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Jazz Bass Lessons: Electric Bass: Walking Bass: Cells Based on Scale Degrees & Chord Tones – F7

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Now we're gonna turn to walking bass and
walking patterns and to begin with an idea
that I think will help
you to start building
compositionally as a bassist and
making good bass lines.
We're going to use the blues form,
a twelve bar blues form.
And we're going to use a concept
that I call cells, walking cells.
Cells are a four note grouping, it's a one
bar pattern, and it outlines a chord.
We're going to do F seven and
B flat seven.
A minor seven, D seven,
G minor seven, and C seven.
These are all the chord
changes in an F blues.
And you'll see later,
when we put it all together, and
we start walking through a 12 bar blues.
But for now, I wanna give you the little
pieces that make up a walking line,
by getting you to think about these cells.
So, when you hear Ray Brown, or
Ron Carter, or Paul Chambers on a record,
they play these little four note
cells to outline the chord.
So, I'm gonna start with F7 first, and
we're gonna talk about
what cells sound good.
And on these sheets that I'll give you,
there's even little
numbers over the notes, and sometimes
the letter R, which stands for the root.
Because, basically, I want you to
think analytically, what sounds good?
The root on the downbeat
often sounds good.
It's very foundational but then,
is it the fifth of the chord, or
the flat seven of the chord,
is it the root again,
is it the second degree of the scale,
or is it the third of the chord?
So they have scaled degrees and
chord tones above them.
And I'm gonna play two lines,
basically, two lines, which is about,
I think I've got twelve cells for
you that I'm going to play.
And then there's twelve more below
that without numbers over them, and
I'd like you to look at them and
fill in, is that the third of the chord?
Or is that the root of the chord?
It's F seven so
you know that F is the root.
G would be the second degree of the scale.
A is the third.
B flat is the fourth.
C is the fifth degree.
D is the sixth degree.
E flat is the seventh degree, because it's
a flat seven or a dominant seventh chord.
And back to the root F again So
I'm gonna show you simply here.
Here's some walking cells for
F seven to get you going.
The idea is that you start
to listen to records too and
you hear guys play and
you go, that's a cool cell.
Here's a good cell that everybody uses,
it's the root, the fifth,
the flat seven, and the root again.
So you got, you hear guys doing
this in shuffles and blues's.
[SOUND] The reason why it sounds so
foundational and you've heard it so
many times is it's very strong to
have the root on the downbeat,
the fifth, the flat seven,
and then the root, so
your really cementing
the idea this is an F seven.
The only thing you left out was the third,
which a third is obviously very strong and
important, but
in the blues it's an interesting thing,
because the seventh chords are so
plentiful that the one chord in
the blues is a dominant seventh.
That's one of the only forms of
music where the one chord is not
just a major chord.
So, because it's a dominant seventh, that
flat seven becomes so strong in our minds
that we can get away with not even
having the third in our baseline.
And you hear the blues when you go,
people are gonna feel the blues from that,
even though you didn't have the third.
So I'm gonna play you the twelve little
first cells I have on the page and
you're gonna practice them all, but
you're gonna write in what the notes
represent in the numbers in terms
of whether it's the scale degree or
the chord degree in
the arpeggio on the other 12.
So here's the first 12, so,
here's one, five, flat seven, root.
That's the one we talked about.
Here's another one.
The root, the second, the third,
and the fifth of the chord.
Now we don't have the seventh, but
we have the root,
the second degree of the scale,
the third, and the fifth.
what if you put them two together?
Those first ones?
The one, five, flat seven, and the root,
and the one, two, three, five.
Maybe, let's start with the one,
two, three, five.
You can do that for
the first two bars of your blues.
Sounds great.
Here's another cell.
Root five.
I put third again, but
when it goes that high,
it's a tenth because it's
an octave above the third.
Root five, ten, five, or the third.
Again, let's put the first bar with
the one, five, flat seven,
root with the one, five, ten, five.
See they work
So you can pair and mix and match.
You'll see as we go.
Now, here's another one.
Root, flat seven, five,
three of the scale, the F scale.
One, which is F, E flat,
C, and A, the third.
So now you have the root, the flat seven,
the fifth, and the third.
You got everything.
I cheated there,
I put in another thing, ha.
I went one, five,
flat seven, five, six, five.
That's also a good cell.
You get the idea.
Here's a couple more.
We've still got a few more before
we get to the end of our 12.
Here's another one.
Root, octave, flat seven, octave.
Root, root, flat seven, root basically.
Very strong.
Here's another one.
Root, flat seven, five,
root, at the octave.
Now here's one that starts on the third.
Sometimes you can start your
bass line not on the root.
But on the third, cuz it's a strong note.
Here's third, root, flat seven, root.
Or third,
flat seven, five, root.
Then how about third,
octave third, root, flat seven?
Or there's two more.
Third, fifth, flat seven, root.
Or third flat seven, five, three.
Back to
the root.
Okay, so those are F seven cells.
There's 12 more on there, and
I want you to write is it a root,
is it a fifth, what is it, over each note.
You get the idea of how these
patterns sound in your ear and
how they lay in your fingers.
Then you start to hook them up because
the next chord will be our B flat seven,
which is the four chord of the blues.
The blues is basically the one chord, the
four and the five at it's most basic form.
In jazz, we tend to go the root,
we'll go the four chord,
so in F it would be an F then
a B flat seven, an F and
then a B flat seven,
and a B flat seven, and
then maybe an A minor seven and
a D seven, and then a G minor seven and
a C seven, and then an F and
then D seven, G minor, C seven.
That's a basic blues set of changes.
Anyway, we're gonna take you one
by one through these things so
you can start to learn
how to hook them up.
It's kinda like playing with Legos.
You connect this cell to that cell and
you keep building and
all of a sudden you've got a house
out of it, so that's the idea.
So that's F seven cells.