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Walking jazz basslines?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Exploding Boy, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. Exploding Boy

    Exploding Boy

    Oct 30, 2003
    Even if they are generic, does anyone have a site or somewhere that has some jazz basslines?
  2. I would go out and buy some records.

    When I started learning how to walk, I made a tape of 12-13 songs and just went at it over and over. Get some stuff w/Paul Chambers...I liked the way he 'connects the dots'. Check out 'Monk's Music' (great drumming by Art Blakey too!), all of the Miles 1st quintet stuff (Workin, Cookin', Relaxin', and Steamin')...and Kind of Blue of course.

    Also at jazzbooks.com you can get some playalong CDs with books that chart out the songs. That was, and still is, invaluable to me. Good ones are #15 Paying Dues (Ron Carter basslines), #25 All Time Standards, #40 Round Midnight.

    hope that helps
  3. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Instead of ripping off other peoples lines why not take the time to learn how to create your own. There are several good books on the market that can teach you the skills you need to create fully functional working walking basslines.

    See the problem with learning someone elses lines, is that you learn thier line and dont know the thought process behind it, what makes it work the way it does, etc. Learning the skills to create your own puts you one step a head of the game and arms you with knowledge that will allow you to create a line in ANY style of music.

    Some decent Titles are:

    Building Walking Basslines
    Expanding Walking Basslines
    Jazz Bass

    All books listed are written by Ed Friedland.
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Thing is, Cass, when learning someone else's line, you should be analyzing what's going on. You're right in that you don't learn much simply by ripping off a line, but transcription should include the analyzing process to understand why it works.
  5. I don't know that you could ever do it on your own, you have to start somewhere. If you've never heard it before how could you begin to assimilate it?

    Go with the Aebersold books, you can listen to the lines if you want. If not, you can pan it and play along with the piano and drums.
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    You're absolutly right Pacman, you should be doing that, but I dont think too many people do. I think most just learn it by ear and are content with the fact they know it. BTW, Im speaking from past experience about that. Id learn the line and be like OK, thats that and move on. I seriously doubt Im the only one here thats done that. So thats part of why I said what I said.
  7. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    There is one book, and one book only that you need. IMO

    "Building Walking Bass Lines" By Ed Friedland is the epitome of shiznitski.

    Its starts super simple, and if you absorb what he is staying, it will stay super simple.

    It would probably help to be fairly well grounded in the basic concepts of theory before you took it on though.
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I disagree, I have that book, and I think Jim Stinnets(sp) "Building Walking Bass Lines" is much better and more useful. I would also recommend, "The Bottom Line" by Todd Coolman and "Modern Walking Bass Technique" by Mike Richmond.

    You don't however really need a book. Listening to records is good to cop the feel. You can play the r 2 3 5 of whatever the chord is and that will sound pretty good for starters. Another thing is to be able to arpegiate any chord you see on a chart backwards and forwards. If I were you this is were I would put a lot of time in. You want to be able to get these things under your fingers so you can use them to add character to your line. Once you've used the first two approaches, I would move on to upper and lower chromatic neighboring tone approach and work on connecting chords where you don't necessarily begin on the root of some chords because you're playing inversions of the chord.
  9. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Here's my take on it...
    The way to go here is transcription first and foremost. Start off by copping a line over simply harmony such as a simple blues. "Blue 7" on "Saxophone Colussus" by Sonny Rollins would be a great start. The bass player is Doug Watkins and he plays unaccompanied walking as an intro to the song. Learn to sing the line, and play it on your bass. Analyze the tones vs the underlying harmony.

    The most important aspect of walking is TIME!!!

    Therefore, use the metronome. Placing it on 2 and 4 is usueful because it gives you a greater sense of swing beacuse a drummer will play hi-hat on those beats.

    Practice making your line as legato as possible at first. Legato lines are generally desirable and most modern bassist use this phrasing. Listen to John Pattitucci or Ron Carter play walking. You'll find theyre going for a smooth legato style.

    So in conclusion...

    -Trancribe lots of walking lines and play/analyze them.

    -Play with a metronome

    -Improvise walking lines on easy changes such as blues at first

    -Find a jazz bass teacher to guide you through this stuff..

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