This class explores the concept of adding a chord to every bass note in a walking 4/4 swing bass line.

This is a follow-up class to The Art of Bass and Chords for Jazz Guitar and picks up where that class left off. The Art of Bass and Chords for Jazz Guitar explained the principles for creating strong bass parts and combining them with chords to create the illusion of a bassist and a guitarist playing together, and Walking Chords for Jazz Guitar continues with a systematic exploration of chord inversions for three-note voicings as well as diatonic passing chords.

These additional possibilities will considerably expand the guitarist’s pallet of voicings that are convenient to add to walking bass lines. The three-note voicings are easy to learn and to play and will enable just about any bass note to be harmonized with a chord, giving great freedom and flexibility to the player creating an accompaniment part.

Finally, this class explores the concept of adding a chord to every bass note in a walking 4/4 swing bass line. Shorter examples demonstrate the use of inversions and diatonic passing chords in order to fully harmonize a walking bass line. Then, a full-length etude on the chord changes to “Autumn Leaves” is presented as a real-world example of how to put these techniques into practice.

It is recommended that guitarists view The Art of Bass and Chords for Jazz Guitar first before tackling Walking Chords, although experienced guitarists who are already skilled at playing chords and bass lines together will benefit from just this more advanced class.

Walking Chords for Jazz Guitar covers:

  • review of the shell voicings presented in The Art of Bass and Chords for Jazz Guitar
  • techniques for building inversions of the shell voicings with the bass notes on the sixth as well as the fifth strings
  • tweaks to the inversions to make them easier to play and/or to make them sound more effective
  • hints to make learning the new voicings easier
  • example applying the new inversions to a walking bass line for more flexibility and creativity
  • examples of diatonic chords for use in major and minor keys that can be used to fill in between inversions
  • short examples of applying the diatonic passing chords to create a “walking chords” effect with a chord on every beat
  • full length etude applying the walking chords to the chord changes of “Autumn Leaves”
  • 56 minute running time
  • includes 21 pages of written examples and exercises
  • All musical examples from the video are provided in music notation, tablature, and chord grid form.
  • Each example performance is shown in close-up view and titled and numbered for easy navigation.

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Class Content

Full Class + Download
Walking Chords for Jazz Guitar 00:56:14
Introduction 00:03:43
Voicings and Inversions
Shell Voicings – Ex 1 and 2 00:05:26
Inversions – Ex 3 00:06:24
Inversions 2 – Ex 4 00:06:07
What we’re doing with all this stuff – Ex 5 00:11:11
Importance of Inversions on the 5th string – Ex 6 00:01:41
Application Examples
Applying to II-V-I-VI in F and minor key ideas – Ex 7 to 9 00:06:48
Ex 10 to 13 00:06:50
Walking chords on Autumn Leaves changes
Ex 14 – Entire chorus of Autumn Leaves changes – Explanation 00:05:02
Ex 14 Entire chorus of Autumn Leaves changes – Performance Close-up 00:01:16
Conclusion and Outro Performance 00:01:53
Soundslice Examples
Example 14 Soundslice 00:01:15

Course Reviews


2 ratings
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  1. Another excellent class from Tom


    Toms lessons are always well presented with detailed notes and a treasure trove of great ideas.

    by Henry Rutgers
  2. 5

    If you’re new to this stuff you’re going to find a treasure here. I have been digging on and off in this topic for years but, even so, I have gone further with this class. As always, the material is supremely well organized.

    by pedro munoz
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