Technique: Jazz soloing on the double bass


How to build from a simple bass accompaniment to an improvised solo line in a few basic steps

There is a lot of ‘wisdom’ passed on as part of the learning tradition of any instrument, and for double bass that includes the idea that we don’t need to play solos in jazz. This is not true, and it creates a lot of fear and rejection around improvising when we do have to do it. It has also led to numerous bad jokes about bass solos being boring or lame, because many players never learn how to improvise solos effectively! It doesn’t have to be that way, because if we can improvise a blues walking bass line, we’re already partway there. We just have to build on what we already know…

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