Walk That Bass!

May 06, 2021

When I was a teenager, I learned to play the bass in my high school’s jazz band and musical theater pit orchestras. 

My first professional musician gigs were on bass as well - old fashioned big band gigs in a tuxedo and musical theater pits dressed in all black.

One great thing I took away from all of those bass charts and gigs is an ability to create “walking bass lines” using the vocabulary of jazz.

In my performance at the top of this lesson video, you can hear an improvised walking bass line on my mandolin over the 12-bar blues form in G major.

You may notice that I’ve made my mandolin sound an octave lower than usual in my attempt to “bassify” it.  I do this with a super-useful technique called “palm muting.”

In this week’s lesson video, I’ll first demonstrate “palm muting,” the easy-to-learn technique that can help you transform your mando into a bass.

Then, I’ve written out a sample walking bass line to give you something authentic to play on your “new” instrument.


Tim's Mando Lessons is your all-purpose, one-stop shop for honing  your mandolin skills and learning all of the great tunes to play at the jam sessions.  Join our growing Community of learners today and watch your playing improve fast!

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