Thomas Berglund is a musician that has played in many different styles through the years and he has his heart in music with improvisation.
Posted on Aug 19, 2015 03:28 pm
In this lesson I'll give some tips to create your own basslines in the "walking bass with chords" way of playing. I'll show some lines built on the chord, chromatic and the scale tones. I have constructed an 8 bar bassline with a chord rhythm.
The chord rhythm is quite easy since this lesson is about basslines. The chords are G7 or G13 and C7 or C9 in every second bar. I can recommend to watch the Walking Bass With Chords Part 1 if you haven't played this kind of comping before.
The first bar is built on chord tones and as you can see in the notes/tabs above there is a pull off with the open 5th string in between the 3rd and 4th bass tones. It's quite common to use the open strings in the basslines like this to bring a swing feel into it. The 2nd bar has a chromatic line from the 2nd tone (E) to the first tone (G) in the 3rd bar. It's common to play chromatic lines from one or two semitones below or above to the tone you will go to. You can also use the chromatic tones more freely in a bass line and they are much effective.
The 3rd bar also have a chromatic line two semitones above to the tonic (C) in the 4th bar. Then it's a chromatic line from the 2nd tone in the 4th bar to the 1st tone in the 5th bar (G).
In the 5th and the 6th bar the bassline is built on scale tones and to G7 the Mixolydian scale in G is most common to use and on C7 the Mixolydian in C.
The first two tones in the 7th bar there's an octave jump between the G tones. Then there's a chromatic line to the tonic in the 8th bar and a chromatic line to the tonic in the 1st bar since you can play from the beginning again. I'll also explain all 8 bars in the video lesson.
As you can see the thing is to mix the chord, chromatic and the scale tones to build a bassline and also to use pull-offs, octave jumps and anything that sounds good.
Start to play and practise my bassline and as soon as you master it you can build your own basslines with chords, chromatic and scale tones. After a while you can try to play another chord progression or an easy jazz standard or any tune you want. When you have worked with this for some time you can start to improvising your bass lines.
The next thing is to put in the hittings on the 2nd and 4th beat in the bar. A good way to practise this is to play just the tonic in the bass on each chord.
When you had a grip on that you'll start to put in the chords in the playing. In this progression the chord rhythm is quite easy since it can be good to concentrate on the bassline to start with but after a while you can put in some more chord rhythms in the playing. Here's how I'm playing with the chord rhythm and the hittings on the 2nd and 4th beat in the videolesson.
Regardless if you're playing jazz or not this is a very good exercise and there are many tunes to put in a "walking bass with chords" comping in other styles as well.
About the Author: Thomas Berglund is a musician that has played in many different styles through the years and he has his heart in music with improvisation. He also works as a guitar teacher and has a YouTube channel with guitar lessons, releases and concert videos. Here's his guitar lessons website. Feel free to subscribe to his YouTube channel to get the latest from Thomas.