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Jazz Basics for Bass Guitar

Learn some jazz basics for the bass guitar from musician John Sutton in this online guitar lesson from Howcast.


Jazz can be a difficult thing to try to get started in, because it's known for complex harmonies, and often for complex rhythms. Jazz musicians frequently use the 12 bar blues form, as a form that they can improvise on. So, when we get started in jazz, the most important things to learn would be 12 bar blues form, and your major and your dominant 7th scales. You can hear great bass players playing all of this, and playing around all of that. People like Oscar Pettiford, Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, and Ron Carter, just to name a few of many. The point is, if you get started listening to it, you get it in your ear, and you start working on the simple things that you know, blues, basic forms and songs, then you can be right there trying to learn all of it with everybody else. You can also check out great electric bass players who play the music. People like Dave Holland and Ron Carter, who played electric bass with Miles Davis. You can also hear current players, like James Genius and Steve Swallow, along with many, many others, including, of course, Jacques Pastoreus, considered one of the greatest electric bass players of all time. So, this is the B-flat blues. And that's the basics of jazz.

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