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Bass Lessons — How to Sound like Jaco Pastorius bass tabs

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(submitted by just3boyz)
This tab illustrates some tricks Jaco liked to use.
All of these Tricks will be based off of this basic line:

S = Staccato (Cut Notes Short)
L = Legato (Hold Out Notes)
X = Dead Note

|S L S L S L S L |
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

This line works great over a Bb7 Vamp.
Jaco used this Varying of legato and staccato in his playing himself.

In addition to that,
he also used 16th notes with dead notes. (muted notes)
This gave his basslines a percusive feel.
There are many ways to implament these dead notes
Here's a few examples:

|Bb D Eb F |Bb D Eb F |
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

|Bb D Eb F |Bb D Eb F |
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

There are many other ways to vary the placement of these dead notes.
Interchanging these is a great practice and creates interesting rhythms.

Another thing he liked to do was use octaves with dead notes:

|BbBb D D EbEb F F |Bb BbBb D D EbEbEb F F |
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

In this example I played around with the rhythm a bit.
notice how not every note starts on the down beat.
This is another trick jaco liked to pull out.
Varying the rhythm is a great way to get the most out of one line.

Another trick he used was not starting a phrase on the root note.
Here's what i mean:

|Bb7 |
|F G Bb D D D EbBbEb E F F |F#G Bb C C#D EbEb EbF C F |
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

Notice how the 1st beat of both bars don't start on Bb.
This is another great way to vary the same line.

Notice how i also threw in a couple other little tricks.
I threw in a couple of chormatic notes.
(ex: E in 1st bar/C# in 2nd bar)
I Also started utilizing 5ths of the notes from our original bass.
(ex: Bb is the 5th of Eb/C is the 5th of F)
These are also things jaco liked doing.

In addition to not playing the root note on the 1st down beat,
he also liked to not play anything at all on the 1st down beat.
I'm going to expand the bassline so 2 bars is one phrase.
Here's what I mean:

|S L S L S L S L |S L S L S L S L |
|Bb D |Eb F |
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

That's the basic idea.
Here's the embellishment:

| BbBbBbAbBbF DbD D D A |D Eb EbEb F F F EbF F
|1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |

In addition to not starting the phrase on the 1st down beat,
I also used the b7 interval on some of the original notes.
(ex: Ab is the b7 of Bb/Eb is the b7 of F)

I would like to mention that there is nothing wrong with playing the basic idea.
Alot of these tricks jaco liked to use are simply embellishments.
Sometimes it's best to just play the basic idea.
However, these embellishments do add alot of excitment and interest.

I encourage you to experiment with your own ideas based on these tricks.
There Are Sooooooo Many ways to vary each of these concepts.
Taking simple basslines and adding these ideas to them is a great practice.
Even if you don't end up using your jaco based ideas on the stage,
They're still great for building dexterity and rhythmic understanding.

I hope that this has been helpful.
please give me constructive criticism.

Connor Larkin
Tablature player for this song:


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