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Building Walking Basslines Lesson 1

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Pbassred, Jul 9, 2010.


  1. edfriedland

    edfriedland

    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Not a problem. Glad to hear some people are still involved. Learning to walk through changes is definitely not something you pick up in a few weeks.
     
  2. dogofgod

    dogofgod

    Dec 24, 2009
    Regarding my practice behavior...
    Sometimes I will just sit down with the bass and make a song on the fly, I will call out random chords, and then it is my goal to figure out how to make it work as I am playing. This method has increased my learning tenfold and also helped me with learning new songs pretty quickly. I find that my fingers figure it out without me having to put much thought into it after a few practices.

    in the beginning write down four random chords, make each chord two four or eight bars and then progress from one chord to another.
     
  3. bassfuser

    bassfuser

    Jul 16, 2008
    I've taken a break from BWBL for a bit and have been studying another one of Ed's books called "Bass Licks". This book has some cool lines that I'm starting to incorporate into my playing. I don't necessarily play the exact lick, but bits and pieces of different licks merge together when I reach for them. It's kind of like learning the stuff and then forgetting the exact lick. I think it helps make it more of my own when I do that.

    Anyway, thanks for another great book Ed. You've got a great way of teaching in which the material is presented in practical ways. I've bought books through the years by other guys and many are classic books, but your books just seem to speak to me.
     
  4. Yea, Thanks Ed. While I only made it about half way through the book so far, it has really helped my playing and improvisation.
     
  5. edfriedland

    edfriedland

    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Thanks!
     
  6. Lambic

    Lambic Squeaky Pedals McGee

    Apr 28, 2010
    Flanders (Belgium)
    Yep, when one adds Josquin des Pres' "Bass Fitness", Belwin Jazz' "Sittin' in with the Big Band Vol. 1" and John Patitucci's "Ultimate Play-Along for Bass Level 1 - Vol. 1" (Vol. 2 is out of print) to BWBL, no one should be surprised that this boy is still struggling with Standard #6 using Dominant Approach, especially when he starts focusing on playing legato, which isn't easy with this kind of approach. Well, at least that part of the job should work out better when using Chromatic & Dominant Approach, but there's still the #7-#10 ahead!:bassist:
    Anyway, going through the books mentioned above I notice quite some benefit from BWBL, especially when reading transcriptions of walking bass lines. Not only technically, but also musically, recognizing the approaches I've been studying in BWBL so far, and thus finding the fingerings (no tabs in the Belwin or Patitucci books!) and memorizing the lines more easily!:bassist::bassist:
     
  7. major10th

    major10th

    Aug 8, 2010
    Great book Ed, and equally interesting companion threads. This book really seems to lay out a very clear path to becoming a competent walker. Just need to put the concepts to work in the suggested order by running through lots of chord progressions - a good New Year's resolution!

    A few questions:

    • What's a reasonable fingering for the first two bars of example #3? I've been using pp pp pp ii. But I've googled lots of different approaches (e.g. various index, ring, and pinky barring, etc).
    • What's the basic thoughts on when to use/avoid open strings? For example, when walking the D7 in the second to last measure of example #2?
    • Wrt fake/real/illegal/legal books, what are your recommendations? I currently have Chuck Shur's "The New Real Book" (C and Vocal Version, 1988).
     
  8. edfriedland

    edfriedland

    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Glad to hear some people are still working on it. As I said from the beginning, you could read through the book in one day, but the whole point is developing an understanding of the musical ideas. That takes time, but if you do the work and let time take it's course, you will learn.


    Major 10th- I like to use the pinky roll, so your fingerings look good to me. Open strings? I don't go out of my way to avoid them, but I do try to make them blend more by changing where I pluck them. If you scoot the attack up toward the fingerboard on the open strings, they won't sound as boinky. Fake books? Check out the new Hal Leonard version of the Real Book, they have several of them now.
     
  9. tortburst

    tortburst Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    New Jersey
    Hi Ed I'm still working on it too.
    Got up to the second section and realized I need to go back and re-do the first section b/c I didn't practice it enough :bag:.
    So I'm going back to chromatic approach, double chromatic approach, dom approach and scale approach.

    I have a question...How should I be thinking of the lines?

    When I'm approaching a note do I call out in my head the actual note name I'm approaching, what type of approach I want to do, and what the approach note is?

    Do I just feel my way through it without over thinking?

    Or should I go ahead and over think it in the beginning, trusting that it'll start happening naturally if I put in the hard mental work?

    I find myself trying to keep up with the tempos and not being able to call out the notes in my head fast enough. So I end up feeling my through it and if it sounds ok I keep going. Sometimes that works but it feels like I'm faking it.

    Thanks for helping us out with this!
    Mark
     
  10. edfriedland

    edfriedland

    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    I doubt anyone can do all that in their head and play in tempo! Calling the notes out can be a very useful tool, but don't expect to get it too fast. When you understand how it works, focus on the targets, let the approaches fall into place. When you're familiar enough with where the approaches and targets lay on the neck, they should just happen. If the tempo is too fast, I highly recommend you get Amazing Slow Downer from www.ronimusic.com.
     
  11. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    NJ
    Still plodding along! I've been using other material to practice with, but come back to Part One often and will pick a standard or two to play. Part Two is still above my head for now, so I haven't even tried. Ed is right; you can blow through this book in a weekend. Or, it can take years.

    I still fall into the trap that Ed cautioned about. I look at the individual notes instead of the chord movement. Slows me down, and if I glance away I often lose my place. I still need to be able to look at a piece as a macro, not a micro.

    I'm actually doing a lot of review from the Bass Method books. I'll go back to some of the earlier stuff and play the exercises from different spots on the fretboard. Keeps things fresh, and gets me past the 7th fret.

    Since my current instructor has been less than helpful, I've had to do a lot of learnin' on my own. I didn't renew for January. Time to find a new one!
     
  12. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Alabama
    Still working on basics here, and Ed's BWBL!

    thumbsup.
     
  13. Bass4Gsus

    Bass4Gsus

    Feb 13, 2010
    Deer Park NY
    Ed

    Finally finished the 10th standard using the chromatic approach. Working my way through the standards has been a real learning experience. It really helped to internalize the thought and action process, and I find that I can use it in real time on a slow enough piece.

    Just when you think you have it down, the next standard puts you back to square one, and makes you rethink your approach.

    Great approach to the learning process.
     
  14. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    NJ
    Do you guys write everything out in notation when you're working on a standard in BWBL, or can most of you figure out where to walk on the fly?

    The process of going from eyes --> brain --> fingers to come up with something that sounds musical takes much too long for me. I have to write out all of the chord tones to determine which notes are available, and then "connect the dots" based on the approach method(s) I'm going to use (chromatic, dominant, scale-wise, etc).
     
  15. Bass4Gsus

    Bass4Gsus

    Feb 13, 2010
    Deer Park NY
    I don't write anything down. Rufus Reid says I should, but not enough hours in a day.

    I rip all my lesson CDs to mp3's, and the current projects get copied to my Tascam GTR1, which can slow stuff down without changing the pitch.

    I actually start with just playing the root as a whole note then 1/4 notes to get the changes in my head.
    Then for the lesson concept I work through the changes out of time, slowly, trying different things, eventually working my way up to a slow speed with the mp3, then normal. This is why it takes so long, but the result is worth it, it's internalized.

    Truthfully I have a better sense now to try to write it out, but I want to get more chapters under my belt to expand my ideas and options first.
     
  16. Lambic

    Lambic Squeaky Pedals McGee

    Apr 28, 2010
    Flanders (Belgium)
    I started to write down the basslines I found from Standard #2 in Chromatic Approach on (I go through the ten standards each time I've "finished" an item).

    In parallell with this book, I've started in MMO's "New Orleans Classics", which are fun to play in two feel, and can be used, with the lot of choruses by the members of the New Orleans band, for testing aquiered knowledge. First chorus is written, the others only have chord notation. I've got also "The Isle of Orleans" (new New Orleans style compositions, performed by the same people, also an MMO publication), and Aebersold #100, "St. Louis Blues"... yep, also New Orleans and Dixieland. Excellent stuff for practicing walking bass lines, since no one is going to complain when you're playing on all four in stead in a two feel.

    Edit: I just found out that this particular Aebersold has the bass on both channels... useless for this purpose. Well, I've still got those three others...

    OK, I know, the very first instrument on which to perform this type of music, is the sousaphone, second the tuba, third the double bass... and I'm doing that on a bass guitar ! Could have been worse: I'm using a fretless J... still not a Firebird ! :D
     
  17. navitatl

    navitatl

    Jan 11, 2011
    Baltimore
    I've been working on this book, I'm still on the first few tracks of the CD though. I'm learning to read standard notation at the same time, so my progress is pretty slow (although I use the R-5-R etc markings to cheat sometimes).
    It's an awesome book, and so far I'm grasping all of it. I love how right away he throws non-notated chord changes at us, so we are forced to come up with our own lines and play along. That really helps the knowledge sink in for me.
     
  18. tortburst

    tortburst Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    New Jersey
    Hi Ed

    I've been playing through each of the standards like so...
    1. Roots only
    2. Roots and 5s only
    3. Roots and 5s with chromatic approach
    4. Roots and 5s with with double chromatic approach
    5. Roots and 5s with with scale approach
    6. Roots and 5s with with Dominant approach
    7. Roots and 5s with with just make some **** up with all of the above

    I'm not doing the above perfectly, but it's sounds decent most of the time. Sometimes can't keep up with the faster tempos in the later standards. Not trying it everywhere on the neck but trying to get comfortable around 7th position. Have not memorized the chord progressions in the standards so still relying on the book. Practicing this a few times per week and not rushing it.

    At what point would you consider someone ready to hit the next section of the book? Are there clear milestones we should look out for?

    Thanks!
     
  19. edfriedland

    edfriedland

    Sep 14, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Well, if you can play through the standards in back combining all the approaches, then go ahead. I also recommend using something like Amazing Slow Downer to help with the tempos.
     
  20. Lambic

    Lambic Squeaky Pedals McGee

    Apr 28, 2010
    Flanders (Belgium)
    So, I finally got through the standards using Dominant Approach, although the tempo of the last one is a little fast for me. I've put the book aside now, and finished the "Blues Bass Book" (stopped in that one where the standards started) instead, and then started the 3rd part of the Hal Leonard Method, where I'm attacking the final pages: Slap Funk! From there on it will be Chris Kringel's "Funk Bass" book, but not without hopes of returning to the "Building Walking Bass Lines" some day. Too difficult for me right now, but I keep learning... :bassist::bassist:
     

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