1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Standard tunes for learning to walk

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Feb 2, 2002.

  1. Every jazzer starts off learning "Autumn Leaves." Everybody knows that, and unsurprisingly my teacher started me on it. Now I can do 2-5-1s all day. My teacher also got me going on "All the Things You Are" so I could learn to negotiate key changes.

    What would Talkbassers consider to be some other really good tunes for learning walking bass techniques?

    Or, should I just get a Sher Realbook and start learning out of that?
  2. §rokstär§


    Dec 4, 2001
    hey man
    just take a note you want to start on, and do a scale up an octave higher so you know the notes, and just walk around in those notes...if you only play notes in the scale it will sound good, and if you switch keys, just go to the first note (like in the key of Bb play a Bb, of in F play an F) and go up and down with notes on the scale. be yourself and itll sound cool as long as you only play notes in the same key at the same time- hope ya understand me
  3. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    I didnt start off on "Autumn Leaves" I started off on "Groovin' Hard" am I never gonna be a true jazzer now?

    Ive always thought that "Jumpin' at the Woodside" is a good tune for hardcore walking action.
  4. Shumph


    Aug 25, 2001
    On the move
    Mr. PC
    What is this thing called love
    There'll never be another you

    These are some good walking jazz tunes

  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'd start with the tunes that are going to be the most commonly called on jam sessions so you'l at least have a good leg up on a couple of things to play when it comes time to try to hang with some other players. Two sets of changes that spring immediately to mind are Blues (in F, Bb, Eb, and C) and Rhythm Changes in Bb. Every jazzer is expected to know these plus a bunch of standards...your teacher should be able to help you choose your standards in an order that will facilitate this kind of thinking. There's also a thread in BG MISC started by Big Wheel about "Must Know" standards. It's a pretty long list, but pretty accurate. Good luck.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


    While I'm sure that this advice is well intentioned, it isn't really very helpful...it's kind of like answering the question, "How do you go about building a structure for a house that will stand solid in a storm?" by saying, "just start nailing pieces of wood together, and make sure that you use the same kind of wood and similar nails". There's a lot more to it than that. If anyone tried building lines in the manner you described in most of the bands I know of - including high school bands - I doubt they'd last long in the band.
  7. I never started with Autumn Leaves..... might be because I was never taught to walk, my Jazz Band teacher just assumed I could do it, told me the patterns, and yelled the chord changes out loud at me while I stumbled around the fretboard.

    First time I walked was a Bb 12 Bar.

    Maybe I should check out Autumn Leaves.

    But to answer your question, check out the standards man (or songs made by "stardard" artists), Night in Tunisia, Caravan, Moondance, Kansas City, Flight of The Foo Bird, alot of stuff.

    Or just be lame like I was, I had my friend yell out chord changes to me while I played, just random chords, didn't reeally sound good musically, but I learned how to think on the go.
  8. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Funny, I started with "Autumn Leave", too. Then I had to stay in the "A's"....I moved on to "All of Me." Great tunes, both. :D
  9. Tronictq


    Jan 23, 2001
    There was no first time walking for me. I wasn't trying to walk and ALL of a SUDDEN...... I COULD WALK like the pros!! ( I still can;t)

    But so far, it's been a hard, long but fun and adventurous journey to learn how to work so far.

    A great tune for walking, is THE KICKER!! and the Old Country

    Take it easy, and good luck all
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think that you will have to do this at some time if you are serious - as Chris F says - you will need to know a number of "required" standards. Mark Levine's "Jazz Theory Book" also includes a list of standards you need to know and is very useful for learning all the types of chords you will have to walk over, in a logical fashion.

    The Aebersold play-alongs are also good - as they give you the chord charts and you can also hear how a good pro does it on the CD and then play along with the rhythm section yourself, with the bass turned down if you want.
  11. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002

    I would love to develop my walking bass lines, how else would i do that without learning jazz standard songs, or walking over songs, or is that the main way to do it?
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    The answer is; there is no other way. To develop anything you have to work on it, you work on walking by walking over tunes that are normally walked over, ideally in an enviroment where you are playing with other people.

Share This Page