Building Jazz Bass Lines - Expl. 17

Michael Eibinger
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Scalar Bass Lines: Scalar bass lines offer more possibilities than chordal bass lines. Lines with stepwise motion are more "walking-like" than chordal lines, wich tend to "leap". In order to retain the sound of each chord, chord tones are generally played on beats 1 and 3 (the strong rhythmic/harmonic beats), with passing tones, neighbor tones, and other melodic devices being used on beats 2 and 4 (the weaker rhythmic/harmonic beats).
First Chorus:
A Bass lines using both diatonic and chromatic passing tones on beats 2 and 4
Second Chorus:
Bop Scales: The mixolydian bebop scale places a passing tone between the flat fth and root, allowing chord tones to land on strong beats. this can be applied to walking lines as in chorus two.
Third Chorus:
To create logical scalar bass lines, it is essential tu use strong voice leading. In this Chorus each note moves logically and smoothly to the next.

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