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Walking Assistance.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by meltsakana, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. meltsakana


    Sep 3, 2002
    Hey everyone, this is a theory oriented question. It's pretty specific. It's about walking jazz chord changes.

    I'm not at the level where I can improvise walking lines just by looking at chord changes. I have to write out lines for each chorus and walk through them...so far that hasn't been so bad, but I've come across more simple pieces lately. Like, for eight bars the changes are is just Imaj7 | iimin7... Tonic for 1 bars, Two for one bar, repeat four times.

    I could give you the key this is in, but then it'd be too easy for me...at least i'll get a transposing workout.

    This is the problem: How the hell can I keep this interesting? My walking thus far is more creative because I've been walking with complex chord changes, so i've been forced to move around a lot, but now it's...you know.

    What do you do when walking over simple chord changes for a long time? How do you imply movement to keep it interesting?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. JazZ-A-LoT


    Jan 5, 2003
    Sounds to me like you've been bound a lot by chord tones. Try breaking away from that with chromatic movement(Check out "Building Walking bass lines"). If ur finding ur lines boring take some time and transcribe the walking line from a basic tune, resembling some of the changes you mentioned(Autumn Leaves, Blue Train). Try and pick out some cool stuff you hear in those tunes and put those techniques in your tool belt.

    Hope That Helps.
  3. The Building Walking bass lines is good, as is the follow up Expanding Walking bass lines which I have. Following on from what jazz-a-lot said, using chromatic notes is a very good way to make your lines more interesting. This is an easy way to get from chord tone to chord tone.

    Another way to make your lines more interesting is to not always target chord tones on beats 1 and 3. Try targeting chromatic notes, for example #4, and then you can easily resolve this by moving straight onto the 5. Try to delay using the root on the first beat of the bar, by using chromatic and non chord tones.

    To make the rhythm of the line more interesting, try adding quavers and triplets to the line.

    If you feel you cant walk over simple changes for a long time, instead of just using that one scale/chord for the whole time, use modes to vary the line. If you have 16 measures of a Fm7, dont just walk up and down that all day. Try using phyrgian, lydian, mixolydian etc etc.

    But remember to practice and always have fun :cool:

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