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  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 4

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 4

    Our fourth installment on Bob Mintzer’s “I Start With The Blues” solo is a discussion of the crucial chord on bar 8 of a typical jazz blues. Almost always this is a vi chord – so in an F Blues like this one, it’s a D7 ( D dominant 7). In Letter A Bar 8... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 3

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 3

    Don’t be afraid to make some notes on your transcription! By that I mean to write in where there’s a cool diminished lick, a nice ii-V line, etc. If there’s a cool lick – outline that, and identify stuff you want to come back to. It’s so valuable to learn licks through the cycle of... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 2

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 2

    For our second installment focusing on Bob Mintzer’s solo from “I Start With The Blues,” we’ll be focusing mainly on transposing a line through different keys and why we do that. This is really important and something I touched upon in part one, too. It goes without saying that jazz standards and indeed tunes from... »

  • Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 1

    Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 1

    I’m kicking off a new series here for Creative Bass Lines. In this episode, we’ll take a look at a really great solo over a jazz 12 bar blues – performed and transcribed by sax great Bob Mintzer! We’re really fortunate to have this music for our lessons. Bob very kindly agreed to let me... »

  • Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues

    Ready to apply all this hard work in a song? In part three of this mini-series on Talking Technique we are putting all this hard work to good use in a blues. If you haven’t been following along, be sure to check out the past two Talking Technique episodes! So far we’ve been working on... »

  • Advanced Bass: Giant Steps Plays the Blues

    Advanced Bass: Giant Steps Plays the Blues

    “Giant Steps” is well known as a challenging workout for all aspiring jazz musicians to learn. In this lesson, we’ll cover how to superimpose “Coltrane Changes” over the first 4-bars of the Blues with a fingerboard friendly symmetrical pattern that will open doors – both harmonically and stylistically into the world of John Coltrane. Download... »

  • Creative Bass Lines: Funking with the Dorian Mode and the Blues Scale

    Creative Bass Lines: Funking with the Dorian Mode and the Blues Scale

    Welcome back to the third installment of Creative Bass Lines. Before we start, I’d like to take a moment to say a fond farewell to the amazing Victor Bailey who sadly left us way too soon a few days ago. Victor was an enormous influence on me, and his highly melodic yet super funky playing... »

  • Advanced Bass: Stitt & Trane Blues

    Advanced Bass: Stitt & Trane Blues

    The Blues is one of the major building blocks for jazz and improvised music, making it a logical starting point for applying your improvisational concepts. The problem exists when people learn some concepts and then attempt to jam along with no specific goals in mind. This is a big mistake! In this lesson, we’ll cover... »

  • Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic

    Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic

    Here’s a new lesson in our ongoing series of bass lick lessons. This time, we’ll play around with a minor pentatonic, in the key of A. In the video below, I play the lick at full speed, followed by a demo at a reduced speed. Follow along with the video and this transcription (PDF). If... »

  • Walking Bass Lesson: 12 Bar Blues

    Walking Bass Lesson: 12 Bar Blues

    When you’re presented with a 12-bar blues, you have different options for how to create a walking bass line. In this lesson, we’ll cover those options. The song example I’m using is “Gotta Mind to Travel” by Coco Montoya, if you want to check that out. »