Thursday, 25 October 2012

Parker's Mood Bass Line

Sticking with my jazz blues studies this month I've transcribed the bass line under Bird's solo on the great tune, 'Parker's Mood'. There's a lot that I've learnt from looking at this bass line, most importantly the simplicity of a good bass line!

The first thing that I noticed about this line is that out of the 24 bars (2 full choruses of 12 bars) 22 of these bars start on the root note
and 20 of these bars end on a chromatic passing note leading too this root note. In   a standard 4 notes per bar walking bass line this has got half your notes covered already!

To help outline the tonal qualities of each chord more than half of the bars contain the third of the chord. This is necessary as playing just a root and a chromatic note doesn't tell you much about what type of chord you are playing. 

One final thing that I noticed whilst doing this transcription was the use of Lick Of The Month #5,  although I'm sure that's not what he was thinking while he played it! 

LOTM#5 is used over a Dom7 chord moving up a semitone to a Dim7 chord where as here it is used in bars 2-3 played over the IV chord moving back to the I chord. The same lick is used in the same place over the second chorus, bars 14-15, this time just changing the last 2 notes so we are approaching the root of the F7 from above this time.

Click here to download the transcription!

Here's my video of me playing this line, I tried to get the feel close to the original line but be sure to check out the original tune as well for the real deal!

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