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Chromatic Walking Bass Lines For Slick Sounds And Skills



Bassist Kevin Guin

Chromatic Walking Bass Lines…

Considering all of the things that you can work on to get an upgrade to your walking bass skills it’s hard to beat the pure power and punch that chromatic lines can bring to your bass playing. 

As more chromatic sounds are worked into your playing you will notice the easy sophistication that even simple instances can give. And the added advantage for any musician is that the use of chromatics will stretch your harmonic skills and your hearing skills alike. 

You might think that simply playing out a half step is an easy route to gold at the end of the chromatic rainbow. Although it’s not quite as easy as that, once you begin to experiment a bit with chromatic sounds you will readily understand what you have to do. 

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce chromatic sounds to developing bassists and to give several effective and easy to understand methods to get them into your walking lines. 

LESSON: Chromatic Walking Bass Lines

Before getting started, please click the orange button below to sign up for the download materials. There is a nice cache of mp3 audio play-along files and pdf charts of exercises and bass lines from the video lesson.


The chord progression of the day is a four-bar chromatic repeating pattern of two chords: G7 to Ab7, two-bars each.

The main methods that we will work to get into these chromatic sounds are the following:

  1. Root-To-Root: Play from the 3rd fret G up and back using a pentatonic blues pattern taking care to dive for the Ab just in time.
  1. Root-To-Chord-Tone: Play upward off the note G in a similar way as before but now plan on going over the octave and grabbing a note relevant to the Ab7, such as a Bb or a C or an Eb. 
  1. Chord-Tone-To-Chord-Tone:  Prominent examples would be walking chromatically from the b7 up to the root, or going chromatically down from the 3rd to knit the next change. Very slick sounds! 
  1. Triad Inversion Fun:  When you use a triad in common time it is very easy to displace the line and it makes for great interest. You will also have to learn how to grab extra notes to slot out these lines. 

Maybe the trickiest part of learning how to gain facility as a walking bass player is not learning chord tones and other harmonic things but keeping your place within the chord progressions. It stretches your concentration and it becomes easier to get lost in the form. 

Remember, when you are learning any bass line to always spend some time saying note names out loud.

Push the envelope to learn how to connect chords. And if you feel that you are way out of your league then start writing out the lines. Start simple and build up. In two weeks you won’t recognize yourself anymore! 

My recommendation is that you take your own sweet time with this chromatic method. If you were to work on one key plus one key-in-review per week you would get through all keys in a few months and get an incredible boost to your skill level as a walking bass player. 

Another pointer I would like to give is to use these walking lines to warm up when you are beginning your practice for the day.

When you get going for the day it’s easier on your hands to simply “go for a walk”. I find it very uplifting to drill down on these lines before more technically demanding work comes into the picture. 

I hope that you can block out all of the crazy, noisy things in the world so that you can concentrate on your music and pull yourself forward into truly artistic territory.

Best of luck to all of you and thanks for stopping in.


Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I



Jaime David Vazquez - Lessons For Bass Guitar

Triads & Inversions Part I

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue, we are going to study the triads and their inversions.

It is very important for all bassists to understand and master the triads, but it is even more important to understand their different inversions.

In Part I, we are going to learn what the triad is in fundamental position.

The Formula consists of root, third and fifth.

Degrees of the Triad

Major Triad: 1 – 3 – 5
Minor Triad: 1 – b3 – 5
Diminished Triad: 1 – b3 – b5
Augmented Triad: 1 – 3 – #5

Fig.1 – The C, Cm, Cdim & Caug triads
(Fundamental Position)

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I
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Bass Edu

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque



Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice's Bassist Lewis Bridges - From the Album, Grotesque

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

Bassist Lewis Bridges Shares…

“Gruesome’s sparse intro marks a stark contrast from the intensity of the rest of the album.  The original intention was to keep the bass simple but colourful, however as I worked on it, the lines grew more expressive and the more striking flourishes began to emerge.  The intensity builds into a harmonic minor passage that takes us into the drop — a signature death grind cacophony.  This is where Foetal Juice thrives.  You’re getting a full-on right-hand barrage to in the face to take you into a groove-laden mulch-fest.

I owe my throbbing bass tone to the Darkglass Alpha Omega pedal borrowed from our sound engineer, Chris Fielding (ex-Conan), mixed with the clarity of the tried and true Ampeg SVT CL.

As mentioned earlier, colourful basslines are important, especially in a one-guitar band. Chucking some funny intervals and odd flourishes here and there brings life into the brutality. There’s no point sounding brutal if it’s not gonna be fucking evil too!

Recording this playthrough was hard work. This was not the fault of James Goodwin (Necronautical), who was kindly filming and is ace to work with, but because in true Foetal fashion, we had stinking hangovers — and that jam room was hot!”

Follow Online

FB @FoetalJuice
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IG @foetaljuice
Youtube: @Foetaljuice

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Bass Edu

Bass Lines: The Circle



jaime Vazquez

Bass Lines: The Circle…

Hello bass players and fans of bass! This month we’re going to study “The Circle.”

The Circle of Fourths can also be called “The Circle of Fifths or just The Circle.

Practicing the scales, chords, and ideas in general via the circle has been a common practice routine for jazz musicians and highly recommended.

It is a disciplined way of working through all twelve keys.

Plus, many bass root movements to jazz and pop songs move through sections of the circle.

Fig. 1 – “The Circle”

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thecircle, #thecircleoffourths, #thecircleoffifths,#scales & #chords.

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Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 5



James Rosocha

Continuing our lesson of Approach Notes, Part 5…

In continuing with the concept of approach notes being applied to chord tones, this lesson approaches the root, third, fifth, and seventh degree of each arpeggio inversion by incorporating a double chromatic approach from above, and a single chromatic approach from below. 

The first examples approach the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a double chromatic from above and a single chromatic approach from below -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down.

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, double chromatic from above/ single below to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down.

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down. 

This final example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above and below approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, double chromatic from above and below to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down.

Be sure to pace yourself with these lessons to avoid burning out.

Being overly ambitious with your practice schedule can lead to unrealistic expectations. Try learning one approach note concept and one chord type a week. Change your practice routine as necessary and tailor it to your needs as a musician. Good luck!

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Bass Edu

BASS LINES – The Blue Notes (Minor Blues Scale)



jaime Vazquez

Hello bass players and bass fans! Happy New Year 2024!

In this issue, we are going to study the blue notes.

In blues, jazz, and rock, a blue note is a note that (for expressive purposes) is sung or played at a slightly different pitch from standard. Typically the alteration is between a quartertone and a semitone, but this varies depending on the musical context.

The blue notes are usually said to be the lowered third(b3), lowered fifth(b5) and lowered seventh(b7) scale degrees. The lowered fifth(b5) is also known as the raised fourth(#4). Though the blues scale has “an inherent minor tonality, it is commonly ‘forced’ over major-key chord changes, resulting in a distinctively dissonant conflict of tonalities”.

Blue notes are used in many blues songs, in jazz, rock and in conventional popular songs with a “blue” feeling.


The A Minor Blues Scale

1 – b3 – 4 – (#4/b5) – 5 – b7

A – C – D – (D#/Eb) – E – Bb

The grades(blue notes):

b3, (#4/b5), b7

C, (D#/Eb), Bb

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thebluenotes, #minorbluesscale & #bluesscale

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