This is a public version of the members-only Jazz Bass with John Patitucci, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Jazz Bass with John Patitucci.
Join Now

Beginner Upright Bass
Intermediate Upright Bass
Advanced Upright Bass
Music Theory
Beginner Electric Bass
Intermediate Electric Bass
Advanced Electric Bass
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Jazz Bass Lessons: Walking - Cells

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Beginner Upright Bass

+Intermediate Upright Bass

+Advanced Upright Bass

+Beginner Electric Bass

+Intermediate Electric Bass

+Advanced Electric Bass

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Jazz Bass
information below Close
Course Description

This is only a preview of what you get when you take Jazz Bass Lessons at ArtistWorks. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
Now we're gonna build
up the skills needed to do
a walking base part for a blues,
using these four note cells.
Each bar is four quarter notes,
they're little cells,
what I mean by that is each little
pattern, I'm calling a cell, we're gonna
do a bunch of patterns for the F7 chord,
which is the first chord of the F blues.
We're first gonna start getting
you used to playing cells,
little groups of four,
where the root is on the down beat.
First, when you're first starting
to play a tune with people,
especially a tune that they don't know or
a new tune,
it's always great to have that root on the
downbeat to settle everybody's nerves and
to know that, that downbeat means
the root is there, the foundation,
the house can be built on top of it, you
got stone on the bottom, not sand, okay.
That's the root, that's your foundation,
that's your cement.
Okay,so, I'm gonna give you like
root based ones and
also ones with the third
and also ones with the fifth and
then the seventh.
So if you're talking about an F7 chord,
the root is an F,
the third is an A, the fifth is a C, and
the flat seven which defines it as
a dominate seven chord, is E flat.
So we'll do some cells that start of F and
then we'll do some cells that start on A.
And then we'll do some cells that start
on C and some that start on E flat.
We're gonna do a nice, slow kick here, and
set out metronome on a nice relaxed tempo.
And I can show you some of these cells,
I'll show them to you, and
I'll repeat them each one, so
you can get used to them.
Let's do the F7.
We'll do the root ones first.
[SOUND] Also we're talking
about the metronome.
Now we're listening to it on two and four.
So If we do the cell and
you can practice two and four, and
one and three too, if you want.
But two and four is like this.
One two, a, one, two, three
that's a real good cell
root fifth, flat seven,
root, fifth, flat seven,
root, one of the best.
[LAUGH] Now, how about root,
two, three, five?
The second note, the third note, and
the fifth note of the scale,
now put it together.
How about backwards?
How bout this one,
one five, ten five.
Or it's like the third up in octave one.
One five, ten five,
one five or it's the third.
Now alternating between the first
one we learned and the third one.
Now one flat
seven five three.
Root, root, flat seven five three.
Now, root octave
flat seventh octave.
Now here they
are in sequence.
Root, five, flat seven, octave, and
root, one, two, two, three, five.
One, five, ten, five.
One, flat seven, five, three.
One octave,
flat seven, octave.
Now, root flat seven to three [LAUGH] one,
seven, five root, woo
Root, flat seven, five, root.
Take a break, keep that click going,
you can also do one and three,
if you do do one and
three which sound like one,
two, a one, two, three, four.
Doesn't that feel different?
It's another feeling.
I like two and four for
this kind of practice.
For what we're doing right now I
think two and four is just great.
Now, let's do, we're still in F7.
How about the third on the downbeat.
So now we have everything
started with an A.
In F seven, the third of the chord is A.
So now we have one, two,
one, two, three, four.
Three, root, flat seven root.
Three root flat
seven root, right?
[SOUND] All the while I'm playing
with the triplet feel in your head.
[NOISE] Or the six-eight.
[NOISE] Remember the cow bell?
[NOISE] There's the three-root
plus seven-root,
now three flat seven five root.
Now three octave
root flat seven.
Now three,
five, flat
seven, root.
Now three, flat seven,
five, three, three, flat seven,
five, five, three, [SOUND],
that's A, E flat, C, A,.
Now at this point, there's a whole
bunch of more stuff on that sheet of
the thirds that I'm gonna
skip to the fifths,
now what right after those two lines that
you'll see written on your .pdf sheet for
this you'll see that the numbers
are over half the exercise.
The second half of the exercise
you're gonna put the numbers in,
cuz you know know it's in F seven and you
only have four notes to choose between.
It's either gonna be the root,
the third, the fifth, or
the flat seven so
it's either gonna be an A an F is a root,
an A is a third, C is a fifth,
and a flat seven is E flat.
So now,
let's start on the fives.
five flat seven three one.
five, three,
flat seven, root.
Now five,
three, root
flat, seven.
There's some more on that sheet and
you're gonna write them down.
But you get the idea.
Now we'll do a couple
with the B flat seven.
Cuz we're gonna give you the one
chord in the blues and the blues,
it's made up of a one chord, and
a four chord, and a one chord, and
a four chord, and
a four chord, and a one chord.
Then we're going to do a 3, 6, 2, 5 now.
3 in the key of F, 1,2,3 F, G, A.
There's an A minor and 6 is a D.
In the blues you make it a D 7 and
then a 2,
5 G minor to C 7 and
the one chord's in F7.
Okay, so I'm gonna give you patterns for
all of these.
And I mean they're all written out and
you can look at them.
And I think for
now I'll just give you a couple of
each variety for the B flat 7 as
opposed to going through every single one
because they're all here for you anyway.
So let's have that click again,
the metronome.
Okay so this is, I'm gonna do
a couple of the root ones in B flat.
So remember, root five flat seven root.
That's what it sounds like up on B flat.
How about the one-five?
One-five to ten-five.
Since it's the blues,
I like to slide and use the expressive
things that blues players use.
For that kind of stuff the expressive
things I want you to listen to some
gospel music singers.
There is some great recordings.
Mahalia Jackson.
If you wanna go back into gospel music
to here the way people inflect and
slide into notes and everything.
There's also Mississippi Fred McDowell and
the Hunter Chapel Singers from Lomo,
[LAUGH] Check that out.
Brian Blade turned me on to them and
that really it just blows my mind.
Those recordings of them
just singing gospel.
The roots of the blues are right there.
The way that people slide into notes,
you can do that on your bass too.
It can be very vocal, so
we use that in the blues.
So now let's give you one with the root,
I'll give you one with a third, starting
on the third, which is a D of a B flat 7.
B flat 7 is B flat, D, F, A flat.
Root, third, fifth, flat seven.
So here's some third ones.
How about [SOUND] three,
root, flat seven, root.
a good one.
Okay, now how about, we'll start on
the fifth, the fifth which is an F.
And we'll do [SOUND] Which is
five flat seven three root.
now the seventh degree.
Let's do the seventh degree.
Here's one, flat seven, three, root five.
Flat seven, three, root five.
That's A flat, D, B flat, and F.
[SOUND] One, two, three, four.
Sometimes I'm
I'm getting there before the downbeat.
That's called the and of four.
Okay, So
that's B flat 7.
So now we've talked about
some basic cells for F seven and
B-flat seven in the F blues.
Now we're going to do the other chords
in the blues that we're gonna need.
We're gonna need an A-minor,
we're gonna need a D seven,
and we're gonna need a G-minor seven,
and a C seven.
So let's talk about a couple
of the cells in A-minor.
Let's do one root, one third, one fifth,
and one flat seven, so here we go.
The metronome's on, two and four.
We'll do the wonderful one,
five flat seven, which is great.
Now we
gonna do third,
root flat,
seven root.
The chord is down here,
that's the root, the third is a C,
the octave is an A, flat seven octave.
Now on the fifth,
which is an E, E.
We're gonna start on five,
flat seven, third, and the root.
That's a E, G, C, A.
a different sound.
Now how about we do the flat seven
now which would be starting on G?
[SOUND] Now we'll do a flat seven,
fifth, third octave, one, two,
three, which is G, E, C, A.
Ok, so
now we have
an A-minor.
Let's move to D seven now.
Once we get all these put together,
once you have these sheets laid
out in front of you, you can sort of
put together the chords in sequence.
And I'll show you in the blues next cuz
we're gonna have to connect the F and
the B-flat seven, and
the F and the B-flat seven.
We're gonna have to connect
the A-minor to the D seven, and
the G-minor to the C seven.
So you can take and experiment with
the different little patterns,
and connecting them from one sheet to
the next, knowing that you have to take
one pattern of the A-minor and then
connect it to the next one on the D seven.
You can mix and match.
The thing I want you to start to get is,
get your hands around the chords
in different combinations, and
listen to recordings and
actually write down their little cells.
I learned these cells by ear,
before I could even understand
the theory behind them, so there's
a lot you can learn by listening and
starting to hear the little patterns,
the little cells.
So you can learn,
it's a compositional langauge.
It's like learning your first nouns and
verbs when you're learning English,
that's what this is about.
So, now we're gonna do D seven.
This time lets start with root,
two, three, five in the D seven,
that's D, E, F-sharp, A.
One, two, three.
Now let's do starting from
the third which is F-sharp, and
let's do three, flat seven, five, root.
Now let's
do one with
the fifth, and
how about this one?
This is the fifth is an A,
the flat seven, the third, and the root.
A, C, F sharp, B.
that's a good sound.
Now we'll do one with the seventh
degree first, flat seven,
root, and let's do flat seven,
root, third, root.
One, two, three, four.
so now you have
some D seven
Now let's do G-minor and
then we do C seven, and
then we can actually play through a Blues.
We're gonna start to
actually deal with that.
Here's G minor,
let's do root 5, 10th.
Remember the 10th is the same
as the 3rd up an octave,
so root and 5th G minors,
G and D, and then the 10th,
which is the same as the 3rd as a B but
it's a B-flat cause it's minor, right?
So one, five, flat three, five.
One, two, three, four.
Okay, now we're gonna start
from the third of the chord, a B-flat.
So now we have a B-flat, which is a third,
how about 3, 5 flat 7, root.
That's B-flat, D, F, root, which is G.
Okay so now we're gonna
start from the 5th which is a D,
and this pattern will be a D,
which is the 5th, and the flat 3,
which is B-flat, and then the flat 7,
which is F, and the root.
So it.
[SOUND] One, two, three, four.
Okay, I was fooling
around a little bit too,
and I'm encouraging
you to do that too.
When you do these,
sometimes just put stuff in.
Try stuff.
Doesn't have to be perfect,
I want you to experiment.
This is a safe place for
you to stretch out.
A lot of times we learn our biggest
lessons when we try something.
It doesn't quite work, and
then we change one or two things.
And think about what we didn't
like about it and change it.
And all of a sudden we find
we can learn something new.
So, let's try the flat 7.
So we're gonna start on F, and so,
this one is flat 7, flat 3, root 5th so
that's F, B-flat, G, and D.
Okay, last chord to go with the blues, C7.
This is the 5 chord of the blues, and
we're gonna start with root flat 7, 5, 3.
C, B-flat, G, E.
One, two, three.
Let's practice like a hammer on and
the pull off.
I should say pull off.
I'm pulling off.
Let's look at that.
I'm pulling off the B-flat
in the triplet feel.
See, I'm hitting the G twice.
There's one B-flat, and then we
pull it off, and then we hit the G.
This is cool for this.
now we're
going to do from
the third.
The third of C7 is E so
let's try, let's do 3rd,
flat 7, 5, root.
That's E, B-flat, G and C.
Now let's do the fifth.
We'll do 5, root, flat 7, root.
now finally we'll
use the flat 7.
Starting with the flat 7, 7th degree and
let's do flat 7, root, 3rd, and root.
B-flat, C, E.
C, B-flat, C, E, C.
So now we've gone through some cells.
We've found that we can start on the root.
We can start on the third.
We can start on the 5th or
the flat 7 for F7,
B-flat 7, A minor 7, D7, G minor 7, C7.
At this point,
you might wanna send me a video.
We've been dealing with all
these walking bass cells,
checking to see if you're starting
to get the idea about starting
walking lines on the root, the third,
the fifth, and the seventh.
For these basic sounds that are gonna
build up the chords to this blues that
we're gonna learn in a little bit, so F7,
B-flat 7, A minor, D7, G minor, and C7.
Maybe do one example of the root and
the third and the fifth and
the seventh for one or
two of those sounds, something like that.
But before you send it in, check out
what I've said to the other students.
And then I'll take a look, and
I'll give you some feedback.