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Walking Bass Guitar


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Walking Bass

In music a walking bass is a bass accompaniment generally consisting of unsyncopated notes of equal value, usually quarter notes (known in jazz as a "four feel"). Walking bass lines are used in rock, blues, rock-a-billy, r&b, gospel, latin, country, and many other genres.

Many boogie-woogie basslines are walking bass lines:

Typical boogie woogie walking bassline

In this case "walking" appears to refer both to the steady duple rhythm and to the strong directional motion created, from C to F and back in the first, and from root to seventh and back in the second.(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Walking Bass refers to a style of guitar playing where chords and a moving bass line are played at the same time. Each beat of each measure receives a separarte bass tone creating a sequence of quarter notes in the bass. There was a great article in the February 1990 issue of Guitar Player entitled "Joe Pass' Guide to Walking Bass Lines and Beyond."

To get you started, below is an example of a walking bass line added to a typical "I-VI-II-V" Ragtime Progression. This progression can be played using all Shell Chords as follows: |C7 Bb7 A7 Eb7|D7 Ab7 G7 C#7|.

  C7    A7       D7    G7

Click below for the best in free Walking Bass lessons available on the web.

Comping: Bass Lines W/ Chords (WholeNote)
Connecting The Dots - A Primer for Walking Bass Lines (Guitar Noise)
Constructing Walking Bass Lines (Mallet Jazz)
Fall Leafage (Bass Line/Chord Comping) (WholeNote)
Fingerstyle Walking Bass (
Playing walking bass lines and chords simultaneously (The Guitar Studio)
Walking Bass (Pete Thomas)
Walking Bass (Wheat's BassBook)
Walking Bass: How to Make 1 Guitar Sound Like 2 (
Walking Bass Jazz Blues (Guitar Noise)
Walking Bass Lines (A Jazz Improvisation Primer )
Walking Blues (WholeNote)
Walk This Way (Vision Music)

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