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I was looking over some of the "already answered questions" and intend to look through them. However, I thought I might ask one of my own, see if I can get some different viewpoints. I have been studying, or trying to understand, generating a nice harmony with well thought out stepwise movement, while using bassline or Slash chords, ie: Inversions. I came across some article involving inversions and how they are used to create a moving bassline while playing a melody chords and also adding passing notes. Is there a "formula" most composers work with to move the bass notes up or down that is used with harmonic movement? Or, am I way overthinking this? I want to have a nice progression (don't we all), that moves the bass notes nicely while the melody works towards an end, with a sense of order in my composition. I did mention passing notes I believe, in my header. It would be best for me to work out a working progression first then add passing notes where I feel they should or should not be, according to what I am trying to achieve, right?

I do apologize for such a lengthy question with my asking of advice, but I am starting to get overwhelmed into thinking that there should be a type of formula one would use to properly compose a stepwise bassline within my harmony.

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One formula for harmonizing a step-wise bass is the 'rule of the octave.'

But, look for examples of harmonizing a descending bass. These aren't specific formulas, but they can give you ideas to work with:

These are all "classical" style. Maybe someone will post something for a pop style.

  • Michael, thank you for taking the time to read my question and give me some ideas to work with. Very much appreciated. Doug. – Dougpip Apr 9 '17 at 17:59

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