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Jazz Bass Lessons: Etude 1: C Major

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Now that we're involved in playing along
with the tracks, the play along tracks.
I wanna talk a little bit about
expression, ways to interpret music.
You've noticed that,
you've probably noticed that I've been,
[SOUND] I have sometimes am
wiggling my hand back and forth.
This is called vibrato.
[LAUGH] Now,
it's really [SOUND] an arm movement and
you can see what I'm doing I'm
just sort of like circulating.
I'm holding the note, [SOUND] putting
a little weight on the string and
moving around a little bit.
[SOUND] Rotating my forearm a little bit.
[SOUND] And it really helps
when you're playing melodies.
Now in this case,
we're embarking on a 24 etude process,
where we're going to be playing melodies,
simple melodies to these chordal
tracks and the piano and the drums.
And you're gonna have to
[SOUND] hold notes and
make them sound beautiful and
think like a singer, really.
You're gonna be singing
the melody on your bass.
They're simple melodies, but
I want you to learn how to think
lyrically, like a great singer.
You can listen to singers for
phrasing, for vibrato, for ideas.
You can slide into notes,
[SOUND] you can be expressive.
[SOUND] You can be dynamic, play some
notes a little louder, some softer.
You can play some notes a little shorter,
if you want for emphasis.
You can sometimes be lazy and
lay behind the beat a little bit.
Like, for instance, the melody of this
first one is a very simple melody.
It goes, [SOUND] two, three four.
[SOUND] Two, three, four.
[SOUND] It's like a lullaby, three four.
[SOUND] Two, three, four.
[SOUND] Two, three, four.
[SOUND] See I'm massaging that
note a little bit with vibrato.
Now you can take those notes and
after you learn this melody and you feel
comfortable with it, I want you to think
about even maybe adding a note or two.
You could say.
you can really
think of it as you
can add notes
that are in
that C scale.
Remember, you learned their
C major scale from before.
And in this case,
even in the low positions.
Any of these notes, the low E,
the F, the G, the A.
The B, C, D, E, F,
G, A, B and C.
Those notes,
all sound good with these chords.
Now, I want you to use your ears too.
There's a couple of chords, where you
might have to stay away from certain notes
than others, but I don't even wanna get
into the theoretical aspects of that all.
I just want you to use your ear and
your heart when you play these melodies.
This is the beginning of
improvisation really,
because the great improvisers
used the melody as their guide.
Sometimes, a great solo can be made up of
the melody with just a tiny little bit
of embellishment, especially on
these kind of ballad like melodies.
If you play too many things,
it ruins the whole mood and
the whole vibe of the thing.
So, I want you to really think like
a singer on these and I'll play for you.
I'm gonna do these, so that you can
see the types of things that work.
I'll play the melody straight the first
time and then maybe I'll do a little
embellishment on it and try to show
you a lyrical approach for these.
So let's work on this now.
You can use a little vibrato if you want,
you can slide into a note sometimes.
[SOUND] That's one thing wonderful about
the acoustic bass, there's no frets.
So, [SOUND] if you just relax and
you let your fingers slide.
[SOUND] You can do some things
that are very emotional and
provocative sounding, so
let's try to do this now.
Let's do this together.
C major.