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Country walkdown, in blue, with Carter Family picking. About this soundPlay 

In country music, walkdown is a bassline which connects two root position chords whose roots are a third apart, often featuring an inverted chord[1] to go between the root notes of the first two chords. See: slash chord. A walkup would be the converse. For example the chords G Major and E minor (a minor third apart) may be joined by an intervening chord to create stepwise motion in the bass: G-D/F-Em (I-V6/4-vi). The second chord, D Major, is performed with its third note, the F#, in the bass. Walkdowns may be performed by the upright bass player, the electric bass player, the guitarist, or a piano player.

In jazz, a walkdown is a descending bassline below chords sharing a common tone.[2] For example, if the above was G-D/F-Em7 the bassline would descend, G, F, E, while D is held in common. Walkdown may also refer to the movement from V to IV in bars nine and ten of the twelve-bar blues.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wilson, Steven Robert (1985). On the Importance of Popular Music Theory in the Curriculum, p.62. University of California, Santa Cruz.
  2. ^ De Mause, Alan (2002). Complete Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar, p.181. ISBN 9780786665594.
  3. ^ Julin, Don (2012). Mandolin For Dummies, p.174. ISBN 9781119943969.