Walkdowns

Posted by Paul Baloche on 10 June 2014

Walkdowns describe the bass movement in a song, creating interest and emotion. A “one chord” with the root in the bass makes the listener feel “at home”. But a “one chord” with the third or the fifth in the bass is a totally different animal, usually evoking a majestic, anthem like quality. These are very useful tools in writing and arranging songs.

Almost every song ever written has either a walk-down or walk-up. Think of how the bass walks down in choruses like “Jesus, Lover of My Soul”, “There is None like You”, “As the Deer”, or “Mr. Bojangles”. Sacred and Secular, Classical and Contemporary, all employ this timeless musical device.

So here we go. By learning the walkdowns in the five “guitar keys”, you will be equipped to play nearly 90% of all music ever written. Or at least most of the music you ever hope to play. Of course then, by using a capo, you will be able to play in all twelve keys with ease. That is one of the cool things about the guitar—if you learn the “shapes” of certain chords, those shapes can be moved up and down the neck forming different chords in different keys.Something you can’t do on a piano I might add. 

Look at the examples shown below. In the key of C, look at the F/G chord. That “shape” is a “moveable shape”. If you move that shape up 2 frets, it becomes a G/A, which sets you up for the key of D. It’s a great shape to use when you’re modulating from one key to another. Another moveable shape that will serve you well is the A/C# in the key of D. Move it up and down the neck and figure out what chord you’re playing. Bb/D, C/E, etc. Go ahead and try them. Ouch!! It’s tough at first. The guitar is a very physical instrument. Take heart. Your hand muscles will grow stronger through repetition so keep practicing.

The examples shown start with the easiest key, C, and progress to the hardest key, E. If you are striving to be a better guitar player, I truly believe this is time well spent. Learning these walkdowns will prepare you to play hundreds of songs and enable you to enjoy your instrument more fully. “Play skillfully…..” Ps. 33:3

walkdowns chords 72dpi1

 

This article courtesy of www.leadworship.com.

For worship guitar video resources from Paul Baloche, visit www.leadworship.com

 

More like this

How old do you like your hymns? (Understanding Worship in the New Testament Part 3)

There is much that we do not know about how the first Christians conducted their gathered worship. Yet, there are some fascinating clues scattered throughout the New Testament. In particular, there are traces and fragments of liturgical (worship) material. Even...

A Life Less Ordinary (Lent Devotion Week 5)

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates...

What’s Happening with Worship in India?

Depending on who you ask, there are anything from 24 million to 70 million Christians in India. Whatever the real number, one thing is perfectly clear: the sound of Christian worship in India is getting ever louder. In this first...

Free Songs