Friday 14 August 2020
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How To Play Walking Bass Lines – Using Chord Tones (L#54)

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This is the second free online bass lesson in the Walking Bass series by Mark J Smith for TalkingBass.

It’s a long lesson so here’s an index for anyone needing to move to certain areas:

02:00 – Root Note Targeting
06:50 – Major 7, Minor 7 and Dominant 7 Arpeggios
10:09 – Arpeggios through the chord progression
12:34 – The Three Fingering Patterns for each Arpeggio (1st, 2nd, 4th finger)
16:47 – New fingerings through the progression
19:56 – Extending the patterns within a position
34:25 – Constructing the line

This lesson is the first look into how we construct the actual lines and starts with a primer on Arpeggios or Chord Tones. Chord Tones should be the first stop on the road to learning how to play Walking Bass Lines because they contain the most important material. When we see a chord progression, the chords are provided so they are our first clue as to what melodic building blocks are available. Scales can be deduced from the progression by knowing a little functional harmony but chords are right there on the chart so it’s imperative that we learn them.

This free online bass lesson provides a quick primer on the maj7, minor 7 and dominant 7 chords. How they are built and how we can learn them over a larger area. We often become stuck in a small confined box shape within one octave when we learn arpeggios. This Walking Bass Lines lesson shows you how to break out of those shapes and move freely around the neck.

The lesson also shows how to approach the construction of a Walking Bass Line on the fly. We target the root notes or other chord tones and then simply decide on a journey up or down. Once we know which direction we want to take we can simply move through the arpeggio patterns we’ve learned. This is a quick a and simple approach to creating Walking Bass Lines.

The next online bass lesson on How To Play Walking Bass Lines will cover scales and how we can use them to weave a Walking Bass Line within a more confined area. They can also be used in conjunction with larger arpeggio patterns.

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