Playing walking bass WITH chords

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Garun, Nov 18, 2015.


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  1. Garun

    Garun Guest

    Sep 8, 2015
    I started playing with my friend some acoustic jazzy songs, but we (mostly I) don't want to play bass in lower register for this, but higher, to get like two guitars feel. But acoustic guitar sounds too thin to me, so I want to play chords on bass.
    So far, I can do walking in 2/4 and in 3/4, but I can't get it in 4/4 which is what I need.
    I am trying to get at least 1 note to stay on chord (3rd or 7th). It sounds "empty" without at least one note of chord and bass note.
    So for example, when I play from Am7 to Dm7, I try to keep C note (3rd of Am7 and 7th of Dm7)
    G --17--17--17--17-|--17--17--17--17--|--16-
    D --17--17--14--17-|--15--15--15--15--|--15-
    A -------15--15--15-|--17--17--15-------|-----
    E --17----------------|----------------17--|--15-
    Am7 Dm7 G7

    This is so far best I got. It is a bit repeated, which I don't like, but I just started :) plenty of time to improve.
    Any ideas, videos, tips, tricks for 4 feel? Any players known for this type of thing?
     
    Oldschool94 likes this.
  2. Oldschool94

    Oldschool94

    Jan 9, 2015
    OP, I made a video just for you. It is more geared towards playing jazz, rather than jazzy per se, but it might help you out.

     
  3. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I'm gonna have to give this a go. I play a lot with acoustic guitars and at times with a uke group. This could be fun. I've not really delved into playing chords like that on bass. Can you tell me what chords you are using?
     
  4. Oldschool94

    Oldschool94

    Jan 9, 2015
    If you are talking to me, they are listed at the end of the video. If not, please excuse me.
     
  5. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Yes i was. I was watching at work and didn't watch it through to the end, which I will do this evening at home. Thank you for that.
     
    Oldschool94 likes this.
  6. Nyec

    Nyec

    Nov 20, 2015
  7. Garun

    Garun Guest

    Sep 8, 2015
    Thanks a lot Oldschool94. It means a lot when you make a video instead of talking :) Will give this a go.

    This is (in my opinion) better than two acoutics or something like that. This way it is fuller, but I don't go a lot below guitar. Maybe C is lowest note I play there.
    and BAG, remember that there are only 4 chord qualities. Maj7, Min7, (Dominant) 7, Min7b5. You can add or remove notes, but 90% of chords are there. (remove seventh from first two and you have major and minor)

    Also, great idea Oldschool94 to play upper notes of chord like on piano, a bit staccato and changing the duration of notes. Gives me a lot of new ideas and I can move more freely with walking. Thanks a lot! :D
     
    static0verdrive and Oldschool94 like this.
  8. Garun

    Garun Guest

    Sep 8, 2015
  9. BMGecko

    BMGecko

    Sep 5, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Just look up Mike Dimin and Todd Johnson.
     
  10. Garun

    Garun Guest

    Sep 8, 2015
    Yeah, found it out, it's called Comping, but it's hard on 5 string with low B, which is more like a 4 string for this usage..
     
  11. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
     
    Groove Doctor and Garun like this.
  12. Garun

    Garun Guest

    Sep 8, 2015
    Exactly what I need! Thanks a lot Clef_de_fa!
     
  13. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    My pleasure. I still have a long way to go to be able to play like that too. I've been listening to Joe Pass a lot lately.
     
  14. Garun

    Garun Guest

    Sep 8, 2015
    Me too, but I have a five string so I must choose thirds or sevenths, not thirds and sevenths, that sucks a bit, but it's sounding great anyways :)
     
  15. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    But if your 7th is on the D strings you'll have your 3rd on the G string which is doable. Or you could revert to taping to play the low note while tapping the 7th/3rd combo
     
  16. BrotherMister

    BrotherMister

    Nov 4, 2013
    Scotland
    PVG Membership
    I get where are you going with this video but some of the information in it I would be wary of presenting. The idea that most jazz comping is done on the and of beats 2 and 4 isn't true in the slightest. It sounds 'jazzy' but it isn't really accurate if you actually go and listen to recordings. Pianists and guitar players are all over the place. On and off the beats which your video covers. It would be more accurate to say get familiar with playing the chords on all places in the bar since that is more likely what happens.
     
  17. Garun

    Garun Guest

    Sep 8, 2015
    Well yeah, I watched some guitar comping videos and got ideas, and then listened to pianists and backing tracks with various rhythms on piano and guitar (comping). So I got that down nicely. And I bought Todd Johnson DVD 1 about walking bass and it's great :)
    So I'm combining a bit those two, I would put high C string, but I use low B a lot, that high C would just kill my bass parts
     
  18. Oldschool94

    Oldschool94

    Jan 9, 2015
    While I agree there are no "rules" for jazz, and formulaic playing is always a bad thing, the mark of an amateur pianist to me is comping a lot on the 'and' of 1 and 3. For one thing, it rarely sits very well with the jazz ride pattern. I suppose you could argue that jazz drummers ride their cymbals on the 'and' of 1 and 3 from time to time, but that doesn't mean I'd tell a student drummer that the quickest way to sounding like you know what your doing is to do that. The 'and' of 1 and 3 also really doesn't work well with a lot of bop lines, which tend to anticipate the chords changing and resolve an eighth note early. On the contrary, playing on the 'and' of 1 and 3 actually delays the chord change's arrival, often making the soloist sound bad. This practice of anticipation is really evident on tons of records, which is where I learned it. I think it does describe the music quite well. That's why I invited watchers of my video to listen. The 'and' of 2 and 4 sounds like most jazz, and suits soloing in a bop style well, it swings hard. The other way is fine for just the bass playing, and can be interesting, but doesn't really sound like jazz to my ears, and I've got about 500 records on itunes in the jazz category right now. My opinion isn't a fact, but I can say I've listened to a lot of jazz, and feel pretty comfortable saying that a lot of jazz is 1 2+ 3 4+ on the ride, quarters in the bass and bass drum feathered, and comping on the 'and' of 2 and 4 in dialogue with the snare drum. Try soloing with a pianist who consistently comps on the 'and' of 1 and 3. It steps on your toes, frankly, it makes a lot of hip lines sound bad. But on the 2 and 4's 'and'? That's Aebersold easy. Of course being able to comp on every beat is cool, and should be learned, but like I said, telling a young drummer to go out and play the exact opposite of the standard swing pattern when they are just learning is probably bad advice. Not to mention it will mess up their bandmates. I specifically caution against the 'and' of 1 and 3 walking and comping technique because it's easy on bass. We should not do something that doesn't sound as good just because it easy. Lastly, Hal Galper's word on the matter -

    "To keep your comping interesting, you should vary chords of different duration and volume, activity and inactivity.

    Avoid hitting ” one” of the bar. Hit the “and” of four in the bar preceding “one”. Some soloist, can tolerate less “ones” than others. You can tell if you are avoiding to many “ones” if the soloist seems to be insecure by your doing so.

     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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