Bass for Jazz: Lesson 12, Walking vs. Latin Style Bass Line
In my humble opinion, in addition to being excellent, well-constructed Latin bass lines, all of them definitely have your own stamp on them. Perhaps you could share some of your journey, ideas, re: Latin bass lines. A: First, thank you for the kind words! When we recorded that album in or so, I was very much new to the music, but I was head over heels for it! I still am. I love latin jazz, salsa, timba, and other music influenced by Latin and African rhythms.
Players began using the double bass in jazz in the s to supply the low-pitched walking basslines that outlined the chord progressions of the songs. From the s and s Swing and big band era, through s Bebop and s Hard Bopto the s-era " free jazz " movement, the resonant, woody sound of the double bass anchored everything from small jazz combos to large jazz big bands. Beginning in the early s,  some jazz bass players began to use the electric bass guitar in place of the double bass.
The electric bass, which was easier to amplify to loud volumes onstage, gained particular prominence in the late s and early s jazz subgenre which blended jazz with the powerfully amplified electric instruments of rock musiccreating jazz fusion.
Most jazz bassists specialize in either the double bass or the electric bass, although the ability to "double" play both instruments is common. A small number of players, such as Stanley Clarke and John Patituccihave achieved virtuoso skill on both instruments.
Jun 11, A lot of Jazz and Latin is played on uprights or electric uprights of course, but I assume that's not your thing, coming from guitar. Click to expand I think this is right - if you are looking at the typical bass for Latin/Jazz it would be an upright bass - most Jazz and Latin music started out on Double Bass exclusively - the "Baby Bass" - electric upright, has become a sort of standard in Latin . A must-have if you are, or would like to be, a bass player with Latin chops." - Descarga Magazine. One of the most comprehensive studies published on Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian styles of bass playing. This book is a must for any serious student of the bass." - Latin Beat Magazine. Latin jazz is a genre of jazz with Latin American rhythms. The two main categories are Afro-Cuban jazz, rhythmically based on Cuban popular dance music, with a rhythm section employing ostinato patterns or a clave, and Afro-Brazilian jazz, which includes bossa nova and roffandco.comal origins: Cuba; New York City, United .
Whether a jazz bassist is " comping " accompanying with a walking bassline or soloing, or playing on a double bass or an electric bass, they usually aim to create a rhythmic drive and "timefeel" that creates a sense of swing and groove. Beginning aroundthe African-American communities in early New Orleans used a jazz ensemble which played a mixture of marches, ragtimeand dixieland music. This ensemble was initially a marching band with sousaphone or occasionally bass saxophone supplying the bass line.
As the music moved from playing for funerals on the street and into bars and brothelsthe double bass gradually replaced these wind instruments.
Many early bassists doubled on both the "brass bass" and "string bass," as the instruments were then often referred to. Bassists played "walking" basslines-scale-based lines that outlined the harmony and provided a foundation for the tunes.
Because an unamplified double bass is generally the quietest instrument in a jazz band, many players of the s and s used the slap styleslapping and pulling the strings to make a rhythmic "slap" sound against the fingerboard.
The slap style cuts through the sound of a band better than simply plucking the strings, and make the bass more easily heard on early sound recordings, as the recording equipment of that time did not capture low frequencies well. Double bass players who have contributed to the evolution of jazz include the Swing era player Jimmy Blantonwho played with Duke Ellingtonand Oscar Pettifordwho pioneered the instrument's soloistic use in Bebop.
The "cool" style of jazz was influenced by players such as Scott LaFaro and Percy Heathwhose solos were very melodic. Paul Chambers who worked with Miles Davis on the famous Kind of Blue album achieved renown for being one of the early jazz bassists to play Bebop solos in arco bowed style. The first player known to do that was Slam Stewartwho would scat in octaves with his bowed bass in his solos, good examples of which can be found on the trio recordings he made with Art Tatum and Tiny Grimes.
Ron Carter another bassist who worked with Miles Davis in his second great quintetis credited as a key figure of the modern school of jazz bass playing. In the s, some big band bandleaders began to ask their upright players to use the then-newly available Fender bassthe first widely available electric bass.
In the s, as jazz and rock music were blended by performers to create the " fusion " genre, players such as Jaco Pastorius began to develop a unique sound using the electric bass. Apart from jazz fusion and Latin-influenced jazz, the double bass is still widely used in jazz in the s. The deep sound and woody tone of the plucked double bass is distinct from the sound of the fretted bass guitar. The bass guitar produces a different sound than the double bass, because its strings are usually stopped with the aid of metal frets.
As well, bass guitars usually have a solid wood body, which means that the sound is produced by electronic amplification of the vibration of the strings. The solid body upright, also known as a "stick" bass or "EUB" variation is still widely used by bass players in salsa and timba bands, because its sound is so well suited to those styles.
The EUB is smaller and lighter than a double bass, making touring and travelling easier, and its solid or mostly solid body enables bassists to play at a much higher volume with a bass amp without feedback. In jazz, since the s, the double bass is usually played with amplification and it is mostly played with the fingers, pizzicato style, except during some solos, where players may use the bow.
The pizzicato style varies between different players and genres. Some players perform with the sides of one, two, or three fingers, especially for walking basslines and slow tempo ballads, because this is purported to create a stronger and more solid tone. Some players use the more nimble tips of the fingers to play fast-moving solo passages or to pluck lightly for quiet tunes.
Using amplification gives the player more control over the tone of the instrument, because amplifiers have equalization controls that can accentuate certain frequencies often the bass frequencies while de-accentuating some frequencies often the high frequencies, so that there is less finger noise. While jazz double bass players use amplification, they typically use much smaller, lower-powered bass amplifiers and smaller speaker cabinets than those used by an electric bass player playing in a jazz fusion show.
An upright player performing at a small club may only bring a 1x12" combo amp to the gig. When a small jazz combo is playing in a small jazz clubthe double bass player may use only a modest amount of amplification, so that the audience is hearing a mixture of the natural acoustic tone and the amplified sound; if that same band were to play on a huge jazz festival mainstage, all of the bass tone reaching the audience's ears will be from the sound reinforcement system. An unamplified acoustic bass' tone is limited by the frequency responsiveness of the instrument's hollow body, which means that the very low pitches may not be as loud as the higher pitches.
With an amplifier and equalization devices, a bass player can boost the low frequencies, which evens out the frequency response. As well, the use of an amplifier can increase the sustain of the instrument, which is particularly useful for accompaniment during ballads and for melodic solos with long held notes.
In traditional jazz and swing it is sometimes played in the slap style. This is a vigorous version of pizzicato where the strings are "slapped" against the fingerboard between the main notes of the bass line, producing a snare drum -like percussive sound.
The main notes are either played normally or by pulling the string away from the fingerboard and releasing it so that it bounces off the fingerboard, producing a distinctive percussive attack in addition to the expected pitch. Notable slap style bass players, whose use of the technique was often highly syncopated and virtuosic, sometimes interpolate two, or even three more slaps in between notes of their bass line.
In both jazz and jazz fusion bands, some jazz bassists use a modified type of double bass called the electric upright bass abbreviated EUB and sometimes also called stick bass.
Oct 28, The Latin Bass Book by Oscar Stagnaro is a wonderful study of Latin bass lines and comes with plenty of music to play along with (three CDs worth) with full transcriptions and explanations of the rhythms used. Freedom in the Clave by John Benitez is a newer book that I am loving. Apart from jazz fusion and Latin-influenced jazz, the double bass is still widely used in jazz in the s. The deep sound and woody tone of the plucked double bass is distinct from the sound of the fretted bass guitar.
The stick bass is also widely used in salsabecause its volume and tone are especially suited to that style of music, even in studio recording. It is an electronically amplified version of the double bass that has a minimal or 'skeleton' body, which greatly reduces the size and weight of the instrument.
The EUB retains enough of the features of the double bass so that double bass players are comfortable performing on it. While the EUB retains some of the tonal characteristics of the double bass, its electrically amplified nature also gives it its own unique sound. As well, an EUB is considerably easier to transport than its acoustic equivalent. The scale length of EUBs varies: some scales are 42", similar to most double basseswhilst other models have scale lengths of only 30" like a short scale bass guitar.
The shorter scale can make it easier for bass guitarists to convert to the EUB. Solid bodied EUBs produce very little sound without electronic amplification. Hollow-bodied EUBs produce a quiet tone that is loud enough for individual practice. However, since hollow-bodied EUBs do not have a large resonant cavity like a double bassthey cannot reproduce the lowest notes of the instrument without an amplifier.
To amplify the EUB, the string vibrations are sensed with a pickup. Early EUBs used magnetic pickups similar to those in electric guitars, or percussive magnetic diaghram pickups e.
Many modern EUBs use piezoelectric pickups located in the bridge or a combination of pickup types. The signal from the pickup is usually preamplified and equalized with a preamplifier and then sent to a bass amplifier or a PA system. For silent practice in a hotel room or apartment, an EUB can also be connected to headphones.
Preamplifiers and equalizers for acoustic instruments or double basses can also be used to " roll off " the treble frequencies or "notch out" the "scratchy-sounding" frequencies.
Since I'm spanking new to the world of bassess, what are some companies that produce a baby bass? Jun 11, 7. Apr 14, Pennsylvania.
Aside from that, if your sticking with a standard bass guitar, just about anything will suffice but I'd go along with having flatwound strings.
Oscar Stagnaro Latin Bass Clinic at the Aguilar Artist loft
A Fender Jazz would be a good pick. You pretty much can't go wrong with that. More imporatantly, IMO, is to be sure to get a powerful amp. To get those smooth clean undistorted booming lows. I'd also look toward 15" or 18" speaker cabs. All this should get you the sound of the Puerto Rican nieghbors who lived in the apartment downstairs from me when I grew up.
Jun 11, 8. Thanks John. Looks like were neighbors. Jun 11, 9.
Making Your Own Latin Jazz Bass Lines
John at GC is a great guy. He's about to open another shop in Q-town too. The guys in his store are a great help too. BTW, I'm supposed to do two Musikfest dates. They asked me to fill in on htat date. I'll have the low mids boosted and the on-board treble way down too.
Latin jazz bass
Stop by Plaza Tropical during Musikfest. You'll see a lot of the equipment the latin bands use to get the sound they want.
Jun 11, Good choice, the J will serve you well in just about any style. Acutally, most of good latin tone and sound is note choice, placement, and duration - not equipment.
For the more ballady things, pluck the string over the neck and let the note sing a bit. It's not "traditional" but it is useful. Jul 20, San Jose, CA. I've been playing in these bands for years and have seen bassists use just about anything that's handy.
Most use 5-strings, but that's the only common thread. Apr 9, las vegas. You made a good choice- but for example, on teh Calle 54 DVD- there are many uprights being played, but also a Warwick the Paquito D'Rivera segment and of course the Anthony Jackson Fodera- if you can find cd by a Cuban yeah!
Apr 28, New York, NY. As far as bass is concerned, you can play just about anything on just about anything. Some people here will tell you otherwise, but it's just rationalization for having more gear. You must log in or sign up to reply here.
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