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Help with Walking and not targeting Root at first beat

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Mili, Feb 13, 2020.


  1. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    Hello to all.
    I'm working on Scalewise motion but when i try to target the chord tones (3rd and 5th for now) at first beat of chord changes, i get lost easily.
    Am i missing something? Is there any approach or trick to make it easier?

    Another Q: how much is this common in professional walking Bass lines? How much is it important?
     
  2. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    You should hit the root at the first beat. That's what the bass is for. Then the solo instruments can hit the chord notes. If you skip the root on beat one, do it on beat two.

    If you get lost easily, then just keep doing it until you know where the notes are.

    You have to know the chords. I do the same.
     
  3. In Ray Brown's Bass Method here or here, there are few pages near the end of the book about blues. I recommend to play it and listen. That might give you answer to Q2.

    To Q1, I'd probably look for answer in Ed Friedland's Building Walking Bass.

    My advice to 'get lost' problem: get a playalong. Blues will do, any simple enough standard will do. Plenty on youtube, infinity on Aebersold. Define a problem, like 'I'll play only 3rds on 1st beat of every other bar' or so. Then do it. It won't work at first. It will after short enough time. As soon as you are proficient enough (judge yourself), you will hear whether it's a good way for using it or not. Then, define another problem and repeat. This learning method could be described as 'know what you practise'. For inspiration, good problems are defined in @John Goldsby 's Jazz bass book, among many other things.
     
  4. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    I'm studying Ed Friedland's book. After explaining the Scaleswise motion there is a section called "The next step" and he says you're no longer restricted to play root on beat one. I know role of the Bass but I believe in this awesome book. This is why i asked how much is it common in professional lines. I think learning this concept will help we a lot for making melodies or soloing too.
     
  5. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    Thank you for the response, actually I'm studying Ed's book. I knew there isn't a shortcut but i had to ask.:)
    He (Ed) says with this concept, the overall shape and direction of the bass line becomes more important but there isn't any suggestion or hint to what to do and what not to do. I wrote a chart and there are so many possible ways to move in chord changes...
     
    MYLOWFREQ and LBS-bass like this.
  6. I think it just wants to be done any way you can. If you are into walking, Goldsby's book is mainly a great (awesome!) resource of history. And Brown's book is just great lines, but you have to analyze them yourself.
     
    Mili likes this.
  7. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    I understand.

    But I disagree. Listen to the greats, Sam Jones, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, Jimmy Garrison, Ray Brown, Charles Mingus.

    Or even the contemporary ones, Patitucci, McBride, Holland, Roeder.

    They occasionally deviate a little, but they pave the way. The root does that. You can hit another note on the first, but it's recommended to go to the root after. Because you define the chord of the tune. Or else it gets confusing, and it may appear you are playing a different set of chords.
     
    Mili likes this.
  8. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    Thank you man, that's a relief. Definitely I must listen more. Among the names you mentioned who is your favorite to listen and Learn from?
     
    J_Bass likes this.
  9. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    My answers are not snarky. I am in the same position as you. I see how my first reply may have seemed a little bit aggressive, but it wasn't, it was quite the opposite.

    I play bass for many years, but I am now learning doublebass for 2 years. My only focus is Jazz. I have a great teacher who is also a great player.

    I am at work now, when I get home I will check my notes from my lessons and put them here.

    Do you like Jazz? What kind of Jazz do you like?
     
    Mili likes this.
  10. I don't play root on first absolutely always in our bigband. I never counted it, but I guess I might deviate from this rule maybe one of ten bars? Half of the times I know what I'm doing, other half my fingers know it but not my head. In the 'know what I'm doing' phase, it's mainly:
    - because the line might have a stronger continuity when I omit the written chord (think [Fmaj7] F - G - [G7] - A - B - [Cmaj7] C)
    - because I repeat the same progression for n-th time in a row, and I feel that everybody from the musicians or audience already knows it to the bone and it's time to make my line more colorful and less boring

    I'm not by any means a walking bass hero. But from the lines I played or transcribed, I feel that the masters don't follow the rules blindly, not even their own rules. Be creative, you'll hear when you are wrong.
     
  11. J_Bass

    J_Bass

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    From 08:40, 08:50 :

     
  12. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    Root on beat one of the first measure of the phrase is a good idea, as is the last couple of chords at the end of the phrase, but in between, make a melody.
    Yes, you need to lay out the chords and keeping the root present is important to that job, but music is a flow of energy and anything that interrupts or keeps that flow from happening should be limited.
     
    Slax, Nashrakh, Jim Carr and 2 others like this.
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    In jazz, it's really important, especially if the chord lasts more than one measure. In rock, blues, country it's uncommon.

    There is no "trick". The simplest concept for doing quarter note walks:

    beat 1 is a chord tone

    beat 2 can be almost anything

    beat 3 is either a chord tone, a scale tone or a chromatic passing tone (in order of preference)

    beat 4 is a half or whole step from a chord tone of the next chord. Optional: use the 5th of the next chord if the first note of the next bar will be the root of the chord.

    So for C to F to C:

    C E G E | F G A B | C... (half step approach)

    C D E G | F G A B | C... (whole step approach

    C D E G | A G F D | C... (starts on the third of F, whole step approach)
     
    Chris Fitzgerald, Slax, Lava and 9 others like this.
  14. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    Yes I like Jazz but I'm into Jazzrock (Fusion) strongly but i enjoy listening to Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Gene Ammons. I'm trying to learn walking mainly because of 1- freedom of improvisation over any chord change (it should be very fun to be on autopilot) and 2- it's a very good thing to push your knowledge and know your fretboard better so i think it's a very good tool to improve in any other genre of music.
     
    Clarence Walker and J_Bass like this.
  15. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    Getting lost comes from not knowing the material well enough, regardless of what you play on the one.
    Are you playing a specific tune? You should have the melody in your head , guiding you the whole time.
    Check out Ed Fuqua's fantastic post about really leaning a tune

    Other wise, you need to learn the larger "chuncks" of jazz progressions. Drilling on the common changes (ii -V, Rhythm changes, blues) in jazz is what it takes to make you ears and fingers go from thinking "walking this Ebm to this F7" to "this is a ii-V-I in C"

    Rick Beato, whatcha got?


    PS just looked up Idris Muhammed because of your avatar. Thanks!
     
    lfmn16 and Mili like this.
  16. Acoop

    Acoop

    Feb 21, 2012
    Try walking through the circle of fifths (2-5), without landing on the root on the one. Also, you should be practicing walking triads up and down the neck in time so when your hands shifts you’re always landing on the next note. Starting on the lowest note on the neck to the highest.
     
    Mili likes this.
  17. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    I practice 12 bar blues in F mainly, without a backing track when I'm slow in a specific concept. I think the main problem is when i arrive for example 3rd of the next chord at beat one it's hard to visualize the mode patterns because my finger is not on the root :). I think as always keep practicing is the key.
     
  18. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    Earth
    Yeah, I'm a fan of Rick Beato. About Idris you're welcome. I think his music is unbelievably beautiful.
     
  19. Malcolm35

    Malcolm35

    Aug 7, 2018
    Two things, jazz and walking. Jazz will use more of the chord tones than Pop or Rock. Walking now is --- where are you walking? For me it is root on one, because, that is what the vocalist and the rest of the band want from me. I normally play a basic root, or R-5 or R-5-8-5 and do my walking between verses, or chords. I walk into the next chord by targeting the next chord's root then miss it by three frets-- then walk to it chromatically one fret per beat. Key here is when to leave and be able to hit the next chord's root dead on. Takes a little time to get this down.

    Country has been using the three note chromatic Walk for ever. The guys in the band hear the walk and know a change is coming and when you land on the root they then know which chord is now active.

    My point. I do not consider a full bass line like R-3-5-7 as being a walking bass line. It's what you do in jazz to get the full chord tone into the mix. Walking takes you somewhere. Target where you want to go - then walk to that note. Chromatically or diatonically, either way works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  20. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    use arpeggios, not modes, as your visual "map" of the chord
    4 notes are easier to keep in mind then 7.
    easier to see where the other chord tones (root) are from current note.
    Then finding the mode is a matter of connecting the dots
     
    TheDirtyLowDown, Malcolm35 and Mili like this.

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