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Re: Walking on the bass

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Posted by Monte on October 24, 2001 at 13:28:23:

In Reply to: Walking on the bass posted by Jordan Witherspoon on October 24, 2001 at 01:50:43:

: Hi. I am a classical bassist but I would like to learn about jazz and walking bass lines so I can play some jazz with some friends of mine.
: What is the basic pattern to walking? Can someone give me a couple examples in some different key signatures.

: Thanks!

: Jordan

What Ed said. Also, on equal footing with note choices are you rhythmic feel. If that isn't happening, note choices don't mean a thing, no one will want to play with you. Do this: Set your metronome on 60 bpm and imagine that this is a high hat on 2 and 4 (the tempo would be 120 bpm)and walk a simple line. The 2 and 4 should be slightly accented, i.e. boo-DAH-boo-DAH-boo-DAH-boo-DAH etc. This will give your line the swing feel. When your DAH is right with the metronome, slow it down. When you can make it happen at a tempo of 60 bpm and still be accurate, you will have fought half the battle! When you want to add skips, triplet figures, etc., there are some great examples in Rufus Reid's "The Evolving Bassist" book, which I highly recommend.

Really learn you chordal theory; know what notes encompass each chord and useful extensions, and more importantly, what notes are most important to the chord. For example, if playing with a piano or guitar, the most important notes from the bass will be root, fifth, third, and seventh. If you are playing with horn players and no chordal instrument (this has been happening to me a lot lately), you will responsible for some of the color notes as well.

Ed's point is most important: LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN.


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