Saturday, 2 February 2013

Solar Bass Transcription

'Solar' from the album "Walkin'" by Miles Davis, is a full on ii V work out! This transcription looks at how Percy Heath approaches the first four choruses. The tune is 12 bars long and can be split into 4 ii V's of all shapes and sizes.

Over the first chorus Heath keeps it fairly straight forward, lots of chord tones and lots of arpeggios.

The melody plays a B natural over the C minor major indicating the melodic minor mode, Heath uses the B natural playing over the C-M but also uses it to great effect coming out of the G7b9 at bars  36 and 48. Here it acts as the 7th of G7b9 and a chromatic leading note to the root of the next chord while reinforcing the melodic minor sound over the last and first bars of the tune.

Something that I'm noticing more and more in the bass lines that really stand out to me, the ones I choose to transcribe, is quite a lot of repetition. I often feel like this is something that should be avoided but I'm beginning to think otherwise! The endings of the first and second chorus, bars 11-12 and 23-24 are identical and the endings to the next two choruses are based on the same ideas.

Another example of repetition is on three of the EbM7 chords where a R 5 3 5 arpeggio is played.

My favourite use of repetition in this song is on the Eb-7 Ab7 bar. Every time this comes around Heath plays R 5 on the Eb-7 followed by a triplet landing on a chromatic note to the root of the next chord, DbM7. This is quickly becoming a favourite way of mine to play over short ii V I's!

At bar 33 Heath starts walking up the C melodic minor scale and continues on half way through the following G-7, cleverly playing a D on beat 1 of the G-7, the 9th of C melodic minor and the 5th of G-7.

I hope you all liked this transcription but if you came here looking for the solo transcription from the same song you can find that here!

Full transcription for the bass line available here!

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