John Patitucci. Jazz Bass Lessons with John Patitucci.

This is a full-fledged online course with bass master John Patitucci. Beyond materials and video lessons, student can submit videos of themselves playing for a critque from John — a unique and valuable twist to online courses. Pricing is reasonable by the amount of access time you need: 3, 6 or 12 months.

Ray Brown. Ray Brown’s Bass Method. Hal Leonard,1999.

This is more of a technique book than about constructing walking lines. It includes step-by-step explanations of the fundamentals of playing the double bass, including proper finger technique. The exercises included are challenging–mastering them will definitely improve your playing skills.

Ron Carter. Building Jazz Bass Lines. Hal Leonard, 1998.

Jazz bass legend Ron Carter shows readers how to build quality lines from scratch. The examples included are not just exercises, but real lines from one of the best walkers of all time.

Ed Freidland. Building Walking Bass Lines. Hal Leonard, 1993; and Ed Friedland. Expanding Walking Bass Lines. Hal Leonard, 1996.

This pair of books starts from the very beginning and moves to advanced concepts of tone leading and line building. The approach is very detailed and particularly good for those new to creating walking lines. These are both highly recommended and appropriate precursors to playing the etudes here.

Rufus Reid. The Evolving Bassist. Alfred Publishing Co, 1983

This is a classic in the jazz bass literature. Reid outlines a clear method for playing the upright bass, starting with scales and moving through complex patterns of improvisations. It includes transcriptions of bass lines.

Chuck Sher. The Improviser’s Bass Method. Sher Music, 1979.

Many bassists consider this the “bible” of jazz bass playing and teaching. It’s one of the most comprehensive books on jazz bass—from scales to intervals to analyzing songs to creating walking lines: it’s all here. The book includes a wealth of transcribed bass lines as well.


Rob Gourlay. Walking in the Footsteps of Paul Chambers (2003); Walking in the Footsteps of Sam Jones (2004);  Walking in the Footsteps of Doug Watkins (2005)

This is an excellent series of transcriptions from early bass legends. The transcriptions are usually 2-3 pages long for each song — rarely the whole tune. Still, this is enough to get a sense of the bassists style and approach to the harmony and structure of each piece.

Steve Gorenberg, Chris Kringel, Steve Peplin, Matt Scharfglass (transcribers). Bass Standards (Hal Leonard, 2001).

This collection includes note-for-note transcriptions of the bass lines to entire jazz standards from a range of bass giants spanning over 60 years of jazz — all the way from Jimmy Blanton to Ray Brown to Ron Carter and many more. Play along to Charlie Harden’s line on “Moose the Mooche” or Paul Chambers’ classic performance of “So What.” This is an essential volume of walking bass transcriptions.


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