Bass Walk of the Week: Wilbur Ware on Sonny Rollins' "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise"

Welcome back to the Bass Walk of the Week, our series in which Jake Hawrylak dissects basslines from some of the best players in jazz to find timeless tricks and techniques you can bring to your own playing.

In previous episodes, Jake has shared tips gleaned from heavyweights like Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, and Percy Heath. Today, he’s turning to Wilbur Ware’s bassline from Sonny Rollins’ version of "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" from A Night at the Village Vanguard LP.

The lesson Jake hopes to impart is how to introduce rhythms outside of standard quarter-notes into a walking bassline—bringing in eighth-notes and triplet eighth-note rakes to add to a passage’s sense of momentum and movement.

Grab your bass and follow along in the video above (and the tabs below), and be sure to check back next week for another lesson.


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