Friday, 12 April 2013

Lick Of The Month #11

Almost a full year of licks! LOTM#11 is another ii V I walking bass line, this time taken from 'Bag's Groove' taken from the Miles Davis album of the same name. The bassist on the record is Percy Heath, if you like what you hear check out the other posts I've written on him here!

You can hear the lick on the video above at about 0:55 seconds in. 

As you can see the last chord on this lick is an F7 not the usual F Major 7 you would find in a ii V I, although for the purposes of this lick it doesn't make much difference as we end it on the root. In Bag's Groove this F7 begins a I VI ii V turn around but as you can see it's perfectly fine to adapt this lick to a ii V I!

On the first bar Heath plays Root, minor third and then descends chromatically to the G again for beat one of the C7. He follows this with a lower octave G before finally hitting the C, or the root, at beat 3. Although at beat 4, Heath plays an E which is the 3rd of C7, I see it more as a chromatic leading note to the F played on beat 1 of bar 3.

My first impressions of this lick was that Heath approaches the majority of these three bars by just thinking in G minor. The whole lick can be thought of this way as the F is the 7th of G minor, although I think it's a lot more likely that he was thinking 'in F' by this point.

When taking this lick through it's keys, some consideration should be given to which octave you will be playing in. For example, if playing over the chords Em - A7 - DM7 you could play the lick starting on the 9th fret of the G string but this will take you all the way up to the 12th fret and in any transcriptions I have done of these classic lines I haven't encountered any of them playing that high up. Not to say you shouldn't do it! But certainly keep it in mind.

The other options you will have are to start 2nd fret on the D string, this is fine if you're playing a 5 string bass as you can end on the low D, 3rd fret on the B string. But obviously Heath wasn't playing a 5 string and I'm sure a lot of you won't be either so then the lick will need changing to end on the D at 5th fret A string.

All of these options are worth exploring and I find this lick quite an easy one to take through the keys so give it a go!

If you've enjoyed this lesson please sign up to my mailing list to keep up to date on any new ones that I put out!

No comments:

Post a Comment