Hal Leonard’s Building Walking Bass Lines by Ed Friedland is a great addition to the bass books available from Hal Leonard.
This book is great for all levels of bass players from beginner to advanced. For the beginner, this is a great way to learn how to play walking bass lines. For those of you that have been doing this for quite some time, this is a great refresher for getting back to basics, and even possibly adding a new approach to your walking bass lines.
Building Walking Bass Lines starts out with the basic building blocks, just playing the root notes, and I must say, at a slow tempo, which at times, can be difficult.
The book then progresses into root, fifths, and octaves, and applying chromatics with the root, fifth, and octaves. Of course, while that will get you started on the right path, there is much more to cover. There are two types of the dominant approach, the first being the lower dominant, and the second being the upper dominant. Taking dominates even further is the upper/lower dominant approach, which introduces yet another interval into the walking bass line.
Ed also takes you into combining the chromatic and dominant approach to walking bass lines. Lastly, in part one, introduces the scale approach, using the scale of the key signature and approaching the next chord tone with a note in the scale. At times, I find this approach not as pleasing to the ear as using a chromatic approach.
Part two of Building Walking Bass Lines adds even more variations to your walking bass lines by introducing diatonic modes, minor and harmonic minor scales, pentatonic scales, and using the scales to fit the chords.
Also covered in part two is the use of arpeggios over chord changes and a small section covering chord progressions. There are accompanying audio tracks that can be downloaded or used online from Hal Leonard, with each track having the piano and drums on the right, and bass on the left. This allows you to play along with the exercises in the book, with the bass line, then pan to the right to just hear piano and drums.
Check out Hal Leonard’s Building Walking Bass Lines by Ed Friedland available directly from Hal Leonard here!