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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: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free
Transcriptions

Bass Transcription: Andy Fraser’s Bass Line on “Mr. Big” by Free

Free was formed in 1968 in London, and they followed in the footsteps of bands such as Cream and Fleetwood Mac, who grew out of the British Blues Explosion of the mid-sixties. By moving away from some of the restrictions of the genre, Free (alongside Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple), helped to define British heavy rock music of...

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...

New Year’s Resolutions for Bass: 5 Ingredients to Get You Results
Talking Technique

New Year’s Resolutions for Bass: 5 Ingredients to Get You Results

I ran a survey a few weeks back asking bass players what they struggled with the most. With an overwhelming majority, the response had to do with practicing. Specifically, how to: Practice effectively so as to see improvement. Not be distracted. Know what to work on next or where to even start. Some people formulated it perfectly, asking for very...

Bass Transcription: The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
Transcriptions

Bass Transcription: The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Note: It is not certain who the bassist was on The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” but it’s likely to be Wilton Felder, who played on many of their early recordings after they moved to Los Angeles in 1969. There’s relatively little information about the studio musicians who worked for Motown in L.A. during this period, so...

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...

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Bass Transcription: Ronnie Lane’s Bass Line on “Itchycoo Park” by The Small Faces
Transcriptions

Bass Transcription: Ronnie Lane’s Bass Line on “Itchycoo Park” by The Small Faces

Ronnie Lane was born in Plaistow in East London on April 1st 1946. As a teenager, his father had encouraged him to play the guitar as “he’d always have a friend”. At first, he played skiffle, a type of rough country blues popular in the UK in the early 1960s, but he was also influenced by The Shadows and The...

Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Whole Tone Riffin’

The whole tone scale is a really interesting scale. Unlike our major and pentatonic scales, it’s built out of all whole steps making it sound a little bit eerie and bright. Because the scale is symmetrical, it does not sound like it has a beginning or an end. Another neat fact is that there are only two whole tone scales:...

Talking Technique: Switching Drills for 4, 5, and 6 String Basses
Talking Technique

Talking Technique: Switching Drills for 4, 5, and 6 String Basses

Switch much? If you find yourself switching between four-, five- and six-string basses a lot, or even just between different bass models, here’s a lesson for getting comfortable with whatever bass, fast. Playing different instruments is like driving a different brand new car. It takes time to get comfortable and settle in. If you find yourself switching around, try these...

Bass Transcription: Mattia La Maida’s Solo Bass Arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”
Transcriptions

Bass Transcription: Mattia La Maida’s Solo Bass Arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”

The first thing we have to consider to play this arrangement is the accents. The trick is to emphasize the 2nd and 4th movement, just as a drummer would do with the snare drum. To do this use the “strum” technique (think Stanley Clarke in School Days), accenting the 2nd and 4th movement where I can try to keep it...

Bass Transcription: Trevor Bolder’s Bass Line on “Changes” by David Bowie
Transcriptions

Bass Transcription: Trevor Bolder’s Bass Line on “Changes” by David Bowie

Since 1963, David Bowie worked with many bands as both singer and instrumentalist, and he had released several unsuccessful singles under his own name before “Space Oddity” became his first substantial hit. The song reached number five in the UK in 1969. Bowie’s first two albums (both confusingly called David Bowie) had been recorded using session musicians, with the bass...