Fellow Bassist’s has this ever happened to you?

You’re playing bass on a gig and you’ve been playing behind the sax, guitar, trumpet solos all night long. Now it’s your turn to solo and what happens next. The drummer gets off the ride and goes back to the 40s with a back beat on the high hat, a couple of the horn players start gossiping, the guitarist is meandering around waiting to see if the pianist will start playing but he or she continues to doodle on the ivories. Your saying to yourself, I’ve been up here comping behind your hundred choruses of soloing all night, keeping the time together with the drummer because it’s my job as the rhythm section player and now when it’s my turn to take a solo im not getting any support whatsoever.

Well, it happens to many bassist’s and it’s not because they don’t have the technical prowess to throw down a strong solo, but often its because the other musicians don’t know what to do when there’s a bass solo.

If this has happened to you, what positive suggestions and sound examples on how to accompany a bass solo would you like to contribute?

  1. I think I’d add as sound examples for bass accompaniment; Weather Report Jaco’s Teen Town and what Joseph Zawinul plays behind Jacos solo. and Russ Ferrante comping behind one of my favorite bassist, Jimmy Haslip for starters. How bout you?

  2. MikeMike10-21-2013

    First, during a bass solo, all the musicians except bass & drummer are idle. And since the volume is usually brought down for this solo, it’s easier for the wooden headed musicians to strike up conversation. But overall, it is not just bass solos. Horn players give plenty of support to each other. I’ve seen that forever. Soon as a guitar player, keys, or bass player solo – or even the drummer, those that are idle will talk. When the music is louder, they yell. Very distracting – sometimes the horns are right behind me. I’ll be playing a keyboard solo and can’t help but hear them chattering away and at a rather loud level.
    Easy to feel discouraged, to feel unappreciated. But it is not the level of compositional or technical skill of your playing. Just knuckle-headedness of your musician “friends.” And I’m not sure how easy it is to teach consideration and appreciation to those who have never learned it.

  3. MikeMike10-21-2013

    As far as comping behind a bass solo… I usually have traded turns with a guitar player. If both are comping, if not careful, it can get too busy. Sometimes long chords – laying down the chordal foundation can give a bass player a lot of freedom. Sometimes a rhythm that reflects what is happening between bass/drums. And, of course, sometimes nothing… let him rip.

  4. Dennis SaviniDennis Savini10-23-2013

    Yeah been playing bass since ’77 though I’m ab
    Guitar player playing bass is the Rodney Dangerfield thing “No Respect”!

  5. Gene TorresGene Torres10-23-2013

    For some reason, many, not all keyboard & guitar players don’t know how to comp behind a bass solo. In one situation they either don’t play, or another situation, over play so they’re answering every phrase, even if they don’t understand your phrasing. So in trying to answer your phrase, the groove of the tune is either lost or the drummer is left to try & maintain the groove. Depending on what kind of drummer your playing with & their maturity level, the groove might be gone south for the winter during the bass solo. Now you have a problem. Do you say something to your band mates & risk being called a piece of anatomy? Or just grin & bear it? Another thing that might happen is after telling your band mates about the comping (or lack there of) they play so stiff & boring that now you’re sorry you even mentioned it. So one avenue to take, especially if the song allows you to do this. Is to ask your fellow musicians who are going to be playing behind you, to not play & just do a solo piece. Making sure it will fit with the tune, & giving a great cue so that your fellow musicians can come back in to finish the tune, again only if the song allows this to happen. What ever avenue you go down. Just understand that sometimes the bass & it’s role or function is a thankless job. And the show must go on so you have to make adjustments so your solo even though it may not be what you want, you still get a chance to shine.

  6. Arturo BaguerArturo Baguer10-23-2013

    To this day a couple of the finest backing on a solo has come from two bassists who were sitting in on two different occasions on two different instruments. Steve Alcott on pedal steel and Skip ward on lap steel. I took my solos and felt totally supported and unobstructed.

  7. Nick RomantiniNick Romantini10-23-2013

    This happens all the time, when it comes to the bass solo every body drops out and the groove is lost, bummer, I will tell the chordal instrument player that I want to hear the chords and then the drummer will follow suit.

  8. GilmoreGilmore10-23-2013

    Find an effect on your pedalboard the doesn’t politely ask to be let in, but rather demands the floor. Then when you’ve got their attention, switch off and go eloquent.

  9. Rob AriesRob Aries10-23-2013

    Here’s my perspective as a keyboard player. I always felt bad for the bassist when it was their turn to solo. The band is screaming behind the horns, keys, guitars, etc., then when it’s time for the bass solo everything gets very chilled. I think that this is mostly because the “tradition” of bass soloing has gotten us used to the fact that when the bass starts to solo, the harmonic bottom can drop out – it has an emptier feel and compels the band to lay back more. I play a lot of gigs with six-string players and when they start soloing in the upper registers I sometimes play left hand bass, hoping that the drummer keeps the energy up. I choose a bass sound with not too much high end, and I try to play simply, just laying down roots – the goal is to put a bottom down but stay out of the way of the real bass as much as I can! If the soloist moves to a lower register I’ll drop out. I also comp chords to try and keep some harmony going, but again the idea is to keep it simple and not too rhythmic – although anything is possible depending on where the bass soloist wants to take it. I see no reason to treat a bass soloist differently than a horn or guitar soloist if they want to get the same kind of energy going. Of course, this approach doesn’t apply if it’s a more traditional jazz gig with an upright bass, doing a standard or bebop tune – but if I’m ever on a gig with one of you cats playing “Stella” and you want a Fender bass sample under your solo, just let me know! 🙂

  10. Gary KellyGary Kelly10-23-2013

    I’ve experienced this for many years and still do. Comping behind solos is an art, that like all art takes some degree of desire to master. Great musicians (playing with Bill Frisell for instance) make your solo easier and better by the simple fact that they are listening to what you are playing and trying to anticipate what you will do. One remedy to this is to start your solo as sparse as possible. Silence is good for a bar or so, then a note or two. This forces everyone to wake up, as opposed to you floundering around trying to make a solo happen over inattentive players. Do not play bass, force the other musicians to lay down some foundation to play over. I’ve found that many great players are rude and self centered. IE don’t lay back on their solo, though during yours they may be noodling around, playing with sounds, or just laying out and chatting with the rest of the band. In extreme cases I’ve laid out in other peoples solos till they get the idea that making everyone in the band sound good is part of the gig, it’s not just about you. At the risk of being a pain in the ass I do try to educate musicians to the simple fact that all solos are equal. That being said, in some cases, you’re better off just not taking a solo. Or taking a solo, solo. IE bass alone, which I really don’t appreciate after laying it down behind everyone else’s solos, but in some cases it’s better to cut your losses, get paid, and not work with people that are not really musicians.

  11. Eddie DeniseEddie Denise10-24-2013

    Start playing rock quotes in jazz tunes. Gets em every time.

  12. Eddie DeniseEddie Denise10-24-2013

    Start playing rock quotes in jazz tunes. Gets em every time. Then look at them and say “what? You can’t hear that?”

  13. shout out to tony and gene

    im a drummer who loves bass players , so, i understand the lament..and, if im laying a foundation for the bass player, i also feel a drop out if the piano, or guitar arnt keeping the groove and form…groove and form are extremly important, and amazing the players who dont get that, or dont get that that should be happening on a bass player…

    ive also find, differant bass players do have differant requests, i like to know what a bass player wants on a drum solo…but, my performing instincts tell me, that if everyone is working as an ensemble on the bass solo, its probably projecting to the audience in a fuller more complete mannor

    where maybe the volume should come down, the ensemble should still be playing tight , groovy rhythm..lots of players think you have to drop out or play airy space with a bass solo…its about groove..and players need to know and tighten up their grooves (of course, depending on what the bass wanta)

  14. sorry for the misspellings “ive also found” “find out what a bass player wants on his solo from a drummer”

  15. Tony DeCaprioTony DeCaprio10-24-2013

    It’s all about listening and preferably intently so, because various elements are present. This includes melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, as well as spacial considerations. I usually ask the bassist if he wants comping at all. I rarely presume. Although, on a bass and guitar duo, usually sparse comping opens to good musical coalition. Entering later often adds effective coloring, for example. “Truck driver” style comping never makes it. During the bass solo, the bassist leads unless he prefers to be fed at times. If a bassist is playing a certain way, perhaps for example in the upper register, I may play an accompanying bass line. When pro players play, it becomes a matter of what’s personal, because they already have years of experience. Again , it’s a level of listening.

  16. Seymour PondSeymour Pond10-24-2013

    As a guitarist I’d get in the groove with the drummer and pop it. Find ways to accent the groove behind the solo.

    • Tony CimorosiTony Cimorosi10-24-2013

      yes seymour i think you’re on the mark. the only thing i would add is (know where the time is meaning, where’s the ONE) and dynamics. bringing the volume down so that no matter who’s soling, they have the opportunity to bring the volume up or keep is soft and sexy.

  17. Edo CastroEdo Castro10-24-2013

    As I posted on Facebook. With musicians I’ve never played with I always ask them before the gig if they’d mind comping behind me and interacting with me during any solo outings I may take. Usually they’re happy to do so.

  18. Chris Jasper IIChris Jasper II10-24-2013

    I believe that when a Bass player has a solo or even a drummer, there must not be any talking or conversing. We all have to be respectful and appreciative when we all have a solo. I like the idea of a Bass line being played while a Bass player is playing past the twelfth fret or upper register. I do like interplay as well when soloing. But listening is the most important thing. We all have a conversation on stage and we can benefit by getting ideas from each other.

  19. Fred WeidenhammerFred Weidenhammer10-24-2013

    My feeling is that it’s endemic to our instrument. The same tonality that makes us sound so good as the fundamental harmony plus timekeeper makes us less suitable for the lead voice role. Who would want to hear an alto sax play bass lines? The ear always hears the highest pitch as predominant. I would rather have silence as my comp than busy stuff covering up my lines. Ideally I want to hear minimal but effective comping, outlining key points in the form, and light call responce in the spaces. Of course this requires heavy listening and some talent for arranging and composition. Very much like Tony DeCaprio just posted.

  20. Joel BennettJoel Bennett10-24-2013

    Victor Wooten addressed this phenomenon before in a video I saw. In essence,it’s incumbent on us to MAKE IT GROOVE so that there’s something WORTH comping behind. Assuming we meet that basic crucial responsibility,the next part of the problem is purely physics. Basses(uprights in particular) used to need the softer dynamics from the drums to simply be heard. Even though that problem is largely over,there’s now over half a century plus of tradition and convention resultant of that problem. Finally,it comes down to the musical maturity and competence of your band mates. If they are insensitive to your soloing needs(You ARE sensitive to theirs,right?),the only things you can do are: (1. not take a gig with them in the future(2 address it with them(lotsa luck!) or (3. grin and bear it and accept it as a simple fact of life.

  21. MikeMike10-24-2013

    Usually, from my experience, the better the musicians, the more attention everyone gets for solos.

    • Tony CimorosiTony Cimorosi10-24-2013

      hi mike, thanks for you points of view and keeping in this blog. i agree with your comment regarding experience but, there are certain roles that each instrument has in an ensemble. i find that generally the bass and the drummer know what the DNA of each style their playing is but a large percentage of the guitarist and pianist (keyboardist) don’t know what their role is; for example; I’m playing a bossa nova and the guitarist or keyboardist plays a clave. now that’s just not cool. they like us should be aware of the DNA of each musical style and be aware of their part as in Brazilian music which has the PARTIDO ALTO rhythm and not CLAVE. The same would apply to Afro Cuban music styles where the the keyboardist should know how and which montuna to play over the 2/3 3/2 clave etc… Tumbao and Cha Cha Cha … this generally isn’t the case. So BETTER is subjective as you have commented. this is just one example out of many.

  22. Andrew Scott PotterAndrew Scott Potter10-24-2013

    Im curious , from the bass players out there , do you really like guitar and piano players to play bass lines under your solos? As a drummer , if he doesnt sound like Dr Lonnie Smith , its almost a let down if it doesnt snap like the guys foundation, who is taking the solo , was just doing..if the bass player wants that at all…

    Absolutly, Tony, each of those grooves , has a unique charactor, that one off accent can throw off the groove, I just did a session where the piano player turned around the clave on the vamp out…its going to cost the producor money to fix..or settle for less than the concept he wanted

    Great groove is how you get deep, big, and pull the audience into your story

    • Tony CimorosiTony Cimorosi10-24-2013

      hi andy and thanks for keeping in the Blog…. personally i’d rather not have the left hand bass or the guitarist playing bass parts during my solo’s either on my fender or my NS electric upright bass. Listening and playing time are paramount when anyone is soloing. i say, “don’t play any differently for a bass solo than you would for any other instrument” If you have good ears and good time, you’ll know what to do.

  23. Robert ORobert O10-25-2013

    It’s surprising how often musicians don’t listen, or sometimes even care about what’s going on around them. Regardless how talented or not we are. Unless your on a solo gig, the unit is as important as time and being in in tune. If your rolling your eyes at this then chances are your one of those selfish lovers this blog post was written about. We Bassists support the band all night, sure we have fun but when we step out to solo, have some respect, show some love, honor the unit.
    See you on the band stand.

    • Tony CimorosiTony Cimorosi10-25-2013

      Hello robert. Thanks for entering this blog and I hope you continue to share some of your experiences as a seasoned professional bassist. One of my columns in Bassics magazine, i interviewed drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. He made a very important point that backs up what your saying. “it’s not about me, but about we” when you’re on the bandstand

  24. its great to hear what bass players are saying about this..and, i think there is nothing wrong with talking with the bass players before a hit, to find out what they want…

    yes, listening is the bottom line…but, what we give to the bass player, while we are listening, is the question..a guy can be listening real real hard and give those floaty airy feelings with no groove..or do what gene said, follow his lines with answers that can get in the way..

    if a bass player isnt specific about what he wants, there kind of is a standard that we have a reponsibility to do:

    create a soundboard of accompiantment the bass player can react to , by being in the groove and holding the form for him…firmly..and listening and let him set direction in his solo

    a guy can use space and still be in the groove…like in jazz swing, you can lay out a couple of bars, but if you want to hit the pivot point in the groove for the swing, the comp you bring back in, it has to be on the one…bring that b section in on the one…or, if its a groove , like tony mentioned , partido alto , or a two/three syncopated clave coming in on an anticipation…some funk stuff does that too, that is where the accent has to be…groves keep repeating..if you bring in the accent on the one , when the repeating groove has an anticipation, there may be a conflict…that isnt hard and fast, but should be seriously considered

    and, because the bass player had been dishing up so much foundation, we have to compensate for that when they are soloing, by implying lots of foundations in our comps and drum grooves…implication…a heavy skill to learn..it doesnt meant copying bass lines, it means filling in the space the bass player left by soloing, with basic foundation aproaches…simplicity, groove, big ears , and hold hands

    • Tony CimorosiTony Cimorosi10-25-2013

      Yes Andy, you make some excellent points with the different approaches to support a bass solo. i think the same should apply to all instruments and when the DRUMMER is soloing he or she may want some support and not just playing by his or her self. Through the many years and opportunities i have had to perform with world class drummers like yourself, i find drummers sometimes like a canvas in which to paint and sometimes they like to have the freedom for a cadenza. I love the way Bill Evans accompanies Eddie Gomez and others in the modern jazz context and also the way contemporary bands show their support to the way the 21 century bassist takes the lead.

  25. Bruce WhitcombBruce Whitcomb10-27-2013

    OK- shout out to Andy, Tony, Rob, and Gene. This is long, so bare with my verbosity…

    First, I have to commend Tony for bringing this topic up, and this is something I’ve thought about a lot over the years- bass solos and why they ever should be considered gratuitous or lacking from a whole band perspective or from an audience perspective. Bands are really made of different elements of contributers, and that is made very evident whenever any player steps up to solo. Horn players generaly don’t play a keyboard on a gig as an extra colormaker for soloists like bass players, and bass players in general can’t hold down harmony the way a piano or guitar can. So there’s always going to be some kind of drop out when either bass or drums solo because they supply pure drive together that’s hard to keep up when they step out of this mode. So Tony, something planned or arranged for bass solos is very good- like in Teen Town- a simple repeat of four chords, if my memory is correct, on the downbeat of each measure for Jaco’s solo- very harmonic, but very simple at the same time- this keeps things interesting for everyone and leaves plenty of space too. Andy has a great point- ask any soloist what he or she likes to have underneath him- even though many people might not really know how to answer it- it’s a great question to be asked. Pianists have a lot of responsibility like everyone else to add to the background of any soloist, but for their own solos, they have the added ability to solo with their right hand and take the harmony wherever they want with their left. So imaginative piano solos are controlled pretty much by their own personal universe of thought regardless of what everyone else is doing- this definitely gives them a major edge on thir own solos particularly because they are fully accompanied by the drive of bass and drums at the same time. Guitar players can’t really comp and solo the same way a pianist can, but they have a lot of freedom particularly in a trio setting where they can just think linearly along with the rhythm section when they solo. Tony and Andy and I played lots of trio together, and I’d have to say it’s my favorite way to play as a guitarist. Having a piano behind a guitar solo, and vice versa, can be great as long as voicings are as minimalistic as possible (at least that’s what I like)- leaving choices of implied altered extensions to the soloist. For me, piano and guitar together on a gig usually doesn’t work well unless each takes rigid turns in comping or each has a very specific part in the arrangement of a tune- but if it’s a gig where a standard is just called and not rehearsed as an arrangement, piano and guitar usually end up playing different chord extensions over one another that can clash and disturb solos or the overall sound, and the harmony of one can get in the way of the other and supply more in that space than is needed. This is just to say that there are possible problems or limitations that can arise for anyone in any group configuration. Even a sax player may rather solo only to bass and drums so he can totally feel harmically free. I think we’ve all witnessed some of these things somewhere along the line in our years of playing. If anyone feels they took a particularly good solo on any given set, chances are very good that there was something unique at that moment that was being set up for them by other band members that created the needed team work for that to happen.
    That all said, there is no reason that a bass can’t be and shouldn’t be uplifted and inspired to play a great solo (just as much as not having to endure talking or complete non-attention by any band member at the time- but that’s another topic of bad behavior…may as well tell those guys to get off the band stand all together..), and there should be an atmosphere created for him to do so. As a guitarist, I have gone into playing bass lines and comping on off beats for bass solos. I totally get it if a bass player doesn’t want to hear that, but sometimes it’s my first reaction to keeping the whole band groove going. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Admittedly I can get over complex and unwittingly upstage the situation- not wanting to, but just being more than supportive through over playing- personally as a bassist taking my solo, I wouldn’t want this either. So Rob, I think a lot like you as far as supplying a walking support line. This can work really well if it’s almost inaudible- dynamically it can keep urgency up there, but only if it’s super subliminal. And we all have to remember that bass because of its frequency range isn’t going to cut through like a sax will, so some downward attenuation of overall band volume is helpful- as long as everyone doesn’t just drop out by rote and not support the situation at all. Also, as a guitarist I can supply repeating rounds of chords where I’m not really thinking of supporting time- let the drummer do that- kind of like the Teen Town example. We all know there are so many options, and the bigger the band, the more complex the options become. But this can make for an even bigger drop out if everyone just falls away and does nothing at the bass solo.
    I’ve said a lot so far, but the most important thing to me if I’m playing bass in a band is the exact honor that comes with being a pivotal rhythm section player- and it’s a very powerful position to hold. A great bass player can propel a band way more than most people are ever led to believe- just through immaginative walking and grooving. It’s always supposedly the instrument one plays by some sort of default- the instrument chosen “cause the guy doesn’t have the playing capacity of some saxist, pianist, or guitar player” (wow, what an uneducated viewpoint). That’s a very untrrue, unfair and self defeating view if taken by any band member until a great bass player kicks their ass to Pluto and back. All too often, he’s now the guy who gets a solo because everyone else had more than their share as a “professional sloist”, so now lets “throw him a bone” (bad way to ever look at it). Ever since I picked up a bass, I totally loved what it could do with a great drummer playing with me (and an immaginative harmony instrument there as well, but half the time that’s not even necessary)- it’s better than what most soloists feel a good part of the time when they solo (at least it is for me), and the great thing is, if you just walk or groove all night- it’s like you’re soloing every second of the way. Depending on your touch, dynamics, groove sense and harmonic approach, it’s an amazinly powerful chair even if you never solo once on a year of gigs (even though I know this begs the question at hand), but it’s about time many other musicians understand why people actually CHOOSE to play the instrument hands down over any other as they take it up and grow with it. In the past if I got called for a gig, I’d immediately ask- on what instrument? 9 times out of ten, if it wasn’t a jazz guiar trio, and I was wanted for guitar, I’d much rather play bass- no lie. Many people would say- “but why? You play guitar, and you want to play bass? What’s that all about?” Answer: When I saw Jaco for the first time in ’72 with Ira Sullivan in Ft. Lauderdale I couldn’t look at anyone other than Jaco- the straight ahead walking was too incredible- then he’d funk and it was pure magic. True, he took great solos, but for my money it was his laying down his band funtion on steroids that made everyone else seem almost like a back-up to him. He unquestionably was the star of that band, and Ira, just as cool as Miles, knew this and completely welcomed it. That’s the biggest power potential from that chair that makes players like Anthony Jackson feel that he usually doen’t want to solo at all. Anthony has played with everybody, knows how great they are, but also knows how unique his role is and usually just doesn’t want to break from what he knows he does best. For me, I totally get that point of view. BUT if a bassist is given solo space, it has to be honored and viewed with anticipation by everyone else in the band at hand- first, it has to be supported emotionally 100%. Everyone should want to inspire his space by whatever they add or subtract to it. It is a unique band opportunity to premiere a great bass solo, so it’s a unique opportunity for an audience to hear it as well. Now, was this “answer” long enough? I digress…

  26. Gene PinoGene Pino10-27-2013

    Yes, I see your point. I’m always fascinated by solos of all instrumentalists. Your plight as a bassist is the range and pitch of your instrument. On the one hand, I find the bassist to be the ultimate “setter” of the beat and groove. The physical impact of those low notes combined with the harmony is what sets it up, right? Go to the bass solo: the listener,to engage with your melody, must focus on those subterranean frequencies. About band members-” If you’re not diggin’ it,why are you there? “, To self involved, I suspect.

    This conversation reminds of a bassist who TRULY ENGAGED the listener, Slam Stewart!!
    Man, he sang his bowed lines on octave above with such bursting musicality, one couldn’t help but pay attention!

    Stay in the pocket and remember bassists, you are the pocket. Salt of the Earth. Love ya’ Geno

  27. Gene PinoGene Pino10-27-2013

    Please edit: Too self involved

  28. Bruce WhitcombBruce Whitcomb10-30-2013

    Hey, Gino. I swear, the very first bassist that came to my mind when I thought about this post WAS Slam Stewart. There was a guy who made you listen to him all on his own- totally unique, and this was back when bass solos pretty much were done on their own as complete solo statements during the earlier swing era. Modern bass solos are obviously different- or are at least expected to be so, and for good reason; but his approach made listening to his solo an event that was always fun and expressive all on its own. Again, not to beg the question that Tony has put forward. Anyway- great reference.

  29. TedTed10-31-2013

    Try this one.
    Your on the gig with a big funk band .
    The girls are at the front if the stage smiling at the musicians in the band.
    There’s 4 horn players – two guitarist , one keyboard play and a drummer .

    While you’re trying to play your part
    Each one of these clowns solos endlessly
    Just to impress the girls . I’ve seen them play with the guitar behind their heads behind their backs . Between the legs , the keyboards player LICK the keys , horn players that has fallen to his knees with his eyes closed and the girls yelling More ,More ! , and to top it all off …. The dang Drunmer (which by the way)
    Should be locked in with you ) goes crazy … Standing up , sticks in the air , walking around the drum set smacking everything that moves ….he then jumps off the stage and onto the bar beating his little heart out .

    Meanwhile as all of this )$;;)$$):/ is going on
    The Poor Bassman is still playing that same old line over and over again !!!!!!!

    The girls you ask ? They left with someone else .

  30. andrew scott potterandrew scott potter11-02-2013

    shout out to bruce, as a multi instrumentalist, you have great insights

    as a drummer, I certainly understand the value of the bass player, and can recognise within a matter of bars if its going to be a long night or a groovy night , from the bass player….its the team work, in the aproach to the groove concepts we come in contact in much of our western society, from the ancient africans, that puts our roles and purposes in perspective…im putting a lot of time into candomble drumming these days thanks to a dvd my son brought from salvador bahia..i already knew lots about candomble, but this dvd breaks down exactly the fundimentals of an afro diasporic culture that funk and jazz fall squarely under..and they , in this “ketu” style, have a solid bell pattern for each groove to the orixais, and two drums played with little sticks they call rumpi and le , that play exactly the same thing, and a drum called the “rum”, probably relating to the “rum” in rumba, by way of a shared afro yoroba word, which is suposed to imporvise, getting in touch with the dieties and the dance movements…this is the definition of a jazz rhythm section holding down the groove while the soloists plays , improvising , coming from his intuition and feeling it..

    this afro diasporic concpet is based on several people holding down the foundation in a duple triple syncopated mannor, repeating back on itself, in self similar similarity and simplicity that creates giant stuctures ( very close to the definition of fractals by the way)

    if we adhere to these principals, we should be in the groove…as i said, if the accompianist flows with the soloist a little, they better get back to the groove soon if there is to be some kind of cohesiveness…unless, and this is a big unless, the concept they are dealing with calls for something else…if everyone agrees to be floaty, and airy,introduce more linear concepts, make extra bars and kicks in the composition..by all means they should, but they are straying from the original afro diasporic concepts the idioms of jazz and funk were created out of

    and, a couple of other things…the truth is, the guitar player, and or the piano player, should be locked unconciously and incessantly undereneath the bass solo…almost as much as we should be listening to the bass player and following him, we should be locked underneath, so hard we dont have to think of it, in an afro diasporic groove mannor..i cant tell you how many times i have had to actualy tune out great piano playeres or guitar players on a bass solo because they just wernt there for the accompianament, they were actualy taking away from it…its just not a skill that is thought about a lot, accompianing a bass solo and what it means to keep that foundation feeling going…again, I think people should ask a bass player if they really want a bass line coming , covering up notes they may be playing in their solo…i think implying the foundation that leaves when the bass player solos i the great challenge for us to accompany the bass solo

    and, i want to say something about all soloists…i personaly dont go by the rules that when a person solos, they have the right to just go anywhere they want to and do anything they want to and we are all suposed to bow to that …all soloists have a responsibility to the idiom they are playing and the bandmates they are playing with…if a guy is in a form type of idiom with changes, if he wants to go outside for a moment and really feel it, that is fine with me, but, all soloitsts have a responsibility to bring it back in..and if they are in a groove that comes in on an anticipation…eventualy they have to slam home an anticiation to hook up with his teamates where the groove is , especialy true if the groove comes in on a one,or like where in jazz , the one is related to the stride pianos and evolved to a bebop aproach and how that slamming one on jazz swing is a pivot point that is important…and of course, this is only if they are all agreeing to do this…if people want to play with differant rules, that is great, but everyone has to be in somekind of agreement

    • Tony CimorosiTony Cimorosi11-02-2013

      Great insights on some serious history. i hope that the readers of this blog check out your experience and perspective on the different music styles. I know i will, do and have. thanks for posting.. keep the flow.

  31. andrew scott potterandrew scott potter11-02-2013

    i meant the guitar player or piano player should be locked in with the drummer underneath the bass solo

    and to clarify, in the solo, the soloist should eventualy be implying what the groove rhythm is, whether coming in on the one or anticipation

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