I'm very new to music theory so pardon me if its a very infantile question but I would like to learn. I've been playing the piano and while just playing around I started playing E D# C# B A G# F# B# E as the bass line on my left hand while I play a melody with my right hand. My question is what do you call this type of bass line, if that's what it is called sorry. I would like more information on it as I like how it seems to restart once its over seamlessly descending. I'm not sure if I explained myself clearly sorry but I do want to learn.



2 Answers 2


This is a pretty common approach to basslines that dates back centuries. It's known as a "step-descent bass," and with some chromatic pitches you can also end up with what is known as a "lament bass."

Often a bassline like this repeats over and over, as it sounds like yours does. In such instances, we also call it a "ground bass," which just indicates a repeating pattern in the bass throughout a piece.


It's also known as a 'walking bass'. You're walking down the scale. It walks/works going upwards too. Just before where an E note will come at the beginning of a bar, try playing an F♮. It's out of key, but can sound quite effective.

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