Jazz, Blues & Gospel Walkups

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As you learn more progressions, you also need to learn how to join these progressions together. In traditional music this is often achieved using passing chords.

In jazz, blues and gospel music circles you might hear the term “walk up” or “walk down” tossed around. Basically this is a progression of chord which walks up from one chord to another or walks down from one chord to another.

In my Slow Blues a la Stormy Monday Part 2 lesson, I cover this reall cool walkup from a C-7 chord up to a F7 chord.


Something important that I wanted to share with you is how the bass motion is conceived. Notice that the bass notes are: C, D, Eb, E then F.

The C, D and Eb are all coming from the Bb Major scale. After all, the song is in the key of Bb…so that all makes sense.

What about the E diminished chord? Where does that come from?

That is the secret sauce right there my friends!

Without the E diminished chord, we would only have 3 chords: C-7, Bb/D and Eb7. Not only would this not give us a nice chord-every-beat rhythm, the Eb7 chord being a whole-step away from F7 is not a real strong resolution.

The addition of the E diminished chord adds motion on every beat while also creating a strong resolution to F7.

This is just one of the many blues piano walkup techniques you’ll learn in Slow Blues a la Stormy Monday Part 2. In case you missed it, I also recorded Slow Blues a la Stormy Monday Part 1.

If you like that diminished sound, check out my Practical Diminished Harmony lesson.


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Jazzedge Teachers

Welcome Paul Buono

Paul Buono has returned to the JazzEdge family as an instructor.  His professional piano/keyboard experience includes national and international touring, university professor, musical director, pit

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  1. This is good advice, helpful for linking a couple lessons together. It really helps to know how to pair the lessons so that a student can deepen one technique from a lesson by visiting another. And who but Willie would know the best way to link two lessons? This blog is helpful!