1940's Swing Bass Line

Hi Josh,
Can you point me in the direction of a '40’s swing era eight-to-the -bar bass line I can work on in between lessons?



@JerryP: you might want to tag @JoshFossgreen by using the @sign, like I just did - otherwise, he might easily overlook the fact that you intended to address him directly.

Are you looking for a walking bass line? Strictly speaking, walking bass lines are improvised lines (i.e., not typically written out or composed) using chord tones (typically from the chord arpeggios), diatonic notes, and chromatic notes (for leading into the next root, for example). Playing a good walking line requires that you know the chords and the arpeggios pretty well, as there is no time to “think”, depending on how fast the chords change. Then, try to string the notes together to make a line that “walks”, but doesn’t “jump” too wildly too often.

I can’t quite do it yet, but I am trying to practice occasionally. Try to use an app like “iReal” that lets you play to hundreds of jazz standards or your own chord sequence and lets you set the tempo etc. to your liking and ability. But, in any case, the basis are those arpeggios…


Thanks for the info Joe.


You’d think it’s Joe, but it isn’t, sorry :grin:

Anyway, hope it helped a bit!?



Hey @JerryP, can you post an example of the kind of bass line you’re imagining?

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This is what I was thinking of: Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood”


@JerryP I didn’t do a deep search but I did some digging around. First a warning: free bass tabs on the internet aren’t always reliable. Having said that, you can generally find something to get you heading down the road you want.

This guy is doing a tutorial on YouTube for In The Mood…

This is a bass tab for what seems to be just a generic swing bass line…

BigBassTabs.com is, I think, the largest repository of free bass tabs on the Internet. I have used it often.

Other than that, I would recommend doing a google search for:
swing bass tab

The do a YouTube search for the same thing. It’s best to start broad for something like this to get an idea of what’s out there and then start narrowing your search:
Glen Miller swing bass tab

Eventually your going to come across walking bass lines and you can take a trip down the rabbit hole.

Hope this helps you find what you’re looking for.


Thanks @eric.kiser.
This is a big help. I’ll check all this out.