Blues Etude

I wrote this short piece to prepare my bass students for the upcoming lessons in improvisation, which starts off with lectures regarding the standard 12-bar blues. This etude aims to familiarize the ears and fingers of the student to the dominant 7 sound and tritone interval that is formed between the 3rd and the 7th of the chord.

Recommendations and goals for this etude:

  • begin with a slow, comfortable tempo, and start learning the melodic line in 2 to 4-bar phrases up to measure 14.
  • familiarize yourself with the shape of the tritone interval under your fingers and how they lead into the next chord. (take note of the double-stops)
  • once you can play through the whole first 14 measures in proper tempo, move on to learn the next 12 measures, which includes playing the melodic line an octave higher.
  • initial focus should be on observing solid tempo. If at any point you do not feel relaxed and confident playing the  whole piece, slow the tempo down until you can play through it perfectly in time and without stumbling.

Blues Etude.pdf


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