SYOS

Walking bass on saxophone. Very useful and lots of fun too!

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186
Hi, this is a vlog that I did last year, but I noticed that I never posted it because I forgot to add english subtitles.
Now I added them.
I want to share the benefits of practicing (and creating) walking bass lines on our instruments.
1 It is a great way to deepen into the chord changes and the form of the song
2 You will improve your sense of time on the downbeat
3 You can have fun by doing it, try it.

Subscribe to my channel if you want to watch more vlogs.
Let me know what do you think.
Bye, Fabrizio

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQx7ue8q3cw
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
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4,236
Lovely, both in sound and feel.

I'm really looking forward to the next Vlog you mention right at the end, so that I can understand more about note choices for a great sounding bass line depending on the harmony.

Rhys
 
OP
fabriziodalisera
Messages
186
Thank you rhysonsax. I will talk in the next episode. This is an old episode that I subbed in English, I am currently at episode #21, so you have lots of other episode if you want to do it!
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Sometimes we get a walking bass line on cello in music theatre arrangements, they're usually enjoyable to play
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
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3,885
Nice. Can you (or anyone else) recommend a method for learning to construct/play walking bass lines?
 
OP
fabriziodalisera
Messages
186
@tenorviol Oh yes. It is also nice when you change your "role" in the instrument palette, tipically from the sax sextion to the trombones. It happens often if you are a batitone player
@BigMartin Thank you. I will discuss in an another vlog. You can go from pretty simple to complex. Start by putting the chord notes on the downbeats and the chromatic notes (diatonic ones or tensions) on the upbeat. Also check some great lines by the good bass players: Chambers, Pettiford, Percy Heat, Blanton, Watkins, and also many arrangements by Gerry Mulligan with Bill Crow on bass!
 

brianr

Senior Member
Messages
1,046
Nice. Can you (or anyone else) recommend a method for learning to construct/play walking bass lines?
One way in to this is to aim to play the 3rd of each chord on the first beat of each bar.
The remaining 3 beats can be any of the remaining chord tones.
It’s a start, but can feel a bit like too much jumping about.
So, eventually you may want to think about a smooth link between the note on beat four of a bar and the first crotchet ( quarter note ) of the next bar, (which still remains the third of the chord).

You may read of this being called “ voice leading”. It’s just a smooth way of moving from one chord to another without big jumps and whilst still being aware of, and outlining the harmony.

Eg a blues in G.
First three bars are G7 to C7 to G7 etc etc

First beat of bar one is a B, 4th beat is an F
First beat of bar two is an E, 4th beat is a C
First beat of bar three is a B etc etc

Check out the smooth movement between the bars.

Eventually you would want to improvise this on the spot. But as a way in, you could write out a line in the style of walking bass.

A basic blues progression is a good place to start.
 
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rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,236
Isn't it quite difficult to "walk" and play cello at the same time? :p

I remember seeing tenor/soprano saxophonist Andy Sheppard sometime in the mid 1980s playing some strange stuff. At that time there was a jazz cellist in his band who didn't walk around, as far as I remember, but he did impress me by holding his bow vertically against the ground and then scraping his cello up and down against it. He might have been Dutch, which probably explains it.

Rhys
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,236
One way in to this is to aim to play the 3rd of each chord on the first beat of each bar.
The remaining 3 beats can be any of the remaining chord tones.
It’s a start, but can feel a bit like too much jumping about.
So, eventually you may want to think about a smooth link between the note on beat four of a bar and the first crotchet ( quarter note ) of the next bar, (which still remains the third of the chord).

You may read of this being called “ voice leading”. It’s just a smooth way of moving from one chord to another without big jumps and whilst still being aware of, and outlining the harmony.

Eg a blues in G.
First three bars are G7 to C7 to G7 etc etc

First beat of bar one is a B, 4th beat is an F
First beat of bar two is an E, 4th beat is a C
First beat of bar three is a B etc etc

Check out the smooth movement between the bars.

Eventually you would want to improvise this on the spot. But as a way in, you could write out a line in the style of walking bass.

A basic blues progression is a good place to start.
Yes for voice leading, but wouldn't the real walking bass almost always land on the root for the first beat of each chord ?

Rhys
 

brianr

Senior Member
Messages
1,046
Yes for voice leading, but wouldn't the real walking bass almost always land on the root for the first beat of each chord ?

Rhys
Hi Rhys.

Yes, you are correct. Traditionally the root would have been the note choice for beat one.
Probably less so now, as modern bass guys have moved on.

But for me, the benefit of Fabrizios ex. is not to exactly replicate what a bass player would do.

I wouldnt pretend that I could advise about genuine walking bass techniques.

But as a sax player, I’m happy to take bits of stuff that can help me be better. I think Fabrizios idea is just such a thing.

It is, as he says, a great way to learn and be able to outline the harmony and form of a tune, whilst at the same time help to develop a good time feel.

This time feel benefit is for me the best part.
Ive been playing crotchets in the style of a walking bass for a period now, at a variety of tempos, and it has helped my time feel very much.

I choose to start each bar on the 3rd as it gets me away from the root, which is a very good thing, I think
 

Mark Hancock

Member
Subscriber
Messages
302
Nice. Can you (or anyone else) recommend a method for learning to construct/play walking bass lines?
Building Walking Bass Lines by Ed Friedland describes a kind of systematic way of of approaching walking bass lines. I brought it to learn bass guitar. It's getting me there slowly but surely. Never thought of applying it directly to sax, but now, maybe...
 
OP
fabriziodalisera
Messages
186
@brianr Thank you, you are right. We don't have to replicate exactly the line of a bass player, though it could be interesting.
I don't know if the rhythm benefit is the best part, it depends from player to player.
If you take complex tunes like 26-2, Moment's notice by Coltrane or Conception by Shearing you could discover that playing a walking bass to outline the harmony could be way more difficult than on "All the things you are".
Being able to "spell" the chords and the inversions and know some basics of voice leading are absolutely indispensable tools to build your walking line.
I remember that the same morning I shot two vlogs related to "All the thing you are" The #8 that you have just seen here and the #14 on practicing roots and inversions.
I called it "chord workout".
So I think that it could be useful to link it.
By the way I'm very happy that here on the forum we are discussing about music rather than "the best ligature for our otto links" haha!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjFRe3wTjb0



@rhysonsax surely the root is the most common note, but bass players often play other chord notes, especially the 5th and the 3rd. Of course it depends also on the tune and the music genre...
 
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