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Walking from I to V over 2 measures

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Cougar, Sep 13, 2019 at 8:54 PM.

  1. Cougar


    Feb 15, 2014
    Hey Guys,

    I am developing a baseline for a song that has a time signature of 4/4. We have 2 measures on I and then it goes to the V chord. What notes would you use to walk from the I to the V considering you have 2 measures to cover?

    1 ,3 ,4 b5 to 5 would only cover 1 measure but I have two measures on the I before I get to V. What would you do?

  2. Malcolm35


    Aug 7, 2018
    All kinds of things you could do. Depending on the song - you could just pound roots for two measures or use a bass line of the root on the 1st beat and a 5 on the 3 beat repeated for both measures. Or you could do as you mentioned on the first measure then target the V's root and miss it by 3 frets. Then walk to it one fret per beat and be on it for the chord change, i.e. a chromatic walk that gets you to the next chord change.

    Here is a video that may help.

    That chromatic walk is a no brainer and I use it as a walk all the time.

    Happy trails.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019 at 4:06 PM
  3. The walk only needs to take place the measure before the chord change. Prior to that you just Mark time, using the same tools you walk with: arpeggios, scales, and chromatics.
  4. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Assuming the key of C. You are on a C chord, your target is a G chord. (all this depends on tempo, style, and rhythm)

    Going to the G chord you could do a ii7 - V of that... meaning passing through Am7 and D7 to get to G. Or if you need more notes, Em7 - Am7 - D7 and then to the target G. Or even if you need more options, B dim7 - Em - Am7 - D7 to the target. All that uses the circle of 5th, and that's one good reason to know it.

    Another option that works well with the 'tension and release' feeling to to move out of the key and back into it for the target note. For instance, going to Bb (note) and moving down chromatically to the target of G. Or further out of the the key: C#, G# and drop to target G. There aren't any real rules here, and this sort of idea is very style bound... experiment for real musical joy or criticism (depending on the company you keep).

    Another option that is related to the last paragraph. Quickly set up an expectation, but then don't deliver until time. In other words go from C to F# right away, but use the extra time to go back and forth between C and F#, finally get to the G at the right change. If C to F# sounds too 'metalish' for your taste, try Ab instead, droping down to target G. Or other notes work well, check out whatever is nearby. The point being, make the move to G seem like it's going to happen soon, but tease out the time.

    If you're playing fretless, playing 1/16 notes while you slide up a 5th or down a 4th (they both have different feelings) will get the job done... and more than likely (in rehearsal) quickly start a conversation about your bass playing and personal music choices.

    Mix and match, have fun.
  5. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    So many possibilities but I would suggest few things here:
    First your 1st bar could be your 2nd bar actually. So play something like C-G (below)-A-B then your line.

    Also a trick is to not go to far from your next chord if you are on the same note already. So to complete your first bar you can stay close by playing G-G#-A-Ab to G7.

    Or when walking for a long time on the same chord, double your notes. Your line would fit the 2 bars then ;-)

    Hope this helps

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