Most useful style of music?

I’ve been getting deeper into learning music theory, at least to the point where I can potentially write my own lines.

I’m wondering though, and not that I’m purposely separating bass styles, if there’s a kind of style that is the most adaptable to most music?

For example, a lot of players talk about Jamerson’s lines, or maybe funkier stuff like Bootsy. Then there’s reggae bass etc.

I think it’s important to learn a variety of musical styles but I’m curious about if there’s such a things a middle ground?


For context, I’m going to be looking for jam bands in my area pretty soon, and I have no idea what I’ll likely sit in on, so I’m trying to be as adaptable as possible with my own playing so that I’m not completely lost lol


R&B and funk gets my vote, :joy:


Would you consider that as 2 styles?

I noticed that with James Brown’s stuff, it’s funky but doesn’t have much slap etc…


To me there’s 2 subdivisions of funk, Marcus Miller style slap and walking style, like Sonny T, Joe Dart, and pretty much most of Scary Pockets

Cory Wong covers both style.

Then any more notes in a song would move up to the Fusion, :joy:


I would say Jazz. Even if you never wind up playing Jazz, understanding it is a huge boost. Most rock music is just slightly altered Jazz licks and the rest is slightly altered blues.

The way I’ve always understood it: Jazz can teach you how music is constructed. Music theory may be the individual Lego pieces but Jazz can show you all the different ways they can fit together.

Sadly, as I’m finding out, it’s not something you can just “pick up”. Or maybe some people can. Either way, something to look into and strive for?

Maybe some day I’ll understand how to construct a walking bass line…I keep hoping @JoshFossgreen will do a video or even small course about them.


YES! Thank you.

This is what I meant. There’s funk with more a “walking” approach sort of like Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish”.

To my ears, its sort of midway between motown and slap bass funk.

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I get your point.

Jazz is the application of the theory and the adaptation of the logic behind it.


This is jazz

And this is funk

This is r&b

And this is funkeeyyy


And that’s just a different application of the Jazz walking bass.

It all goes back to Jazz.


I’m sorry - there are probably other things to comment on, but Kids in the Hall win every time in my book.
Love this.


LOL… yes to all!

Interesting similarities though!

You can start to see some of the carryover.


At risk of being disloyal* Mark Smith over at TalkingBase has a couple. One is just a short and more focused on some fixed walking lines. The other is much more comprehensive and is intended to give all the theory to let you improvise walking lines. I’m nowhere near that level yet but love to be able to do. I have got the shorter one but have so far only dipped into it.

*Full disclosure I have bought B2B and some TalkingBase courses and like both. Very different style though so try some of his freebies first.


This bassline in particular is that middle point (which I’m currently trying to learn as well!):

An excellent philosophical question!

I was wondering this myself. Basically, most of the players I look up (John Entwhistle, Lemmy, Paul Gray …) have tended to specialise in rock music. I can’t really see them playing other genres, let’s say RnB or samba. Therefore, the way I see it, I want to play dad rock so I practise dad rock.

However, having said that, before he joined Cream, Jack Bruce had a distinguished history playing the double bass in bebop jazz; this really gave him an insight into bass which he capitalised on in psychedelic rock. Indeed, he was quoted as saying “Cream was a jazz trio - only we never told Eric”.

Soooo… maybe if you’re thinking of pushing yourself a little and using that theory, maybe try some jazz?


I would say I’m rock bass leaning but a good bass line is just that, and regardless of genre it grabs me.

I have a feeling it will be harder to find dad bands that play motown or funk as opposed to punk/rock.


I would say jpop or jrock. Their compositions can be quite adventurous and they are playful with genre boundaries.


They can also be far more complex and difficult than the western counterparts though.

Note that I am not saying better, just commenting on technical considerations


I do not doubt that technically they’re more challenging, but we could learn a lot from how they compose.



This was nowhere near my radar.

Thank you!

Not disloyal, Josh and Mark are both excellent teachers and have their own lanes for the most part. I’ve been working through the longer walking bass course. Slow but steady, since he gives like 4 hours of homework for each lesson (all 12 keys major and minor lol). It works though. I would’ve been totally lost if i tried this course before B2B, so they really do complement each other despite their differences.

So tying this back to original question, guess i’d go with jazz. Since it dives into so much harmony, rhythm, and improv.