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03/07/2016

Think Less When Soloing Over Giant Steps - Mutant Bass

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Think Less When Soloing Over Giant


Steps
Published on November 23, 2009 in Bass Lessons/Bass Technique/Hear
Bass/Learning Concepts/Musical Vocabulary

In this comic, Spectrum, Metro,


and Illusion devise a plan to free
themselves, and the others, from
the enslavement of the officials.
During that time, the Mutant
Bass Players decide The Rock
Climbing Method as their way
out!

application when learning to solo


over difficult chord progressions,
such as Giant Steps.

The Rock
Method

Climbing

The Rock Climbing Method


(similar to the target note
approach) is a specific approach
to playing chord changes that
allows you to think less and hear
more while playing solos on your
bass.
This

method

has

immediate

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03/07/2016

Think Less When Soloing Over Giant Steps - Mutant Bass

Metro: Yes, all the time! See my


muscles!
Spectrum: Thats nice Metro.
Can you explain a typical
experience when you climb a
wall?

MUTANT BASS PLAYERS:


ILLUSION, SPECTRUM,
METRO PONDER THE ROCK
CLIMBING METHOD

Spectrum: Hey Illusion are


you thinking what I am thinking?
Illusion: Yes I want to be free!
We all want to be free! Im sick
and tired of being enslaved by
the officials! Are you thinking of
applying The Rock Climbing

Metro: Gladly. You start off on


the ground. You look up and
visualize a path that you might
take to climb the wall. Then you
start climbing the wall. As you
climb the wall, you realize the
path you wanted to take may not
be physically possible, so you
usually reach for the closest
rocks to grab a hold of.
Sometimes there is a point that
you reach on the wall, where
there are no close rocks within
reach, and you must take a leap
for another rock. That rock
usually offers more options to
continue climbing the wall.
Spectrum:

Do

you

notice

anything familiar Metro?

Method? Do you think it might


work?

Metro: I do Spectrum! When


walking bass lines or taking solos

Metro: Wait guys, this sounds

a simple approach may be to


focus only on target notes that

interesting let me in on this!


Spectrum: Yes, Illusion! The
Rock Climbing Method! It always
works!
Metro: Come on guys! Whats
going on!?! I hope your not
planning on doing something
stupid!
Spectrum: Metro, have you ever
gone rock climbing before?

are nearby. Every now and then


you might take a leap for
another target note. In music, a
target note may be considered
chord tones. For example, the
chord tones (target notes) for a C
major chord may be C, E, G (1, 3,
5). This is how your would put
this concept into practice.
Here are the first few chords
from Giant Steps:
| Bmaj7 D7 | Gmaj7 Bb7

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03/07/2016

Think Less When Soloing Over Giant Steps - Mutant Bass

| Ebmaj7 | Amin7 D7 |

mutantbass

First Few Chords From Giant Steps

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During beats 1-2 on the first


measure, hear and play a

play a chord tone from the


chord Bb7. Try to hear the

chord tone from the chord


Bmaj7.

chord tone that is closest to


the chord tone previously

During beats 3-4 on the first


measure, hear and play a

played!
etc

chord tone from the chord


D7. Try to hear the chord
tone that is closest to the
chord
played!

tone

previously

During beats 1-2 on the


second measure, hear and
play a chord tone from the
chord Gmaj7. Try to hear the
chord tone that is closest to
the chord tone previously
played!
During beats 3-4 on the
second measure, hear and

http://www.mutantbass.com/think-less-when-soloing-over-giant-steps/

Here is an example bass solo,


applying this concept over the
Giant Steps chord progression:
| B C | D F | G Bb
| C D |
This melody has an upwards
direction.
*Listen to the example to hear
how chromaticism can take this

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03/07/2016

Think Less When Soloing Over Giant Steps - Mutant Bass

concept a step further.

mutantbass

Basic Chromatics Over Giant Steps

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Here is another example bass


solo, applying this concept over
the

Giant

Steps

This melody has a downwards


direction.

chord

progression:

*Listen to the example to hear


how chromaticism can take this

| B A | G F | Eb D

concept a step further.

| C A |

mutantbass

Basic Chromatics Over Giant Steps

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Think Less When Soloing Over Giant Steps - Mutant Bass

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Here is one more example bass

This

solo, applying this concept over

direction.

the

Giant

Steps

melody

has

static

chord

progression:

*Listen to the example to hear


how chromaticism can take this

| B C | B Bb | Bb Bb
| C C |

mutantbass

concept a step further.

Basic Chromatics Over Giant Steps

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Think Less When Soloing Over Giant Steps - Mutant Bass

Try this for yourself on the


remaining chord progression for

expressive your bass playing! You


can focus more on rhythm,

Giant Steps.

phrasing, dynamics, etc

The

Rock
Menu

Method

Spectrum: Wow. Thats quite a

provides great freedom when

Climbing

concept Metro. But actually,

there are a lot of chord changes


and the scales and modes are

Illusion and I were really just


talking about climbing over the

continually changing.

walls in this room to get out. But,


thats a concept we will surely

There are less target notes than

use!

notes from scaleslet alone all


the possible scale options! The
less you have to think, the more

Metro: Oh.

you can hear, and be more

TAGS:

CHORDS
SCALES

CHROMATICISM

SOLO

COMIC

TARGET-NOTES

GIANT-STEPS

WALKING-BASS

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Posido Vega is a professional bass guitarist


from Columbia, Maryland. His concept of
Mutant Bass (2005) was born from a list of
skills that he observed from his favorite bass
players. This list became the blueprint for

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