walking bass digital patterns.

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by rob f johnson, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. rob f johnson

    rob f johnson

    Nov 15, 2005
    nelson bc
    Try using some simple digital patterns.

    root/ chord tone/ root/ half step approch note below or above


    this will give you many options and ideas over any chord and connect your walking lines together.
  2. spdrswb


    May 26, 2005
    Dear All,

    I defined some patterns for myself, since I wanted to set up and get through a quasi systematic process while learning the walking skill. Now I plan to actually use it. Whenever I meet a new interesting chord chain, I will elaborate it by playing it by all of my patterns. Please comment, if it is any worth to do it.
    Thanks in advance.

    So here it is:
    1: root
    5: fifth
    C: chord tone
    A: approaching tone
    X: any note (can be C, A, to be choosen freely)

    1C, 1A, CC, CA, CX
    1CC, 1AC, 1CA, 1XA, 1XX
    1CCC, 1CCA, 1A5A, 1ACA, 1XXA

    Some more patterns might be applied if I want to practice harmonic anticipations, for example, AC is a possibility too.

    I am at the beginning of the journey (II-V-I) so please alert me if it's not a good approach.

    All the best
  3. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Having started somewhat recently myself, I can say that staying close to chord tones is a great start. It's still a good way to learn a new tune too. But after a while, it starts sounding really mechanical and kinda bland. It's bland-ish cuz the bassline can't really stand up by itself as a musical statement.

    I like to state the root somewhere (not always on the 1st beat) and a chord tone or two and also to use scales and chromaticism to create a line (btw: Chris Fitzgerald put up a really nice how-to aritcle on creating walking basslines, look it up). More importantly, to use all these tools (chord tones, chromatics, scales, etc.) to for walking bassline that says "something". Maybe making call-and-response phrases that are 2, 4, or 8 bars long. Or using such phrases to include a motif that is repeated here and there. Creating a story, even tho you're just playing a walking bassline. This part I have yet to master and I'm sure takes a long while.

    Sounds like it might be hard, but it gets easier the more you do it.