Lesson: Walk that bass (G blues) first chorus

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This week a chorus of walking bass under a G blues. This is playable with a pick as well as fingerstyle.

The following chord changes are used as the basis:

|| G 7 | C 7| G7 | % | C7 | % | G7 | E7 | Am7 | D7 | G7 E7 | Am7 D7 ||

The chords used here are so called drop two chords, consisting of the third and the seventh of each chord. They represent the complete functionality of the chord: an approach that will be part of another lesson soon.

Here we go
G bLues chorus 1 1-4

In bar one the bass follows the major triad tones and chromatically walks back to land on the C root in the second bar. A chromatic approached is used to walk from the E note (third of C chord) via F and F# back to G. In bar four a chord sequence is applied on the bass notes. G7, Am, Bb dim,  B min. 

G bLues chorus 1 5-8

Bar 5 uses the C 7 drop two chord in position VIII, the bass consists of the chord tones. Bar 6 is a chord sequence C7, Bb6, Am7, G#7. The G#7 or Ab7 is the chromatic option that comes from replacing a  D7 dominant chord resolving to G with its so called tri-tone substitution. In bar the bass line chromatically ascends to E on the last beat. Similarly a chromatic descending last beat note is found in bar 8 which resolves to the Am7

G bLues chorus 1 9-12

In bar 9 the Eb note on beat four descends chromatically to D7, just like in bar 9 the G# (Ab) descends to G. Bar 11 and 12 are a so called turn around. Notice how the tritones are used for chromatic purposes in bar 11 and 12 on the fourth beat.

A pdf file is availble here >>>

Have fun.

Key of G major workout

The following patterns and licks are aimed at building speed and strengthening the left hand and use groups of notes /motives in the key of G.

Exercise one is a legato way of playing the G major scale using three per string


This is a great way to start building some extra strength in those fingers and you will find it is a great way to build some extra speed as a result of all the legato notes. In the next tab I wrote down the same scale but the beat is now divided in groups of 4 (sixteenth notes), go this a go as well, the rhythm will give things a different feel.

Clever use of the different legato techniques will help you build speed, the following lick is an example of how this could be approached, using motives.

Again also in sixteenth notes

These licks will work of course great over a G chord, but I suggest you try them as well over the minor parallel Emin chord, or over the A minor chord and the C major chord.

For those that have been paying attention: the lick was derived from Steve Vai‘s blazing lick in “I would love to”

Around 2:47 the lick starts in a blazing speed!

Finally for some additional strength building here a final legato lick sliding up the neck.

The lick is hard work on the muscles if not used to it so don’t overdo it.

Also: work out some scalar patterns for yourself and see what you can do with it. And at all times do try to go faster than you can handle. You will find that over time your speed will get higher. One way to do this is by practicing a certain) series of licks and gradually build up the speed to the max, that will be your starting point for the next time and do the same again.

Have fun.