"Walkup" redirects here. For the American basketball player, see Thomas Walkup.
Country walkdown, in blue, with Carter Family picking.  Play 

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


  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.
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