How do i learn to walk my bass ?????????

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by adisu, May 24, 2005.

  1. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    Can someone please tell me a good way to practice my walking bass techniques.

    I try to "walk my bass" for a while now but even though i can build a nice walking bass line if i get the song chords before i can never do it fast enough for real time playing (read chords and play walking bass).

    I know how to disassemble all chords and
    i'm quite familiar with my bass guitar's fretboard.

    I would like to know what practice do you guys use to improve your walking bass techniques???

    Thanks in advance

  2. PTBassMan


    May 11, 2005
    Barberton, OH
    Don't know if this is the "correct" way as I have been playing for only a year. I play in the praise band at church, and (especially) slower songs, I just walk down the scale, works for faster songs alos, just have to be quicker, but slower songs hepl you see what you are doing. So, if I'm playing rot E and next root played is B (I may just lided depending on the song), but I will just play E, D, C, B. The other way I've learned is by studying bass tabs found online, especially blues / rockabilly tabs. It has really helped, but I learn more every time we practice. Hope I could help. This was my forst reply to any forum since learning. Good Luck!
  3. seanlava


    Apr 14, 2005
    In its most basic form, walking bass consists of two elements: chord tones, and approach tones. In a nutshell, you should play chord tones on the first three beats of each measure, (assuming that you're playing in 4/4 time) and play an approach tone on the fourth beat.
    Approach tones are notes that facilitate a smooth transition between chords, they fall into three categories: scale tones, chromatic passing tones, and dominant approach tones. Let's say that you're playing a tune that goes from a D minor 7 chord to a G Major 7 chord. In the first measure, you might play D F and A for the first 3 beats. Since you're probably going to play the root of the next chord (G) on the downbeat of the second measure, you're going to need a smooth sounding approach tone to get from the A on beat three to the G on beat one. At this point, you could play F#, which would be a scale tone, Ab, which would be a chromatic passing tone, or D, which would be the dominant approach tone, since D is the fifth of the G chord. Dominants require the most concentration to use, since you have to visualize the fifth of the upcoming chord before you get to it. If you can find it, I'd recommend getting a copy of Ed Friedland's book, Building Walking Bass Lines. It's a very methodical book, and clearly lays out these concepts for those who have not improvised before.