1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Walking Bass lines mind-set

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by maxy, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. maxy


    Jun 24, 2004
    What shud be going thru my mind while creating a walking bass line?

    Its seems I am just passive on creating lines and have really created a not bad line at all without thinking. I shud be conscious right?
  2. As a general rule you <b>should</b> be thinking but not necessarily in the exact moment, but more thinking 'ahead' - as making smooth transitions between each chord and the related scale is crucial to making the line sound musical and not all jumpy - playing in 'position' is a good way to achieve this but believe me it requires a lot of 'thought' to do it well. However, just like everything that you practice, the more you do it the less you will have to think - but you should be fully engaged with the music you're playing to make the best possible sounds and shape the best possible musical ideas...

    Hope that helps a little...
  3. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Great info here. I would also add that you should feed off of the main soloist inorder to either guide their solo by your note choices or vice versa. Also, never forget the drummer. Most good jazz drummers will attack there snare in response to the melody or the soloist. In short, you have one of the most difficult positions in the band. But when it's swingin, nothin better.
  4. It is important to listen to what is going on around you...enev anticipating it...plus be singing the melody in your head,keeping time,groove,intonation,shaping lines...there is plenty to think about...the main thing is to work on everything seperatly until they become second nature,then on to the next task...
  5. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Elmon is right, you got the tuff job.

    You need to:

    1. know the melody of the tune
    2. know the harmonic structure of the tune
    3. Keep your ears open, wide open at all times, plus your eyes
    4. Make sure that you and the drummer are on the same page (ie rhythm wise) If the group is pushing the pace...don't drag and vice versa.
    5. Have these under your fingers
    a. Appegios and scales-be thinking about leading tones (3,7) and color tones.
    b. Chromatic and passing tones
    c. Outlining the changes of the tune, but not being stuck on the form. If you hear the soloist going somewhere, go there if you feel the need.
    d. Subsitutions, this relates to above
    e. Listen to what the chord instrument (piano/guitar) is doing. Are they stretching out, or are they staying at home. This really determines if you are going to be I/V'ing it or not.
    6. do a search on the DB side. This has been gone over and over and over.
    7. think melodically, this helps with forming the line.

    And of course you should be doing this without thinking. You can always go back and analyze after the fact.

    Good Luck.
  6. I do the exact same thing thinking ahead
    But now I'm putting Ed's way of thinking in my playing by using your ears instead of having to think ( bassically I'm just chucking myself in situations where you have no sheet music to rely on but your ears )

    Take a venture in the DB forum you'll get tons of advice on this subject and more but stern advice from the others here though
  7. I do a lot of walking lines. It's what I really dig about bass. For me, its about knowing the song, getting into the correct position and most importantly...listening. Listen to what your playing through what everyone else is playing. And knowing a few "canned" patterns can help tremendously when you're finding your way.