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Developing interesting jazz basslines

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Nick303, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Nick303


    Jun 9, 2013
    What tips can you suggest to help improve my jazz bass playing?

    I'm a reasonably competent player and I'm trying establish myself in the local jazz scene, I'm currently playing with a popular workshop and making lots of progress. I'm comfortable with ii v i's, getting better at sight reading and have a practical grasp of modes. I really want my walking basslines to be rock solid but interesting too, also I want to improve my soloing. I play electric bass, any and all ideas will be welcome.
  2. Coeball


    Aug 25, 2007
    Bath Uk
    Get Ed Friedland's book "Building Walking Basslines". It contains a fairly comprehensive coverage of walking bass and really helped me get into jazz when I started out. Also, it includes is a cd with some really solid backing tracks.

    In addition, get as many good jazz records as you can get your hands on and listen, listen, listen, find out which players you like and then transcribe their stuff.

    Good luck, jazz if a difficult style to master four years in and I have only begun to scratch the surface.
  3. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    Go out and play with as many different jazz musicians as possible. Hit up jam sessions, start your own sessions just get playing with folk who are better than you as often as you can. When you aren't do that transcribe records.

    Go out and buy as many jazz records as possible and transcribe every single bass line on them. Then when you think you know that go back and transcribe the entire band. You'll learn more from that then you will doing anything else.
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  5. Nick303


    Jun 9, 2013
    Cheers, plenty to explore.
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Transcribe, transcribe, transcribe.
  7. Nick303


    Jun 9, 2013
    Yes I've been told this before, thanks. This is definitely something I need to develop.
  8. SlappyWhite

    SlappyWhite Banned

    Mar 6, 2014
    There's so much to go over and learn, but I don't think you're supposed to develop the line without the music.
  9. My walking lines lines used to be a little predictable & formulaic. But I picked up this tip somewhere:

    Once you've 'learned the rules', make a concerted effort to 'break the rules' in the most interesting and musical way that you can.

    Don't play the tonic on the first beat of the bar/ at a chord change. Learn when it sounds good, when it sounds bad, and then how to make 'bad' sound good by the notes you play around it.

    Or if old habits are hard to break....
    Sing counterpoint lines to familiar chord progressions. Try to steer away from safe and familiar, and try interesting and unorthodox. By developing tasty counterpoint lines you learn to trust your ear, make more creative note choices, and build stronger conviction in your playing.
  10. davidhilton

    davidhilton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Get a teacher.