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Blues Archives

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

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 finds a D7 #9 chord...

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

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 4ths, so we’ll be taking...

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

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 all genres are in different...

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

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 share this with you, so...

Talking Technique: Pivot Permutations in the Blues
Talking Technique

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 using pivot permutations with their...

Advanced Bass: Giant Steps Plays the Blues
Advanced Bass

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 the transcription for this lesson...

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

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 made an indelible impression on...

Advanced Bass: Stitt & Trane Blues
Advanced Bass

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 just one of the stepping...

Lesson: Blues Bass Lick Using a Minor Pentatonic
Bass Lessons

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 you’d like a refresher, check...

Walking Bass Lesson: 12 Bar Blues
Bass Lessons

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.