Jam Tracks / Improv. Tracks - Share your bassline

I’ve made all sorts of different playalong tracks that I’ve made, and - if people are into it - I’ll try and find a way to share more of them.

This one here is for C minor Pentatonic.
C, Eb, F, G, Bb
It’s a laid back 1 chord funk jam.
It’s super fun to groove to, solo to, - whatever. Enjoy the track, I hope you get some good bass times with it annnd…
If you come up with something you like - please share it here! I’d love to hear what different brains and players do with the same backdrop!

I’ll post mine tomorrow.
Here’s the jam:


Because I said I’d do it - here is the track with bass.


That is really cool! Is it a “walking bassline” I hear that phrase all the time, I guess I really don’t know what it means. It’s 0600 and I want to get my bass out now! :crazy_face:

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  • not technically a walking bassline - but the little decending line from 0:21 - 0:27 is a walk.
    The walking bassline can be identified in the wild by its 3 most recognizable features:
    1.) There is a bass note on every pulse.
    2.) It almost always accompanies a jazz rhythm section with a swing feel.
    3.) The line will have few repeats, few repeated notes, and will move and develop all over the bass spectrum.
    The walking bassline is a living, breathing, improvised organism designed to propel the rhythm, define the pulse, outline the harmony, and react to the dynamics of the other players all spontaneously. It is a wonderful and majestic beast to behold.

Here’s a fine example:


That was a very instructional video. I’m learning to play the drums at the same time I’m learning the bass. My drum instructor plays a little bass, and we’ve practiced playing both instruments together. Watching him on the bass, I could speed up or slow down as he does. My main goals as a drummer are staying in time, and getting back to the 1 on time.

Thank you for explaining the walking bass line. I’ve heard that before.

So much to learn. I dig it.


Nice, reminds me of Massive Attack a bit.

I might have to dust my recording gear down.


Um, yes please!

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Here’s a post from over a year ago that needs to be bumped back to the top. @Gio created a backing track that anyone can create a bassline to. There was a thread in the forums recently about doing this and posting it, so I gave it a try. Okay, tons of trial and error to get the recording working - for anyone wanting to do it, here are some quick insights and possible steps:

  1. Download Gio’s Jam Track to your desktop. Choose a program to record and download and install it - I picked Audacity - it’s free online, fairly easy to figure out, and works across multiple operating systems.
  2. Watch some videos about how to use Audacity. Here’s one helpful YT link: How to Record Guitar with Audacity using a backing track - YouTube
  3. Under File–>Open–> Then open Gio’s mp3 file that you downloaded. Under Edit–>Preferences–>Recording–>Click the box for "Play other tracks while recording (overdub) Under Tracks–>Add New–>Click Stereo Track
  4. Figure out how to set up your equipment to your computer to enable it to record you playing your bass - there are a few nice threads on this forum that are helpful. In my case, my modelling amp has a USB out that sticks right into the computer. Then you have to put on headphones to hear your bass, as the amp speaker gets muted. The backing track plays through the computer speakers so that you can hear both. Your setup may/may not be similar.
  5. Hit record on Audacity, and play! When finished, hit File–>Export–>>Export as MP3, and save to your desktop.
  6. Open a free account on Soundcloud. Click Upload, then, go to Permissions, and check the box for Enable Direct Download. Copy the link for your song for reference, and post it here or anywhere. Pretty neat!
  7. There are probably better/ more professional ways to do this, let me know! And you may also need to play with your amps EQ settings. My treble was way down, and I realized later that high notes could not even be heard, as they were drowned out.

Okay, so here’s my bassline. I’m on Mod 15 in B2B, it’s my favorite so far, lots of improv, and it’s all finally kind of coming together (I think!) I only used 4 notes here - most of the 1 beat is the root note of C. “Find me a C on the E string,” I could hear Josh saying. “Play me a minor pentatonic”. I used the boomier E and A strings since my EQ settings were whack. Then just noodled my way through, it took about 3 takes, and is by no means perfect. But hopefully not bad for a first shot.

Feedback please!! I want to improve, and need to know what to work on!


Thanks for reviving this, @Vik! I think I will try and NOT listen to any already submitted basslines (yours and @Gio’s) before I have done my own… lest I get “influenced” :smile:


Yeaaah @Vik!
Thanks for taking up the gauntlet / jam offer.

Everything about this bass line is good.
Root note on downbeat = check
Simple and repetitive = check
I like the move to the 5 of the chord towards the end of the phrase, and I really like the walk at the end up the scale as the track moves up.
Your time is good, and it all works so - success!

If we were in a lesson and you played that, after we high-fived and wallowed in the success of a juicy bass line for a minute, I’d go on with the following:

A good way to conceptualize a bass line like this is:


Listen to the track, and let your musical brain hear the bass line that you wish was on there. Do not have your bass plugged in for this part. Listen and sing, hum, imagine - however you can conceptualize the bass line.

If you have your bass in your hands, and start there, your fingers and analytical-practice-fingering-form brain will have the tendency to take over. Resist this!!

When you’re listening - here are something to try:
1.) The root note / basic groove.
There should be something that is identifiable and repeatable that locks you in to this particular groove. Best starting advice: Listen to the drum pattern, and try and find a root note bass line that locks into the kick drum pattern for beats 1-2. Whatever the kick drum does through the beginning of the bar, you do it too. Sing it to yourself or out loud.

2.) THE RULE OF FOUR. Whatever your basic rhythmic / root pattern is, try this tried and true formula for bass line variation:
On a four bar / four pattern phrase:
Bar 1 = the simple groove verbatim
Bar 2 = the simple groove with a slight variation
Bar 3 = the simple groove verbatim again
Bar 4 = variation - this could be the groove with a slight variation, this could be a complete other part, it could be a real tasty fill, it could be the bass hook -
the purpose here is to go somewhere else, so that when you start over again at Bar 1 of your 4-bar adventure, it feels like an arrival.

Try all of this without playing the bass.
Then, if you have your ideas solid, pick up your bass and play them.

…in real life, what follows is lots of strained and awkward moments of grown-ass adults to teenagers realizing their bass instructor has asked them to sing… and that he is serious about it. This type of thing is reaalllll hard to do one-on-one in front of a teacher. Better at home. But it’s SUPER important to keep the music first, your hands and fingers second.

Thanks again for finding the track.
I made one in every key, in lots of different styles.
Send me a private message, and I can link you to some playalong dropbox folders of both major and minor pentatonic playalongs in all keys.
Good fun!


@Gio , I would quote parts of your reply in response, but then, I’d end up quoting the whole thing! So much helpful info, thank you!! And I’ll take you up on your offer of more playalong tracks - gems to learn from, for sure.

For anyone wanting to try this, once you get past your own mental hurdles, and then some technological hurdles of making a recording work, this is actually a ton of fun. And no judgement here - we are all just learning / improving, so you really can’t go wrong.


OK, here is mine (I hope this link works!?!):

This was such an eye-opening process, on so many levels!! I had something in my head, but to get it into my fingers and have it played to an even just barely acceptable level is a totally different ballgame. Wow, I think I learned a lot by just trying this, and hearing myself and how inconsistent my playing is and how often I am not “in the pocket” at all (haha) is really mind-blowing. Awesome learning and humbling exercise!

Probably super fun to try it again in about six months and see whether I can do it better!

Thanks, @Gio and @Vik!

PS: now I can listen to what you guys came up with - even more fun!


Thanks for reviving this thread @Vik, and to you and @joergkutter for posting your bass lines! We should make this more of a regular thing, maybe if there’s enough interest I’ll make a whole separate Playalongs sub-forum so they’re easier to find.

And @joergkutter, recording oneself and listening back is very often humbling, I can verify from extensive personal experience. :slight_smile:


@Gio - Muff kneels down and bows to your godlike status as a BASSMASTER!



oh I missed this post ! so here is my attempt … not much variations but, hey, I’m learning :smiley: thank you very much Gio for the backing track !

I don’t have a soundcloud account so I uploaded it to Youtube, but it’s basically the same thing :slight_smile:


That’d be sweet! And yeah, pretty humbled right now myself, listening to the other 3 basslines posted :slight_smile: But all good, just hearing how others hear this now familiar tune, and dream up basslines is just a good experience.


So I got up early today, like 5.30 a.m. Make some Tea, open up my mail. There’s a thread link from Bassbuzz, always an interesting thing compared to the influx of junk and the daily grind. I click the link… I spend several minutes waking everyone up with outright hysteria (it seems) true LOL!. Dude that was a really great gif to wake to.


You guys are way more adventurous than I am. I kept it real simple :slight_smile: