Constructing Walking Jazz Bass Lines

“Constructing Walking Jazz Bass Lines” the book series is available in bass clef and bass tab.

      The walking bass lines series includes:

      Topics covered in the walking bass lesson series include :

  • Voice leading,
  • Tritone substitution,
  • Using modes when constructing walking bass lines,
  • Bebop bass lines,
  • Pedal points,
  • Harmonic anticipation,
  • Major ii V I progression,
  • Minor ii V I progression,
  • and many more.

All these topics are combined with fundamental technique building exercises. Designed to make the bass player a well rounded musician.

    The jazz walking bass  lessons are for players of all ages, beginner to advanced.

What is a Walking bass line Master ?

Many of the most well known jazz bassists in history, as well as some of those not as often heard of were Masters of the Walking Bass Line.

Often when your talking about the masters or jazz greats of bass we here names like Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Jimmy Garrison, Oscar Pettiford etc. Depending on who you are talking to, you may here names like Slam Stewart, or Jimmy Blanton, or Charles Mingus. If you start hearing names like Wilbur Ware, Butch Warren, Herbie Lewis etc,  then you know your talking to some one who has spent some time checking out some jazz records and jazz bass players.

Theres a large list of Jazz Walking bass line Masters.   Including many of the most well known jazz bassists in history. As well as some of those not as often heard of.   Not yet mentioned,  Neils Henning Orsted Pederson, Reggie Workman, Jymmie Merrit, Nat Reeves, Art Davis, Richard Davis, Steve Davis, Scott LaFaro.  These are just a few of the masters of the walking bass line.

When we talk about these players quite often an experienced jazz musician or listener of jazz will say, oh I can recognise Ron Carter, or Ray Brown within a couple of notes.

How do they do that ?

It’s because it all comes down to the sound and how they put the walking bass line together. When walking bass lines over jazz standards, you will find that the same notes and cycles are used by the greats to walk their bass lines. The difference comes from the way they put it all together, and this comes down to their musical personality and the story they have to tell.

Some players will play right on the front of the beat, some will play more laid back, thats all part of the signature sound of the walking bass line.

Next time your listening to your favorite bass player walk bass lines, take the time to really tune into the finer details. What is it that makes them a walking bass line master ? How are they outlining the ii V progression, or the turnaround? How are they setting up the top of the tune as the soloists change over?

Being able to play walking bass lines is an essential skill needed for the Jazz bassist and is commonly used by Blues and Country bass players as well. Walking bass techniques and walking bass line vocabulary can be developed over time by players of all levels and abilities.

Structured bass lessons in a step by step system to cover Walking Bass Line construction using :

  • Common chord progressions  
  • Left and Right hand coordination 
  • Arpegios
  • 7th Chords
  • Triads
  • Passing chords
  • Chromatic approach notes
  • Diminished scales
  • Modes
  • Harmony and Theory 
  • and much more…

      Some of the topics covered in the walking bass line lesson series include:

  • voice leading,
  • tritone substitution,
  • using modes when constructing walking bass lines,
  • bebop bass lines,
  • pedal points,
  • harmonic anticipation,
  • the major ii V I progression,
  • the minor ii V I progression,
  • and many more.

These topics are combined with fundamental technique building exercises. Designed to make the Bassist a well rounded musician.

 All jazz walking bass lessons are for players of all ages, beginner to advanced playing electric or upright bass. 

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Constructing Walking Jazz Bass Lines Series : Blues, Rhythm changes, Bebop, Standards and more, Check out the bookstore.

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