.

 

Have fun!

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Originally posted by jeremy c:

Do not play a repeating part and don't hit the root at the beginning of each measure.

 

Have fun!

It's funny that you say that. I used to play with a guitar player who wanted me to play a repeating part and hit the root at the beginning of each measure so he wouldn't get lost. I wasn't having fun.

 

Luckily, I now play with a more adventurous bunch. Much more fun.

 

Oh yeah, I play it on a P-bass. http://myspace-041.vo.llnwd.net/01274/14/06/1274456041_m.jpg

pray peace, all love and unity

 

"There are only two kinds of music; good and bad."

~Duke Ellington~

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Originally posted by Paul K:

Glad to hear that this crew is more interested in creating new music than in recreating old music. Artist vrs. artisan.

Nah, it's just that it's a LOT harder to play it like Paul did than it is to make up something new. :freak:

Dave Martin

Java Jive Studio

Nashville, TN

www.javajivestudio.com

 

Cuppa Joe Records

www.cuppajoerecords.com

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1: Paul Chambers is a great person to listen to. Listen to some of his lines and try to work a few out to help you with your own ideas.

 

2: I think that's been answered, any electric bass is fine - but listen to the sound and the note lengths of the double bass phrasing to help you create walking basslines on electric. One tip is to pluck over the fingerboard near the end of the fingerboard though this is not a hard and fast rule.

 

3: Anything produced by Miles Davis is worth checking out. I especially like Ron Carter's playing in the early and mid-sixties. Also check out Paul Chambers' solo albums and his work with Wynton Kelly.

 

So What has come up before. Two things that people can find difficult playing it are:

 

1) remembering where they are in the tune during the solos (there are 24 consecutive bars of D minor 7!)

2) Finding the right tempo

3) Creating lines that generally use chord tones on the 1st and 3rd beats of each bar while playing modally

 

It came up a while back here .

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Originally posted by Phil W:

...

So What has come up before. Two things that people can find difficult playing it are:

 

1) remembering where they are in the tune during the solos (there are 24 consecutive bars of D minor 7!)

...

Thats where the old raised eyebrows trick comes in.

After you have lost count of what bar you're at raise your eyebrows and look round at the rest of the band. The band member who is not looking round with raised eyebrows is the one who is still counting. If you all have raised eyebrows, wait for someone to nod then go to the next section. If no-one nods continue playing until audience is asleep or start clapping.... ;)

 

I don't know the tune by name, just going to check on itunes, sounds like another classic I'm missing. Probably best in this situation to break it into 3x8bar, 6x4bar, 2x12, or 1x16+1x8bar sections or any other.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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I think you are playing it "like it is", you just haven't quite noticed yet.

 

The original has a little bass and piano intro that hardly anyone ever plays.

 

The "intro part" with the bass melody answered by the piano is the head of the song. In other words that's the melody of the song.

 

It has exactly the same changes as the solos.

 

16 bars of Dm7

8 bars of Ebm7

8 bars of Dm7

 

I'd be really surprised if you were doing it differently....and if you aren't following the original form, there is no reason for you not to. In fact, it is actually bad for the learning process to simplify the song....you need to learn to hear in eight bar phrases.

 

Your bass line will be primarily using the dorian scale. You can add a few chromatic notes such as 4 #4 5 or 6 b7 7 1

 

That gives you these notes to work with in D:

D E F G G# A B C C# D

The Eb part is a half step higher.

 

With my students, the exercise is use is to first make up a bassline hitting the root on the first beat of every other measure: on measures 1, 3, 5, and 7 etc.

 

Then make up a line hitting the root on the first beat of every fourth measure: on measures 1, 5, 9, 11 etc.

 

Finally make up a line hitting the root on the first beat of every eighth measure: on measures 1, 9, 17, and 25.

 

If you can do that without thinking a lot, you have internalized the eight bar phrases which make up the song. You will not get lost and if you play confidently enough, neither will anyone else.

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Ah So That's So What? I've probably heard it a million times. I really must make more of an effort to find out what these tunes are called and who they are by. It seems Steve Gadd's done a version as well.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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If you don't already have one, go out & pick up a copy of Kind of Blue RIGHT NOW!! It is an amazing album, & Paul Chambers was the man.

 

As was mentioned above, you can get an upright-ish sound by plucking the strings over the fretboard. But who knows--in your combo, the electric bass sound might be just the thing. Experiment. And yeah, be confident & assertive!

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AAhhh, college Jazz band.

 

I remember playing So What in college band, and it was good. I actually got compliments from my teacher for accurately copping the head and melody.

Played on an Ibanez Musician fretless 4 string.

 

Definitely do the studying, do the homework, and then play the ass off it.

 

That's what I did...

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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So What by Miles Davis

Lyrics written by Eddie Jefferson

 

Verse I

-------

 

Miles Davis walked off the stage,

 

Thats what the folks are all saying.

 

Oh yes he did leave the stage,

 

After his solo was all over.

 

Coltrane he walked off the stage

 

Thats what the folks are all saying.

 

Yes they both left the stage

 

Clean out of sight...

 

Verse II

--------

 

They felt they had to rehearse...

 

Although we know they are masters

 

They get a real Groovy sound,

 

And you will have to admit it.

 

Verse III

---------

 

Yes they both left the stage...

 

Soon as their solo's were over.

 

And if you can't figure out,

 

Their groove I'd like to help you...

 

 

SO WHAT!!!!

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  • 2 months later...

Phil, This doesn't have much to do with your original post... but I just checked out some of your music and am really impressed by your intonation!

 

Hardly any sliding, or or vibrato on your notes. Well done! I can tell that your influences are those playing upright, and fretted. Hitting clean/precise notes on an unmarked neck is a skill, my friend!

live in the now
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Man, that's very kind of you!

The cheque is in the post!

My intonation has improved massively in the last few years since I've been taking lessons and practisinf properly instead of the aimless noodling that I use to call practising in the old days. I hate to listen to my intonation on old recordings. One of my teachers told me that I play the bass in tune (despite my poor/unorthodox technique). And yeah - I listen to a lot of upright.

I think that playing the same bass all the time helps - as does having to do an impression of a fretted player on most gigs. I don't like to over do vibrato. A lot of playing in tune is actually down to confidence.

The following are my recommendations for improving intonation:

1 practice (of course)

2 sight reading

3 conventional left hand fingering and playing in positions

4 having to sing backing vocals

5 general ear training/imporvisation with other players

6 looping!

7 playing along with records

 

josh a,

please excuse this diversion - I guess it's vaguely relevant

 

moop,

you made my day!

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