Art of walking bass book

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by MichelD, May 2, 2019.

  1. MichelD


    May 19, 2014
    I've been working through the Art of walking bass book by Bob Magnusson

    I try to spend a few minutes with it every day.

    Right now I am working through the ii V i arpeggio lessons but my brain is having a hard time memorizing some of the mixed note patterns. Whenever I get to playing with others, the same old root-third-fifth licks come out of my fingers even though I have been studying alternatives.
  2. learn one at a time in every key.


    I had/have the same problem. It's tempting to play each pattern a few times and say I've got it. It's much slower but more rewarding to play chorus after chorus with just one pattern until it feels natural in all keys.

    They're all easy to remember and play in C...working them out in all keys across the bass burns them in your mind.
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  3. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    IME, it takes a while to make licks part of your vocabulary. I have to play them a lot, different tempos, different keys, until I can sing them easily, and then I start to alter them a bit, and then a lot. Eventually, they're not really licks anymore, just phrases I hear.
    Dabndug and The Biz like this.
  4. Guitalia


    Jun 7, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    In addition to slowly working my way through a couple of jazz bass books, I taught myself to play walking bass lines by humming or singing walking patterns while doing other stuff, with or without music playing. Getting your brain accustomed to thinking in terms of walking lines is half the battle.
    Groove Doctor, Dabndug and Tom Lane like this.
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    There's always this...
    Phil Rowan likes this.
  6. I've started doing this boss, give me my 10 years!
  7. I practise any 'structural patterns' over blues progression playalongs, or over the songs in my playlist. Trying to use the lick on any bar, any chord of a progression. And in many/all keys. And using the appropriate scale. Usually I first need to think before I start to playalong, after few minutes it gets easy, after few days it gets automatic. Later on a gig, I force my brain to disinter the given pattern when the brain is not overwhelmed elsewhere. I found that when I understand any given concept in wider context, it becomes a source of inspiration. For example, simple ii-V-I works pretty cool over acoustic folk, I found out to my surprise.
    Dabndug likes this.
  8. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Try writing out a few patterns that illustrate the concept you are tryhing to master. Get a few of those down and then move on.
  9. oren


    Aug 7, 2007
    Salem, OR
    I saw a video of Michael Brecker giving a master class where he said it takes him threee months of solid practice on new material before it starts to show up in his playing. Given how much he must have practiced I figure that’s like six months to a year in mere mortal time.
    jfh2112 likes this.
  10. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    why is I-III-V bad? Mix the sequence up, add passing tones, chromatic and diatonic movement plus some rhythmic embellishments like rakes, drops, ghost notes and you have hip walking lines.
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