Tip #228 – Dressing-Up the Walking Bass

For people looking to write out a walking bass line, today’s tip might be useful.

Regularly, you don’t want to write out note-for-note the bass line. Most bassists prefer a chord chard and they will construct a line from there. However, if you want to be specific on what notes to hit when, then do write it out.

You might have some personal “rules” as to making a walking bass line… such as having each chord change play the root first and then the rest of the chord members. Or maybe the direction or pattern of it. That’s a great start, but it can become too formulaic.

To dress it up and make it a bit more interesting, try adding some chromatic approaches. So, before hitting the root of the next chord, play a note a half-step above or below. You can even make this a string of chromatic notes (or a diatonic scalar run) for a bit of added emphasis to the root you want to hit.

Try it out and see!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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