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In this module we are going to look at using scale-wise motion in our lines. Scale degrees between two chord tones are called passing tones. By employing them, our walking line takes on a very smooth, flowing motion. What we need to bear in mind is to apply the right scale to the chord being played. Whenever you will see Maj7 chord you will be playing a major scale (Ionian). Over m7 chords you are going to use Dorian scale. Mixolydian scale applies to dominant chord and Locrian will be used over m7b5 chord. The PDF file explains differences in these scales. Notice that in this module instead of R (root of the chord) I use 1 to describe scale degree. It is the same note but different terminology.
In our lessons we will continue working on Jazz Blues, however we are going to transpose it to a different key. You should still apply new concepts to previously learnt tune “Autumn Leaves”. It is also time to introduce another standard song to our repertoire. “Satin Doll” is a great one for our purposes. Remember to write out the changes in each key and also learn new song using concepts from Module 1 .
This ascending pattern uses scale degree 2 and is very popular and widely used in many walking lines. Remember to apply the right scale to the right chord and about the difference between natural and b2 and natural and b3.1-2-3-a and 1-2-3-b Pattern
Next two patterns are very similar to previous one but instead of repeating the root on beat four we play half step above or below. Again this a very popular concept in walking lines. Make sure to isolate each pattern and work on them separately.1-2-3-5 Pattern
This pattern strongly outlines sound of the chord by usage of triad emphasised by passing tone between root and third.1-7-6-5 Pattern
This time we walk scale in descending fashion. This is a very smooth way of connecting with root of the chord down a fifth.1-7-6-a and 1-7-6-b Pattern
Similar patterns to the previous one, instead of playing 5th we utilize half steps above and below. Practice each pattern separately until you can hear it in your head.
If you have mastered the patterns from Module 1 and Module 2 you can now play very solid and good sounding walking lines without repeating yourself every two bars. Moreover, those lines can be heard on the most of great jazz recordings. The fact that they are simple does not mean that they are bad, on the contrary the fact they are simple make them more solid and this is what every bass player should strive for. CONGRATULATIONS!!!