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A Collection of Resources for Jazz Bassists.


A few years ago, Troy Nelson asked if I would be interested in writing a book about building bass lines. Five painstaking months later, the book is complete, and available HERE.  

"Build Walking Bass Lines in 14 Days: Jazz & Blues Bass Lines for Upright And Electric Bass" covers the critical aspects of bass playing in a systematic format. Divided into six 15-minute lessons per day, the book is intended to be a resource for beginning and intermediate bassists looking for a methodical approach to improving their ability to create great sounding bass lines. The book is available through Amazon in print and E-book formats, and includes play-along tracks.

Previous MJI Workshops:

Building Better Bass Lines

From Thursday, August 4th 2020 6:30 - 7:30pm


In this workshop, we examined the fundamental

structures of bass playing on the blues form;

discussed some simple strategies to help make your

lines clear, strong, and forward moving; and finally

identified these components in some classic and

modern examples from great jazz bassists.

Previous Workshop Materials:

BetterBassLines.pdf   or  BetterBassLines.pptx

Bass Solos Workshop

From Thursday, January 7th 2021 6:30 - 7:30pm

In this workshop, we discussed some of the basic challenges of soloing on the bass, examined a step-by-step process for developing freedom in improvisation, and identified some of these concepts in classic examples from great jazz musicians.

And Download Workshop Materials:

BetterBassSolos.pdf   or  BetterBassSolos.pptx

Building Bass Lines_Page Copy.jpg

Leadsheets for Milwaukee Jazz Institute Youth Combos

Please find pdf's of each tune listed alphabetically by title below. Concert charts are attached to the title. Trumpet/Tenor (Bb), Alto (Eb), and Bass Clef charts are listed alongside each title, when available. If you notice mistakes, please let me know so that I can fix them... Thank you!!! 

A Tisket A Tasket Traditional

Adam's Apple by Wayne Shorter  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Blue Monk by Thelonious Monk  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Blue Seven by Sonny Rollins  Bb Instr.  Eb Instr.   Bass


Cantaloupe Island by Herbie Hancock  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Caramba by Lee Morgan  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.

Cool Blues by Charlie Parker  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.

Ease It by Paul Chambers  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Equinox by John Coltrane  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass


Footprints by Wayne Shorter  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.

For Rockelle by Rodney Whitaker  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Green Chimneys by Thelonious Monk  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Hey Chico by Lee Morgan  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   

In Walked Bud by Thelonious Monk  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.  

Jive Samba by Nat Adderley  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Just Friends by John Klenner  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.

Kojo No Tsuki Traditional/Thelonious Monk   Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Listen Here by Eddie Harris  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Mercy Mercy Mercy by Nat Adderley  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Mesmer by Paul Motian  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Milestones by Miles Davis  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

On The Trail by Fred Grofe  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass


Perdido by Juan Tizol  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr. 

Recorda Me by Joe Henderson  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Rhythm-a-ning by Thelonious Monk  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr. 

Search For The New Land by Lee Morgan Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Solar by Chuck Wayne or Miles Davis  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Soul Sister by Dexter Gordon  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass


St Thomas by Sonny Rollins  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

The Jody Grind by Horace Silver  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

The Sticks by Nat Adderley  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

Tom Cat by Lee Morgan  Bb Instr.   Eb Instr.   Bass

When The Saints Traditional

Some Basic Functional Harmony...

I remember being really overwhelmed at the complexity of the harmonic structures in standards when I was just beginning to learn lots of tunes. It seemed so daunting to try to remember each progression - so incredibly specific and complex. 

In an effort to help my students organize and simplify some of this complexity, I've put together a chart of some basic harmonic structures that are found extensively in The American songbook. Hopefully, it will help students begin to classify, identify, and understand some of the common harmonic structures. Let me know what you think! And thanks for your interest!

Functional Harmony.pdf

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