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Ghost In The Machine

 

My favorite medium for listening to music is still the compact disc and, one of my favorite things to do is hunt for music in used CD stores. Ms. B’s Used Books and CD’s in Hendersonville, TN is one of the stores I’ve enjoyed going to for years. It’s in a small old house on Main Street and Ms. B herself is always there when I stop by. I’m a believer in supporting small businesses – the proverbial Mom & Pop’s – and consider Ms. B’s to be such an important part of the community. So, I like to go in from time to time with some money to spend on something whether I need it or not. The cool thing about Ms. B’s is, even though it’s small, I’ve found some great (and sometimes rare) stuff there on CD and vinyl – and cheap!

Using Open Strings For A Funkier Bass Solo

 

1969 Fender Jazz

We bassists have a handy device at our disposal with the “open string”. Incorporating unfretted notes in our bass lines and solos can create interesting passing tones, give a phrase more rhythmic interest, and provide the ability to make long interval jumps from one end of the fretboard to the other.

 

Mr. Evans

 

Mr. Evans

My latest tune titled Mr. Evans is a tribute to one of the greatest and most influential pianists and jazz musicians of all time. Most people who are familiar with Bill Evans became aware of him through the 1959 Miles Davis album Kind of Blue – which remains the biggest selling jazz album to this day.

Dealing with the Roles of Artist vs. Technician

 

Art Vs. Money

I love music and have been a musician for a long time – 38 years. I consider myself to be a creative individual. Music is one of the most expressive forms of art. I have a strong attraction to that and possess the heart of an artist. That’s how I am wired – an introverted artist.

I use music as a form of artistic expression in different ways: mostly through composing, arranging, recording, and improvising. I can express myself better performing music that is more harmonically and rhythmically interesting. These are the musical activities that satisfy me the most.

Pausing to Learn

 

Pause_Button

For the past three years, I went through a season of pursuing bookings as a band leader. The musical formula has been to play my original tunes and arrangements of jazz/funk classics mixed with vocal cover songs. The purpose of the latter is to increase performance opportunities by making the band a little more “commercial”. It’s a great formula that has worked pretty well.

Bass Lessons & Twitter

 

I want to announce that I completed a year of the Lesson of the Month on this blog in December with the Stanley Clarke installment. Thank you for your positive feedback on the lessons! They will remain available for everyone.

4 Classic Stanley Clarke RTF Bass Lines

 

Return_To_Forever

Welcome to the final lesson for 2015! This month I want to highlight one of my all-time favorite bass players - Stanley Clarke. Stanley’s work and contribution to bass and music over the past 40 plus years is vast and, for this lesson, I’ve selected four funk lines from Stanley’s 1970’s tenure with the band Return To Forever.

Lesson: Bebop Jazz Patterns Pt. 2

 

Charlie_Bird_Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed the bebop patterns from last month. Let’s continue with a few more licks from David Baker’s Bebop Jazz Solos book.

Lesson: Bebop Jazz Patterns Pt. 1

 

Bebop-Jazz-Solos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve always loved music books. At the age of 13, a family friend gave me a Mel Bay bass method book that kick-started my bass playing career and love of printed music.

One book in my library is Bebop Jazz Solos by David Baker. (You can purchase your copy for only $5.95 at JazzBooks.com but I’m not finding it in bass clef anymore.) I had the good fortune of being in one of Mr. Baker’s jazz improv classes at a Jamey Aebersold camp about 30 years ago – an experience I am still grateful for.

Bebop Jazz Solos is chock full of excellent patterns and motifs that will greatly expand your jazz improv vocabulary. I lifted a few from the first etude to share with you.

Lesson: Composing Music With Composite Keys

 

Music-Composition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love to create music. Still, music composition, hasn’t been a major focus for most of my life. It’s something I do intermittently. As I grow older, I find myself wanting to create more and more: to fill a need for self-expression, to influence others in a positive way and, to hopefully leave something of value behind when I’m gone. Oh yeah, and to generate new income streams!

When I do sit down to write music, I like to do something fresh. There’s an overwhelming amount of music in the world today. My ears grow weary of the generic, worn out combinations of I, IV, V, and VI minor chords. It seems that people used to be a little more creative with their chord sequences but, hey, that’s a rant for another blog post!

What I want to share with you today is a concept that I used on Summer Song. The bass line and the melody in the verse are in two different keys yet, it’s done in such a way that it works!

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