This is the third in the Walking Bass Series that aims to provide an introduction to walking bass lines for those just getting started. This lesson deals with the song Fly Me To The Moon and a basic approach to weaving a line through the progression using only chord tones.
Fly Me To The Moon
- Key of C major (although there are a few non-diatonic notes and chords as well)
- Mainly one chord per bar (sometimes two)
- Chords used – major 7, minor 7, dominant 7 and minor 7 b5
Major 7 – 1 3 5 7 – C E G B
Minor 7 – 1 b3 5 b7 – C Eb G Bb
Dominant 7 – 1 3 5 b7 – C E G Bb
Minor 7 b5 – 1 b3 b5 b7 – C Eb Gb Bb
Make sure you are completely confident with these arpeggios before you continue with the lesson. As an exercise, locate all the notes of an arpeggio in the first position and play through them several times, (remember, the tones can be above or below the root). Do this with all of the chords in C major and you should get a pretty good feel for the key.
Now we can move on to the arpeggios of the chords in Fly Me To The Moon. For now, we want to play the arpeggios in ascending order so we can hear their tonalities. However, this means we will have to venture outside of the first position for a while.
Here is the construction of all the chords we will be using in relation to their own major scale:
Am7 – 1 b3 5 b7 – A C E G
Dm7 – 1 b3 5 b7 – D F A C
G7 – 1 3 5 b7 – G B D F
C Maj 7 – 1 3 5 7 – C E G B
F Maj 7 – 1 3 5 7 – F A C E
Bm7b5 – 1 b3 b5 b7 – B D F A
E7 – 1 3 5 b7 – E G# B D
A7 – 1 3 5 b7 – A C# E G
Em7 – 1 b3 5 b7 – E G B D
Practice all of these arpeggios in ascending and descending order along to the backing track. Doing this will get the shape of each arpeggio under your fingers and will allow you to hear and compare the sound of each one.
Turning Arpeggios Into A Walking Bass Line
When we play the tones of an arpeggio in order as we did above, it can sound a bit blocky. This is because there is no indication of what chord is coming next as the tones do not lead into each other – this makes the line flow less. There are loads of different ways to mix arpeggios up to add interest and it is best to use a variety of combinations in your lines.
Below are a few examples of chord tone combinations you can use to spice up your walking bass lines. Look through the notation and then return to the original chord chart and try to play the pattern by memory. This will help you get to grips with the feel and sound of the phrase much quicker than if you read it right off the chart.
The numbers at the beginning of each exercise refer to the chord degrees and the order you will play them.
The last exercise contains a combination of all the patterns we have looked at in this lesson. This should give you an idea of how to rearrange arpeggios to create a line that weaves smoothly between chords.
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Thanks again Mark very informative lesson.
Fantastic lesson. 45mins. producing 45 hrs worth of practice.
Great Lesson! Can’t download the material.
Mark you are one hell of teacher , your explaination are very good . you have just taken my playing to a new level thanks Mark keep doing what your doing
Can’t download lesson material ???????
Just tried it and it worked fine. Is it still not working for you? I guess you just clicked on the Download button?
You are truly a great teacher much better that other I have seen. Some how are famous but can’t teach. Your web site is great.
Thanks for passing on your knowledge.
Question ? Can you do a lesson on soloing on this tune?
Thank you so much for these walking bass lessons. The whole concept is so much clear now for me and i can finally start jamming to swing jazz because of you. Again, thank you so much Talking Bass. Looking forward to learning more from you.
Hi Mark. Just finished walking bass lesson 3. Excellent. Any way you could use some closer views of the neck as you are playing? Also, You mentioned a guide to scales. How do I get that? Thanks, jim
seriously This FREAKING RULES!, AND then singing when it gets up to speed, awesome 2 string arpeggios and a fast lesson to boot, THANK YOU , SIR!
Thank you Mark for this lesson and for every others….wish you the very best for the future and you deserve it…thank you for your numerous priceless advices.
Walk Me To The Moon !
Man. That would be so cool to do a full bass arrangement with vocals. You could put the bass line, the chords, and then solo over it. Just need a drum machine.
will there be a lesson about the scale walking bass?
Thanks for this lesson. Showed me (beginning bass player) a way of looking at chord progressions and seeing some things I can do.
Great lesson, Mark. The how and why of constructing walking bass lines is beginning to crack a ray of light into my darkened brain and understanding is emerging. I studied your “Autumn Leaves” lesson thoroughly and I plan to do the same with this one. It is obvious to me that I must, at all costs, commit all arpeggios to memory and know instantly how to play them on my bass. The “up” and “down” configurations in this lesson help immensely.
great lessons as usual!
but I could not find any link to download the backing tracks from 80 bpm onwards related to the lesson Walking basslines 3 Fly me to the moon. I dunno …maybe it’s me, I scrolled down the lesson by the link to lesson materials, then also have a look in the backing track section of the practice room, but nothing for the intended walking basslines.
Although these backing trancks would be appreciated
I am not really a pro, so I can move on to other exercises and lessons…so
thank you again so much for talkinbass.net free resources and for any direction on this point.
alberto from Florence Italy
Great teacher! So many notions I picked up using your lessons in such a short time. I now understand what I am playing.. Thanks Mark.
BTW : I have the same downloading problem reported by Alberto from Italy. Can you help?
Jean from Québec, Canada
There seems to be no Download Button available to download a PDF – some other users also mentioned this above as early as 2014 but the issue is still unresolved in 2019.
The “mixed pattern through progression” only contains the first 16 bars, is there also a PDF available with the full 32 bars progression?
Where can I download the materials? Is it also available in the free lesson at https://www.talkingbass.net/walking-bass-fly-me-to-the-moon or only in the paid courses?
Hi there. The material is all embedded below the videos now because people found the zip downloads too confusing (mainly due to mobile devices). The mixed part is exactly what I played in the video. The idea of the lesson is learning to improvise. The things I play here are examples of this so you should take the principles and apply them yourself.
I think you don’t have to self-sabotage the success of your Online Bass Courses now that you put all the good work into your teaching :-)
Hi Mark am a bit confused with for example of the make up of 1531 for example A using A, C, E, G. I get 1321 can you explain where I am confused.
the descending arpeggios reminded me of a few sound tracks from old Pink Panther movies. I searched and found the arpeggios are used in this one scene where Clouseau tries to sneak into a castle but the moat thwarts his attempts. Funny stuff! Glad I was able to learn the music.
It’s hard to wipe the stupid grin off my face (and the dribble rolling down my chin) as I attempt to keep up with the 240 BPM backing track….
at 240 bpm this is a real mess for me
Great. Many thanks
this is a really good lesson, thinking once i can master this , i can then say im half way to becoming a proper bass player , thanks