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Jazz Bass Lessons: Play Along: "Do You"

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This one's called Do You,
and it's based on rhythm changes.
And the question is do you have rhythm,
and that's the thing.
Do I have rhythm?
Does any of us have rhythm?
This is the thing.
That's one of the big tests about
rhythm changes is the tempo is usually
a little bright.
And we have to walk a good
line through these changes.
These changes, I got rhythm changes,
they move fast.
In music,
there's something called harmonic rhythm.
It's the speed and
the rhythm of how the chords move.
And the phrasing of that.
And in rhythm changes, you have an eight
bar phrase, and then it's repeated.
And there's an eight bar bridge,
and then there's a final eight.
So sometimes people would
call this in jazz, shorthand.
They would say, yeah, rhythm changes.
Sixteen, eight, and eight.
So it's a 16 bar phrase, an 8 bar phrase,
and a final 8 bar phrase.
A, A, B, A, form,
they call it in music, right?
A, A, B, A, form.
There's two times at A, one time at B,
and one final A.
The tricky part about rhythm changes
also is that, you know, the A section,
you're having to navigate and walk through
these changes and make a good, solid line.
And they're moving around, one, six,
two, five, three, six, two, five.
Very quickly, right?
So, remember we talked about
in those walking tutorials,
about how we needed to really formulate a
very solid control over when we wanted to
play the root on the down beat, when we
wanted to play the third on the downbeat,
the fifth or
the seventh of a chord on the downbeat.
This is the kind of thing where I
want you to prioritize being able to
walk through these changes with a really
solid line, I mean really solid.
If you have to, sit down and
write out a line.
Slowly figure out a line that sounds good.
In other words,
let's take the first two bars.
We have a B-flat 7, a G7,
a C minor, and an F.
So, let's do this.
Let's do, we have two beats on each chord.
So let's play the root and
the fifth on the B flat.
And then we play the root and
the fifth on the G.
And then we'll go on the C minor.
The root and the flat three.
And the F seven we'll do octaves.
So, you have this sound.
So, that's a solid line because it sounds
good, just use your ear, too.
You can tell when, like here,
I will give you a line that's not solid.
If you just go.
That's not really too good if you go.
It doesn't clearly speak
the changes to us as if you did.
If you write them down you'd
see the arc of the line too.
You know, sometimes when my
students walk through lines,
I call it backing yourself into a corner.
Bad voice leading in music is kinda
like a mouse getting lost in a maze and
they back themselves in a corner.
They can't get out, they're stuck.
Sometimes we have walking lines that
sorta back us into a corner, and
then we have to do an awkward
move to get to the next root.
That's what I'm talking about there.
So in our tutorial, at the piano,
we went through the changes.
Particularly important is
when we're walking over that
bridge section where we have a D7 altered.
So, we have a D7 with a sharp nine,
a sharp five, a plus eleven.
And all the chords on
the bridge are altered.
Then the G7 is a flat nine,
a sharp nine, a sharp five.
And the C7's altered.
The F7's altered.
They're all altered in a similar fashion.
So, the chord, remember we said before in
our tutorial about dominant chords and
scales that go over them.
We did say that on a dominant
seven with all those alterations,
you can use the notes from
the melodic minor a half step up.
So D7 altered, all those alterations.
You don't have to be afraid when you get
into that bridge, when you're walking or
when you're improvising.
Okay, here's the D7.
that's a little bit of
an outline of the arpeggio.
I'm just doing the root and the third,
the sharp five, seven and the sharp nine.
We can use the E flat melodic minor scale.
So, here's the sound again.
Now we covered this on the piano, but
I'll show you a little bit on the bass.
So now we can go
See how the melodic minor,
it really is a melodic scale, and
it kind of outlines that sound.
That's the sound of the arpeggio.
The root, the third, the sharp five.
The seven, the root,
that's the sharp nine.
That's the notes in the arpeggio.
Here's the sound of
the melodic minor over it.
Because the melodic minor has the D in it,
it has an E-flat,
which would be a flat nine against the D7.
It has a sharp nine,
which is the F against the D7.
It has a G-flat or an F-sharp,
which is the third of the D7.
It has a flat five,
which is not in this particular chord but.
And then it has a sharp five.
The B-flat is the sharp five.
So, actually, I stand corrected.
There's a plus 11 which is the same as a
flat five so that A-flat is in the chord.
So you have that sound, as well.
So the neat thing about the E-flat and
melodic minor over the D7 altered
is that the E-flat melodic minor has all
the alternations that fit over the D7.
It has the sharp five, the flat five,
the sharp nine and the flat nine.
So, that's why it's such as useful scale.
So when you get to the bridge.
Just showing you briefly on the bass
what we talked about on the piano.
All those chords at the bridge,
the D7, the G7, the C7 and
the F7, you go up a half step and
you play the melodic minor on the bass.
So for your improvisation,
practice on this one, on the bridge,
the D7, you're gonna use E-flat melodic
minor, G7, A-flat melodic minor,
C7, D-flat melodic minor, and
F7, G-flat melodic minor.
So this is why we practice our scales, and
not to just run them in a mechanical way,
but to use them again, as palettes.
Paints on a painter's palette.
We don't use all of the colors at once.
But we use a few of the colors,
here and there.
And we put notes together
in different ways.
You can play melodically.
Here's why the melodic minor is so cool.
Here's a D7
that's kinda outlining the sound.
You can pick some of the notes.
the root.
See, there's the root.
Slowed down.
We're not playing so fast.
You can practice walking
through just the scale.
So we just did that one scale, but
we're kind of walking up and
down the scale and
trying to be creative with
it not just running it.
But trying to make it rhythmic.
You see I'm playing
around with the rhythm.
I'm not just playing the scale
like it's an exercise.
So, with the improvising,
as you learn from the piano
what scales worked.
I just wanted to show you a little bit
what the melodic minor fleshed out
on the bass like, okay.
But the priority again I have to state,
with this tune,
Do You, is that you learn how to
walk beautifully on rhythm changes.
The cells that we talked
about before from walking.
And that you put together lines that
sound very good, that are compositional,
that sound like they're really spelling
out the chord, making the chords sound,
even if they just heard you.
Like here's a slowed
down rhythm changes line.
It should sound something like this.
Okay, so
I'm using
cells and
linking them
up and using
my ear.
The line that I'm constructing
has to sound good to my ear.
I'm doing it all by ear, at this point.
But I studied the theory for years, so
that I could, again, what I said before.
What Byrd said.
You have to learn all that stuff.
And then you have to forget it and play.
But you can't forget what you don't know.
Take this to heart,
I want you to really work on this so
you can really enjoy playing on this tune.
It's an up tune, it's an exciting tune.
So if you do a little homework you
can have a lot more fun playing it.
Do You.