Adding to Walking Basslines

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jimbo, Mar 30, 2003.

  1. Jimbo


    Dec 4, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA
    hey everyone

    i was litening to Victor Wooten's "Live in America" cd the other day and i noticed that in one of the songs where they go into a swing part vic adds little pops every so often to his waling bassline. i thought it sounded pretty good and i know people use ghost notes to add some rhythmic diversity. so to all those jazz players out there, any exercies or rules of thumb to go by to make walking basslines a little more interesting? i've tried adding ghost notes but it doesn't seem to musical, i'm guessing i'm doing something wrong. thanks in advance for any and all help.

  2. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Well, I have always found Ghost Notes to be more of a rythmic device, rather than a melodic device. I think if your approach them more from the rythmic stand point, they'll make more sense. Expirement with them. Try adding them to triplet runs.
  3. ashton


    Jan 4, 2001
    adding to walking lines is more of a rhythm (australian way of spelling) thing. you have to feel where to put them, and for something simple the same note down/up an octave or 2 really works.

    i remember hearing that the note 2 octaves down from what the guitar player is playing really pronounces the note/chord or something. up or down im not sure which hungry.

  4. One thing that my teacher showed me was almost 'raking' three strings in a triplet. You just mute the strings with you left hand and with the index or middle finger of your right hand, rake the G D and A strings all in one movement to make a triplet. Just experiment with it and other stuff.

    Sorry if that isn't very well explained :rolleyes:, its kinda easier to show someone face to face.
  5. I havn't heard the "live in America Album" but maybe he is using just simple muted srting pops. there is a good lesson on them at

    to bass87 and to everyone, the raking the strings thing is a great technique to add rhythm, i was taught that on an upright bass. it is a big thing in old blues and jazz. it works really well, either with muted notes or with a VIII, V, I (power chord) shape.

    hope that helps.


  6. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Listen to anything Ray Brown has ever done.
  7. YES this is the thing to do for triplets when you are doing any walking. I love the rake{/B] and really is best done on an upright. Some double stops work good too or double stops with a slide. Or left finger mute (assuming you are right handed) that is play a note and then relieve the pressure off the fret but don't let go thus muting the string. Makes the walking bass lines pop and jump. And when the sax player is still going crazy after twenty choruses, to rest, play one note per bar or strum , despite the changes. It usually makes him/her finish soloing :). Another cool thing to break up the walking basslines is to play five over 2 quarter notes (if you are playing 4/4). Whatever you do keep on walking and don't let the drummer stumble.