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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Spearhead, Apr 24, 2001.

  1. Im trying real hard to get into jazz and blues. I can play the roots of the chord progression when some guitar buddies and I jam out, but I really want to be able to flow better and walk . For this do I just improvise along the notes of each chord in the chord progression? Any advice would be real helpfull.
  2. I've been working on my walking lately, since I'm sitting in with a band doing some country standards this weekend. You really need to know the triads that make up each chord you're playing over to be able to walk effectively. You can't just improvise, or else you'll end up playing some off-color notes.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    A good book to get you started is "The Bottom Line" by Todd Coolman. It takes you through the basics and into some more advanced material. You can order it - not to mention more jazz books than you ever dreamed existed - at www.jazzbooks.com

    Good luck.
  4. BenF


    Mar 29, 2001
    Boston area
    Dave's right, the chord tones are a great place to start, sounds like you know them already. I found it best to stick with a repeating pattern when I started walking (like 1 3 5 3, etc..) I was having enough problems following the chord changes to worry too much about fancy note choices!

    Good luck!
  5. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Another tip: Get familiar with the common chord progressions, or "cadences" as they are refered to, in different keys. In blues, the most common is the old stand-by of I-IV-V. In jazz, the ii-V7-I is used quite frequently. Once you know how these work, you can start to build yourself a library of patterns. These patterns will allow you to get from point "a" to point "b" without having to think too much about scales, chord tones, etc.,etc. For example in the key of G ( my personal favorite) a typical walking pattern that would get you from the I chord to the IV chord would be G-B-D-C#-C. The C# sharp in this case is a passing tone, as it is not a chord tone in G or C. These passing tones allow a smooth sounding transition into the next chord. There are endless varieties of these patterns that you can come up with. Just use your imagination and practice! After a while, walking bass becomes second nature and you won't have to rely on these patterns as much.

    Hope this helps!!!!!

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