Walking to the next chord?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by FenderB, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. FenderB


    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    A post in another forum on TB a discussion on how to play a particular song is being talked about. The OP thought it was lacking movement, MalcolmAmos posted this: "You ruled out walking, but, a good ole country walk to the next chord may be the movement you are wanting. Experiment; the walk does not need to be on every chord change. Between verses or a walk to or from the chorus, may be what you are looking for".

    Would someone be kind enough to explain how "walking to the next chord" is done, and how do you decide what to play?
    BOOG likes this.
  2. FenderB likes this.
  3. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    "Walking to the next chord" in Malcom's comment refers to moving from the root of one chord to the root of the next. For example, if the first chord is G and the next is C, you would play G A B and land on C on the first beat of the C chord.
    BOOG and FenderB like this.
  4. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years

    May 3, 2008
    Part and participle of what we do as bass players: shape the rhythmic feel, accenting the ‘beat’ or syncopating it; and leading the listener to the changes in chords or background.

    The latter, leading the listener is when and how ‘walk up’ to the next chord is done. Most of us do it and never recognize it. I will point out that bass players often work in ‘turnarounds’ at 4, 8, 12 and 16 bars depending on the meter and form of the tune.
    FenderB likes this.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Assuming 1/4 notes-
    G-A-B-...need another note on Beat 4 to land on "C" (Beat_1 of the following bar), right?


    Also try walking down to the next chord-

    Or 1/2 step chromatics-

    Experiment & come up with your own variations.
    FenderB and JRA like this.
  6. FenderB


    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
  7. FenderB


    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    Thanks Jim, I'll have to sit down with my bass and go through this. Good stuff.
  8. FenderB


    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    Thanks JTE, I appreciate the explanation. Makes sense now.
  9. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017

    A on the 3

    B on the 4

    C on the 1.
  10. Tbsx

    Tbsx Troll Inactive

    Sep 12, 2017
    Good examples.
    I was thinking walk up G 135, then your C walk down 542 b2 1
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...if it sounds good, do it!
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    G is a 1/2 note? That works.
  13. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I was thinking of country style things. Root on one, rest on beat two, second on beat 3, and third on beat four so you land on the tonic of the IV on beat one. The question referenced walking to the next chord, not necessarily traditional walking bass line construction.
  14. Yes all kinds of ways to walk. Your walk can be one leading note, or as many as you think adds value.

    The old Country walk has been explained. And yes it can be diatonic or chromatic. Movement is what you are looking for. I think what you are looking for is movement between where you are now and where you want to be next. Think of it as a lead to movement.

    If there is a void fill it with a walk.

    Dirt simple way is to target where you want to be - miss it and walk to it using as many notes or chromatic frets as you think fits, or is needed.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  15. I tend to think the best walks are linear—either walking up or down. Jumping around doesn’t sound like a walk to me.
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