Bass day (1h 30m)

  • Chord tones (Phil Mann)
    • Harmonising the major scale with 7th chords — all inversions, tried different positions on the fretboard C major (45m)
  • Walking bass lines — 45m
    • Jazz standards in Latin rhythms (Cha cha cha + The Preacher by Horace Silver)
    • 2-octave dominant walking bass line (b7 ascending, b7 & b6 descending) round the cycle of 4ths
    • Soloing practice over blues progession (mostly trying to use b7ths a and b6ths and avoid pentatonic patterns)

Observations

Chord formulas are wonderful! It’s so much easier to quickly see and play any inversion anywhere on the neck with any fingering when you know that it’s, for example, m3 + M3 + m2 (maj7 chord in 2nd inversion) and not root… third… fifth… 7th… Thanks Mr. Mann!

Bass day (1h 20m)

  • Chord tones (Phil Mann)
    • All triads (major / minor / diminished / augmented) in all inversions around the cycle of 4ths at 74bpm — 20m
    • Major and minor 7th chords in all inversions around the cycle (70bpm) — 20m
    • Dominant 7th chords in all inversions around the cycle (40bpm) — 20m
  • Walking bass lines (Scott Devine)
    • Soloing exercise (chord scales up and down chromatically moving to the closest degree of the next chord) over jazz standard (Shine by Dabney-Mack-Brown) — 20m

Observations

Although thinking in intervals and chord tones is cool and super helpful when composing a walking bass line on the fly, it’s still very important to sometimes just think in melodies when soloing, because melody that you compose in your head before playing it with your fingers is not always made up with chord or scale tones, so sometimes it’s better to just forget about functional harmony and think of the mood. It works for me, may not be the same for everyone. There’s a great exercise by Jamey Aebersold: when soloing, try singing your solo for 4 bars and them play for 4 bars, and then sing again, and then play, without interrupting the flow of the melody. I don’t do it too often because it’s pretty hard, which means I actually should! 😄)

Also, I’m so glad I chose these two courses for my challenge (I mean Scott’s walking bass course and Phil Mann’s chord tones) because, it turns out, they complement each other perfectly (especially in the soloing part). I’m getting much better at recognising chord degrees detached from the root by learning inversions, and that’s exactly the skill I need to get better at soloing! Well done son.