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Transcribing Jazz Walking Basslines?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Aug 7, 2012.


  1. Hey all,

    I'm really trying to focus my attention on jazz. I know a big part of developing a good jazz sense is to transcribe jazz songs. When I try to transcribe jazz I usually transcribe the melody, any good solo part that I hear (regardless of instrument), and I figure out the chord progression, and then try to hone my improvisation skills and walk around knowing only the chord progression.

    Does anyone transcribe the entire walking basslines note for note? I don't because it seems like it would take forever to get one song down, but then again, if I really like say Ray Brown, it would give me a good sense of what he's doing.

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  2. Jazzkuma

    Jazzkuma Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    No don't transcribe everything (if you have the time and patience for it then yes, it can only help you more). Look at walking bass lines like you would a melody or a solo. Grab the parts of the walking line which you thought were cool or lines which you thought "I would not have come up with that" because later, you will be able to come up with it.

    Also look for walking bass lines in ii-V's. There are a lot of ii-V in jazz and if you transcribe ray brown lines on those two simple changes you will expand your jazz vocab in walking a lot.
     
  3. Intenzity

    Intenzity

    Oct 15, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Yes. People transcribe entire bass lines of songs all the time. There are books full of them and it is the best way to learn how to do it.

    http://bassoridiculoso.blogspot.com/2011/01/sam-jones-bass-line-on-leaves.html

    The entire "Autumn Leaves" bass line transcribed.

    Once you practice it, you can do it fast.

    Start with a blues so you don't have to worry about the changes, try "Blue Seven" by Sonny Rollins, it starts with a chorus of just bass out front so you can hear it clearly.
     
  4. Thank you for that Autumn Leaves transcription! That's awesome, and I'm looking forward to going through that.
     

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