A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Archive for April 12, 2011

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew

View From the Bottom – Miles Davis – Bitches Brew

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Bitches Brew single-handedly got me into jazz fusion. I grabbed a copy sometime around the end of the 90s when I was first exploring jazz and it turned everything on its head for me. It took sounds I’d heard on jazz records and combined them with the expansiveness and flow of psychadelic rock. Music was never the same for me again. I’ve since gotten to hear a lot of other staples of the genre, like Weather Report, Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra, and then newer groups like Vital Tech Tones. As much as I enjoy these bands, to me, nothing has come close to the level of bizarre freedom as Bitches Brew.

The above video is from Harvey Brooks, who played electric bass on the recording. He was joined by Dave Holland on upright. Yep. They had an electric and upright bass playing at the same time in a lot of the music. 😉 In the video above, Harvey speaks about this a little.

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Scale Patterns – The Minor Scale 1

Ok. A few days ago, we looked at a pattern for playing the major scale. Now, we’re going to look at one for playing the minor scale. Scales each convey a particular sound or mood in music. The major scale tends to have an upbeat, happy sound. A lot of happy rave or holiday songs are made up with notes from that scale.

The minor scale is darker. It’s often used to create music that is more sad or angry than works written using tones from the major scale. A lot of metal and sad love songs use this scale. I actually like the sounds of the minor scale more than the major. Both have their roles though, and can even be used together. The minor pattern is easier to play as well.

Here’s the first pattern for the minor scale:

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