Essential Walkin Bass Techniques

Learn how to compose and play effective walking bass lines

by Frans Van Der Hoeven

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9 lessons

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you will have access to this course for 1 year


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Essential Walkin Bass Techniques

Learn how to compose and play effective walking bass lines

This program is written to help you compose and play well balanced walking bass lines. You will learn to outline the harmony of a song in an effectieve way, develop a sense of gravity in your lines and using rhythmical variations. Furthermore, this course will help you to develop an efficient practicing routine.


Video's: 2 hours

Skill Level: Intermediate

Backing Tracks: 18 Backing tracks especially recorded for this course

Language: English

Get personal video feedback every week and earn a certificate from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam: Visit the Course page!


How it works

The course is a series of related video lessons, each structured around a specific topic or topics. By the end of this course, you will have developed a strong sense of direction in your daily study routine.

Weekly video lessons
After joining the course, you will be able to view a new video lesson weekly. Each video lesson consists of:

Examples that musically define the sound of the topic you are studying in each video

A study routine section in which we first discuss how to study the specific topic of each lesson. We will then play several exercises specially written to show you how to structure your daily study routine

Assignments that will help you consolidate and practice what you have learned in each video.

Weekly assignments
After each lesson, you will be asked to study, practice and then video record yourself playing an assignment which may consist of several exercises. When ready, you submit the video of your assignment. The process of having to record yourself every week, significantly helps to internalise the material discussed in this course - quickly and naturally.

Weekly feedback: This function is present in the "course" mode.

Certificate: This function is present in the "course" mode.


Content of the course:

Lesson 1 : Playing Two-Beat Bass Lines

In this lesson, we will talk about the basics of walking bass playing:
Function of the bass
Composing a line using the root and the fifth
Composing a line on a I-V Chord progression.
Composing a line on a basic blues in F
Balancing the direction of a line.
Thinking melodically.
Damping the strings and fills
Dubbing each note.


Lesson 2:Walking Bass-Lines with Quarter Note Pulse
In this video, we will talk about how to create walking bass lines with a quarter note pulse:How to Create Baselines with a good “gravity”
Chord-Based and Scale-Based Lines
Direction in Your Lines
Enhancing the Fourth Beat of the Bar
When to Change string within a line
When to Change Position within a line
Composing a line on a I-V Chord progression.
Adding a passing tone the major and mixolydian scale.
Composing a line on a basic blues in F and Assignments


Lesson 3 : Playing on Changes Pt. 1

In this video, we will talk about changes and how to connect them with a good walking bass line that outlines the harmony clearly. We wil discuss several techniques such as The Diatonic Approach, Chord Based Approach, The Chromatic Approach, The Tritone, Sounding Horizontal, Combination of Approaches and Assignments


Lesson 4 : Playing on Changes Pt. 2

In this lesson, we will further explore chord changes and take a
look at how to outline more complicated chord progressions. Composing a Walking-Bass Line on a Half-Diminished Chord
Using Chord Tones for Outlining a Half-Diminished Chord
Using Chromaticism for Outlining and Connecting the Half-Diminished Chord
How to Compose a Walking Bass-Line on a Diminished Chord
The Diminished Scale / Whole-tone / Half-tone
Applying these Concepts to a Song and Assignments


Lesson 5 : Rhythmical Variations Pt. 1 : Using Triplets

In this lesson, we will talk about how to use rhythmical variations in your basslines.
Four Basic Rhythmical Variations
Demonstrating the Right Hand
Adding “Ghost” Notes
Accuracy of the Triplet Feel
Using the Left Hand for Triplet Variations
Applying all Techniques to a Blues in F and Assignments


Lesson 6 : Rhythmical Variations Pt. 2 : Syncopations and Triplets

Short description : In this lesson, we will talk about how to integrate syncopations and triplets into your basslines.
Using Syncopations
Syncopating every note
Using Triplets in your Walking Bass lines
Dividing the Triplets over 3 Strings
Dividing the Triplets over 2 Strings
Combination of Previous Techniques, Triplets and Assignments


Lesson 7 : Outlining Harmony

In this lesson, we will have a look on how to interestingly play more bars of the same chord.
The Bridge of “Rhythm Changes”
Composing a Bass Line on a minor pedal
Using Big Jumps, Chromatics and Assignments


Lesson 8 : Playing Pedals and Fast Tempi

In this video, we will talk about how to make use of pedal points and how to play fast tempi.
Pedal Points
Advice on how to play fast tempi
Sequences and Assignments


Lesson 9 : Practicing Tools

In this lesson, we will explore tools that will help you to practice scales, intervals, chords and technique.
Daily / Weekly Exercises
Different Fingerings
Seventh Chords
Rhythmical Variations
The Circle of Fifths and Assignments