What is a Walking Bass Line

Fingers on a bass guitar neck

Here’s what we know. Walking bass lines are cool, deceptively simple, and every bass player wants to learn how to play them at some point. They convey tons of movement, and they build a scaffold for the rest of the band to play around. However, knowing those things still doesn’t quite tell us what a walking bass line is.

The main question when we break this down is, really, what makes a bass line “walking?” There are some specifics that all walking bass lines share. And while some bass lines might sound like they fall into this category, they might not. So, let’s take a look at the rules and the characteristics that make up a walking bass line.

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Music Theory for the Bass Player and Where to Begin

Open book of sheet music

How much theory do you need to learn for bass guitar?

As with most deep and thoughtful questions, the answer to this one is, “It all depends.” It really depends on what you want to do with music. Where do you want to end up on your music journey? If you pay attention to what most musicians will say about this topic, one thing becomes crystal clear. While some people debate exactly how much music theory for the bass player is actually necessary, almost everyone agrees that more musical knowledge is never a bad thing.

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