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Building Walking Basslines Lesson 1

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

  1. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    What do you expect from more advanced guys when the discussion is about "All Cows Eat Grass"? I can appreciate the want/need to learn how to read, and this book can be helpful. I said before and I'll say it again, IMHO I don't think knowing how to read is necessary for this book. You play the exercises with just the roots. Then you have exercises adding the 5th etc. I believe it's more important to know where the chord tones are in relation to each other on the neck and being able to play them in time.

    Sorry for the rant, but I'm really not getting anything out of this thread when the subject matter is learning the notes on the staff.
  2. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    What is the link, Malcolm?
  3. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    There may be a few factors which are contributing to a bit of confusion (perhaps not the right word, but it's the only one I could think of atm).

    With the beginning sections (after the text) covering Root & Root-Octave, how much discussion is possible anyway? Assuming you have a rudimentary note-reading ability, it's pretty cut-and-dried. Read the chord; play the root.

    Also, unless you are a student home on summer break, or a retired person, everyone else may have time limitations ... job/career, family, other stuff. I know in my case, except for the weekends (usually), I don't have more than 30 minutes a day to practice, and it's not every day.

    The rate of progress will vary depending not only on one's ability, but also on the amount of time set aside.

    I can see most of the discussions beginning as you get more into the meat of the book. You know, where you have to build your own lines based on chord progressions instead of reading individual notes.
  4. First of all... The book starts with notes on the staff. It's reasonable to expect that the thread(s) would start here and move through the book at a steady pace. (If you remember, the most fundamental book was a strong contender for this project.) The point of the project is to move through at a similar pace. This pace is going to be slow, fast, and just right depending on previous experience. Considering the selected book is not too advanced, set your expectations accordingly and don't be disappointed when the group as a whole isn't waxing advanced music theory. 1-2 weeks per section (as broken down by Ed in the book) seems reasonable considering the varied experienced and schedules.

    Second... Are you guys transcribing the notes on the empty staff? If so, which side of the slashes do you use? :D
  5. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Please don't say it again. Ed Friedland apparently felt that knowing how to read was important enough that he chose to write all of the exercises in standard notation rather than tab and to dedicate two full pages of the book to the basics of reading music. This is part of the book that we all collectively agreed to study, and so it will be part of the discussion, particularly in this thread, which is specifically dedicated to the early parts of the book. If someone has questions about pages 7 and 8 of the book, then they have every right to ask them here. That's the whole point of this group study exercise. If this topic does not interest you, or if it is beneath your current ability, then simply move on to the next thread, and leave this one for those who want to spend time on those earlier pages.

    Here is the link to the thread that Malcolm started: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=675805

    Again, I suggest that we limit that thread specifically to pages 15-17 of BWBL, which deal with the addition of the fifth. We can address the use of approach notes and chromatics beginning on page 18 of the book in a subsequent thread.
  6. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    I was responding to the guy that said it's funny how the guys that work ahead aren't contributing. If you don't like my suggestion fine, just ignore it. Maybe there are guys on here that don't really care about the reading aspect or can already read. My point is, don't get hung up on the reading because I believe it's minor in the big picture of this book.

    I'm just making a comment that I believe is useful which correlates with the book. Knowing where the root/5th are on the neck of the bass is a huge building block that Ed is stressing in the book. You don't have to read to understand that concept.
  7. I think what most are missing is that there are two ways of playing or bass. One involves reading standard notation and this is outlined very well in the book. Simple quarter notes, 4/4 time, and a progressive approach starting with roots and octaves and gradually working from there.

    Then there are some numbers below the staff. First time I have seen them in a bass instruction book. In other books I had to put them there myself as chord tone interval number is the way I think and play. Here Ed has done this for me. I find it interesting that he has elected to give us this information, most do not bother. In fact I am glad to see some one of Ed's caliber embracing this concept and using it as a teaching tool.

    I for one will use chord tone interval numbers much more than I will use standard notation. Main reason for this is my music of choice is Country. Good luck finding bass cleft on Country music. Fake chord or lead sheet can easily be found, but, neither of those show the bass cleft.

    So IMO Ed has developed a book that can be used both ways. I have elected to continue with my chord tone interval number approach and have sped read most of the book. Now I am going back and brushing up on my reading.

    Good luck with however you want to proceed. I started lesson number two for those that want a segmented string. As of today Lesson # 2 has had 77 hits and not one question or comment. Probably not necessary and If it does not have any questions by morning, I'll delete it all together.
  8. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    I apologize if I've offended anyone. Reading is a great thing to know and I work on it all the time. I guess I am just looking for some collaboration with others and it appears that it's going to take awhile for people to get to the area that I'm currently studying in the book. It's not that I'm working ahead, it's because I got this book over a year ago.

    It's all good and I can appreciate those that are using this as a tool to sharpen their reading skills. Hopefully I can contribute and help others when they get to later lessons.
  9. Sizlack


    Aug 17, 2009
    Dallas, TX.
    So the areas in the book that just have //// in the staff, we're just supposed to make up a bass line based on the Given chords and intervals? I just did exercise 4 last night and moved on to 5 & 6 afterwards. If this is the case I'll post my recording somewhere later with my written sheet music for someone to review or give me some feedback on...although the recording sounds like crap. I may try and redo it first.
  10. Yes you are on the right track. I'm sure you will get several comments when you post what you are doing.

    Good luck.
  11. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    Lesson 2! Finally. I'm sorry but the first 15 pages of this book apparently serve as a quick review of stuff you should know already. If you aren't comfortable identifying quarter notes on the staff or basic chord construction than maybe BWBL isn't for you yet. :scowl:
  12. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Once again, please keep this type of comment out of the thread. It's just not productive. No-one comes out of the womb knowing how to identify notes on the staff or construct basic chords. If you are past these stage in your journey, just move over to the next lesson thread.
  13. ^agreed. There are all levels of players going through this book at the same time. There's no need to show that you're above this with your superior intellect. Allow us amateurs a chance to learn, please.
  14. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    Reading is a useful skill. It let's you explain what you have done/are doing. You may be in a band situation & given a chart & asked to play it with just a few minutes to prepare. That could be the difference between 'Should I stay or should I go?" Reading is a useful skill.

    Nevertheless, reading is not required to build walking lines. Knowing the chord structure(s) is the key. R/V is the 2nd simplest line you can play. Root Pedal is the simplest I can think of. Sometimes R/V is the best line your could play. It lets the other music going on shine through.

    It's up to the individual to get the most from BWBL. Individuality is clear from the thread of posts, here. Some want to treat this like a series of lessons. Others prefer to go at their own speed. Others still, want to move from topic to topic. There is really no plan in the OP after let's all get the same introductory book & work through it. <PBassRed? Comment?> So, keep working the way you work & post questions/comments/observations here. It's probably best to resist trying to supervise other people. We each pay our dues & take what we get.
  15. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
    I agree with you 100% about reading. I just think that the concepts in this book are really more about the notes of the chord so you can improvise bass lines while playing through chord changes. There isn't written music for playing the "Standard Progressions" at the end of the book. You guys say you want suggestions, and that's mine. But there seems to be a mindset in this thread that this book is meant to teach you how to read. Maybe "monroe55" was a bit blunt with his post, but I think he hit the nail on the head.
  16. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    I've been building walking lines from Jazz Standard chord charts for a while. How can we collaborate to take you where you want to go?

    FWIW, I don't think you've written anything that needs an apology. :cool:
  17. 251, what is 8-?
  18. Infidelity

    Infidelity Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Melbourne, FL
    :cool: = man with sunglasses.. sorry for the OT
  19. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN

    Could we get our own area in the forum where we won't clutter the GI area?

    Then each thread will be lesson 1, lesson 2, lesson 3, and so on.

    if you want to go on to page 40, fine....go into that thread and do your thing.

    If you want to be on page 2, fine...do your thing.

    Then all of this nonsense arguing about reading and such will be over. It is really starting to hurt my head because it is all irrelevant. We just need to get this thing going. I'm close to giving up and just doing it myself. Personally, I'm on page 21, but would love to go back and chat about the beginning and go forward and get help on the new stuff. People will be able to use the threads for years to come and we can start a new book when it's time.
  20. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004

    Ok I'll jump in since I'm curious about this forum's approach and got the book today.

    1) How many of you have read the introduction pages before going into the exercices?
    Page 6 is really important and actually everybody should be practicing all the exercices tapping your foot on 2&4 with the metronome while playing the exercices and playing jazz. This is not as easy as it looks at first.

    2) I think there are differents goals for everybody at this stage. Some want to learn how to read which is great. Some want to understand the harmonic content in chords and learning the mystery beyond the creation of basslines in a jazz context which is very useful too.

    3)BUT, everybody should focus on SOUNDING GREAT while playing a walking bass and this is really difficult to explain in a book or in a forum. But to me, this is the most important aspect of playing bass and especially in a walking bass line form because the feel has to be right,the lenght of the notes too and the accents as well, the timber,the phrasing, the positions that are used and the interpretation .

    In a walking bass line, playing always the right notes IS NOT the only aspect to look for (even if it is also the purpose of the bass though) but the interpretation and the feel are the most important things feeling wise. So for those who want to go trough the book in a few weeks will miss the most important aspect and purpose of the book: learning some approachs to create your own line but in an efficient way, make it swing! This is the hardest part. Listen to the tracks on the CD, listen to jazz music on radio if you can and play with some folks if you can.

    I suggest to everybody to practice page 13 with the click on 2 & 4 tapping your foot with it and make it sound good with even lenght between the notes especially when there is a position shift. pratice to a medium tempo like 120 with the click at 60 then go as slow as you can ( click between 20 and 30) then speed up as fast as you can handle your tolerance to keeping the foot and the click without falling off. Then practice with the other chords progression at the end of the book.

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