VARIATION4 Walk­ing Bass

Guitar Techniques - - Play: Big Band, Jazz & Swing -

As Joe Pass sim­ply states, the most im­por­tant fea­ture in a walk­ing bass ar­range­ment is, you’ve guessed it, the bass! For this vari­a­tion we’re choos­ing a rather more in­volved be­bop vari­ant of the jazz blues, re­splen­dent with IIm V I moves in near enough ev­ery bar, al­though the ba­sic frame­work of key events re­mains largely in­tact. From a tech­ni­cal per­spec­tive here I’d favour switch­ing to a thumb and fin­gers tech­nique to pro­duce a warmer tone, so you’ll need to do some swift pick palm­ing in the pre­ced­ing bar. I per­son­ally push the pick be­tween my first and sec­ond fin­gers be­tween the knuckle joint and the hand. From a sonic per­spec­tive its good to con­sider the best ap­proaches to each in­de­pen­dent part, so the bass ideally needs to be smooth and legato, like a bass player, whilst the punc­tu­at­ing small chord frag­ments in the tre­ble need to be much more stac­cato, or clipped, to pop out clearly.

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