Bass Conversations Episode 0003 Walking Bass lines, Listening to the Masters

Bass Conversations episode 0002

Bass Conversations Episode 0003

Constructing Walking bass lines using simple devices such as the root & 5th, triads & 7th chords.

Listening to the Masters

The Jazz Bucket List continues



New Release – Walking Bass Lines for Guitar – The Blues in 12 keys Book I

walking bass for guitar


Bass Conversations Episode 0002 Transcribing, how to construct walking bass lines, the jazz album bucket list

Bass Conversations episode 0002
Steven Mooney from Constructing Walking Jazz Bass Lines talks about the importance of
* transcribing and how to do your own transcriptions. 
* the importance of having your own sound and identity as a musician.



Jazz Bass Book and Lesson Promo.

jazz bass book and lesson promo

jazz bass book and lesson promo

Buy any 5 books get 5 free bass lessons

Take the opportunity to get 5 in-depth lessons with the author of Constructing Walking Jazz Bass Lines free, when you buy any 5 books in the   series. 

All lessons are available in standard notation or bass tab and build on the knowledge presented in the walking bass lines series. All lessons consist of sheet music and audio files as well as written assignments. Take advantage of this offer from anywhere in the world . Free shipping of books is limited to the United States only.

To receive this offer books must be purchased from this website . International shipping rates apply.

Easy walking bass lines for beginners bass tab.

Jazz bass tab - the blues in 12 keys

Easy walking bass line  – The Jazz blues in F

The next example shows the Jazz Blues progression.  This chord progression is popular when playing in a jazz setting.


Easy walking bass line techniques jazz blues bass tab

The Jazz Blues Progression in F . Simple walking bass line in F bass tab

Easy walking bass line example The Blues in F 


For more bass tab,  bass line examples  check out the bass tab page. The examples shown in this article  are from  Constructing Walking Jazz Bass Lines  Book I The Blues in 12 keys


The 4 feel walking bass technique 

Easy walking bass lines jazz blues in F 4 Feel bass tab

The Blues in F 4 Feel simple walking bass line

Easy walking bass line The 4 feel over jazz blues in F

Walking bass line Masters.

Jazz bass greats the walking bass line

Paul Chambers provided the "pulse", hard swinging walking bass lines behind the who's who of jazz.

Paul Chambers one of the most studied jazz bassists of all time. A true Master of the walking bass line. 


Walking bass line Masters includes many of the most well known jazz bassists in history, as well as some of those not as often heard of.

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,  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 recognize Ron Carter , or Ray Brown within a couple of notes.

How do they do that ?

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, 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?


Walking bass line Masters

Charles Mingus providing the pulse for Eric Dolphy


During the course of this blog post I will be giving some information on Walking bass line Masters and offering some albums that might be worth checking out.




Paul Chambers 

Paul Chambers also known as “Mr P.C” , the song written for Paul by John Coltrane on his album Giant Steps. Paul Chambers played with the top musicians of the era including but not limited to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Sonny Clarke, Lee Morgan, Thelonius Monk, Oliver Nelson, Art Pepper, Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Bobby Timmons and Jackie Mclean, just to name a few. Paul Chambers is one of the most studied jazz bassists in history. His superior knowledge of  jazz walking bass line vocabulary was second to none. His solo voice on the bass using Arco and pizzicato put him at the top of the first call bass players list. Many of the land mark recordings of the 1950s and early 1960s had Paul Chambers on bass. Examples include …

  • Miles Davis Kind of Blue
  • John Coltrane Giant Steps
  • Lee Morgan  Leeway
  • Oliver Nelson Blues and the Abstract Truth
  • Thelonious Monk Brilliant Corners  ( Paul Chambers plays on Bemsha Swing )
  • Sonny Clarke Cool Struttin
  • Sonny Clarke Sonny’s Crib
  • Miles Davis  Workin, Relaxin, Steamin, Cookin  ( 4 classic releases featuring John Coltrane on Tenor Sax )
  •  Miless Davis – Round Midnight
  • Jackie Mclean Capuchin Swing
  • Dexter Gordon – Dexter Calling
  • Sonny Rollins Tenor Madness
  • Paul Chambers Bass on Top
  • Paul Chambers Whims of Chambers.

Wilbur Ware 

Wilbur Ware, pound for pound one of the greatest jazz bass players ever. Wilbur’s sense of rhythm is was something else and he always had that humorous side to his playing. Check out his playing on Sonny Rollins  “A Night at the Village Vanguard” in Wilbur’s solo on Softly as in a Morning Sunrise he quotes “old Macdonald had a farm”  in the bridge. Wilbur Ware had a heavy sense of swing that could really propel the band forward, and his use of rhythm and chord substitutions kept the soloist inspired and on there toes at all times.

Not surprisingly Wilbur Ware, like Paul Chambers played with the best of the best,  Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Elvin Jones, Grant Green, Johhny Griffin, Ernie Henry, Sonny Clarke, Clifford Jordan, Art Blakey, Tina Brooks, Kenny Dorham, Bobby Timmons.

Classic examples of Wilbur Wares walking bass and ensemble inspiration include 

  • Wilbur Ware – Chicago Sound 
  • Sonny Clarke – Dial S for Sonny
  • Ernie Henry – Presenting Ernie Henry
  • Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Monk w/ John Coltrane 
  • Sonny Rollins – A Night at the Village Vangaurd
  • Clifford Jordon – Jenkins, Jordon and Timmons
  • Johnny Grifffin – Way Out
  • Grant Green – Remembering
  • Lee Morgan – Indeed 
  • Wilbur Ware – Super Bass 

Jimmy Garrison

Jimmy Garrison was most widely known for his collaborations as part of the Classic John Coltrane Quartet. His extensive work with John Coltrane both live and in the studio would go down as some of the most inspired bass playing in jazz history.  The rhythm section of McCoy Tyner , Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison is legendary and the driving force behind many of Coltrane’s greatest record dates.  Jimmy had a huge sound and his pulse and use of double and triple stops made him recognizable almost immediately. 

Jimmy Garrisons playing on A Love Supreme is classic jazz bass playing. The lines swing hard, propel the ensemble and are pure bass melodies. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

Jimmy Garrison played and recorded with many other great musicians, often overshadowed by his legacy with John Coltrane. Other artists include Jackie Mclean, McCoy Tyner, Alice Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Sonny Rollins, JR Monterose, Lee Konitz, Kenny Durham,  Ornate Coleman, Walter Bishop Jr. Philly Joe Jones, Cal Masssey.

Recommended listening for Jimmy Garrison 

  • John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
  • John Coltrane – Live at the Village Vangaurd
  • John Coltrane – Crescent
  • John Coltrane – Ballads 
  • John Coltrane – Stallar Regions
  • John Coltrane – Live at the Half Note
  • Jackie Mclean – Swing Swang Swingin
  • Alice Coltrane – Cosmic Music
  • Kenny Durham – Show Boat
  • Ornette Coleman Ornette on Tenor
  • Elvin Jones – Puttin it together
  • Sonny Rollins – East Broadway Run Down
  • Archie Shepp – Attica Blues
  • McCoy Tyner – McCoy Tyner plays Ellington
  • Call Massey – Blues to Coltrane
  • Jimmy Garrison – Illumination

Flat back upright bass restoration project on carved upright bass

Flat back upright bass restoration project on carved upright bass

Broken Neck repair, New bass bar, new ebony fingerboard, new x bracing on back,

This was a big project from start to finish but the results were well worth the effort.

I also made and fitted a fingered C extension to this bass.

Checking positioning of the braces

Marking out for new bracing Pt2

Marking out for new bracing

Thats a lot of clamps, Upright bass flat back bracing

Gluing in the bracing on fallback bass

Glueing in the x bracing on flat back bass

X bracing flat back bass

Making the x braces

Chalk fitting the bass bar

The start of the project, top off with Coltrane looking things over.

Gluing in cleats on flat back bass

Removing the old bracing

upright bass restoration. Carved fallback bass
Complete x bracing back glues to ribs on flat back bass restoration

Jazz Albums Bucket list

Jazz Albums Bucket List John Coltrane Giant Steps. A land mark recording

Jazz Bucket list.

Jazz Albums Bucket list or albums highly recommended for listening . Heres a list of some of my favorite jazz recordings as you read through the list you’ll notice a pattern. I like a lot of hard bop jazz and groups influenced by that era. The list will be updated as I hear something new or remember something that I forgot to put down. The list is not necessarily in order of preference, more so how I remember them. Theres a lot of great albums to listen to, and a lot more to be learnt from the masters appearing on them.  Buying a record is like getting a lesson from John Coltrane, Steve Grossman  or Jackie Mclean for $10 bucks. Who wouldn’t want to do that.

Giant Steps – John Coltrane. This is the album that changed my life and I will be forever grateful for hearing it.  While it is not the album I listen to mostly these days I would have to put it at number one without question.

Coltranes Sound – John Coltrane.  Another classic album. Coltrane reharmonizes a lot on this album using the Coltrane matrix or giant steps changes on tunes like body and soul, and contracts of how high the moon, and confirmation.  Coltrane will come up on this list a lot. Ive made the following statement many times before, but ill say it again if you missed it. “if Coltrane, Jackie Mclean or Steve Grossman are on it, you can’t go wrong.”

Blue Minor – Sonny Clarke. This is a classic hard bop recording with Jackie Mclean and Art Farmer Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers. Great arrangements and original compositions and of course there swinging hard.

Consequences – Jackie Mclean. Jackie Mclean and Lee Morgan are right on the money on this date. The combination of Jackie and Lee during this period of the 1960’s is hard to beat. Exceptional compositions and great sidemen Harold Mabern Herbie Lewis Billy Higgins.  Herbie Lewis, now theres a name worth checking out. Many bass players don’t know that name but he was on some of the finest albums recorded by Jackie McLean for the Blue Note label. He plays good lines, swings and has a great sound. so he’s pretty much got it all. But then Jackie hired him, that says it all.

Swing Swang Swingin – Jackie Mclean . This another great Jackie Mclean album, more straight ahead with who would become the trademark of the classic Coltrane era albums,  Mr Jimmy Garrison on bass.

Steve Grossman Live at Cafe Praga – Steve Grossman.  This is a great album, recorded live in Italy. Steve Grossman is my favorite jazz artist. Its hard to beat Coltrane or Jackie but after seeing him live a number of times in New York and Europe theres something about his sound and the way he plays. Grossman is the real deal, theres no doubt about it. Miles hired him to replace Wayne Shorter in the band while still a teenager, he then went on to play with Elvin Jones.  Steve had some pretty big shoes to fill and he stepped up every time.

 My Second Prime – Steve Grossman.  This is a great album for the Red Records label. Check out the track extemporaneous. This is Steve Grossman doing what he does best.

A Night at the Village Vanguard – Sonny Rollins.   Sonny Rollins, Wilbur Ware and Elvin Jones.  it doesn’t get much better than that.  Also has a couple of tracks with Pete la Roca playing drums.

More to come….

Time to Smile – Steve Grossman.  This is another top album from Steve Grossman with Elvin Jones Larry Willis Cecil McBee and Tom Harrell.  Great to hear Steve with a top notch rhythm section.  Great tune selection and swingin.

Let Freedom Ring – Jackie Mclean. Jackie Mclean at the top of his form, the band is stretching out on this one. This was the first Jackie Mclean date I listened to. Needless to say it turned my head inside out. His sound is something else, and the way he puts his lines together, man it really doesn’t get much better. Check out the track Omega or the hard swinging Rene.  Hats off to Herbie Lewis once again.

Jazz bass books are now in stock.

Jazz Walking Bass Books

All Jazz Walking Bass Books books are now available from our website. Thank you for your patience while we update.

More updates coming in the future.  All play along backing tracks will be moving as well. They will be available for a free download.

 There will also be some other ear training exercises as well as some piano voicing exercises coming soon.  keep checking back for more updates