A Jazz organist who walks bass is a bass player first and formost.
This is the key principle of classic JOS (Jimmy Smith) style organ playing.
- Bass lines are usually played in the left hand with auxiliary notes and toe tapping in the bass pedals.
- Some organists do play bass in the pedals. (Watch YouTube videos. When you see the toe hovering over a few notes, you're probably watching toe tapping, not a literally note for note walk.)
- Jazz organ bass lines are functional: Timing is everything.
- Basic drawbar setting (lower manual) 8x8000000. (Middle drawbar can be adjusted to taste.)
- Must be stable and predictable so you don't have to think about it when you're soloing.
- Don't worry too much about "fold back" -- just let the lines flow.
- Memorizing a few solid stock model "12 bar blues" bass lines is a good way to get the basic feel.
- Unlike a solo, bass lines are note solely about scale patterns.
- The most important thing is the root, fifth and chromatic notes leading to the fifth.
- You can often play the fifth on the second beat after the root, and the note a half step above or below the note you need to go to to get to it.
- ex. C G C B | F
- Another important pattern is Root down to the third up to the fifth, and root up to the third third, up to the fifth: F up to A Bb B | C, F down to A Bb B | C
Boogaloo and Funk:
- Listen to Reuben Wilson's "Blue Mode" and Charles Earland's Black Talk. Notice the use of Root Fifth patterns and Root Fifth Octave.
- Focus on listening to tunes with simple chords and changes and playing the root fifth patterns by ear.
- Make sure that even when playing funk your baselines have a light triplet feel. (Old school funk swings!)
And most importantly:
- Listen to real bass players.
- Always listen to the drummer.
- Make sure the drummer is listening to classic Jazz organ recordings and knows how to play to compliment a Jazz organist (not too busy!)
- Make sure the guitarist is not clashing with the bass line by playing lot's of low bass-y roots!
then take a lesson with me (online or in person!)