VTEM Banners
VTEM Banners
VTEM Banners
VTEM Banners



BI210 - Walking Bass 2

Walking Bass 2 emphasises traditional walking bass line construction and analysis. The course focuses on such concepts as scale tone based and chromatic walking bass line construction, walking line shape and contour, half step approaches, walking in odd time signatures, and strong beat/weak beat concepts. Recommended for the advanced beginner to intermediate level player.

Suggested prerequisite course: Walking Bass 1

Lesson 01: Review of Level 1 Concepts

Hello, and welcome to BI210, Walking Bass Level 2. If you have recently completed Level 1, then congratulations on completing the course! By now you should be starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of playing walking bass lines over changes, and you should have developed a pretty good sense of time and basic pulse.

View Lesson

Lesson 02: The Use of Scale Tones in Walking Lines

Today's lesson marks the 'next tier' in our development. The Level 1 walking bass course dealt mostly with the use of chord tones through arpeggio forms. This course will focus on the integration of both scale tones and chromaticisms. Basically, what we are doing as a plan of attack is slowly adding the number of note choices available to you, but only after you have the developed the ability to outline the changes of the tune you are playing.

View Lesson

Lesson 03: Scale Tones, Continued (Modal Applications)

So far we have established that the major scale can be used to improvise over major triads and major 7 chords. We will obviously need a larger collection of scales if we are to be able to walk over other chord types.

View Lesson

Lesson 04: Scale Tone Walking Lines Over Multiple Chords

Today we will work on slightly more complex progressions using scale tones. However, in working through today's progressions, I really want you to focus on smoothness and connectivity between measures. In order to accomplish this, you will need to be able to 'plan ahead accordingly.' You'll see what I mean by this in a moment. But first, let's analyze a piece of a walking line.

View Lesson

Lesson 05: Walking Lines Over Multiple Chords, Continued

Today's assignment builds on yesterday's by adding diminished chords to our progressions. We are going to maintain the use of short intervallic distances between the last note played in a measure and the first note played in the measure that follows it.

View Lesson

Lesson 06: Using Ghost Notes and ‘Dead’ Notes

If you have been listening carefully to each of the walking line examples presented in each lesson, you have probably noticed that they seem to contain more than the written notation has shown. You may have heard the addition of subtle percussive 'kicks' and short notes seemingly played in between the quarter note pulses in a random fashion.

View Lesson

Lesson 07: Extensions and Alterations

We have so far established a good basic set of scale and chord tone ideas that will allow us to play with most chord types encountered on a chart. However, there are many other chords that we need to be familiar with as bass players if we want to properly provide the harmonic foundation called for by the tune. Many chord types we will encounter are just slightly more complex versions of the basic seventh chords that we have studied so far (major 7, minor 7, dominant 7, min 7b5, diminished 7).

View Lesson

Lesson 08: Practice Tune #1

Today we will work on walking through a complete tune, 'Practice Tune #1.' This tune will further exercise our use of scale tones and short intervallic connections between measures. As you listen to today's examples and work through today's assignment, I would really like you to try and key in on listening to the movement of the chords, specifically with respect to the roots.

View Lesson

Lesson 09: Practice Tune #2

Today we continue our walking line practice with a new tune, "Practice Tune #2."

View Lesson

Lesson 10: Practice Tune #3

In today's lesson you will be presented with yet another tune, "Practice Tune #3." Continue working through today's changes in the same manner as before.

Now would be a great time to go back and review the lessons already covered in this course so far. You want to make sure that you fully understand all of the harmony and theory concepts we have studied.

View Lesson

Lesson 11: The Chromatic Approach

The integration of chromatic ideas into our walking lines is the 3rd tier of the 3 tiered approach I like to use for teaching walking bass, ordered from simple to complex:

View Lesson

Lesson 12: The Chromatic Approach, Continued

In order to get more acquainted with improvising walking lines using chromatic movement, I want to present you with another strategy that will hopefully help you out if you are not yet used to playing in this way.

View Lesson

Lesson 13: Common Chromatic Movements; Practice Tune #4

Because jazz walking bass lines are improvisational in nature, there are obviously countless numbers of ways that you can get through a set of changes. The more developed your ear, of course, the more options that are available to you when you are 'on the spot' during a gig. However, it is important to remember also that you have to walk before you can run (pardon the horrible pun). On the bass, that means we are best served by learning one thing at a time, hopefully placing simpler challenges before the more difficult ones.

View Lesson

Lesson 14: Practice Tune #5

Today we continue our walking line practice with a new tune, "Practice Tune #5."

View Lesson

Lesson 15: Odd Time Signatures, Introduced

All of our work so far has been in the 4/4 time signature, since that is mostly what you will be working with in most charts. Of course, 4/4 is not the only time signature that you can play walking bass lines over. The principles used for walking over odd time signatures are basically the same as for 4/4, but you have to understand how to make the same quality of connections between chords when faced with fewer or greater numbers of notes in each measure.

View Lesson

Lesson 16: Maintaining Contour with Chord Tones

In developing skills for the playing of walking bass lines, it makes sense to begin with understanding your role in any ensemble. I have mentioned several times before that your primary responsibility is twofold:

1. To provide the harmonic foundation for the music

2. To provide the fundamental pulse of the music

View Lesson

Lesson 17: Practice Tune #6

Today we continue our walking line practice with a new tune, "Practice Tune #6."

View Lesson

Lesson 18: Practice Tune #7

Today we continue our walking line practice with a new tune, "Practice Tune #7."

View Lesson

Lesson 19: Introduction to Latin

For our last couple of lessons I'd like to introduce you to some concepts for playing bass to tunes in the Latin style. This will be more of an introduction than an in depth presentation, but I wanted you to at least gain a little bit of experience playing in this way in the event that you are presented with a chart that requires it. When doing jazz gigs, there will be times in which you are called to play standards or other tunes in a 'Latin style'. As you might imagine, a regular quarter note pulse walking line would not appropriate in these situations.

View Lesson

Lesson 20: Recap and Practice Tune #8

Congratulations! You've made it to the end of the course. I hope that you have enjoyed working through Walking Bass Level 2 as much as I have enjoyed creating it. We have covered a lot of information in a short amount of time, and you will want to continue practicing these concepts and practice tunes indefinitely until you have reached a level of proficiency and confidence with them.

View Lesson

Sign-up for our e-newsletter!


Adam Nitti proudly endorses the following products: