Howdy, folks! My new article is finally up and running at Bass-Musician-Magazine.com.
This latest installment deals with the improvising using chord tones. As a practice shed tactic, chord tone exercises are an important part of learning how to navigate harmony. In the context of learning to improvise over chord progressions, they can help you to effectively outline the changes whether or not you have accompaniment ‘assisting’ you. Included in this lesson are some arpeggio inversion exercises that are designed to help you recognize and navigate chord tones over the entire range of your fingerboard. Below is a short excerpt from the article… The complete lesson can be viewed HERE.
A lot of bass players are intimidated by the idea of improvising over chord changes. Although it would be beyond the scope of a single installment to present a complete and comprehensive guide to improvisation, I wanted to try and shed some light on some simple concepts that you can work on to improve your soloing. In subsequent columns, I’ll elaborate on these some more and demonstrate more of their application.
For any improviser, it is essential to have a working knowledge of chords. Chords are the building blocks of harmony, and they essentially act as ‘signposts’ that help an improviser to navigate through a chart. Most of us who have experience playing improvised walking bass lines or solos probably have at the very least assembled and memorized a collection of scale forms or patterns that we have used to play over particular chord types. Scales can be useful in the creation of musical phrases, but for any improviser is very important to have a thorough and complete understanding of chord tones and how to find them on the fingerboard.
A true test of whether or not a player can improvise effectively is to see if they can outline the changes for the listener without having any accompaniment playing underneath them, whatsoever. If you can outline the changes and harmony of a tune using nothing but your bass, then you probably are on the right track to further developing your improvised voice. It is very difficult to do this relying on scales alone… Take for example, a common 4 bar ii-V-I progression. For this example, let’s use the key of F major:
G min7 – C 7 – F maj7 – F maj7
To view the entire article click HERE.
Copyright 2009, Adam J. Nitti
***We apologize for the inconvenience, but due to an unforseen conflict, this show is going to be rescheduled for a later date. Details will be posted here as soon as they are confirmed.***
Adam once again joins forces with Keith Carlock, Tom Hemby, Mike Whittaker, and Mark Douthit Thursday, January 28th at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN.
Show starts at 7:00 pm.
Keith Carlock currently tours with the legendary Steely Dan, and has also performed or recorded with such musical phenoms as Sting, Faith Hill, Wayne Krantz, Harry Belafonte, Chris Botti, Richard Bona, and the late Grover Washington, Jr. He is heralded as one of the greatest drummers of all time. In 2006, he was honored by being named “#2 Best All-Around Drummer” in Modern Drummer’s Readers Poll, finishing second to the legendary Vinnie Colaiuta. 2007′s poll results tagged Keith as “#2 Best Pop Drummer” and #3 Best All-Around Drummer (following only to Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiuta.) In 2008, Keith was honored with winning the “Pop” category and being voted 3rd “Best All-Around” in Modern Drummer’s Readers Poll.
Mike Whittaker recently moved to Nashville from L.A. and brings with him a star-studded performance resume and successful production career. He has appeared with such artists as Warren Hill, Cake, Wayman Tisdale, Mindi Aibair, Jeff Golub, Eric Marienthal, Lionel Richie, Brenda Russell, Stacie Orrico. Mike also has also written scores for such television series as America’s Most Wanted, X-Men, Paranoia, Addam’s Family Values, and the Michael Jordan Story. His highly acclaimed “Modern World” album projects blend elements of Jazz, Fusion, and World Music, and feature an impressive collection of some of the best players in L.A. and Nashville. Mike is also a member of the Adam Nitti Band.
Tom Hemby has lived and worked in Nashville as an active guitarist, producer, and composer for the last 28 years. His recording credits include such artists as Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Peter Cetera, Rob Thomas, Faith Hill, Steve Winwood, and many others. Tom’s songwriting credits are no less impressive. He has written songs that have been recorded by Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Hank Williams Jr., Bebe and Cece Winans, Dionne Warwick, and Michael English. Tom has also won a Grammy for his work producing Bill Carroll, as well as 4 Dove Awards. His solo acoustic project released in 2004 was named “Instrumental Album of the Year.”
Mark Douthit‘s resume reads like a “Who’s Who” of the music industry. He has recorded with such artists Elton John, Amy Grant, Billy Joel, Vanessa Williams, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Michael W. Smith, Hank Williams Jr., Whitney Houston, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael McDonald, Neville Brothers, Peter Cetera, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, DC Talk, Donny Osmond, Patty Loveless, Wynonna Judd, Point of Grace, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bob Carlisle, Ben Folds, Yolanda Adams, Larry Carlton, and many others. His performance credentials are no less impressive: How about names like Michael McDonald, Toni Braxton, James Ingram, India Arie, Edwin McCain, Mark Cohn, Christopher Cross, Don Henley, Bebe & Cece Winans, Natalie Cole, Peter Cetera, and Billy Ray Cyrus, just to name a few… Mark also won the 1997 “Instrumental Album of the Year” Dove Award for his work with “The Players”.