Combining Walkdowns with Strumming (from G to C)

Lesson #401 • Nov 24, 2021

Video lesson

Instructional PDF 2 pages

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Editor’s notes

Hello friends! Today I want to answer a question about combining walkdowns & strumming, sent in by Patreon supporter Gary (thanks for your support!). Specifically, Gary wrote in asking about the Bob Seger song Still The Same, where during the pre-chorus and chorus sections, Seger is strumming G for two full measures – and at the same time, he’s playing a descending run of bass-notes that feels part of the strumming. Gary asked how Seger is doing this, and in this video I’ll give an answer – tabs included!

I’ll also show 3 additional tabs (available in my Instructional PDF for this lesson), where I show how this exact same principle can be used in slightly different contexts. Taken together, I hope these examples will help you understand why this technique works so well – and empower you to use it in your own playing.

Examples of this in other song lessons I’ve taught

Sheet music for each song below is available for purchase! Click the link on each song name to learn more.

Wild World by Cat Stevens (Lesson #282)

Just before each chorus, there’s a walkdown (from G to C) played where Cat Stevens plays each individual string of G/F, G/E, and G/D – all before resolving to a C-major.

Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel (Lesson #51)

In the middle of each chorus, Simon & Garfunkel employ two different walkdowns back-to-back. One is a walkdown from C to G, and the other is from D to G. While these are different from what I teach in the lesson above, it’s the same basic principle at play.

I’ve Just Seen a Face by The Beatles (Lesson #298)

In between each line of the verse, the Beatles use a similar walk-down technique in this song. Super fun to play!

Examples of this in other instructional lessons I’ve taught

Instructional PDFs for each lesson below are available to download for all members of Song Notes Premium. Click any lesson title below to get the download link, or learn more about becoming a member.

Key of C Cheat Sheet (Lesson #388)

If you need a refresher at the notes in the Key of C, check out this lesson! Any walk-up and walk-down heard in this key uses these notes. This video and PDF also gives a summary of the notes used in each chord within the Key of C, which might help you understand things.

Beautiful Fingerstyle Walkdown, Key of C (Lesson #264)

Here’s a video where I teach a warmup exercise, using a typical walkdown in the key of C. This one is played fingerstyle, adding a beautiful melody via the thinnest 2 strings – which is played at the same time as the bass-line walkdown.

Walk-ups, Walk-downs, and the Fretboard (Lesson #354)

A video where I answer a listener question about how walk-ups and walk-downs work, when it comes to how we determine which notes to use. Hint: the notes in any walk-up or walk-down come from the scale of that song’s key.

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Hey there! My name is David Potsiadlo, and I'm the creator of the 400+ weekly lessons here at Song Notes, going back to 2013. Here’s my guitar story »

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