Keep It Groovy: Rhythm Section Jam – Tips For Playing A Funky 12 Bar Blues

In this lesson, we chat about improvising a funky 12-bar blues bass line alongside our best friend, the drummer. Learn how to listen to a drum groove, understand what’s going on, and take inspiration from the beat that the drummers are doing. Then, think about concepts from other funky blues bass lines (such as “Honey Hush” by Albert Collins). Take elements of that bass line—chromaticism and ascending motion—and try to create your own pattern. Move your pattern through a 12-bar form, and voila, you’ve got a new groove to play!

Enjoy, and keep it groovy!

Ryan Madora is a professional bass player, author, and educator living in Nashville, TN. In addition to touring and session work, she teaches private lessons and masterclasses to students of all levels. Visit her website to learn more!

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