Jazz Concepts: Back to the Roots

by John Goldsby — Bass Magazine — Issue 9

How large is the number called a Googol? You could Google it, but I’ll just tell you: A Googol is 10100, or one followed by a hundred zeros. That’s about how many quarter-notes I’ve played in my life, or at least it feels that way. As I’ve walked my way through my career, I’m still outlining chord changes and providing a foundation for the music, often by playing the root of every chord on the downbeat of every bar. Walking bass lines remain an essential component of my musical life. 

Let’s look at a couple of methods to create beautifully constructed, practical, and musical-sounding bass lines without getting hung up on music theory. I’ll describe the basics of bass line construction, and then we’re off to the races … the walking races. 

Walking bass lines are constructed with … read more

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