Walking a semitone interval?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Veldar, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Hello everyone, trying to put together green dolphin street as my first full standard I'm learning, however currently I don't know how to approach the descending semitones in section A.

    Thanks any help.
  2. Jloch86


    Aug 1, 2016
    Depends on the key, but in Miles' version (which is the key of Eb) Paul Chambers just rides the Eb pedal tone like a BOSS.

    Chambers joins in at 0:37

    That's generally what bassists do for this piece.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  3. Thanks for the reply, I do pedal tone during the first A of the piece however I was hoping that someone could chime in and help me out when walking the section later and if it comes up again during other standards.
  4. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Uh... what descending semitones in section A?
  5. bfields


    Apr 9, 2015
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Assuming the chords C-Cm-D-Db, if you look at the voice leading, there are some obvious chromatic lines: e.g., starting on the 3rd: E, Eb, D, Db. Not really sure what the question is, though.

    I guess possible approaches would be: 1) try some things, see what you like, 2) listen to some more recordings, find a bassist that does something other than the pedal tone and try to figure out what they're doing instead, 3) ask someone on talkbass to do 1) or 2) for you. You never know, it might work! (OK, sorry, that wasn't helpful. Good luck, OP, it's a lovely song.)
  6. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    Here is a web-site with some explanations about Ray Brown's bass-line from "Green Dolphin street" by the Oscar Peterson Trio.

    On Green Dolphin Street - Ray Brown Bass Transcription - Matt Lawton Bass

    Here are a few notes from the bass-line:

    Another one from here:

    Here is a very long transcription of that bass-line:

    Bass Lines - Green Dolphin Street.pdf

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
    Veldar, bfields and INTP like this.
  7. Simple way of looking at this; your last note in the measure is one semi tone (up or down) from the next root. This lets you flow - step into the next root.
  8. Groove Master

    Groove Master Commercial User

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    It's a pedal point. Keep the same note, because it is based on moving triads on top. If you play those triads then the pedal effect is gone. One thing you can do is to add the octave and the fifth. Think Rythm and groove instead of notes.
    Whousedtoplay and Veldar like this.
  9. Just as a quick note in my chart it does say F7, E major 7, Eb Major 7, C7 for the last 4 bars of section A and that's the difficult part for me, hope that clears up any confusion.

    Haha, standards are still very new to me thus I require some guidance, I do understand that it looks lazy especially to those who know what there doing :)

    Thank you very much, off to work on it all.
  10. Groove Master

    Groove Master Commercial User

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Again, it is not written sometimes but if you read some of the examples posted above, you'll notice that the Eb is in the bass until the walking part.
  11. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    Yes. Way too many bass players (especially the amateur ones like me) tend to forget about it while looking for those "magic/secret" notes as some kind of "panacea" for a wonderful bass-line.
    Groove Master likes this.
  12. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Inactive

    Nov 20, 2000
    Harrison Mills
    To play chromatically you have to learn to hear chromatically.
    To learn to hear chromatically you have to practice chromatic patterns.
    Just playing up or down the chromatic scale to cover a specific part won’t really put the sound of chromaticism solidly in your head.

    As you explore chromaticism be very aware of 3rds, 7ths and 5ths as these are the notes that define the basic chord. Playing the wrong 3rd, 7th or 5th is something that can really define the “chromatic sound”. This awareness will also improve your walking lines using only diatonic chord tones.

    There are all sorts of non-bass specific chromatic exercises out there (horn players are big on this concept) but if you take any lick (say a descending major arpeggio starting on the 5th) and repeat it up and down chromatically over the whole instrument you’ll start to get the idea. A next step is to play a lick chromatically over a shorter stretch within the context of a song. Explore and make up **** to play that sounds like music. As you go through the process don't be overly concerned with jamming chromatic scale fragments into your walking lines. Yes practice that within walking lines but taking a more general approach to opening your mind's ear to the chromatic sound will make it usable much more quickly in all aspects of your playing including walking jazz lines.