This walking bassline works over a 12 Bar Quick Change Blues Progression. Download the tab, sheet music and tracks from below the video. I’ve provided a breakdown of the whole 12 bars and some tips on how to memorize these longer streams of notes.

Jazz Blues Twelve-Bar

In this lesson we will be creating a simple walking bass line over a basic jazz blues progression. We’ll play through it so you can get it under your fingers and then we’ll have a look at what is going on in there so you can integrate parts of it into your own vocabulary and develop your own walking style.

The chord progression we are going to use today is a basic quick change twelve-bar blues in the key of C. There are three backing tracks of different tempos at the bottom of the page so you can hear how the feel needs to change according to the speed.

Tips For Memorising Lines

Before you move on, make sure you have memorised the progression and the bass line. Instead of working through the line note by note and memorising each part, it is much easier to cut it into smaller fragments and see each chord as a waypoint. That way, you can concentrate on what note is coming up next and see the notes between as a path.

Let’s take the first bar as a fragment. We know that we have a journey from C to F within the space of 4 beats. The first note is the root note as dictated by the chord symbol and the fourth note is going to be an approach to the F. This leaves us with just two notes to fill and it can be as easy as using the arpeggio.

So, for bar 1 we will have the notes C, E, G and Gb. It is much easier to remember the notes as a path between the chords as opposed to remembering 48 random notes!

Work through the whole sequence in this same manner and take note of how the notes lead in to each successive chord. This will give you a few different ways to approach a target note and will help you come up with your own walking bass lines.

Practice Tracks

Swing Blues In C – 100 BPM

Swing Blues In C – 150 BPM

Swing Blues In C – 200 BPM

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