Jazz Course

Walking bass with chords, part 2

In this lesson I´ll give some tips to construct your own basslines in the ”Walking bass with chords” playing.

Various Genre Course


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Copyright © Thomas Berglund, TeeBeeMusik

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Walking bass with chords course

I´ll show lines built on the chord, chromatic and the scale tones. I have construct a 8 bar bassline with a chord rhytm. The chord rhythm is quite easy when this lesson is about basslines. The chords are G7 or G13 and C7 or C9 in every second bar. I´ll recommend to watch the "walking bass with chords" part 1" if you´re not used with these kind of comping.

The first bar is built on chord tones and as you see in the music score above there is a pull off with the open 5th string in between the 3rd and 4th bass tones. It´s quite common to use the open strings in basslines like this when it gets a swing feel to it. The 2nd bar has a chromatic line from the 2nd tone (E) to the first tone (G) in the 3rd bar. It´s common to play chromatic lines from one or two semitones below or above to the tone you will go to. You can also use the chromatic tones more freely in a bass line and they are much effective.

The 3rd bar also has a chromatic line two semitones above the tonic (C) in the 4th bar. Then it´s a chromatic line from the 2nd tone in the 4th bar to the 1st tone in the 5th bar (G).

In the 5th and the 6th bar the bassline is built on scale tones and to G7 the mixolydian scale in G is most common to use and on C7 the mixolydian in C.

The first two tones in the 7th bar there´s a octave jump between the G tones. Then there are a chromatic line to the tonic in the 8th bar and a chromatic line to the tonic in the 1st bar since you can play from the beginning again.

As you can see the thing is to mix the chord, chromatic and the scale tones to build a bassline and also to use pull offs, octave jumps and anything that sounds good.

Start to play and practice my bassline and as soon as you master it you can build your own basslines with chord, chromatic and scale tones. After a while you can try to play another chord progression or an easy jazz standard or any tune you want. When you have worked with this for some time you can start to improvising your basslines.

The next thing is to put in the hits on the 2nd and 4th beat in the bar. A good way to practice this is to play just the tonic in the bass to each chord.

Like this:

When you had a grip on that you´ll start to put in the chords in the playing. In this chord progression the chord rhythm is quite easy since it can be good to concentrate on the bassline to start with but after a while you can put in some more chord rhythms in the playing.

Here´s how I´m playing with the chord rhythm and the hittings on the 2nd and 4th beat and I´ll show it in the videolesson.

Regardless if you´re playing jazz or not this is a very good exercise and there are many tunes to put in a ”walking bass with chords” in other styles as well.

Good luck!