ExAM­plES7&8 Bass line/Chord solo

Guitar Techniques - - LESSON: JAZZ -

Here we see how John and Bucky might em­u­late the sound of a big­ger en­sem­ble by both tak­ing on clearly de­fined roles, one be­ing the bass player (John, left) and the other tak­ing on the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the horn sec­tion play­ing a solo in block chords (Bucky, right). The trick to walk­ing bass is to out­line key notes from within each har­monic event/chord while cre­at­ing a line that hits th­ese points at par­tic­u­lar spots in the time frame of the piece, very of­ten root notes on the beat con­nected with a com­bi­na­tion of scale and chro­matic tones. No­tice how sim­i­lar the line in bars 1 and 2 is a part such as the uni­son riff in Jimi Hen­drix’s ver­sion of Hey Joe. Bucky’s voic­ings are es­sen­tially all on the top four strings, with the oc­ca­sional three-note voic­ing for good mea­sure. The chro­matic ap­proaches serve as a form of mo­men­tary ten­sion and re­lease. From a voic­ing per­spec­tive we’re look­ing at just two shapes but the key is to al­ways be able to iden­tify the lo­ca­tion of the root. For ex­am­ple, our open­ing E9 to F9 con­tain nei­ther E or F, so we need to imag­ine their pres­ence as an im­plied or ‘phantom’ root on the fifth string to en­sure we know ex­actly what chords we’re deal­ing with.

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