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This Old Geezer Is Taking Bass Lessons Starting Next Week!

Discussion in 'Music Education - Share your knowledge here!' started by DiMarco, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. BrusselsBass

    BrusselsBass Supporting Member

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    I try to do lots of walking with the RealBook. The arpeggio reference helps me to find the progressions for odd chords like B9, or Bb7sus in songs like Round Midnight, which is quite quirky;)
     
  2. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Sus2 chords

    Free Fallin - Tom Petty
    Don't Dream it's Over - Crowed House

    There's a Tool song that gets played on NZ radio but I can't rember it's name sorry.
     
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  3. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I absolutely LOVE the vibe of a 7sus4. Will have to include that somewhere in my ideas.

    Currently I am exploring the modes of the melodic minor scale but sadly not really feeling it yet. Any tips on how I can get to grips with that? I heard this is the one for getting jazzy sounding improv going, which I currently can't seem to understand.
     
  4. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Hi. Have a listen to "Maiden Voyage" by Herbie Hancock

    It can be looked at as m7sus4

    So Am7 but play D bass
    Cm7 but play F
    Bbm7 but play Eb
    Dbm7 but play Gb
     
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  5. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Melodic Minor

    Do you know what a Tritone Substitution is?
     
  6. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Mode IV is Lydian dominant
    Mode vii is Alt

    Jazz is often II-V7-I chord progression

    Change the V7 chord via tritone substitution
     
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  7. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Dm7 (II)/ G7 (V7) / Cmaj/

    The third and seventh of G7 are B and F

    If we use tritone substitution the G7 becomes Db7(#11)

    The third and seventh of Db7(#11) are F and B

    That Db7(#11) scale is Lydian Dominant....which is the IV mode of Melodic Minor.
     
  8. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Thanks for connecting the dots buddy, I'll fiddle about with it tonight after work.
     
  9. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Hi guys! It's me bothering you again with theory stuff, more or less to help myself and keep evolving as a musician.

    So this morning I was noodling some chords and because I now know the names of the chords as I play them I was wondering: What scale am I in?
    At first I tried to apply the logic I know but it turned out my knowledge is yet too limited and when we're not in a simple natural minor or major scale I get lost.

    So I started trying to find out through google and found this GREAT website that can help you out when composing or simply trying to come up with a good bass line for a song:

    Note by note: Musical Scale Finder Tool

    By chords: Chord Scale Finder for Music Composers

    I was playing a Gm7, Am7, D7 (Dee-dominant-seven) chords on the 15th and 17th frets and it sounds terribly jazzy.
    The chord scale finder tells me what scales I could be operating in. It also tells me which chords are likely to work well for my progression and I can click the chords to hear what they sound like and how they are played on guitar. Turns out that the D7 would probably need to be a D7sus4 on guitar, but on bass we leave out the 4. I now have to decide D7 or D7sus4 - both sound nice.

    Awesome! Thought I'd share.

    Now I need a looper to start soloing on this terribly jazzy sounding progression. Having a lot of fun trying to convert this into a song!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
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  10. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Last night I did more digging, always trying to expand my knowledge. I started to learn about chord substitutions and why they are useful.
    Decided to throw in chord inversions and chord extensions as all is intertwined because well music works like that.



    Chord inversions, extensions, substitutions. What's what and why does this help?


    Chord Inversions:

    Inversions are the same chord, but the lowest (bass) note is not the root anymore.
    So in an inversion chord the root note lives elsewhere in the chord.

    For instance a C major chord can be played in these ways:

    Regular: C E G which is Root 3rd 5th
    3rd inv: E G C which is 3rd 5th Root
    5th inv: G C E which is 5th Root 3rd

    Now when you play these notes in order they all outline the notes of the C major chord. Cool.

    Why does this matter? Because there is a different note used as the lowest (bass) it will come across different harmonically against what the guitar player is doing and make you come up with other bass lines then those simple starting at the root note all the time.


    Chord extensions:

    When you extend the notes in your scale an extra octave, you get the same notes exactly one octave higher.
    Scale: Root 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
    Extend: 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th

    On a bass one very often plays the 3rd (or 4th in the case of sus chords) up an octave because that's easier and sounds more open, but harmonically this does not change anything.
    To really extend things in a more interesting way this is where 9ths, 11ths and 13ths come into play.
    Why not simply use 2nds, 4ths and 6ths? It sounds harmonically more clear at a higher pitch plus is layered on top of your basic chord shape this way.

    It is good to know which extensions are most widely used with which basic chord types so here's just that:

    Major 9 - #11 - 13
    Minor 9 - 11 - 13
    Dominant b9,9,#9 - 11,#11 - b13,13

    Why does this matter? Knowing these extensions lets you come up with sexy notes rather then the regular boring triad.
    It also almost leads us into soloing territory. Never been able to really solo? Neither have I. Here's why:
    You have to think in chord structures not in loose bass pattern shapes. Knowing the extended structurs will help.


    Chord Substitutions:

    I will use the A major scale here as an example. As a reminder, these are the chords in the A Major scale:

    I – A major, A major seventh (Amaj, Amaj7)
    ii – B minor, B minor seventh (Bm, Bm7)
    iii – C sharp minor, C# minor seventh (C#m, C#m7)
    IV – D major, D major seventh (D, Dmaj 7)
    V – E major, E dominant seventh (E, E7)
    vi – F sharp minor, F# minor seventh (F#m, F#m7)
    vii° – G# diminished, G# minor seventh flat five (G#°, G#m7b5)

    A few facts:
    - Every chord in the A major scale consists of three or four notes out of the total seven which are in the scale.
    - Your fretting hand positioning depends on if you're going to play either a major or minor mode from the scale.
    - Your vocabulary of bass line shapes is most probably different for Major or minor chords. Starting from a different shape (substitution) will make you come up with different, often more interesting lines.

    Now then. If your guitarist plays an A major chord you could grab the most logical root note (A) and play a major triad or arpeggio over it. But what you could also do for instance is start on the 3rd rather then on the root. The third chord in the A major scale is C sharp minor, or C sharp minor seventh if you feel sexy. This means you can play a minor shape starting from C# here instead. Congratulations you're now using a chord substitution and play a minor shape over a major chord - and it fits like a glove.

    So finally, why does this matter?

    If you have already memorized the shapes on your fretboard for the modes of the major scale (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, MixoLydian, Aeolian, Locrian) you can now work out all the different shapes you can play over that A major chord that was being played. Not all of them are used as often but you will start to recognize them. The most important thing to recognize is which of your major, minor and diminished triads fit with a chord progression you hear. To be able to do this you need to be aware of what key the song you're playing is in.

    And this is exactly what I am currently working on. I throw a simple chord progression into the looper and am learning which substitutions work well when trying to lead the bassline from one chord to the next.
    Before this, I ALWAYS started from the root. No more of that! Interesting bass lines ahead! Life is sweet and music is such a virtue.

    Once I have grown accustomed to this, it will be time to move on to exploring the melodic minor scale but for now that's yet out of my reach. First things first plus the major scale modes will cover 95 percent of what I will ever need.

    Cheers, Marco
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
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  11. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    And that concludes our series. I have reached a point where people get lost whatever I say about the matter.
     
  12. Hardy

    Hardy Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    That is a lot to read! Next step: record something where you use this knowledge, this helps to follow.
     
  13. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Here chord substitutions are explained in a clear and helpful way.
    Because of this video I started googling for more info on the subject.

     
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  14. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Gm Am D7

    Could imply Fmajor
     
  15. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    It could and probably does, but then it would require a D7sus4? - which also fits pretty well in there.

    So I think you're right. At least it is really close to F major. Right now I changed the progression to Gm Am D7sus4 D7 and am trying to solo over it while the chords are repeated by the looper.
    The movement between D7sus4 and D7 creates a nice highlight in the progression to work with.

    This is hard for someone who has never tried to play any solos over chord progressions but I am having lots of fun doing this!

    I got this looper since yesterday, it is very awesome. I think this will speed up the process of growing my musical vocabulary.
    It also forces me to play more in the pocket in a very brutal and discomforting way. Haha.

    looperdapoop.jpg
     
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  16. Nachobassman

    Nachobassman Bass, Tapas, and Rn´R!

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    Very interesting video.
     
  17. Foal30

    Foal30

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    D is the 6th of F major

    Often the 6th is changed from m7 (natural minor) to a 7 chord (dominant)
    This is called Secondary Dominant

    You can hear this in Jazz Blues and heaps of versions of tunes that are built from "Rhythm Changes"
     
  18. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Rudimentary Piano skills are great for a Bass Player

    Root and 7th left hand
    3rd and 5th in the right

    Whatever extension you are trying to hear on top.
     
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  19. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    This is great info. Thanks!

    @Foal30 I am resolving back to a G minor 7 so I think I must be in a G melodic or harmonic minor scale. Chord sequence is now Gm7 Am7 D7sus4 D7.
    Don't know if my E should be flat in there or not (ie go with melodic or harmonic), both seem to work, the harmonic version having a nice 'arabic' kinda vibe.
    Either way this is definitely not a regular F major going on.

    I have reached the point where I'm thinking let's just play the damn thing and stop over-analyzing. I will now focus on playing it from the gut to make it rock harder.

    But the fact is thinking about what's what and trying to apply knowledge does inspire me to come up with lines, melodies, progressions I would never have without the bit of music theory knowledge I now posses.
    Still I reckon starting bass lessons last year has been one of my best decisions yet. Yes I already had the chops to make my bass sound great but I am no longer confined to minor pentatonic and blues scales.

    Thank you all for being patient with me. This journey is continuing and so far has been very very nice.
    I advise every bassist who feels stuck at a certain level to go out and take some lessons. It is very liberating.
     
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  20. Foal30

    Foal30

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    Melodic Minor
    G A Bb C D E F#

    Harmonic Minor
    G A Bb C D Eb F#
     
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