Jazz School: [Major] ii7-V7-IM7 Chord Progression: Walking Bass Lines

piano-ology-jazz-school-major-2-5-1-chord-progression-walking-bass-lines-featured

A great way to keep the time moving and swinging is to “walk” the bass line in relentlessly flowing quarter notes that outline the harmony…

Variation #1: Walking down for two bars, then walking up for two bars…

piano-ology-jazz-school-major-2-5-1-chord-progression-walking-bass-lines-variation-1

Pattern Recognition: Each four-note group starts on “the 1” of the prevailing chord and moves scale-wise and diatonically to “the 1” of the next chord!


Variation #2: Walking up for two bar, then walking down for two bars…

piano-ology-jazz-school-major-2-5-1-chord-progression-walking-bass-lines-variation-2

Pattern Recognition: 1) Each four-note group begins on “the 1” of the prevailing chord, 2) A chromatic tone is inserted on a weak beat in order to make the line flow smoothly, 3) The fourth note in each group is a leading tone, which creates an irresistible melodic-harmonic drive to the 1 of the following chord.


Homework: Using your knowledge of the major scales and chord structure (and your ears of course), play this pattern in all keys you expect to play in (suggested keys: C, F, Bb).

Learning by doing in this manner will build an enormous scale and chord vocabulary that Doing so will develop an enormous scale and chord vocabulary that you will know by ear, intellect, eye, and muscle… laying a rock solid foundation for fluent improvisation.

Learn more… Jazz Sch0ol