Riff and Walking Bass Notes: By the Grace of Charles Mingus

Charles MingusCover of Charles Mingus
"Charles Mingus was a great jazz bass player and composer. His playing and composition reflected a deep understanding of the possibilities of jazz. Well-versed in all styles of music, his imaginative experimentation made a lasting impression on composers and performers. His impressive bass technique featured all the tricks of the trade, and he certainly used riffs and grace notes in exciting and interesting ways."
 (from Teach Yourself To Play Jazz)
 1. Grace Note

The Grace Note is indicated by a small note played quickly before the beat. It is a favorite figure among Jazz players, especially bass players. A grace note before starting a walking bass part adds drive and bounce to a tune.

2. Caesura (//)

A caesura is a small break or pause in the tempo.

3. Practice Walking Bass Notes Slowly

G, C, E, F, G (Walk Up)
Start with the left hand, a quick G (grace note), then play down to C and walk up,
playing E, F, G and return  to the C note.


C, C, Bb, A, G (Walk Down)

F, A, Bb, C (Walk Up)
Start with F (grace note), then drop to lower F octave below,
F, F, A, Bb, C


C,C, B, A, C (Walk Down)


D, G, B, C, D (Walk Up)
Start with the left hand, a quick D (grace note), then play down to G, walk up
G, B, C, D


F,  F,  A,  Bb,  C (Walk Up)


C, B, A, G (Walk Down)


C, Eb, Gb, A (Walk Up)


4. Practice Right Hand Riffs

Play Eb, E, G, C (2 x)
Then E, G, F, Eb, E, C, D, C

Now play Ab, A, C, F, Ab, A, C, F
Then E, G, Gb, F, Eb, E


Play Bb, B, D, G ... then, Ab, A, C, F

G, C, G, Gb, F, Eb, C... then
C, Eb, C, A, Gb, A, C, A, Gb, Eb


5. Ending


Both hands play Gb, F, Eb, C... then CBb/ACE

6. Midis of Charles Mingus Songs


Ecclusiastics

Goodby Porkpie Hat 


7.  YouTube: Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat




For more information, visit:
Cagedream: Charles Mingus


Jazz Bros.: Charles Mingus

"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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