The Lower Manual & The Pedals
For jazz organists, walking bass is played primarily with the left hand on the lower manual with some elements added and supported by the bass pedals.
Grace Notes & Ghost Notes
Walking bass on the lower manual gives us a greater ability to articulate notes than walking just with the bass pedals. When using the lower manual we can emphasise the triplet feel with grace notes and ghost notes to give our bass lines a stronger rhythmic foundation.
Bass Pedal Drawbar Settings
The 2 drawbars in the centre of the organ are used to control the volume and the sound of the bass pedals. The higher of the 2 drawbars is rarely used in jazz and you should set the bottom drawbar depending on the instrument, the room, and the setting.
As a rough guide, set the lower bass drawbar between 6 and 8 and use your ear to balance the volume of the pedals with volume of the lower manual.
Add Pitch-less Thumps
The pedal thump can be executed on 1 or 2 pedals using your ankle or your toe. The pedal thump is so short that a pitch is not established. Instead, we hear a very low frequency thump that is used to accent the beginning of the notes in our bass line.
Doubling Pitch With Pedals
We can use the bass pedals to double the pitch that we are playing on the lower manual. We do this when we want to reinforce and accent the approach to a particular chord change.
When playing the bass pedals on Hammond organ, we generally alternate between playing pitch-less thumps with following the melodic contour of the bass line that we are walking on the lower manual.
Lower Manual Bass & Pedals Notation & Examples File Type: pdf