Dave Marks Walking Bass Lessons on Youtube: Lesson 1

We are using a chord progression with 3 chord types: Min 7 (Root – Flat 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Dominant 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Major 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Natural 7th)

Our progression is a II - V - I in the Key of C Major. If we look at all of the 4 note chords formed in the Key of C Major, we get: C Maj7 I D min7 II E min7 III F Maj7 IV G7 V A min7 VI B min7 (b5) VII

Thus a II V I progression has the chords: D min7 – G7 – C Maj7 II V I

Exercise 1.
• • • • Play 4 note arpeggios. Start on the root note of each chord. Ascend for every chord. Wherever possible, use shapes that stay in position. (I.e. you don’t have to move your hand up or down the neck)

Play these arpeggios in all 12 keys around the cycle of fourths. The purpose of this lesson is purely to get your hands familiar with the shapes that we use to play over these chord types. This exercise is great for your left hand technique, using one finger per fret ideas and getting you used to playing in position.

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even dynamics and a steady. This does not need to be done with a metronome. practice along to a click or a playalong drum track. Once you have learned the shapes and your hand is comfortable with the movements. Start slowly and aim for a good tone. Enjoy practicing and tune in next week! Dave . solid feel. drum machine or click.Make sure to start slowly and learn the shapes.

• • • Play 4 note arpeggios.I in the Key of C Major.Dave Marks Walking Bass Lessons on Youtube: Lesson 2 We are using a chord progression with 3 chord types: Min 7 (Root – Flat 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Dominant 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Major 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Natural 7th) Our progression is a II .V . Start on the root note of each chord. we get: C Maj7 I D min7 II E min7 III F Maj7 IV G7 V A min7 VI B min7 (b5) VII Thus a II V I progression has the chords: D min7 – G7 – C Maj7 II V I Exercise 2. If we look at all of the 4 note chords formed in the Key of C Major. Ascend for one chord and descend for the next. This pattern allows two possibilities: 01: Ascend D min7 – Descend G7 – Ascend C Maj7 .

descend C Maj7. Ascend D min7. Descend D min7. Ascend D min7 & G7. Descend D min7 & G7.02: Descend D min7 – Ascend G7 – Descend C Maj7 Play these arpeggios in all 12 keys around the cycle of fourths. even dynamics and a steady. All chords descending. 5. 3. descend G7 & C Maj7. ascend C Maj7. Once you feel comfortable with this idea. 2. Once you have learned the shape and your hand is comfortable with the movements. solid feel. try these combinations: 1. Start slowly and aim for a good tone. Make sure to start slowly and learn the shapes. drum machine or click. ascend G7 & C Maj7. This does not need to be done with a metronome. Enjoy practicing and tune in next week! Dave . The purpose of this lesson is to take the shapes that we learned last week and to get comfortable playing them as an ascending shape or a descending shape. practice along to a click or a playalong drum track. 4.

Exercise 3.e. help to compliment the sound of the chord. This is a 1st inversion arpeggio. but we can use other notes within the chord. but add a little harmonic twist. we are taught that the root note is very important and that it helps us to compliment whatever chord the guitar or piano is playing. This is a root position arpeggio. • • • Select one of the chord types that we are using (e. which are perfectly acceptable. As bass players. we started all of our shapes from the root note. min7) Begin with C as your root note.Dave Marks Walking Bass Lessons on Youtube: Lesson 3 We are using a chord progression with 3 chord types: Min 7 (Root – Flat 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Dominant 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Major 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Natural 7th) In the first two lessons. • Now start on the 3rd of the chord and play an ascending 4-note arpeggio. . our 1st chord will be C min7) Start on the root note and play an ascending 4-note arpeggio. (I.g. This is true.

And finally the same thing for a Major 7 Chord. 5.g. as you play them.g. moving around the cycle of fourths. solid feel. ‘Flat third’. ‘Fifth’ ‘Flat Seventh’ etc.) 3. even dynamics and a steady. ‘C’. ‘Root’. Once you have learned the shape and your hand is comfortable with the movements. 1.. 2. practice along to a click or a playalong drum track.Now try the same system for a Dominant 7 chord. drum machine or click. Next. (E. play them in all 12 keys. ‘G’. Enjoy practicing and tune in next week! . When the shapes feel comfortable and familiar in the key of C. try calling out the name of the interval that you are playing on each note. ‘B Flat’ etc) 4. Make sure to start slowly and learn the shapes. (E. call out the names of each of the notes that you are playing. ‘E Flat’. This does not need to be done with a metronome. Start slowly and aim for a good tone. Once you are comfortable and have the intervallic structure of each chord type in your head.

e. This is a 3rd inversion arpeggio. (I. • • • Select one of the chord types that we are using (e. . Exercise 4. This is a 2nd inversion arpeggio. we’re going on to our 2nd and 3rd inversion shapes.Dave Marks Walking Bass Lessons on Youtube: Lesson 4 We are using a chord progression with 3 chord types: Min 7 (Root – Flat 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Dominant 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Major 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Natural 7th) Last week we looked at Root position Chords and 1st inversions.g. we start on the fifth of our min7 chord and play an ascending 4-note arpeggio. Our 1st chord will be C min7) Last week we looked at our Root position and 1st Inversion shapes. min7) Begin with C as your root note. • Now start on the b7th of the chord and play an ascending 4-note arpeggio. This week. • This week.

1. drum machine or click.g. as we are initially just getting our hands around the shapes. ‘E Flat’. When the shapes feel comfortable and familiar in the key of C. try calling out the name of the interval that you are playing on each note. Once you have learned the shapes and your hand is comfortable with the movements. ‘B Flat’. Either is good. 5.) 4. call out the names of each of the notes that you are playing. Enjoy practicing and tune in next week! . solid feel. Next. ‘Root’. practice along to a click or a playalong drum track. even dynamics and a steady. etc. You may wish to play the 2nd and 3rd inversions from this week’s lesson alone or create a sequence. 2. Once you are comfortable and have the intervallic structure of each chord type in your head. Make sure to start slowly and learn the shapes.‘C’. as you play them.) 3. ‘Flat Seventh’. where you play root position – 1st inversion – 2nd inversion – 3rd inversion (combining last weeks shapes and this week’s shapes). (E. And finally the same thing for a Major 7 Chord. play them in all 12 keys. ‘Fifth’. (E. ‘G’. Start slowly and aim for a good tone. moving around the cycle of fourths.g. ‘Flat Third’ etc.Now try the same system for a Dominant 7 chord.. This does not need to be done with a metronome.

our concept is to create a system that we can use to explore all of the possibilities of ascending and descending 4 note chords and their inversions. This means that we begin and end each time on familiar territory. We!ll start by moving the V chord . we!ll play all of our shapes ascending. We played these: Ascending: Root – 3rd – 5th – 7th Descending: Root – 7th – 5th – 3rd In weeks 3 & 4.Dave Marks Walking Bass Lessons on Youtube: Lesson 5 We are using a chord progression with 3 chord types: Min 7 (Root – Flat 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Dominant 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Major 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Natural 7th) In the first two weeks. we looked at playing four note chords as arpeggios. This week. You can add it in at the start of the exercise if you like. • We will be playing our II – V – I progression in the Key of C Major. Our chords are: D min7 – G7 – C Maj7 II V I • • • . Starting from the Root: Starting from the 3rd: Starting from the 5th: Starting from the 7th: Root – 3rd – 5th – 7th Root Position 3rd – 5th – 7th – Root 1st Inversion 5th – 7th – Root – 3rd 2nd Inversion 7th – Root – 3rd – 5th 3rd Inversion Exercise 5. To begin with. I!ve omitted the G7 Root position arpeggio because we!ve used that shape in all of our previous exercises. we looked at playing each chord starting from any note in that chord.G7 through all of its inversions.

(C – E –G – B) • • • Play the D min7 root position arpeggio. so both can be considered equally good options. (B – D – F – G) Finally. Either way. (D – F – A – C) Now play the G7 1st inversion arpeggio. The note we start G7 3rd inversion from is F.• • • Play the D min7 root position arpeggio. (D – F – A – C) Now play the G7 2nd inversion arpeggio. play the C Maj7 Root position arpeggio. (C – E –G – B) • • • Play the D min7 root position arpeggio. (D – F – G – B) Finally. from the 1st fret of the E String. so we have access to it from the 3rd fret of the D string or one octave below. (C – E –G – B) This exercise can be played two different ways. (F – G –B – D) Finally. (D – F – A – C) Now play the G7 3rd inversion arpeggio. play the C Maj7 Root position arpeggio. you have to move out of position. . play the C Maj7 Root position arpeggio.

you can move the D min7 chord through each of it!s inversions. but keep the D min7 and G7 as Root Position chords: . but keep the G7 and C Maj7 as root position chords: Finally. we!ll move the C Maj7 chord through each of its inversions.Once you have this idea down.

What I!ve listed here is just the tip of the iceberg. Exercise 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 D min7 Root Position Root Position Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position Root Position Root Position G7 1 Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion st C Maj7 Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position . If you think about it. All arpeggios Ascending. one moves through Inversions. we!ve used a very straightforward system: 2. (Try them with all descending…) 3.1. 2 Chords in Root Position.

1st. and 3rd inversions possible. Starting on a Root position chord every time. but if you know your shapes well. There are 64 possibilities in total. 2nd. you should be able to get through all of them in less than 10 minutes. Exercise 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 D min7 Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Root Root Root Root Root Root Root Root Root Root Root Position Position Position Position Position Position Position Position Position Position Position Position G7 Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion C Maj7 Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion .Dave Marks Walking Bass Lessons on Youtube: Lesson 6 We are using a chord progression with 3 chord types: Min 7 (Root – Flat 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Dominant 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Major 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Natural 7th) I!ve written out an entire system that covers every combination of Root Position. It may sound like a lot.

Exercise 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 D min7 1 Inversion 1st Inversion 1st Inversion 1st Inversion st G7 Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion C Maj7 Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion 13 14 15 16 Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion .Starting on a 1st Inversion every time.

Starting on a 2nd Inversion every time. Exercise 01 02 03 04 D min7 2 Inversion 2nd Inversion 2nd Inversion 2nd Inversion nd G7 Root Position Root Position Root Position Root Position 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd C Maj7 Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion .

The practice! Enjoy practicing and tune in next week! . If you practice in a disciplined and structured way. we define ourselves by the choices that we make. the right notes will come from your hands. This may seem like a very mathematical and machine-like way of practicing music. But first…. When you perform. when you hear or imagine a sound. If you!ve practiced well. but in the world of improvisation.Starting on a 3rd Inversion every time. By going through all of the possible choices. we have a larger "bag of tricks! to pull things from. Exercise 01 02 03 04 D min7 3 Inversion 3rd Inversion 3rd Inversion 3rd Inversion rd Root Root Root Root 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd G7 Position Position Position Position C Maj7 Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion 05 06 07 08 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion Root Position 1st Inversion 2nd Inversion 3rd Inversion 1. you can get onstage and "trust yourself!. 2. the process should not be careful or conscious.

you simply have to play each of the arpeggios. but with the 5th flattened.) Lets compare the 2 chord types: Minor 7 shape (Root. we are going to introduce a new chord type. The chord progression I’ve used is based on the popular Jazz standard ‘Autumn Leaves’ and we’ll be using it to explore some different options in walking bassline construction. b3rd. In all of the previous lessons. For this week’s lesson. b7th) Now that you know this shape. starting from the root note. 5th. we have used 3 chord types: Major 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Natural 7th) Dominant 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Min 7 (Root – Flat 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Exercise 7. moved down by 1 fret. b5th. we simply want to identify where on the neck each of the root notes are and then play the correct 4 note arpeggio.e. The key here is not to play fast or even to make it groove in time. . b7th) Min 7 b5 shape (Root. b3rd. This week we are going to learn about the min7 (b5) chord (also known as the ‘half diminished’) As its name suggests. (I.Dave Marks Walking Bass Lessons on Youtube: Lesson 7 This week. we’re ready to start looking at a song that uses all of the chords we’ve learned so far. this chord shape is just like a minor 7 chord.

Enjoy practicing and tune in next week! . Work through these changes slowly and make sure you know your shapes. start playing it in time with a drummer. drum machine or groove sample.1. As you improve.

b5th. we are going to explore ways of connecting together the chords in our progression. Let’s use ‘2 in a bar’ feel. In this example. If a chord only lasts for half a bar. this exercise should be quite easy. If a chord lasts for 2 bars. • • • • • For every chord.3rd pattern.5th on others. Major 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Natural 7th) Dominant 7 (Root – Maj 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Min 7 (Root – Flat 3rd – Perfect 5th – Flat 7th) Exercise 8. learned about a new chord type: Min 7 b5 shape (Root. . This is where you play on beats 1 and 3. start on the root note and then play the 5th. you can simply repeat the root and 3rd. Explore the possibilities. The problem we have if we just play root position arpeggios in every bar is that the last note of bar 1 and the first note of bar 2 aren’t close together – they don’t make a smooth. I’ve written out the first 8 bars with a line that uses the root . b3rd.3rd on some chords and root . If you’ve learned your arpeggios well. flowing line.Dave Marks Walking Bass Lessons on Youtube: Lesson 8 Recap: In last week’s lesson. start on the root note and then play the 3rd. This week. b7th) We should still be working with the 3 chord types we looked at before…. just play the root note. (It will be a Major or minor 3rd depending on the chord type) For every chord. (It will be a perfect 5th on all the chords except the F#m7 b5 – that has a b5) Start to mix up the options here – play root . I’ve always used a low root note and gone to the 3rd above every time.

Although this type of pattern means a lot of position shifting. 1. I’ve marked in the nice connections when we have a tone or semitone leading into the next root note. we will be able to connect together chords in position. we are trying to learn about connecting together chords. Work through these changes slowly and make sure you know your shapes. Enjoy practicing and tune in next week! . As you improve. start playing it in time with a drummer. drum machine or groove sample. Eventually. 3rds and 5ths and being able to confidently move between them. but for now the most important thing is knowing your root notes.

01 is an ascending line that only changes direction in the last note (if we are playing in position.Dave Marks Walking Bass Lessons on Youtube: Lesson 9 Recap: In last week’s lesson. This is where you play on beats 1 and 3. we are going to present six different options for linking up the first four chords in the chart. This week. Each of the exercises has a certain ‘shape’ or contour. . • • • Ex. 03 & 04 all create lines within a limited range e. Again. – 1 octave. Ex 05 & 06 explore the possibilities missing up 3rds in the octave above the root note and 3rds in the octave below the root note. 02. we looked at using 2 in a bar feel and playing Root – 3rd or Root – 5th for each chord. let’s use ‘2 in a bar’ feel.g. Exercise 9. we have to change the direction of the line) Ex.

It’s a great idea for you to write out ideas that you have. 3. rather than trying to figure out new fingerings for a ‘lick’. That way. Transcribing is an incredibly valuable skill and it means you can build up a body of work… your own lines! Enjoy practicing and tune in next week! . try and focus on what the notes are doing – think more about ‘creating an ascending line with 3rds’ or ‘playing 3rds within a small range’. Play through these examples and then try some ideas of your own. 2.Instead of trying to learn these lines as a lick or pattern. When you feel comfortable playing around with 3rds. 1. when you play over a different chord progression or play in a different key. start all over again with 5ths. it’s much easier to translate the concept.

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