Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Jazz Voicing Question - Doubled Notes on Two Fisted Voicings


alby

Recommended Posts

Does anyone know the theory behind why you should not double your notes when playing two handed voicings in Jazz?

 

E.g. Doubling the 3rd or 7th both in the left hand and the right hand.

 

(I know thats its ok to double some notes up the top end of voicings, especially playing Upper Structure voicings.)

 

I often double my notes in tight situations when I come across an unfamilar sequence of chords, and I havent had time to learn to voice them. (No one has glared at me so far, unlike when I totally miss the chord change.)

 

O.T. what is that special glare that Bass players gives you when you miss a change? Is there a subject that you do in Jazz school of Double Bass playing - Glare at the piano player that misses the change.

 

regards

Alby

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 13
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Don't know if it's such a hard and fast rule. Basically, the best policy is to keep your extensions on the top (your #11's, b9's, etc) and keep your chord tones (1,3,5) below. If you start doubling extensions - two things can happen. The chord just might get too "out there" - and, you might be missing an opportunity to pick up a 13th or something elsewhere. Doubling chord tones can make the chord sound too plain - especially if you double the root. And when it comes to bass players glaring at you - it's often not because you missed a change. It could be that you played a root - or doubled a root - and stepped on his note. But like everything in jazz - try everything - and find out for yourself what works. And if the bass player glares at you too much, play with another bass player (or buy a sequencer ;) )

_______________________________________________

Kurzweil PC4; Yamaha P515; EV ZXA1s

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doubling chord tones just doesn't add anything and tends to muddy up the sound. One exception would be doubling the top note in your voicing possibly to fill in the space between hands or bring out the melody.

 

Bass players are grumps by nature, but they do tend to get grumpier if you play the roots in your voicings, that means they can't do their tritone substitutions that they live for!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

when you double, especially in the low end you kill overtones making the sound less 'vibrant' for lack of a better word. For instance, I try to never play octaves in the left hand unless it's a lead part or an effect. Alot of pop/rock players play 5ths in the left hand a lot...I do too but you only get away with it if the chords in your right hand are dominant as well, like major triads/4ths. There's tons of exceptions in music so the basic 'rule' is really just to be aware of the overtones when voicing chords, if the overtones get cancelled out you might change the voicing.

 

Over time you shouldn't have to think about it much, I still have trouble with it sometimes but I hear it and try to adjust my voicings on the fly...good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't worry about any of the cats glaring at you. Let's face it nine times out of ten the pianist is putting the band together and booking the gig. Glare back and play louder. If its a bass player start walking or playing stride.
Weasels ripped my flesh. Rzzzzzzz.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmmmm, although I hate it, sometimes I find that I have to play left-hand bass.

 

This glaring at myself has GOT to stop! :mad: I've tried firing the bass player, but for some reason, he still hangs around! :freak:

 

Is There Gas In The Car? :cool:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Is There Gas in the Car?:

Hmmmmm, although I hate it, sometimes I find that I have to play left-hand bass.

 

This glaring at myself has GOT to stop! :mad: I've tried firing the bass player, but for some reason, he still hangs around! :freak:

 

Is There Gas In The Car? :cool:

GAS, they have medication for conditions like this. :)

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being both a keyboard and bass player, I understand this from both sides. Keyboard players with busy left hands tend to dominate the lower register and leave very little room for the bassist to work. On several occasions, I have walked over to my keyboard player and said (in a light-hearted tone) "I want you to rope off everything from here down on your keyboard with yellow 'crime-scene' tape". Good keyboard players know to respect the bass player's sonic space. On the other hand, if the bass player glares at you for a simple human mistake, I'd say he's just a weenie!!

 

Regarding doubling notes in complex voicings, let your ears guide you. Sometimes it clutters the voicing and other times it adds a very desirable tension. For example, I like to double the root at the top of a 7b9b5 structure. Just a matter of personal taste...

 

Kirk

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I play where I damn well want to! If the bass player feels I'm stepping on his turf, he'd better listen closer to what I'm doing! But seeriously, I only play that low or hard for McCoy voicings, which don't happen on every song, or for power ballads, where the bass and I need to work together (of course these days I primarily play with a sequenced bass line that I wrote, so I know how to get out of the way...) :P

 

Doubling notes is best done by listening - if it works, use it, if it doesn't, don't do it again. We learn primarily from our mistakes.

 

Dasher

It's all about the music. Really. I just keep telling myself that...

The Soundsmith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add a lot of latin and cuban music uses doubled notes (montunos et al) and a lot of simple music using primary triads (I can't help but think of Meatloaf and all those power ballads :) )can benefit I think... I don't think its such a hard and fast rule
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by alby:

Does anyone know the theory behind why you should not double your notes when playing two handed voicings in Jazz?

 

E.g. Doubling the 3rd or 7th both in the left hand and the right hand.

There's no hard and fast rule. In bop/swing, doubling the guide notes (3rd and 7th) is usually avoided because it gives you an heavy, harsch sound.

(I know thats its ok to double some notes up the top end of voicings, especially playing Upper Structure voicings.)

Exactly. Upper structure triads seem to work particularly well in second inversion (to my ears, at least). If you want an huge sound, just double the lowest note (of the triad, not the whole chord) at the upper octave.

I often double my notes in tight situations when I come across an unfamilar sequence of chords, and I havent had time to learn to voice them. (No one has glared at me so far, unlike when I totally miss the chord change.)

Well, here you're not talking about choices - you do it because it comes automatic to you. Speaking in general, I would avoid doubling chord notes an octave above or below, much more entire voicings. It sounds heavy and dull to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to the Jazz School of Double Bass playing, and I can vouch that there is no glare that you are taught when the pianist misses a change. Just don't step on my #$(%&@# roots. The only glare I know is the one the pianist gives me when I do my tritone subs.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by dementia13:

I went to the Jazz School of Double Bass playing, and I can vouch that there is no glare that you are taught when the pianist misses a change. Just don't step on my #$(%&@# roots. The only glare I know is the one the pianist gives me when I do my tritone subs.

After _many_ years of playing, I finally got around to making my own fake books with my own chord changes (using a software program). The only time I glare at a bass player is when he is incapable of reading the changes I put down on paper. I only wish I would have done this sooner.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...