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Jazz Bass Lessons: Play Along: "Blues On The Bottom" Melody

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Now, we're gonna learn
the melody to Blues on the Bottom.
You have the chart, so if you can read
music, it's gonna help you with this.
We talked about that earlier,
how important that was.
I hope you took it to heart.
[LAUGH] If you didn't, you're gonna
learn it by ear, which is not a problem.
It's good, actually.
So we're gonna take it
a few notes at a time.
The first, let's take the first little
cell, the first four notes of the melody.
It's F, G, A, C.
So that's one, four, open four.
Got it?
on that.
One, four, open, four, F, G, A, C.
The second part of the first bar is one,
four, open, four.
So they're both one, four,
one, four, open, four.
And this one's one, four, open, four also.
But here, starting on E-flat [SOUND] and
then an F [SOUND] and then a G and a F.
So this one's.
So then we have [SOUND] and
then [SOUND] and then E-flat and F.
So we have it, in sequence it would be.
it again.
With a triplet feel.
Right down here in the bottom position.
now bar three.
Again, same cell.
[SOUND] One, four,
open four, F, G, A, C.
So you have,
[SOUND] now we have four open, one, four.
That's F, G, E-flat, C.
F, G, E-flat, C.
So here's the third bar.
In time, it would be.
bar four,
open, four,
two, four.
[SOUND] G, B-flat, A, F.
B flat, A, F.
That's open, four, two,
four and then the end of
bar four is [SOUND] open G,
E-flat one, C4, [SOUND] open A.
Coming down.
Open G, E-flat, C, A.
So lets get the first four bars down.
We go.
Play the first two bars again.
The second two bars,
I mean bar three and four.
Here's bar
three and four.
So the first
four bars is.
Now let's
learn the next part.
Here's the B flat seven.
It starts on the second eighth note
of the bar, so there's a space one.
So one open,
four, one, four,
one, four.
So one.
Again, one.
And then a slightly different
fingering but it's B flat, D, F,
B flat, C, A flat, F.
B flat, D, F, B flat, C, A flat, F.
Repeat that.
And then,
the next bar,
our six.
A flat, B flat and C.
You gonna go one, one, one, four.
And then four.
One, four, open.
Sometimes I do a little
turn in here, so I go.
But first, we gotta get the notes.
A flat, B flat, C, B flat,
A flat, F, open D.
So the second bar five and
six, as you say, are one.
I'll do
the same thing
every time,
then the next
couple of bars
are just walking.
It's F, F, E, B flat, A,
D flat, D, E flat, D, F sharp.
Let's do that.
F, F, E, B flat, A,
E flat, D, F sharp.
So, let's do that from bar five, one.
So I think
that's F,
F, E, E flat,
A, E flat,
D, F sharp.
Then here's the last four bars.
Walking G, A, B flat, B.
That's a pretty easy one.
G, A, B flat, B,
G, A, B flat, B.
And here's a little lick.
That's C, D, F,
A flat, F, A flat twice.
These kind of licks you should be able
to get by ear.
And then walking
all the way out.
F, B, D, A flat, G, D flat, C, E.
F, A, D, A-flat, G, D-flat, C, E.
Now, I've been showing
you all the notes to the melody.
Now I'm just going to play it over and
over and over again.
And you are going to try to put
together everything I've showed you.
And just, even if the first time through
you just get the first two bars.
Concentrate on nailing those,
and let the other one go by.
Then the next time through,
try to get the second two bars.
Then get two more bars,
then get two more, two more, two more and
then you will be done.
So take it easy on yourself.
Don't stress out, and think you have
to get it perfect the first time.
Let's just build a house.
we go,
Sorry, change it
a little bit there,
just focus.
the note
lengths, and
the slides.
there's a pull off there.
Slide there.
Note length.
Thick and shorter.
Pull off.
Now I want you to do that,
go through that sequence a lot.
I want you to notice when I do the melody,
notice the articulation.
We'll do this without the metronome for
a second.
When I go [SOUND],
those notes are thicker but
with space in between.
[SOUND] I'm not sustaining
them into each other.
[SOUND] I am stopping them and
this phrase.
[SOUND] See what I am doing there?
In the bar four,
[SOUND] that's a pull-off.
[SOUND] I pull my finger
straight away from the neck.
[SOUND] See what I'm doing is relaxed,
[SOUND] but you have to work on that.
[SOUND] I'm pulling my fourth finger away
on the B flat and I'm holding on to the A.
[SOUND] Here is another one,
I'm going one, one,
four, and then taking
the fourth finger and
[SOUND] See what I'm doing,
[SOUND] sliding down.
[SOUND] I wanna hit that B
flat as a target note, but
I'm using the half step above [SOUND]
that's real a blues kind of thing.
See I'm not
picking it again.
[SOUND] There I'm picking the A flat.
Again the quarter notes space between.
Now that little thing we call
that a turn around there.
That's bar five, six, seven.
The seventh and
eighth bars there's a little turn around
where we're going F7, E7, E, A7, D7.
Now sometimes on the blues they
might play F7, B flat seven,
then maybe even A minor, B7, G.
Sometimes the minors can
be substituted out for
dominant seventh chords on the blues.
So beware of that as well.
Now I'll show you something called
[SOUND] the tri-tone substitution here.
When we walk down, when we go F, F, E7.
All right?
[SOUND] In order to play a B flat
on the last bar, B of that bar.
So over the E7 chord I play an E and a B
flat, that's the tri-tone substitution.
Remember I talked about,
[SOUND] we call the sharp four or
the flatted five, the tri-tone?
[SOUND] That's very common in jazz where
we can switch out those two notes for
each other.
In other words on that little turnaround,
we call it a turnaround,
you can go F7, E7, A7,
D or F7, B flat seven.
Which is a tri tone away from the the E7.
we can go
The reason why that is, is very simple,
an E7 is E, G sharp, B, D, E.
Now, [SOUND] so, the third
of the E7 is A flat note.
And the D is the seventh.
[SOUND] So an E7,
the third is a G sharp or an A flat.
[SOUND] And the seventh is a D.
Remember those notes.
The D and the G, and the G-sharp.
[SOUND] Now, an E7 and
a B-flat seven share those same notes.
A B flat seven also has a D in it.
And now we're gonna call that G sharp and
A flat.
[SOUND] B flat, D, F, A flat.
So those two seventh chords, the E7 and
the B flat seven share those two notes.
[SOUND] They share the thirds and
the sevenths.
So the E7 the D natural note is
the seventh of the D natural of the E7.
The D natural is the seventh degree of E7.
And the D natural seventh degree of E7.
It's the third of B flat seven.
[SOUND] Okay?
Now the G sharp for an E7 is the third.
[SOUND] For the B flat seven,
it's the flat seven.
So the reason why those
substitutions work is the E7 and
the B flat seven share the notes D and
A flat or G sharp if you prefer.
That's why that tri-tone
substitution works.
I just want to make sure you got that.
Now it's time to practice the melody
in the tempo of the track, and
I'm hoping that you've taken the time
to practice with the metronome,
the slower version, and
you have those little Inflections
a little bit in your hands,
that you've taken the time to do that and
get it really in your fingers so
you know the melody.
Now we're going to see if we can take it
up to tempo and play it with the piano.
Do it again.
I suggest that you work on that,
and really get that melody down.
I want you to take
some time, and
make sure you go
so you get it really
under your hands.
Let's try to insert that now.
We'll take phrases from the melody and
use them in our solo.
So now we're gonna fast
forward to the solo.
we take
parts of
So what I did was take just
fragments of the melody, and
when the chord changed to B-flat,
I used the B-flat melody stuff.
And then I could walk a little
bit on those turn arounds,
the F to the E7 to the A7, the D7.
What I want you to get the feeling
of on this too, is memorize so
you don't have to count
the phrases of the Blues.
Play it from the top where the melody is.
We're going to start from
the top where the melody is.
I'm just going to have you think about
the two bar phrases first in the Blues.
We'll divide it up into two's.
That's a two bar phrase
here's another one
here's another one
here's another one
here's another one.
Here's the last one
A new four bar phrases.
Here's another four bar phrase.
Here's the last four bar phrase.
Here's a chorus.
Let's just think about a chorus.
Here comes the B-flat 7.
The turn
there's the chorus.
Okay, now I would suggest that
you go through and listen, and
get the feel of a chorus under your
belt so you never have to count.
Here, I'll give you an example.
I'm going to play a chorus, very simply,
with a simple phrase and I'll tell
you when it's a chorus and hopefully
you'll be thinking along with me, okay?
Let's see
one, two,
a one, two,
That was a chorus.
That was twelve bars.
I wasn't counting.
I was using my years of playing that form,
that twelve bar form over and over.
It's kind of burned into
my psyche at this point.
You have to be able to
practice doing that.
If you have a, say, at home, first of all,
you can use this track forever for that.
You can listen to the melody and
just get the feeling so that at any tempo,
you could sing that melody and
you would know where the 12 bar phrase is.
Sing the melody in your
head while you're walking.
That's a great exercise.
This 12 bar form is so important to get.
12 bar form for jazz is super important.
In jazz, the most important forms are the
12 bar blues form, the rhythm changes
form, which is sort of like eight and
That's 16, and then 8 for the bridge,
and then 8 for the last A.
So that's like a 32 bar form, 16, 8 and 8.
You need to be able to hear those phrase
lengths because when you do trades with
the drums, like if you listen to some of
the stuff we've recorded with Brian and
John Coward to watch on here, you can
see sometimes when we trade choruses or
trade eight bar phrases,
we all sort of know the phrase length.
We're not sitting there counting.
So that's something you have to
cultivate by listening to music, and
sometimes you count.
Listen to a record of standards where
there are tunes with 12 bar blueses and
things like that.
First count and
then see if you can feel the phrase of
a twelve bar Blues after a while,
just by using your ear.
That's something I want you to cultivate.
Now, at this point you may
want to send me a video.
I want to really make sure that you
got the Blues on the bottom melody
with some inflections up to tempo
to be played with the video.
So I want to hear it really solid, like,
so that I can really feel the tempo,
just from you.
I want it up to tempo though.
I think that was a little under tempo.
So I want it right up to tempo with the
play along, and if you can't do it up to
tempo with the play along, I'll accept
it a little slower if it's perfect.
[LAUGH] I mean, not perfect,
but if it feels good and
you're really getting the feel of it and
you've got the notes in your hand.
It doesn't have to be perfect, but
I want it to feel good, most of all.
Rhythmically, it's more important for
me to hear you play swinging time and
make it feel good with a triplet feeling
that we've talked so much about.
I'd rather hear that than if
you miss a couple of notes.
It's not the end of the world, but
the rhythmic feel is the deal breaker.
I want it solid, and
I want to be able to feel the tempo, for
sure, by you just playing.
And please do it with
a metronome when you send it in.
So before you send it in though, check out
what I've said to the other students and
I'll take a look and
I'll give you some feedback.