In this article I will give 7 tips to help you make new, fresh, original solos that will make you distinguish from the average bass player.
These ideas come from my personal reinterpretation of some of Joseph Schillinger’s theories, that I adapted to the characteristics of the electric bass and double bass.
You will find here new ways to visualise “the same old scales” through special symmetries and geometries which will enable you to exploit the traditional music stuff in an innovative and outstanding way.
Use the notes of the relative scale.
For more details on this topic, please check directly this post: Belle queste scale! Ma sul basso e contrabbasso come e dove le suono? which specifically talks about this.
Play leaps of a third on the whole fingerboard, using the first two strings of the bass.
These leaps can be played in any combinations of figure 2.
Play leaps of a fourth on the whole fingerboard, using the first two strings of the bass.
In this case too, the leaps can be played in any combinations summarised in figure 4.
Play leaps of a fifth on the whole fingerboard, using the first two strings of the bass.
The leaps can be played in any combinations summarised in figure 4.
Play leaps of a sixth transported on the whole fingerboard, using the first two strings of the bass.
Figure 6 shows such leaps of a sixth on the I and II string or on the I and III string.
Such leaps can also be played in any combinations summarised in figure 4.
Play the arpeggios from the chords of the scale.
Figure 7 shows the arpeggios from quadriads of the Bb major scale chords.
These arpeggios can be played with the different combinations of figure 8.
Finally, you can use triad arpeggios using fourths in Bb major scale.
Triads by fourths on the major scale harmonisation fall into three categories, or species.
I species: two perfect overlapping fourths, that are on the II, III, V, VI and VII grade of the scale
II species: Perfect fourth and augmented fourth, on the I grade of the scale
III species: augmented fourth and perfect fourth, on the IV grade of the scale.
Triads by fourths can be used as quadriads by thirds with these movements.
Now, by using these seven tips, you have a great deal of material to make any experiments you want.
If you want an example of how to use some of these ideas, watch this video where I am improvising on a very easy diatonic structure of a track of mine called “Jingle a Specchio”. It is an evocative song I composed for Specchio Asimmetrico, a special audiovisual project for stylus contrabass and electric bass (here I was taking part in a music festival in Minsk).