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Encyclopedia > 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, ska, r&b, gospel, latin, country, and many other genres (Friedland 1995, p.4). Music is a form of expression in the medium of time using the structures of tones and silence. ... In popular music a bassline, also bass line, is an instrumental part, or line, which is in the bass or lowest range and thus lower than the other parts and part of the rhythm section. ... In music, syncopation is the stressing of a normally unstressed beat in a bar or the failure to sound a tone on an accented beat. ... In music, a quarter note (American) or crotchet (Commonwealth) is played for one quarter of the duration of a whole note. ...



Many boogie-woogie basslines are walking bass lines: Boogie-woogie is a style of blues piano playing that became very popular in the 1940s and was extended from piano, to three pianos at once, guitar, big band, and country and western music. ...

Typical boogie woogie walking bassline Download high resolution version (851x288, 10 KB)Typical boogie woogie bassline 2 See: Media:Boogie-woogie-bassline. ...

Walking bass often moves in stepwise motion to successive chord roots, such as often in country music: STEP has several meanings: Sixth Term Examination Paper The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. ... The root (basse fondamentale) of a chord is the note upon which that chord is perceived or labelled as built or centered, the root of a chord in root position or normal form. ... country music, see Country music (disambiguation) In popular music, country music, also called country and western music or country-western, is an amalgam of popular musical forms developed in the Southern United States, with roots in traditional folk music, Celtic music, blues, gospel music, and old-time music that began...

Walking bass I-IV Image File history File links Download high resolution version (862x89, 4 KB)Walking bass I-IV. Created by Hyacinth using Sibelius and Paint. ...

In this example the last two quarter notes, D and E of the second measure "walk" up from the first quarter note in that measure, C, to the first note of the third measure, F, C and F being the roots of the chords in the first through second and third through fourth measures, respectively.

In both cases "walking" refers both to the steady duple rhythm (one step after the other) and to the strong directional motion created (ibid). In the examples above, from C to F and back in the second, and from root to seventh and back in the first.

See also

A bass run is an instrumental break in which the main vocal or melody line rests (pauses, takes a break) and the bass instruments and line are given the forefront. ...


  • Friedland, Ed (1995). Building Walking Bass Lines. ISBN 0793542049.

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Constructing Walking Bass Lines (590 words)
While the traditional three-octave range of the vibraphone doesn't always lend itself well to it, walking bass lines can be a very effective texture for unaccompanied and ensemble vibraphone performance alike; vibraphonists who double on marimba or mallet synthesizer have an even greater opportunity to use walking bass lines in their work.
While accomplished bassists will play bass lines using a variety of rhythms and a broad range of approaches to the harmony, elementary bass lines present the harmony of the song, and "walking bass lines" usually involve quarter-note motion.
Walking bass lines are a great study device when learning new songs, and they can also be a valuable part of a jazz mallet performer's repertoire.
Free Fingerstyle Guitar Tablature: The Blues Walking Bass (283 words)
The function of a walking bass is to outline the harmony and keep the time together.
While walking bass in a combo is usually played by the bass player it also comes in handy for guitarists in a solo or duo situation.
I used shell chords because they are easier to fret in combination with the walking bass line.
  More results at FactBites »



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