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Gospel School: Shout Bass Lines: Walking on the I-IV Chord Progression

Shout Music makes me think of one word: Exuberance!

Shout Bass Line Variation 1

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Pattern Appreciation: Don’t try to “memorize” this. Remember: Study first, practice second! That said, the pattern is not at as complicated as it seems. The “target note” C (Do) is always approached with three note chromatic pickups, either ascending or descending. F (Fa) is a bit different: While it can be approached chromatically from below, this just doesn’t sound right approached from above. The smoothest sounding-feeling approach is Mixolydian scale-wise. This is just one of those things you learn by experience and by trusting your ears above all else.

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Technique Tip: The proper way to walk is to drop the weight of your arm-hand into each note. Try to sound like a bass player thumping out juicy, round, big, fat notes.


Shout Bass Line Variation 2

Here we just exchanged the ascending line with descending line and vice versa…

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Rhythmic Conception and Interpretation: Feel each chorus as coherent 2-bar and 4-bar ideas, not as isolated notes or four-note segments that end at the bar lines.


Shout Bass Line Variation 3

A hybrid of variations 1 and 2…

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Can you think of some other ways to connect the chord tones?


Frank Improv for your consideration…


learn more… Gospel School: The I-I/3-IV Progression

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