The Acoustic Bass

Gary Peacock

Musicianship and Improvisational Techniques

75-minute DVD, includes booklet
  • Code:DLPCKAB21
  • Skill Level:Intermediate (4)

Take a master class with one of the great jazz bassists of our time. Gary Peacock explores his instrument from the unique perspective of a veteran musician who has important ideas to convey to all serious players. He delves into three important aspects of playing -- the Physical, the Mental and the Intuitive -- which together form the complete process of creating music on the bass.

Concentrating first on the physical aspects, Gary shares tips on relaxation, posture, and the connection between the hands, arms, shoulders and back. Proper alignment, as well as mental observation of areas of pain or discomfort, allows you to disperse the tension and play freely. The exercises in this section, including how to produce the best sound with the least amount of pressure on the strings, will benefit musicians at any level and in any style.

Gary then goes into the process of playing scales and arpeggios, focusing on the physical motion as well as listening for intonation and sound quality. You'll get invaluable insights into determining the meaning of an interval by recognizing it in relationship to its function within any given key, along with Gary's formula for improvisational success: "play the interval; intuit its tonal relationship to the chord or key; melodically confirm it."

As Gary analyzes All the Things You Are and  Stella by Starlight, you'll hear the movement of the root notes against the melody, and how making a "mental map" of a piece gives you an understanding of its harmonic sense. Finally, Gary takes a look at Rhythm Changes, a mainstay of traditional jazz and a starting point for many musicians getting into this form. Through this progression, he pulls together all of the technical and improvisational ideas he has examined during the course of this lesson.


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