Bass day (1h)

  • Chord tones (Phil Mann)
    • Harmonising the major scale with 7th chords — all inversions, C major (50bpm)
    • Harmonising the major scale with 7th chords — all inversions, F major (44bpm)
    • Harmonising the major scale with 7th chords — all inversions, Bb major (44bpm)
  • Walking bass line workout (2-octave dominant line up the cycle of 4ths)

Deep Practice Challenge Done!

Whew! I think that was it for the deep practice challenge. I mean, technically, I’m just going on with it, simply continuing in this thread. But it’s nice that I managed to make it somehow measurable: during this challenge I went through 2 courses — Scott’s Jazz Survival Guide (walking bass lines) and Phil’s Chord Tones, which turned out to be such a wonderful supplement to each other. I was already decent at walking bass, but I kind of always played safe and didn’t really think about functional harmony all that much during playing and was heavily relying on finger patterns. Scott’s course taught me to always be open for different ways to go, different paths to transition — be it a chromatic move to the 3rd of the next chord, or 7th (or 11th?) below, or enclosure of the root of the next  chord — all of it — all I needed to finally start getting thins “walking bass line” sound to my lines, as opposed to the fake “boogie woogie” cheap sorta thing you get when you try to mimic it without really getting the mechanics of what’s happening under the hood. Now I know the process, it’s not magic for me anymore, and the only thing to do now is just become more fluent at it, which means — grind, grind, grind. Chord inversions were something I always tried to avoid because they play games with your brain, and your brain resists it, it simply wants some minor pentatonic box shapes happening! But I forced that, and I benefited from that tremendously: my fingers are breaking out of the box trap, and I’m already noticing when soloing that I’m much more aware of the functions of the notes that I’m playing rather than just the shape. Although, shapes are not evil! They’re just addictive, like sugar. LOL.

As of piano, well — I managed to get through all of the II — V — I skills in the Haerle book, and I got significantly better at shell voicings. So, like, playing things like minor ii — V — i around the cycle voicing them as 3-b5-6-b9 and 7-b9-3-6 is not a superhuman task for me anymore. I’m still slow at figuring out and mixing extensions like 11ths and 9ths above and below the root, especially in the rootless situations, but I feel like I’ve made huge progress.

That’s it for the challenge, now back to the regular shed 😄

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