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Walking Bass and Chords - Bb Blues - Jazz Guitar Lesson


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Jens Larsen
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Published on Sep 7, 2017

Walking Bass and Chords is one of the greatest ways to comp if you are the only one playing
behind a soloist like a horn or a singer. In this lesson I am going to go over a Walking bass
comp on a  12 bar Bb Jazz Blues and how you play it on guitar. The video is based on a
recording I made and transcribed.

Some of the things I discuss are on making walking bass lines on guitar, how to play them
and how to add chords to your bassline. I also discuss shell voicings and drop3 voicings as
being very useful for this type of guitar comping

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77 Comments SORT BY

Add a public comment...

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Question:

Are there any songs you would like me to do a Walking Bass lesson on?

REPLY 3

Hide replies
Dspeir 3 months ago
How about "smoke on the water ?"  :D

REPLY 3

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Haha! I'll keep it in mind! 😄

REPLY 1

GreenJeepAdventures 3 months ago (edited)


Billies Bounce perhaps ( even though it is close to your blues) with more of a
scalar bass line? Also, could you do a a follow up lesson that breaks down the
various walking bass turnarounds that one could add to the end for variety?

REPLY 1

kingster20 3 months ago


rhythm changes :)

REPLY 1

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


I think I already made one on a Blues in F? Maybe the Rhythm Changes lesson
I think I already made one on a Blues in F? Maybe the Rhythm Changes lesson
might be a good idea for the turnaround suggestions?

REPLY 1

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Thanks! :)

REPLY

Sean Guilz 3 months ago


Jens Larsen how about Misty with the walking bass?

REPLY 3

Grits Gravy 3 months ago


Hahaha, been working on this for a month or so now! Was hoping you'd do a
lesson like this! Thanks Jens!

Songs to take for a walk:


Read more
REPLY 1

Looksik here 3 months ago


Have you met miss jones

REPLY 3

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Thanks Russ! I think Rhythm Changes and All The Things are requested quite a
lot :)

REPLY 1

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Thanks Sean! I would say that a Ballad doesn't really call for walking, but maybe
it's worth thinking about :)

REPLY

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Thanks! Have you met miss Jones is indeed a great song!

REPLY

wYc7T jmf 3 months ago


I'd propose "my baby just cares for me", since it has that iconic walking bass line
and suggests reharmonization, but rhythm changes and any circle-of-5ths-based
tune are solid and welcomed choices too.

REPLY 1

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


I'll keep those in mind! My Baby just cares for me does have a nice bass line :)

REPLY 1

David Flint 3 months ago


Jens Larsen thank you for your excellent videos.
This composition of yours covers rhythm melody harmony and technique.
Much respect maestro.

REPLY 1

alex zhigareff 3 months ago (edited)


How high the moon , interesting chord changes , tempo is good for walking bass
.Or may be it'l be another tunes where you can explaine the principles of

costructing walking bass lines for solo guitar

REPLY 1

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Thank you David! Glad you like it!

REPLY

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Thx Alex! Do you mean playing chords, bass and melody at the same time?

REPLY
Shane B 3 months ago

Bags groove
REPLY

alex zhigareff 2 months ago


I mean principles of constructing walking bass only , for example voice leading
through chord changes .Rick Beato have only practical one to play in style of Joe
Pass for example .

REPLY

Rémi B. Goode 3 months ago


Full of great ideas as usual, but I appreciate particularly this side of guitar; it's very great
and well explained, very interesting; it's not an easy key, and all what you teach very
clearly can be of course transposed easily for other keys. About a tune I have Stella in
mind, but it's the more complex/strange I have in mind and not very appropriate for

REPLY 2
Jens Larsen 3 months ago

Yes, you are mostly in to solo guitar (I think you mentioned that once or twice 😄)
Stella is certainly possible, it might be a bit long? but I will keep it in mind for
sure!

REPLY

Nicky B 3 months ago


Thank you Jens! I really appreciate that you took the time to make this video, ive been
really interested in how to approach walking bass with comping, and youv'e been a
great help here! Best wishes.

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 3 months ago
Thank you very much Nicky! I am glad you found it useful!

REPLY

scott b 3 months ago


i ff hi ki i ' d h i h l d h i i d h
i start off thinking i can't do that...i watch your lesson and then its....now i can do that

...thanks for that Jens !


REPLY 4
Jens Larsen 3 months ago
That's great Scott! I might quote you on that!

REPLY

JonM Musik Germany 3 months ago


Very cool bro...super lesson+++++

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 3 months ago
Thanks Jon!

REPLY

jon wil 3 months ago


Great lesson! Thank you for sharing.

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 3 months ago
You are very welcome!

REPLY

Anthony Demitre 2 months ago


Hi today I'm working on this lesson, always love to hear a guitarist play bass lines with
chords no reason I can't.

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 2 months ago
Great Anthony! Keep at it!

REPLY

lpgoog 1 week ago


The breadth of your musical knowledge in your channel is astounding! I'm barely
The breadth of your musical knowledge in your channel is astounding! I m barely
scratching the surface. Please do a video on your time management skills. How do you
nd the time to accumulate all this knowledge? LOL

REPLY 1

Jens Larsen 1 week ago


Haha! Thank you! I don't know how you do that I can't help it I am afraid..

REPLY

Aek Sinsang 3 months ago


this is great. also, cam really clear & pro. what video cam do you use??

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 3 months ago
Thank you very much! I use a Panasonic Lumix G6. I think the fact that I bought
lights makes it look more pro?

REPLY

Eduardo Montes 2 months ago


Excellent video thanks for sharing this lesson. I would like you to publish a lesson on
how to play the song "Tune up" with walking bass. "Greetings from Mexico.

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 2 months ago
Thank you Eduardo! I will keep that in mind

REPLY

siglo 21 3 months ago


titan master

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 3 months ago
Gracias!

REPLY
Jeremy Hickerson 3 months ago
your rationale for which chords to sustain is something that ought to be obvious, but I'd
never really analyzed it like that or heard anybody else say it either - thank you!

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 3 months ago
Thank you Jeremy! I am playing in a show where I do this a lot and I started to
wonder how it worked while playing the bass lines there :)

REPLY

Jeremy Hickerson 3 months ago


very helpful!

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 3 months ago
Thank you! Glad to hear that!

REPLY

Nicolás Padrós 3 months ago


I might be crazy here, but didn't you post a similar video some time ago? I remember
because I had to play a Jazz blues with my girlfriend, and that video is what made it
possible for me. I didn't know much about, and I still don't, but that video really helped
me. I'm not complaining though, i love every video of yours! Thank you for teaching us,

REPLY 1

View all 3 replies

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Hard to say :)

I thought I linked a list, let's try again: This should be 5 videos

REPLY

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Jens Larsen 3 months ago
I know what you mean! I was checking myself to make sure, because I thought I
had posted a blues walking bass lesson already, but these are all I have:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=tERCY0QQcvQ&list=PLWYuNvZPqqcFEu6QldXHj6iE0dS0jSexX&index=1

REPLY

JimmyJames714 3 months ago


Very cool. Thank you, Jens!

REPLY 1
Jens Larsen 3 months ago
You're very welcome Jimmy! Glad you like it!

REPLY

Wayne Love 3 months ago


i really like this style of jazz. how about examples in other time signatures.

REPLY 1

View all 3 replies


Jens Larsen 3 months ago
Thanks Wayne!

I of course don't know what you have been listening to and what you expect. If
Read more

REPLY 1

Jens Larsen 3 months ago


Thank you Wayne! I am not sure walking in other meters are really that common
to be honest. Most of the records I have don't usually have walking in 3/4 and
certainly not in odd meters. But maybe that's my record collection?

REPLY 1