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Trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie once called the bass "the most important instrument in any band." The bass player must create interesting lines under the chord changes, keep the "time flow" or "pulse" steady, and keep the form of the song together.

Walking Jazz Lines for Bass is designed to help bassists create beginning to advanced walking bass patterns (smooth-sounding lines) that can be used in jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, latin and country music. By explaining the basics of intervals, chords, and scales, the author builds a framework for understanding walking bass line patterns. The book presents one, two and four-measure walking bass patterns that can be used in playing the blues, rhythm changes, the II-V-I progression, and 20 popular jazz standards (see Table of Contents). The book is written in standard notation with chord symbols, however, reading skills are encouraged but not required. All notes of the scale are assigned a number or interval. Simply play a major scale (corresponding to the chord) and count 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1.

  • Part 1 gives examples and exercises to a variety of chord relationships.

  • Part 2 contains 20 jazz standards (chords only) with page references for the students to review and "plug in" previously learned patterns.

  • Part 3 contains written versions of the 20 standards. You can listen to the recording and follow along with the bass part written out.

  • The last section of the book includes six variations of blues changes and four variations of rhythm changes. Also included in this section are daily exercises, scale patterns, modes and a recommended song list.

    Mel Bay Publications, Inc.
The CD gives you the opportunity to play with one of the finest rhythm sections around. It is in stereo with the bass, piano and drums on the left, piano and drums on the right. The examples in the book are presented with sample bass lines or as chord progressions only. You can either follow along with the bass (left channel) or practice your own lines (right channel) with piano and drums as your accompaniment.

    Read the book introduction and table of contents.

    Click here for the list of standards included in the book with similar chord structures.

    Click here for a sample of the play along recording. On the CD, included with the book, you can turn the bass off for practicing by listening to only the right channel.

    Also available in Japanese from ATN,Inc.

  • The Blues Click here for a sample page
    from Jay's book on the Blues.
    Rhythm Changes Click here for a sample page
    from Jay's book on Rhythm
    A Train Click here for a sample page
    from Part 2 of Jay's book
    featuring chord progressions
    on 20 standards.
    Cherokee Click here for a sample page
    from Part 3 of Jay's book
    featuring written example lines for the standards.

    What makes this book by Hungerford a standout is the features it gives to help the reader, including a section on the blues, a section on rhythm changes, and 20 popular jazz standards. I found too many wonderful sections to list, which is always the case when you come upon something good like WALKING JAZZ LINES FOR BASS. But among them, I would like to mention "Uncommon Chord Movement," page 39; "Standard #5 - A Jazz Waltz," page 51 (I am always attracted to good jazz waltz material for playing!); "Blues - Variations," page 88 and page 89; and "Standard #4 (3/4 Blues), page 31.

    WALKING JAZZ LINES FOR BASS is a fine instruction book by a fine musician. Well-crafted and an enjoyment to read, learn, and study with. The CD accompanying the book is entertaining and highly helpful.

    - Lee Prosser, Jazzreview.com

    There are a number of good method books for the jazz bassist these days - I must own at least a dozen! But Hungerford's book is one of the best. Unlike some authors, Hungerford doesn't start you off playing root-root-root or root-fifth-root-fifth. He assumes you want to learn to play real bass lines, and that's exactly what he gives you. From the beginning he has the reader building lines with roots, 3rds, 5ths, 6ths and 7ths; from there, he moves quickly into I-IVs, rhythm changes and II-V-Is in various keys. There's also an accompanying CD to provide rhythmic and harmonic accompaniment to the exercises.

    The second half of the book takes the reader through a number of standard tunes, some with bass lines written out and some provided for the reader to write their own lines using the guidelines given. There's a lot of information packed into less than 100 pages here, and a diligent player will find all they need for a solid program of jazz education.

    - Michael J. Edelman, Amazon.com

    A great way to start walking. I'm learning bass, focusing on walking jazz lines and I'm finding this book very helpful. The book assumes some basic skills and a little basic theory. It illustrates the concepts of walking with practice examples in a way that allows you to understand how the lines are constructed as you work through the practice but gives you enough of the grounding to understand how to improvise.

    And it includes nearly complete tabs for 20 recognized standards. On the CD, the bass is in one channel the other instruments in the other, so you can follow the examples or tune out the bass and play along. Hungerford indulges in some pretty nice fretwork that shows how much fun good walking lines can be. Be prepared to be impressed and have fun.

    A good jumping-off point for the beginning jazz bassist. WALKING JAZZ LINES FOR BASS assumes that the bassist is familiar with his scales, and provides examples of walking bass lines over different chord progressions. Territory covered includes blues, rhythm changes and progressions from many standard tunes. Short one- and two-measure patterns are provided to begin with, which lead up to longer walking exercises. An example of Ray Brown walking a blues is included as a model.

    - Jonah Berman, JazzTimes.com Jazz Education Guide

    Jay Hungerford received his degree in Music Education from SIU-C. He performs at jazz festivals and clinics across the country. He has taught at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, Fontbonne College, Meramac College and has been a member of the Webster University Jazz Faculty in St. Louis MO for over 2 decades. Jay was acknowledged as "Best Local Bassist" by the Riverfront Times. Concerts include performances with Herb Ellis, Mundell Lowe, Bill Charlap, Buddy Defranco, Richie Cole, Scott Hamilton, Chris Potter, Roger Williams, Vanessa Rubin, Maynard Ferguson, Bill Watrous, Eddie Higgins, Warren Vache, Howard Alden, Ralph Sutton, Jay McShann, Mundell Lowe, Carl Fontana, Jake Hanna, Butch Miles, Grady Tate, Joe Ascione, Johnny Varro, Bob Draga, Mike Vax, Bobby Shew, Tom Hook, The St Louis Symphony and others. He has over 50 recordings to his credit including 26 Integrity Worship recordings. Using the exact methods and lesson plans found in this book, Jay has produced a variety of proteges who have since gone on to acclaim and notoriety, not limited to Avishai Cohen (Chick Corea, International Vamp Band), Neil Caine (Harry Connick, Jr.), and Steve Kirby (Cyrus Chestnut, James Carter). Jay is a member of the worship team at Grace Church in Maryland Heights, MO.

    Check out Jay's CD 'The Keys To The City' featuring Jay and 14 of the top St. Louis jazz pianists in a bass/piano duo format.




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