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Walking Bass

A walking bass line is the most common approach to jazz bass playing, but it is also used in rock music, blues, rockabilly, R&B, gospel, Latin, country and many other types of music. The term ‘walking’ is used to describe the moving feeling that quarter notes create in the bass part.

A walking bass line is usually made up of arpeggios and scale passages. The main object is to state every beat, so the line is predominantly quarter notes, but can include 8th notes and triplets. Repeated notes are sometimes used in walking bass, but are not recommended over a chord change. Large interval leaps are useful occasionally and are usually followed by a scale passage moving in the opposite direction.

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