As I’m doing my own deep dive into jazz bass playing, I’ve been working on my bass soloing. As the material has a much faster harmonic rhythm than the rock/blues/funk tunes that I usually play, I’ve noticed that many of my lines are centered on the chord root. As bassists, so much of our playing is focused on that root note when we function in our usual role of supporting others. When we change roles and become soloists, it’s hard to think differently and we unconsciously play our solos the same way: focused on the root.
Jeff Antoniuk, a jazz musician and educator, has been putting out some great videos on jazz improvisation. In particular, I’ve been getting into his Digging Deeper video series. What I like about them is they provide very specific exercises in the context of existing jazz repertoire. These videos are not for beginners who are just dipping their toes into jazz improvisation. As he stats in the videos, these are tailored to adults amateurs and semi-pro jazz musician.
The video below addresses that “bad” habit and singles out us bassists (am I feeling a “little” bit persecuted . . . fuck yeah!) but addresses all instrumentalists.
Digging Deeper #70 – “Get Off The Root!” & All Of Me –
You should definitely check out Jeff Antoniuk’s You Tube channel (see link below). There are so many helpful tips offered that it might get overwhelming. Just the one video above has enough things for me to work on to keep me busy for awhile.
Jeff Antoniuk – Educator –