Help With "Building Walking Bass Lines" By Ed Friedland

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kynoch, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. kynoch


    Jun 28, 2006
    "Building Walking Bass Lines"

    First Up I would just like to say this is a GREAT GREAT book that is explaining; How to Build a Waling Bass lines. Such and easy book to use. GREAT. I have learnt SO much.

    Anyway, I have completed the first part of this book (as it is two halves). And I understand the concepts that I have been learning, but I find it hard to put into practice, I would love these concepts to become instinct.....infact that is where I need to be....but I am having difficulty getting these concepts to be instincts.....know what I mean??? I don't want to move to the second part of this book until I have got these first consepts down for fear of forgetting what I have already learned.

    Does anybody have any tips or ways to practice that can help me attain this goal, to help get these consepts down....before I move forward.
  2. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Get a Real Book and practice walking to chord charts from songs in that book?
  3. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    The best, and really only way to make them natural is to sit down with some chord charts and practice.
  4. kynoch


    Jun 28, 2006
    I have a good "REAL" Book.

    I have a Good Grasp of the Dominant, Chromatic and scale approaches.

    However, In Ed's (Great) book I have only practiced walking on F, Bb and C blues progressions. Would you still recommend I apply the above approaches to a Standard such as "Satin Doll", "Autum Leaves" Etc???????

    Would that be a good idea????
  5. kynoch


    Jun 28, 2006
    Also...... I work on this for about 30mins a day....Is that too short a time?????
  6. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    I've found it very useful to write out bass lines. Take a blues or a standard and write out 2-4 choruses a day. Also, look at the relationship between the chords. You're not just playing a dmin7, you're playing a dmin7 to a G7. It may help to try to get to the next chord. In other words; how do you get from a F7 to a Bb7? Try different combos. Going up: F G Ab A Bb. or F A C B Bb. In the last two examples the Ab and the B natural are passing tones. They are non-chord tones but they work because you're going chromatically into the root of the next chord.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think it's a long-term - maybe even life-long process...?

    So I know many Jazz pros who are still working on playing better walking lines and I am always unsatisfied with elements of what I do - but I just know I need to do it more....:)

    Anyway - I think my point is that it will take a long time and it something that you can always be working on - I don't think you ever have it "down" or "cracked" and then move one - you just keep refining it! :)
  8. 64jazzbass


    Sep 5, 2002
    Chicago, Il
    Transcribe...transcribe......transcribe.....see how the greats such as Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Paul Chambers approach the walking bass line, then grab some chord charts and see if you can use some of these ideas along with your own. The Jamey Aebersold Jazz books work very well for playing along. It is a lifelong process but you will notice improvement step by step if you work hard. Good Luck!
  9. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA

    +1 Three of the best and I would add John Clayton.
  10. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    And Richard Davis.
  11. A big +1 to the above advice. That being said, I've used this book with a couple students (though its' been a couple years) and my advice would be to jump into the second part. The book is very methodical and everything builds off what you just learned, if you can play and understand the material then it's a good time to move on, the later material just reinforces the earlier material. I also think it's a great idea to open up that real book and walk through standards using what you know, if you do this and work through the book it will, over time, feel more natural and instinctual. Hope that helps.
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Practice is good and you should do that, transcribing is good and you should do that too, but if you're aim is to play music with people, you really need to get out there and play in the real world with other people.
  13. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    i agree that is a great book....i primarily a funk/groove player and i kinda get stuck in "the box"...granted it's a really groovy box....i'm using the book to work on jazz lines and get out of the box so to say

    anyway...just keep working the book...keep it in your practice'll start to see your new knowledge show in your playing...also the advice above is great..
  14. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I think it's one of those "a day to learn... a lifetime to master" things.
    It doesn't take much to learn what scales fit with what chords. But then you have to become musical with it, and that involves hearing, and bringing taste into it.
    Get the basics out of the book, and then listen, listen, listen to all the masters mentioned above (Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Paul Chambers, Richard Davis, John Clayton ... also Niels Henning Orsted Pederson, Sam Jones, Leroy Vinnegar, Rufus Reid, et al.) and try to absorb their habits and logic. Transcribing is great, but intensive, long-term listening helps you connect your ears to their brains, IMO.
    Good luck!
  15. Throckmorten


    Aug 3, 2006
    Central NY
    I've used a couple of the Hal Leonard Jazz Play-Along series to good effect. There are a couple basic jazz, blues and bluesy jazz that are good intro's after you get through the Friedland books. Relatively cheap, nice variety of tempos and keys, and with good tunes, too.

    I like them because there are no written bass lines, to lean on. You can take some hints from the recording -- or transcribe them , good practice as noted by others -- Or just tune out that track and practice your own.
  16. kynoch


    Jun 28, 2006

    Thanks for the advice man that is REALLY helpful....I am always inspired by the Greats of Jazz and I am encouraged to get moving into that second part of the Book.

    I long to be able to get a standard and walk on though with some ease (with it sounding good)...But as many have pointed out its a life work.....I'm committed!!!!!
  17. ii-v


    Mar 27, 2005
    SLC, UT
    The real book suggestions are great, and yes I agree with Bruce it is a lifelong pursuit. I think if you study how each chord is functioning and learn to play melodies from every extension from the parent scale of each chord you can learn a great deal of new ideas. I do not recommend abandoning the root, but to know the extensions as well as the root. This helps in hearing the extensions when they are used in the chord as well. I have been doing a good deal of playing above 12th fret to accompany my students walks. I make them play lines from 1,3,5,7,9,11,13 of the parent scale. I have noticed students freeze up when going through charts with a large body of extensions and for the most part I think it is because bassists tend to think root all of the time. This has helped my students a ton. However, there is not a single one that hasn't commented on how hard this is.
  18. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Look at some of the written out walking lines that Ed has in his book. Look for a couple of different ii-7 V7 progessions and learn the pattern that he's using (e.g., r, 2, b3, 5 to V7 r, 5, 3, 1, etc.) and then write out the ii-7 V7 progessions in all keys and then practice those patterns in all keys. Then find some of his examples for a I, vi-7, ii-7 V7 progression and do the same. Sure it's sort of learning to play by numbers but it gets the sound of those progressions in your head and gets those fingerings under your fingers.

    Then you can get some play along records and have fun.
  19. i agree that Ed's book is a brilliant introduction to walking bass. But playing in a real situation is of course the test.

    However what I find invaluable with my students and also myself is to write a line out that takes you to other places that you would not perhaps improvise with your current library of lines.
    Also take a fave line of a blues by Paul Chambers or whoever and transcribe it to other keys.
    While not strictly a walking line book get hold of Willis's book on linear concepts. Also Todd Johnson. Basically they discuss leading tone concepts based on arpeggios initially.
    You limit yourself to the 7th chord arpeggios for the exercise.

    You start playing a Bb7 then when the chord changes you play the closest note of the next chord.
    For example Bb7- Bb-D-F-Ab then on Eb your first note is G-Bb-Db-Eb You basically need to be comfortable with inversion shapes. Do this strictly and you will develop a knowledge of inversions and also outline the harmonic mapping of the tune.
    Now remember this is an exercise and the lines produced will start to sound mechanical.
    You can do this with any tune, The decision making process comes in when to change direction.
    However you will be forced not to play the root note on the first beat of the bar many times. The strength of the triads and arpeggios will still produce a very efficient sound outlining the changes.
    Try it, it works.
    I still do this as a technical exercise on amy tune.
    But remember a walking bass line is a very curious thing. You can combine the interval leaps of arpeggiation with chromatic approaches, pedaling, rot fifth octaves etc. It is a never ending quest.
    I play a fender 5 string in a 17 piece big band and man I love it and so do the audience.
  20. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Are all the exercises in Friedland's book on the CD? Or only some?
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