Watch the Jazz-Reggae Hybrids online guitar lesson by Andrew Ford from Focus On: Reggae Bass
In this segment we will use reggae influenced bass concepts in a jazz context. This will be done on a minor blues form similar to the song "Footprints" by Wayne Shorter. As with many of these examples the notation is written in half time counted in a slow 4/4 time so even though it is a 12 bar minor blues it is notated here as a 6 bar phrase. I use a similar motif throughout the example but no 2 bars are exactly alike. Part of playing this style in a jazz context is the freedom to constantly improvise within the framework while still having a song first mentality. As a matter of fact, the 1st and last bar have a couple rhythms that deviate from the notation when I play the pattern the 1st time. No bar plays on beat 1 of any bar, this is a technique borrowed from the reggae feel. There is more use of notes outside of the chordal notes, like chromatic notes, in this context. The focus is still primarily root, 3, 5 and a lot of b7 in this minor context. The main motif is established in bar 1 using chordal notes. Bar 2 continues that motif but adding a chromatic note Gb to connect the dots to the F minor chord in bar 3. We use that same motif in bar 3 outlining the F minor triad and transitioning or connecting to the next bar with the 2 in F minor, G, which is also the 5 of C minor so it works very well as a strong 5 to 1 movement. The next bar, bar 4 is essentially the same as bar 1 except we end the bar with a 16th note push into bar 5. This bar deviates from the motif with its use of triplets creating a moment of airing out. The second triplet has a 5 to 1 movement over the Db chord. Our last bar goes back to the 16th note feel but establishes an obvious ending of the phrase, and sets up the listener for a repeat of that section. Along with the 1, b3, 5, and b7, I use a chromatic note Db that leads me back to the C minor chord again.