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Cello Lessons: Walking Bass: Using Approach Notes

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[MUSIC]
In addition to the one five bass movement,
that's common in a lot of folk styles and
gypsy jazz,
we can also walk the bass
line in this tune in.
This might happen,
particularly like during soloing.
Maybe not as much during
the head of the tune.
But as you know from our walking
bass line with Autumn Leaves,
the basic principle is we're gonna aim for
the root on all the downbeats, and
we're gonna connect
those roots with scales.
What I want to talk to you
about now is approach notes.
Where instead of having a smooth scale
like motion from chord to chord.
We can actually do like neighbor notes.
Right?
So if I was playing A to D like at
the beginning of these solo changes.
[MUSIC]
What I did just there is I was way up here
[MUSIC]
arpeggiating down the A arpeggio.
[MUSIC]
And then I jumped and
just did one note as a neighbor
note right before the D chord.
You can always aim for
one beat before a chord change.
And just where no matter where you are,
you can jump to a neighbor note.
An adjacent note, to where the chord is.
Let me show you what
that would sound like.
With an upper neighbor approach note.
And sort of what I just did
[MUSIC]
the upper neighbor to D is E.
The lower neighbor to D would be C.
So let me show you how that would sound
with a lower neighbor approach note.
[MUSIC]
It has a totally different
feel to it, okay.
Let's do the same thing from D to E.
I'll show you an upper neighbor
as I transition to the E chord.
[MUSIC]
Right?
Even though I was way up here I was able
to jump back down one beat before the E
chord with that upper neighbor note.
Let's see what a lower neighbor
note might sound like.
[MUSIC]
So that was the D right below the E so
either one step above or
one step below you can create an approach
note to help you get to a new
chord no matter where you are.
This approach note can be a diatonic or
chromatic.
I've been doing diatonic approachment so
far.
Let me show you what a chromatic
approachment might sound like.
So the note chromatically
above D is just D sharp.
It's not in the scale of this tune,
[NOISE] but it is the closest note.
The lower neighbor [NOISE] is C sharp,
also not in this scale, but we
can still use it as a chromatic approach
note cuz it will lead to D very well.
Let me demonstrate that,
moving from A to D.
[MUSIC]
Yeah, that sounds really good.
[MUSIC]
Keep going with the D.
Let me show you a lower
chromatic neighbor now to the D,
I'll play a C sharp,
one beat before I hit the D chord.
[MUSIC]
Let me do it one more time.
[MUSIC]
Yeah!
Both of those things can really
help you create interesting,
like shapes, and
unpredictable notes in your baseline.
In addition to doing single
approach notes, both chromatic and
diatonic, upper and lower.
We can do the same principles
with two approach notes.
So, let me just demonstrate very
quickly what that might sound like,
going from A to D.
I'll do two diatonic
approach notes from above D.
So that would be F to E to D.
I'm gonna hit those notes the two beats
before D no matter where
I am in the A chord.
[MUSIC]
Okay,
let me show you the lower neighbor notes.
The lower neighbor notes would be B,
C, to D.
And again, no matter where I'm
in the A I'm going to try and
land on that B two beats
before I have to be at the D.
[MUSIC]
Yeah.
Okay.
This is all working out really well.
It's really starting to come alive,
this bass line.
Let's just do the same thing with
chromatic dual approach notes.
Let's do the upper neighbors to D,
would be E
[MUSIC],
D sharp
[MUSIC],
D
[MUSIC].
Let's see how that sounds.
[MUSIC]
And the lower chromatic neighbors are C,
C sharp and D, then,
[MUSIC]
so I actually I landed on C on beat two.
And I needed to be on C for beat three for
that chromatic double approach note.
But instead of just repeating C,
I actually went down an octave there,
and that's a good trick.
You can always jump an octave
if you need to repeat a note.
Let me just show you that one more time.
[MUSIC]
And that allows you to keep the motion,
even if maybe you've gotten to where
you need to be a little early.
So these approach notes
are a really important tool in your
walking bass arsenal.
Work on them with this
minor swing tune and
you can definitely pull them out when
you're jamming with other musicians.
[MUSIC]