How to Play So What by Miles Davis on Bass Guitar (Intro/Walking Bass/Solo)

So What is a jazz standard from Miles Davis' iconic Kind of Blue. Recorded in 1959, it heralded the start of modal jazz. Reacting against the intricate changes of bebop, Davis went the other way, writing tunes based around just one chord. 

This enabled a single mode to be played over the chord. In this case, it's the Dorian mode.

Watch the video for a breakdown of the form, structure, and harmony of this awesome jazz standard.


Two Versions To Listen To

Listen to Paul Chambers play on the original. His walking is authoritative and interesting; he uses simple rhythms and chord tones with chromatic passing notes.

Compare that to Anthony Jackson's take on this beautiful Michel Petrucciani version. The epitome of cool jazz!

If you're from a rock or pop background and want to get some jazz tunes under your belt, this is a great one to learn. I'll be doing more lessons on some easy jazz standards in the future. The best way to keep up to date with new lessons is to sign up to my weekly newsletter (scroll down).


Related Bass Guitar Lessons


I send 1 email every Sunday with free lessons, pro tips, gear, gig advice and more. Your details will not be passed on or shared with any other party. Privacy policy.

Online Bass Courses Dan Hawkins Bass Store


If you get any value from my lessons and would like to help keep this site running and the weekly lessons flowing, click the button below for a small donation. Even something small really helps me cover running costs!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

The Bass Guitar Resource Book

I send out a newsletter every Sunday packed full of bass tips, news, and lessons, plus if you sign up you get my free Bass Guitar Resource Book. You can't find this anywhere else so don't miss this special offer!

>