Good books to learn walking bass?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by eyvindwa, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. eyvindwa


    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    As the title says, I would like to learn how to play and compose walking bass lines. Are there any good books out there? (Since I am not that strong on reading music notation, one with tabs as well would be preferable.)

  2. robwren


    Sep 22, 2006
    Anthem AZ
    Check out TBs own Todd Johnson. His books/DVD are excellent!!! See his forum and
  3. eyvindwa


    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    Thanks, those do look great!
  4. You say that reading music is not your strong point so.....Get a book that has no tab at all.
    Say, a book written primarily for Double Bass. You'll have " Tons " of fun learning about positions haha.

    Other then that tibet, Im useless to you. Hah
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  6. Audiophage

    Audiophage Guest

    Jan 9, 2005
    I'd suggest looking into anything written for Upright Bass, those guys were arguably the first to walk a bassline, therefore most of the best material is written for that instrument.
  7. ThunderV

    ThunderV Is getting yelled at by his cat!! Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Brunswick, OH
    You really don't need a book, just download the tab for "Manic Depression" by Jimi Hendrix. That has some good walking in it!
  8. BluesWalker

    BluesWalker Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Diego
    Ed Friedland has a couple of excellent book/CD instructional combos that are good for self-learning. Start with the basic book and then move to the advanced book.

    There is a web site,, that has an excellent remote learning course for bass. It is run by guitarist/bassist Mark Stefani. The course covers standard head arrangements, walking lines and solos for bass. There are 24 modules and each lesson, a CD and notation/tab of the module material, comes in the mail every 2 weeks. The CD includes recordings of the lesson materail as well as detailed explanations by Mark. HE is available by phone or e-mail to answer questions, and he has a rapid response time.
  9. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck Guest

    Sep 26, 2000
  10. Check out "The Art of Walking Bass: A Method for Acoustic or Electric Bass" by Bob Magnusson. This book is readily available, Amazon, etc.
  11. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA. bass&rh=i:stripbooks,k:walking bass&page=1

    And, as shameleesly promoted (see link) by Mr. BigEgoHead, his and other books from the people at Sher Music.

    The Bob Magnusson book (Amazon) includes tabs.
    I wouldn't promote the use of tabs, but if it gets you started, more power to ya. Do yourself a favor though, use the tabs as a tool to wean yourself away from them. Most of the books are written in standard notation.
  12. +1

    I always learn valuable things from Ed's books, and they are well-written and easy-to-follow.

    His books on walking bass are available from
    (scroll down to Building Walking Bass Lines at the bottom of the page.)

    or from Ed (who is a TBer) directly:

    Bluesy Soul :cool:
  13. BetterBottomEnd

    BetterBottomEnd <- Not me I just like looking at her

    Jan 9, 2007
    Cable Wi
    I'll second Ed Friedlands books as well as Todd Johnson's DVD's.
  14. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 Guest

    Jun 17, 2004
    Another one for ED Friedlands building walking bass lines. Good intro book.

    Also don't worry about not being able to read. Even just pencilling in the notes on the notation would get you through a walking bass book. Especially since (I'm assuming here) most of them will just have quarter notes or eight notes. So you wouldn't really have to worry about rhythm,
  15. I felt the Ed Friedland walking book was more useful for the CD
  16. Toronto Bassist

    Toronto Bassist

    Jan 9, 2008
  17. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
  18. SteveA-UK


    Nov 14, 2005
    NW UK
    Check out for transcriptions of walking lines by Paul Chambers, Sam Jones and Doug Watkins. Excellent material.

  19. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I'd say,don't go with a book.
    Do your own transcriptions and analyse them.
    That seems to me a more thorough way to learn.
    It's also cheaper.
  20. ceedj

    ceedj Guest

    Feb 14, 2009
    Niagara Falls, NY