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Bass lines for bluegrass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by quarternote, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. quarternote


    Jan 31, 2009
    Any suggestions for bluegrass to augment the root, five, eg walk up to the IV, and V, appropriateness of walking 1,3 5 6 8,6 5,4.
    reddog likes this.
  2. Not trying to be a smartazz, but I highly recommend listening and transcribing.
  3. I probably would not have an eight note walk. But if it sounds good it is good.

    My walks are normally, target the next root (find where it will be), then staying on that string miss it by one, two or three frets, then walk one fret at a time and be on the next root for the chord change. A chromatic walk is kind of a no brainer.

    Missing by one, two or three frets depend on the song and what you think fits the song. Country walk is normally a three fret walk, however not every chord change need be walked. Most of my walking happens between verses, etc.

    I have not played that much Bluegrass, so the point in my post is just to offer --- what I mentioned about finding the next root then miss it by what ever length of chromatic, or diatonic walk you think best fits this specific song. My walks are chromatic no brainers.

    Offered for what it is worth.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
    reddog likes this.
  4. There are three ways to walk: like a chord (arpeggio), like a scale, or chromatically. The Bluegrass I’ve heard tends to avoid chromatic, in favor of scalar.

    So if you’re in 4/4, and going from I to IV try 1 1 2 3 | 4 (up) or 8 7 6 5 | 4 (down)
    For I to V, either 1 2 3 4 | 5 (up) or 8 8 7 6 | 5 (down)
  5. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    If you're looking to push the boundaries in bluegrass gotta listen to the Punch Brothers. The opening song illustrates why you can sort of treat the mandolin like a drummer.

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