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Jazz Bass Lessons: Play Along: "First Time"

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Now we'd like to do
another play along tune.
This is called First Time.
And this is a tune that has a certain form
to it, that I'd like you to understand.
Because it's a common form in music,
there's a form called AAB,
and this tune is two, four bar sections,
which we would call A.
The first four bars is A, and
the second four bars is A.
And then there's a bridge
that's eight bars.
Now on your chart, if you're looking at
the chart, you see these repeat signs,
and this is sort of basic chart reading,
I want you to get into with this.
You see the repeat signs.
They're little bars with dots on them.
That means that you play
that section twice.
So you have four bars and
then you repeat it.
And then you go onto letter B,
there are the rehearsal letters too,
there's A and B.
So there's two A sections and
one B, hence the term AAB form.
So B is eight bars, and
then you keep going back around the bass
plays the melody at first and
you have the melody there.
If you don't read music,
you learn the melody by ear.
It's a simply melody, and
you play it down low in the low positions.
And then,
I want you to think about phrase lanes.
This melody has a four bar phrase.
So I want you to think about
closing your eyes after you start
playing this thing and
hearing how the four bars go by.
So you could say,
that's a four bar phrase,
you learn how to hear that.
And you sing the melody in your
head to think about phrases.
This melody is
that's four bars, and
then it happens again.
This is
the bridge.
That's four bars.
That's eight.
Now we're back.
So you gotta start to think about
hearing these phrases without counting,
in other words.
Listening to the play along and
starting to feel it, and
see if you can feel when
the next phrase starts.
This is really important as a bass player,
cuz we are the ones who are in charge
of the form when we play tunes.
We set things up by the way we play.
So that people always know when we're at
the first A, the second A or the bridge.
We can call the B section
the bridge if we want.
So we are the ones who control the form.
We are the ones who lay down our bass
lines in such a way that we make it so
obvious that the form is happening,
that people can improvise over it and
feel comfortable.
So that's some basic chart reading and
some basic phrase length and
form kind of things that I
want you to get from this.
And the next thing is, I want you to
practice playing it in two beat feel and
then, transition into walking and
you'll hear when Adam Cruz,
the drummer goes from a two feel.
All of a sudden he picks up the sticks and
goes to the right symbol,
then it's time to walk.
And it's a good practice, this tune,
because you have to play
the melody at the front.
And you play the melody at the end again.
And you have to practice
transitioning between playing time,
being a foundational bass player, setting
up grooves, playing in two, walking.
And also being a melodic player and
playing the melody.