Bass Players Guide To Walking Bass Lines

This video lesson will teach you everything you need to know to get started with jazz walking bass lines. Download the PDFs and backing track below.

Walking Bass Line In C - PDF Download

Watch this lesson to learn how to harmonise a scale. Once you know that, you can read the chord symbols easily enough.

Walking Bass Line Free Backing Track

Here's a backing track to practise all the ideas from the lesson (scroll down for a quick summary).

Walking Bass Line Tips

  • Jazz Harmony. Learn how a major scale is harmonised into triads, seventh arpeggios, and modes.
  • Swing Feel. Internalise jazz swing feel so you can add in fills, skips, and rhythmic embellishments around you steady quarter note walking line. Remember two notes to a bar is a common feel to change up the rhythm a little.
  • Chromatic Approach Tones. Approach chords from one fret above or below for instant jazz!
  •  Vertical (chord tones), Horizontal (scale tones). Use a mixture of chord tones and scale tones. Chord tones really spell out the chord changes whilst scale tones add melody and help with the next point.
  • Contour/Shape/Voice Leading. Give your lines more interest and musicality by shaping them with flowing notes that are close to each other on the fretboard. Move to different registers of the bass neck to really add some spice.
  • Jazz Bass Tone. Sound more like a double bass with palm muting and by plucking over the neck (where the fretboard ends).
  • Learn All Keys (circle of 5ths and 4ths). Jazz tunes often use the same harmony but in multiple keys in one song. So, you need to know all 12 keys.

Easy Jazz Walking Bass Songs For Bass Players

These songs aren't that difficult to play. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and newsletter for updates on future lessons - I'll be teaching most of these in the future.

If you have any questions let me know!

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