Jazz Concepts: Back to the Roots

by John Goldsby — Bass Magazine — Issue 9

How large is the number called a Googol? You could Google it, but I’ll just tell you: A Googol is 10100, or one followed by a hundred zeros. That’s about how many quarter-notes I’ve played in my life, or at least it feels that way. As I’ve walked my way through my career, I’m still outlining chord changes and providing a foundation for the music, often by playing the root of every chord on the downbeat of every bar. Walking bass lines remain an essential component of my musical life. 

Let’s look at a couple of methods to create beautifully constructed, practical, and musical-sounding bass lines without getting hung up on music theory. I’ll describe the basics of bass line construction, and then we’re off to the races … the walking races. 

Walking bass lines are constructed with … read more

Jazz Concepts

Clockwise

“Clockwise” is from the album Space for the Bass, recorded on May 17, 2009 in Cologne, Germany at Topaz Studio.

John Goldsby (bass), Francesco Cafiso (alto), Martin Sasse (piano)

Interview: John Goldsby

Ligeti Split

‘Ligeti Split’ is from the album “The Innkeeper’s Gun” [Bass Lion, 2010] with Jacob Duncan (alto), John Goldsby (bass), and Jason Tiemann (drums). Recorded on Nov. 12, 2009 in the middle of their European tour, the Nachbar Trio (as they are also called), made a day trip to Topaz Studio, Cologne to work with engineer Reinhard Kobialka and document some of their original music. ‘Ligeti Split’ is a free-wheeling melody composed by Jacob Duncan.