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Walking Bass Book/Play-Along CD

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by count_funkula, Mar 13, 2001.

  1. Can anybody recommend a good book on walking bass. I want something with a lot of Play-Along tracks so I can practice what I learn.

    Some of the old hymns we play in Church are perfect for walking lines, I just need some more practice and some pointers.

  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Ed Friedland has two excellent books, each with a CD, that should be a tremendous help. They are:

    Building Walking Bass Lines with CD

    Expanding Walking Bass Lines with CD.

    Both are available at:


    The CDs show each the examples and exercises should sound. Even if you buy only the first book, you will have plenty of material to help you with your church music. I have the books and Friedland starts out very simply, building up to more complex lines. He explains what he is doing very well.

  3. Thanks man.

    One question, does the book contain tab or standard notation? I don't read very well so I would prefer tab.
  4. They use standard notation. However, since you mentioned you don't read "very well", I guess you do read some, and the first book starts out rather simply and I think it'd be a great way to improve your sight reading as you move through the book. Plus, if you're using a hymnal or something for church, I'm sure that's not tab!!!

    I'm on about page 22 right now in the book, and feel confident that if I can master this book, I'll be proficient (enough) to get by most jazz gigs and with walking bass. At times, Ed uses terminology that might be a little advanced depending on where you're at theory wise, but you can make it through. I'm using the cd with a cheap boom-box that doesn't have a balance control; with a balance control you can cut out the bass on the recording, or cut out the rest of the band if you want.

  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think the question about tab or standard notation is sort of missing the point as the whole idea of walking bass lines is that they aren't written out and you are supposed to improvise them, based on chord charts or lead sheets. Of course there will be some examples in instruction books, but the idea is to get to a position where you are making them up and not reading them note for note from a score, whether it's tab or standard notation.
  6. you're right. But I think it'll take a lot of playing and analyzing walking bass lines that ARE written out before you "get it" enough to start creating your own on the fly. And if you're going to play lines out of a book at the start, might as well do it from std. notation as reading the simple quarter note lines that Ed's book has at the start is really quite easy. But again, YES, the point we're trying to get to is looking at a chord chart and being able to walk with it in a musical way. Rock on!

    Any don't we all feel like more worthy musicians if we can play by ear, feel, tab, AND notation? Maybe I shouldn't, but I do.

  7. Yes, the idea is to improvise my lines eventually. Thats how I play everything now. We are given music with standard notation and the chords written above it. I use the chords and freestyle. It's a blast!

    What I was getting at with the tab thing is I need to be able to look at some examples of what the author is doing to give me a set of "tools" that I can use to build my own lines on the fly.

    If the standard notation is mainly just simple quarter note stuff I can get by with that.

    My method of improv is to build a "tool kit" of available ideas and techniques and then apply these tools to the music if front of me and see what happens. ALWAYS expand your tool kit!
  8. that's what my wife keeps telling me....
  9. bassface


    Mar 18, 2001
    I have Friedland's Building Walking Bass Lines and even though the examples are written out, they also have analyzation underneath - R, 5, 8, chr, sc, dom (for chromatic, scale and dominant approaches). This helps me figure out how the line works and I can figure out my own stuff based on that. Also, there are lots of blank examples with no written example that make me have to create my own line. It's not real easy for me at this point, but that's what you have to look at most of the time anyway - chord symbols and slashes so I guess it's a good approach to get used to it.
  10. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Another excellent book, IMO, is 'Walkin' by Bruce Gertz. He takes standard chord changes and applies different walking methods to them. If you're looking for a toolkit, this might be worth your while. That whole chromatic passing tone thing is something I pull out all the time! A low register hammer if you will...

  11. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I love that book, it was the 1st one I ever bought, and it helped me imensly in opening up my playing. I love the way it makes you create a line using what you have learned by only putting the chord changes up top. I wish to god the cd didnt get lost on me, made it a bit harder without having an audio representation. Id recomend the book to anyone.

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