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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Walking bass (ii)

One youtube video showed me how to play walking bass in the piano.  Basically, you can just set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes, and metronome to a slowish tempo, choose a chord progression, and just walk with it until the timer rings. Apply as many concepts as you want to or can. Repeat in a different key or with a different chord progression. You can put a rootless voicing in the right hand, like a 3 and 7 or 3,6,9.

What this video, by Dave Frank, taught me is that a bass line is a melody. Since I can write melodies I can write bass lines.

The amazing thing is that after doing this with a few progressions, I found I could do it my head thinking of very precise notes rather than just vaguely.  I did a 2/5/1 in Bflat and then in C, a blues progression in C, and then a 1/6/2/5. I also wrote a bass line for the A section of "Lulu's Back in Town."

I'm not good at it yet, of course, but I made very rapid progress, from barely being able to play one at all to being able to play one with some fluency. When I don't set a metronome I just continually speed up.

This will provide a different kind of left hand for my playing, as opposed to my usual block chords.

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