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Walking Bass Challenge

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Craken, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Craken


    Feb 13, 2006
    Hi everyone. The guitarist in my band has come up with a new tune and I am struggling a little bit coming up with good walking basslines over the changes. The combination of the chords and the time sig has me a bit stuck. So I was wondering if some of you would be interested in notating/recording/suggesting some ideas that you might have? It's a dissonant be-boppy affair, swing feel around 190 bpm, with a walking bass line on the 1/4 notes.

    Here are the chords for the A section:

    || Bm7b5(b2) | G7 | Em7(b2) | Fmaj7 ||

    It is really just in C major, and I think you really have to adhere to the appropriate extensions for each chord.

    The timing is in 10/4, but I count it in 4/4 then 6/4. So each chord is played for 4 bars (4/4,6/4 x2 then next chord).

    The B section is in 4/4 I can cope with it quite easily. Any help/ideas would be great, cheers!
  2. Stephent28

    Stephent28 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    C470, CO
    A wav file of the guitar part would be helpful.
    Hard to come up with a bass part without feeling the groove.
  3. Craken


    Feb 13, 2006
    It's not really the groove that I am worried about it's just note choice. The groove is just swing feel around 190 bpm, with a walking bass line on the 1/4 notes.
  4. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    If you play the extensions, you should adhere to them. Here's what my approach would be:

    Create some introductory tension by pedalling B natural (in whatever syncopated rhythm you choose) through the whole progression once. Second time through, go up a tritone to F natural (see how that sounds over the E-7). If you play the F high enough, it should work. A high E pedal would work over the third and fourth chords as an alternative.

    Then go up again to a higher B natural for the third time, and finally a high F natural for the fourth time. Over the fourth F Natural, play down the scale F E D C B into your walking groove.

    For the bulk of the tune, consider that B-7(b5) is essentially the same chord as the G7, except that you can play a C natural over the B-7(b5) but you shouldn't over the G7. For bars one and two, work out some things with the notes B D and F and for bars three and four, work with the notes E F B and C. Try to create two similarly-structured lines from those two note groupings.
  5. Craken


    Feb 13, 2006
    Great. Thanks for the advice! I think the main issue I am having is the 4/4 and 6/4, so I keep ending up on weak note choices on strong beats. I will keep working on it.