Page 78 - bass

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Ba s s L ev e l 1
74
Bandwagon Music Studios
WALKING BASS
This style of bass is very common in jazz music
but is often heard in all style of music.
Walking bass is built using the normal notes of a
scale as well as adding notes that are in-between
the normal notes. These in-between notes are
usually called “passing notes” – they pass from
scale note to another.
The rhythm of walking bass is usually 4 quarter
notes in each bar. A very simple rhythm but the
interest is created by the clever use of scale and
passing notes.
The other main ingredient of walking bass is
choosing notes that run smoothly into the next
chord. The change to the new chord will be subtle
and melodic. Unlike riff playing where the new
chord is “jumped” to.
Walking bass is mostly used with the major scale.
Basic Major Scale – Key of B.
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Major Scale + Passing Notes – Key of B.
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The most common walking bass is to start on
either the low or high tonic note and use the
notes 3 – 4 – 4# - 5.