LearnJazzPiano.com archives: Walking to the Moon
Brotherdavies -- 08/02/2005, 09:14:10 -- #17160

I have studied the method for Walking Bass but I still have trouble coming up with a nicely swinging walking bass line. I (and others as well I guess!) would find if very useful if somebody could give me some ideas for Fly Me To The Moon.

I'd like to play a solid walking bass over the changes to get the sort of Sinatra/Basie effect.

I am sure some ideas will help me come up with my own bass lines in the future.

Thank you !!!


Mike -- 08/02/2005, 09:40:05 -- #17161
The secrets to becoming a good walking bass line player are much the same as becoming a good improviser.  Transcription is huge.  Think of who you favorite walking bass players are and transcribe them.  Especially transcribe what the play over ii v I progressions for example and then transpose that into all 12 keys and practice for automatic facility, because utimately to be a good walking bass pianist you must be able to improvise great walking bass lines in any key on instantly just  like you must be able to improvise great melodies.  Also transcibe especially how your favorite walking bass player handles a multitude of harmonic situations...   transpose them all and practice them all for autimatic facility.  Then you find   it doesnt matter  ....Fly me to The Moon,  Satin Doll, Night Train,  ... It does not matter what the tune is you can come up with a great walking bass line effortlessly and you start to hear people commenting on what a strong left hand you have.

SolArt -- 08/02/2005, 16:47:47 -- #17202
In my opinion a good walking or bass line is only a part of a strong left hand,(& the easiest to learn) & it often makes the music not full enough. The left hand must also play chords mixed in for this.

My advice is to check out some bass books Bro' to get bass LINES stronger.

Brotherdavies -- 08/03/2005, 05:11:30 -- #17220
Thanks guys

I want to achieve a sound where you have to think, is that a bass player or is it the piano playing that steady but swingin'bass.

Wish I could do more transcription but never seem to have enough time (toddler, job, exams etc!!!).

I can only think of Ray Brown when it comes to a bass player I would like to copy.



sdm -- 08/03/2005, 11:31:41 -- #17232
How about Leroy Vinear?  But then, as with every other instrument there are many great players.

KillerAlex26 -- 08/03/2005, 19:33:19 -- #17243
hmm, this might be a little out of place, but... did Tito Puentes really played jazz? cause i though he played latinish things... the last time i heard a song from him was like ooof, too much to tell and it was just a little bit what i heard

Rid -- 08/03/2005, 21:03:12 -- #17250
Does anybody have any thoughts about which pianists/recordings would be best to listen to for piano walking bass?

I am thinking in terms of solo piano recordings, where the pianist is keeping the tempo himself by playing walking bass, and alternating with other styles of left hand playing.

Are there any good MIDI examples? I'm thinking MIDI examples might  be useful to listen to  because you could just listen to the channel with the bass.


orson -- 08/03/2005, 21:50:01 -- #17251
I bought a book called "solo jazz piano, the linear approach" by Neil Olmstead.  It has a lot of info about how to construct walking bass lines and multi-voice contrapuntal improvisation.  For each concept there is an "etude" based on the changes to a jazz standard, for which you are encouraged to write your own bass lines and voicings.  There is also a CD included, on which N.O. plays the etudes and sample bass lines.  The problem is, the bass is so over the top on these recordings (on purpose maybe?) that it sort of puts me off, I don't really like the style of playing.  However, the info is very informative overall, more on bass lines than I've seen anywhere else.  N.O. says he models his technique on Lenny Tristano and Dave McKenna.  Has anybody else had experience with this book?  What did you think?

Adam1226 -- 08/04/2005, 00:31:14 -- #17254
I'm certainly not an expert with bass lines, but Dave McKenna.  If you can learn to use your left hand the way he does, you'll have our built in rhythm section.  The book "solo jazz piano" is good, although like anything else requires  a good deal of practice.


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