Struggling with Walking

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by BHurn, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. BHurn

    BHurn Guest

    Sep 29, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm doing an audition saturday for a jazz ensemble and I am having trouble walking a Swing line. I have the chords and, as I said, I have to write the line. If anybody can take this and come up with some idea that I can work with that would be great. I'll write it out as clearly as I can.

    Quarter - 144
    Key of Eb Major

    (EbMaj7) - (Em7(b5)/A+7(#9)) - (Dmin6/9) - (Db7) - (Cmin7) - (F7) - (Fmin7) - (Bb7/(eighth rest followed by E7(#9) hold)) - (EbMaj7) - (Em7(b5)/A+7(#9)) - (Dmin7) - (G7) - (2 measures written) - (Bmin7 coming off Bb dotted eighth from prior measure) - (E7/Bb7.E*Eb)

    Key: ()-Measure /-beginning of chord at 3rd beat
    *-eighth notes .-End of chord at beat 4

    If any clarification is needed, please don't hesitate to ask. I also needed to ask about a ballad bass line. Let me know if you have interest in helping and I will post that chord chart out as well.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. bThumper38

    bThumper38 brian ebert

    Use the chords to make your bass line, and just try to make a walking bass line that flows. not to much jumpin' around. Use tri-tones in the 1/2 measure chord changes, and practice is really slow till you get it up to speed. good luck=) brian
  3. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'd recommend spelling out the chords. This will let you see where the smooth transitions are. You have a ton of options...welcome to the world of walking bass. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

    A quick example for the first 2 bars:

    Eb G Bb G | E Bb A E| D etc etc etc.


    Eb Bb Ab G| E G A A(low)| D

    I see that you're in a Youth Orchestra, have you studied much chord theory or walking lines in general? A few things that have helped me a lot are: transcribing & listening, Ed Friedland's Building Walking Bass Lines, taking lessons from someone who can guide you.

    all the best.
  4. BHurn

    BHurn Guest

    Sep 29, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    It's a classical youth the music, obviously, is more busy then a jazz line. I appreciate the help though. If you could, what would your recommendation be for the Dmin6/9? I don't know what to do with that one at all...
  5. do you know what notes are in a Dmin6/9 ? I couldn't tell if you do or not - and I'm not dissing you if you don't. If you don't, then I would recommend studying up on chord theory and nomenclature.

  6. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    The simplest and most effective advice I ever received about structuring walking basslines was to approach the root by half step. As a rule, it doesn't always stand up, but it helps me get through charts I'm not familiar with, and is especially useful when each bar has two chords.
  7. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Ed wrote a good book on this very topic. I use it with my students that are learning to walk.
  8. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Beyond Ed's book, there's also lots of discussions about this in the past. Check the newbie links.