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Walking Bass Lines


BY LARRY CORYELL
“There are only two
BEING ABLE TO comp use just my thumb and fingers. Now let’s kinds of music,” says
and play bass lines at look at the music. Coryell. “Good and
the same time is a Another way to play the opening bad.”
very handy skill to chord is to barre the 6th fret with your
have. This column 1st finger, fretting the D note with your
deals with rhythm 2nd finger. In measure 4, two-note
changes, a progres- chords are held for two beats while the
sion (based on George Gershwin’s “I Got bass keeps moving. Measure 5 features
Rhythm”) that centers on the patterns a barre at the 1st fret, after which you
I-VI-II-V and III-VI-II-V. Although the fin- shift to the fifth position to play Bb/D.
gerings below work for me, they’re not Notice that the Bb chord in bar 7 does
carved in stone. When I’m in “bass-line not have a root—this is because the line
comp” mode, I put down the pick and is moving upward chromatically, and the

3
  =

B 7  
Gm7G7 Cm7 F7 Cm7 F7 Dm7 5
1
   
 44          ( ) 
     
    
3
 
4 3 4


  
4 3


2

2 3 4 4


1 4

  
3 3 3 4 3


2 2 3 1 3
2 2 1 3
2 2 3
2 2 2

T
8 6
A
7 10 8 8 5 4 3 2
B
6 8 8 7 6 3 1 1
9 10 9 8 6 5 4 3 0
6 9 8 4 3 2 1

B 7  B /D E 7  Edim7 B  G7 Cm7 F7

       


5

        4

     
2 1 4
 
3


    
4 1

    
2


4 2


1 3 1
3 3 3 3 2
1 1 2
1 3 2

T
3 6 8 8 6
A
1 6 6 7 10 8 8
B
8 8 8 9 8 7
1 1 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 9 10 9 8
9 8 7

B 7  G7 Cm7 F7sus4 Dm7 D 7  G 7  B7


9

      
 
 
4  
 
 
 
  
  
       4

4 4 4
       
3 3

  1 3 1 3 1
3 3 3 3
2 2 2 2
2 1
2

T 7 4 3 3 5 4 3 2
A 6 3 1 1 3 3 2 1
B 4 3 6 5 5 4 4 2 2
6 4 3 2 1 2 2

1 4 2 GUITAR PLAYER MARCH 2002 guitarplayer.com CO RY E L L PH OTO : G P A RC H I V E S



chord acts as a passing harmony. tions to end the exercise: Db7 is substituted as it’s normally played, play what’s written
Measure 10 has another shift. Here, you
jump from the first-position F bass note to
the Eb at the 6th fret, fifth string, putting you
for G7, Gb7 for Cm7, and B7 replaces F7.
Rhythm changes usually include a
standard bridge—the B section—that, in the
here—the A section—twice, play the bridge
that I just described, and then play the first
part one more time. This is referred to as an
C
in position for the subsequent Dm7 chord.
Measure 11 features some chord substitu-
key of Bb, consists of two bars each of D7,
G7, C7, and F7. To complete the progression
AABA form. Originally published in the August
’88 GP. g H
O
P
S
B
U
I
L
D
E
R
L E S S O N S a t T r u e f i r e . c o m

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Portable Harmonics, BY MATT BLACKETT
Walking Bass Lines, BY LARRY CORYELL
Reader’s Challenge, BY BOB LOOMIS
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“Your vibrato is your identity.” — Zakk Wylde, Sept. ’00, GP guitarplayer.com MARCH 2002 GUITAR PLAYER 1 4 3